Ever since someone put a photograph of one of my Celtic coasters on Pinterest I have had about three weeks of hundreds of people every day coming to look at the pattern. Even now it seems to be over one hundred.
I know that a thread bookmark will appeal to far fewer people but it did make me think that it might be worth revisiting my Celtic bookmarks.
My original bookmark was this.(I can’t find it at present so it is probably keeping a place in a book somewhere!)
I did find that it was a bit floppy even when sprayed with starch so this time I decided to move away from my original idea of choosing four stitches for a crossover point and used the three stitches that I used for the coasters to ensure there were no gaps.
This gave me. I found that this was naturally stiffer and was probably not worth starching.
If you look closer I think you can see that the white part shows you the ‘right’ side of the crochet whereas the red shows the ‘wrong’ side. I quite liked this as it means that the bookmark doesn’t itself have a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ side and the pattern for both parts is the same.
However I did sit down and work out a pattern for the second piece so that you could have both pieces showing the ‘right’ side.
When I created the original I liked the idea of choosing to make a configuration that needed two pieces.
[For Celtic plaits this width, there are only two main possibilities: that of two strands or one. More about the variations at the end for those who may be interested.]
However as the corners at the side come in pairs, the colours were not as separate as I might have liked so I decided to see what could be done with a version that came in one piece.
[It might be worth mentioning, even now, that if you count the right angled corners down the side and this is an even number you will get two separate strands and if it is an odd number you will always get one.]
I had chosen eight corners for the original bookmark as I thought that it gave the right proportions for a bookmark and so I decided to chose nine for my one piece bookmark.
This is what the strip looks like when it is finished.I thought that a totally plain bookmark would be boring and wouldn’t show off the plaitwork to best effect and so I decided to add a dc (US-sc) edging. I had increased the number of stiches per crossing back to four.
(This didn’t work with this strip as it still made it to wide to fold together easily so I took it off and tried adding slip stitches.)
This gave me the red and white bookmark in this photo.I thought that this was reminiscent of this style of plaitwork in my book. However I still wanted to try a dc edging so I increased the number of stitches for a crossing to five. (I made a slight adjustment to the ends too.)
This gave me the following. which is larger but I rather liked.
Here is a size comparison with some of the many bookmarks that I own. The leather bookmark on the left is rather large, more suitable for a large book like a bible, but I often use the two papyrus ones in my library books; so you can see that they are all useable.
Of course these bookmarks are twice as thick as my other crochet bookmarks (Find them HERE) because of the crossing over and in fact when you add the slip stitches that makes them slightly thicker again. Still useable I think.
Now before you leave off reading I would like to ask a couple of questions.
- Which bookmark do you like best? (If you like any!)
- Do you think it is worth publishing the pattern for any of them? If so which ones?
More about the different types of plaits
Really you can think of there being four different types of plait of this width which depend on the number of right-angled corners up the side.
The two odd ones of the four are really the same but with an even number they do show subtle differences, as you can see in this picture.
There are two main differences.
If the even number is divisible by four there are same number of corners of each colour on both sides. If the number is not divisible by four there is an extra pair of each colour on opposite sides.
From a crochet point of view it makes a difference to the 180 deg turn-around points.
The dark line represent your initial chain and as you can see for the number divisible by four the chain is on the inside of all the turn-around points.
Where the number is not divisible by four the chain is inside for one and outside for the other. It is worth noting that this also happens for the odd numbered ones where you get one of each, each end.
The extra picture at the bottom (compare with top left) is to highlight the fact that these plaits do have a handedness and although I have chosen one of them that the same piece of crochet could be used to make either. Though you would want to put the join in a different place!