Celtic Bookmarks

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?

Thank you!

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.

Also note

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!


Angel Christmas cards

I really feel that I could do with some way of lighting the items I want to photograph in a more even way and even if it is dull outside. However I have packed up all my Christmas cards now so this will have to do.

I shared with you the pattern for the angels I was making for my Christmas cards and now I will share with you the making of the final cards. Finished card Here is the final card and this is how I put them together.

First an aside. Several years ago I got a pair of folding scissors in a Christmas cracker and ever since then I had it on my key ring and it was very useful when I was out, especially when crocheting on the bus or Friday ‘Crafty Coffee’ mornings.

BUT then I lost my keys and thus the scissors!

Now for years I had wanted a Swiss Army knife but had never got around to it, partly because of the cost and partly because I could never decide which one I would buy. Now I decided that I would finally buy myself one with a scissors. The choice was really between the Climber and the Compact, as although I liked the idea of the magnifying glass on the Explorer it was a bit too chunky. In the end I bought the Climber because on Black Friday it was available locally at a good price and it is always good to see something before you buy it.

One of the things that the knife came with I wasn’t sure I would use but in fact it was the ideal tool to help with assembling my Christma cards.

And that was the ‘reamer’. Reamer I used it to make a hole and pull the loop at the end of the cord through the hole.

Here you can see an angel and a card, Angel on card the dot is to guide me as to where to make the hole.

And here is the reamer all ready to be used to pull the loop through the card. Pulling through cord Here is the inside when I had fixed the angel in place with a piece of cord securing the bottom of the robe to the loop. Inside of card These pictures were taken the other day when I was in a hurry to make a couple of cards to send abroad. On Sunday I finished the other twelve cards and here you can see all twelve angels. Twelve angels And the twelve finished cards. Twelve cardsOriginally I was intending to make more angels but pains in my wrists and lots of problems to sort out meant that I only made seventeen (including the three for the Giveaway). So for a few people that I wanted to give home-made cards to I have folded some origami angels to go on the same cards. I will share these with you next week when I have made the cards and taken some photographs.



Fish bookmark revisited.

Not being happy with either of my earlier attempts to make a Christian fish bookmark. Bruges lace style fishFilet crochet fish bookmarkI decided to have another try. I decided that the rectangular shape worked best but that the fish needed to be in a contrasting colour to show up. I tried to do this with the filet crochet but it was not at all satisfactory, so I switched my attention to tapestry crochet.

I started out with DK yarn as I often do, even though it would be much too big. DK yarn version of fish bookmark Having felt that this showed promise I then tried out a small version in #10 thread.

Just the minimum length to include my ideas. First attempt at bookmarkIt is possible to make the back look pretty much perfect but I decided that this was good enough. Other side of bookmarkHowever I decided that I would really like a lighter colour and found a blue/green mixture on the internet that looked appealing but didn’t want to buy it on-line if I could get it locally because of the cost of postage.

I went up to Winchester that is the nearest place I know that has a good selection of crochet cotton but I couldn’t get exactly what I wanted and came back with this instead. Crochet cotton It was lighter in colour than I would have liked but I made this? Second attempt at bookmarkWhat do you think?

I think I would make the fish a bit longer next time. I am not sure why it is so short, maybe I miscounted!



Celtic Cross crochet pattern

I am in process of improving this pattern. So if you have visited before you may find changes.Crochet celtic crossThis is the pattern I have devised to make the above. I find it easiest to work from an abbreviated pattern so that is what I give below with an explanation of the abbreviations. I hope it is easy to understand.

I used #10 crochet cotton and a 1.25mm hook. It came out about 4 inches high and three inches wide. (10 x 7.5 cm) However using a smaller hook will give a firmer though slightly smaller bookmark.

Celtic Cross Bookmark

Start with at least 160 chain. Ideally make a few more to allow for missing the odd one or miss-counting. Excess chains can be undone at the end.

(158ch before first tr)

I find it easiest to work with an abbreviated pattern, so here are the abbreviations.


Corner = (2tr, dtr, trtr) into first ch, 3ch ss into 3rd ch from hook, (trtr, dtr, 2tr) into next ch.

V = 2tr into ch.

N  eg 12 = 1tr into each of next 12 ch.

First V = 3ch then tr into 3rd ch from hook.


Corner = (2dc, tr, dtr) into first ch, 2ch ss into 2nd ch from hook, (dtr, tr, 2dc) into next ch.

V = 2dc into ch.

N  eg 12 = 1dc into each of next 12 ch.

First V = 3ch then dc into 3rd ch from hook.


(V V 4 V V 3 Corner V 1 V 1 V Corner 3 V V 4 V V 4) x 3


V V 12 V V 3 Corner V 1 V 1 V Corner 3 V V 12 V V 4

Tie trefoil knots first then interweave centre and sew ends together. Join should be underneath circle when cross is complete.

Here are a few diagrams to help you see how the different parts go but the crochet fits more tightly.Fitting cross diagrams

Then make circle.

Ch 24,

(V11) x 8.

Interweave round centre of cross and position so join is underneath.

Adding circle diagram

For a bookmark you could add a cord at the top or bottom as I describe at the bottom of these patterns – https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/cross-bookmark-pattern/

To use as a bookmark this definitely needs to be stiffened though I think some spray starch is enough.

I am still experimenting so I have yet to complete the cross as a bookmark.

But here is another idea: a two colour bookmark.Red and white crossAnd if one arm looks slightly odd, I have to admit that I missed out a corner when making it and didn’t realise soon enough (well I was watching a very interesting programme on the beginning of the universe) so I had to fudge the end to be able to show this to you.

I’m still thinking ‘celtic’!

I am not ready to start my blanket so I have been messing around with various small projects,: one of which was to continue with my idea of making a cross bookmark based on this silver cross my brother gave me a long time ago.Ideas for patternI refined and completed my ideas for a pattern and using some spare acrylic yarn created this.Trial in acrylicThe sun was so bright and I was in a hurry but I think this gives the idea.

This told me what I needed to do to tighten up the pattern and shorten the arms and then I found a way to make the corners pointier. So I experimented with some #10 cotton thread and got this.Trial in cottonJust clipped together for speed.

This enabled me to work out just what was needed and make a final one.Finished celtic crossI was very pleased with the proportions of this one.

I was a bit worried about the lower upright, when I had made it, because of the two long pieces being separate and thought that it would not be any good as a bookmark but stiffened with the spray starch it feels a lot better, so I may continue with the idea and maybe try making one with the circle in a contrasting colour.

You can’t feel it but what do you think?

Angel bookmark/decoration Pattern

Three angelsAlthough no-one has expressed an interest I thought I would share my pattern for the angel bookmark as I think it could also make an attractive decoration. (We all know what is coming up in four month’s time. and crafters need to start early.) 🙂

Here are pdf versions to download in UK and US terms:-

Angel bookmark UK and Angel bookmark US

and below the UK version written out.

I suppose it goes without saying but, especially if you make this in cotton thread, a little stiffening will improve it’s usability.


I used #10 cotton thread and a 1mm hook. The pattern does seem to work better with a relatively small hook.


I start with a magic loop but you could use a 6 chain circle or similar instead.

Round 1 is the ‘right side’.

Round 1: 4ch(=1st dtr), 15dtr, ss together.

Round 2: 5ch(=tr, 2ch), (tr, 2ch) into each of next 12 dtrs, tr into 14th dtr. [This leaves 2 dtrs unworked for neck.] Reverse direction.

Round 3: 1ch, (dc, 2ch, dc) into each 2ch gap.

You now make the first wing.


12ch, then reverse direction.

I think the prettiest way to work the next row is to use my ‘method 3’ of this post – https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/four-ways-to-crochet-into-a-chain/ – for crocheting into the chains as that gives a scalloped edge.

The method is to work into the front two loops of the chain as you look at it, leaving the back loop to make the scallop.

First Row: Dc into second ch from hook, dc into each of the other chs. (11sts)

Next row: 3ch(=1st tr) then repeat (ch, miss a dc, tr) 5 times.
Next row: Ch, (dc,2ch, dc) into 1st gap then repeat (ch, tr) into each gap, tr into 3rd ch at start of previous row.

Now repeat these two rows below in a diminishing manner.

Row A: 3ch(=1st tr) then repeat (ch, miss the tr, tr into gap) to end [4 repeats first time.]

Row B: Ch, (dc,2ch, dc) into 1st gap then repeat (ch, tr) into each gap, tr into 3rd ch at start of previous row.

For the last Row B:– ch, (dc, 2ch) into gap, dc into 3rd ch of previous row.

Finish off. Ends can be sewn in now or later.

Join yarn at other side of halo and repeat for second wing.


With right side facing and head down, join yarn to rightmost free dtr and

Row 1: 4 Ch (=1st dtr) (dtr, 2ch 2dtr) into this dtr, and (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into other dtr.
Row 2: 3ch ss into wing at top of a ‘B’ row, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 1ch, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below. Tr into 4rd ch of previous row. Ss into wing at top of a ‘B’ row.

Row 3: 3ch, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 2ch, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below. Tr into 3rd ch of previous row.

Row 4: 3ch ss into wing at top of a ‘B’ row, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 3ch, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Tr into 3rd ch of previous row. Ss into wing at top of a ‘B’ row.

Now wings are anchored to body initial 3ch increases to 4ch.

Row 5: 4ch, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 3ch gap of row below, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 3rd ch of previous row

Can you see the pattern?

Row 6: 4ch, [(2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 1 ch,] twice then (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 4th ch of previous row.

Row 7: 4ch, [(2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 2 ch,] twice then (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 4th ch of previous row.

Row 8: 4ch, [(2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 3 ch above 2ch gap] twice then (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 4th ch of previous row.

Row 9: 4ch, repeat twice [(2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 3ch gap of row below]. (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 3rd ch of previous row

Row 10: 4ch, repeat [(2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 1 ch,] four times then (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 4th ch of previous row.

Row 11: 4ch, repeat [(2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 2 ch,] four times then (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 4th ch of previous row.

Row12 (Last row): 6ch, dc into gap, repeat (5ch, dc into gap) eight times. 6 ch, ss into 4th ch of previous row.

Finish off and sew in ends.

This would make a nice bookmark with maybe a cord and tassel as for my Cross Bookmarks attached into the top of the halo. But it could also be used as a decoration for a Christmas tree or several angels attached to a long chain as Christmas bunting.

You could even work them in thicker yarn, even metallic, as decorations.

Silver angelThis is worked in Twilley’s Goldfingering in silver and a 2mm hook.

A size comparison.0383-angelcomparison

A Crafty Week – Tuesday

On Tuesday the weather started off a bit cloudy but by mid-morning it brightened up so we packed a picnic and went to the paddling pool on Southampton Common.

Louisa had a paddleHaving fun paddlingand then she saw that for a small cost you could have a few minutes moving around on the water in a large inflatable see-through ball. So of course grandma paid for her and she had some fun.In the ballYou can see the tether. A guy walked around keeping the ball in the centre of the pool.In the ballThere was also time for swimmingSwimmingand making friends.Making friendsToday the craft part is what I was doing while Lousia was having fun.

In June 2013 I showed you, how while I was on holiday in Criccieth, I had devised an angel bookmark that I could use on Christmas cards.Crochet angel June 2013Somehow since then I have never got around to working out how I had made the angel, and making more in time for Christmas, but recently I have got down to working up a proper pattern.Three angels for bookmarksFor the final pattern I have amended the design slightly (as you can see by comparing the outer two with the middle original.) I think that this will be the final version. I am planning to make them in different colours but so far have been working in white. As bookmarks I will add a cord and tassel as with my cross bookmarks.

Designing a fish bookmark

Some time ago when I showed you my new edgings for my cross bookmark nanacathy seconded by Jill at Nice piece of Work suggested that I might try to make a fish bookmark. I have been thinking about this ever since then and have been working on the idea on and off.

My first thought was to use filet crochet and I started by making a little sketch.0362-sketchoffishLater I took some of my cream #10 crochet cotton, of which I have plenty, and tried turning it into a piece of filet crochet.

I only used 2 stitches for each hole and block as I thought that otherwise it might be too wide.0362-unclearThe problem with this was that I didn’t think the fish showed up very well so a little while later I tried again.

This time I used three stitches for the holes and blocks as is more normal. I also decided to reverse the design so that holes became blocks and vice versa.0362-toowideI thought that the design was clearer this time and I experimented with how I might include extra sections to make an interesting bookmark. However this is over two inches wide which seemed that it might be too much for a bookmark.

Now I wondered if I should try a different tack and remembered my try at making a cross bookmark with bruges lace ribbons.0362-brugeslacecrossI had given this up because of the width but I thought I could try a symbolic fish shape.0362-brugesAs shown this is a bit of a cheat because I made the central motif and sewed it in place with sewing cotton before working in the insets. In practice though it could be made in two parts and I used it to work up a tentative pattern.

I wasn’t sure if I liked it. I think if I did it again I would make the central motif a little daintier.

What do you think. Would this make a satisfactory bookmark?

I then went back to my filet crochet idea and decided to combine the second version with only using the two stitches which gave this.0362-okayI tried a contrast coloured edging though I haven’t stiffened it as I am still not sure.0362-bookmarkwithedgingI don’t think that I would enjoy making either of these as much as my cross bookmark but wondered whether anyone thought they would actually be worth making.

Any comments and suggestions gratefully received. Doesn’t matter if they amount to ‘give up the idea!’

A new Cafetière Cosy

A long time ago I made a cosy for my 2 cup cafetière.Cafetiere cosiesThat’s the smaller one in the picture.

Well the cosy on the larger one has already been replaced and recently I decided that the small one was stained, rubbed and saggy and that I should make a new one.Old cosyNow my cafetière Cosies have always been an excuse to try out a new crochet pattern and this time was no exception.

I had seen a pattern that I wanted to try and although I couldn’t remember where I had seen it I started working on it.First try Now I knew that the idea was to turn the chain strips into a plait but I just couldn’t remember how to do it.

I tried a search for crochet patterns using the word ‘plait’ but no luck.

I later discovered that ‘braid’ gave me something but in the end I discovered that this sort of pattern is described as ‘Jacob’s Ladder’. Now I know all about Jacob’s ladder – Genesis 28:12 – but quite why this has that name I am not sure.

Now I could make the plaits.Plaitbut I didn’t like the thin stripes so I decided to use trebles (US – dcs) instead of dcs (US – scs). I found a helpful hint that the chain strips should be twice the number of chains the stitch is equal to plus 1. So for a treble (US – dc) the number would be seven.

I think you can see that the above is just several (5) dcs followed by 5 ch, repeated.

Here is what I made for the cafetière.Just the cosyThe reason I chose three colours was because I had discovered when I started to teach my granddaughter crochet that if you use three colours you don’t have to break the yarn you can just thread it up the side. So less ends to sew in. Yay!

And here is it on the cafetière.Cosy on cafeteireAnd the side with the buttons.Cosy on cafeteire button sideThe buttons are just old used ones I had in my button jar.

So that is what I have been doing lately.

I have also made a few more cross bookmarks.More cross bookmarksand I must show you this cushion I bought from Ikea for lumber support.Ikea cushionIn time I may make it a crochet cover but I did think it was rather fun. It makes me want to embroider the birds like they are a transfer or colour them in like a colouring book.

I have a new obsession!

Celtic knotwork or plaitwork. (And I haven’t forgotten about the orchids.)

I few weeks ago I showed you the bookmark I had made. Well since then I have been busy drawing and planning and thinking up ideas.

For further ideas I turned to my book on Celtic knotwork.BookHere are some of my early drawings. Early drawingsThe one with colour comes from in the book but done my way.

The ones lower left are just plaitwork squares and the one at the top is my idea for a celtic knot cross bookmark.

This is it done on the computer.Knot crossI have a silver celtic cross and I also wondered if that could be turned into a crochet pattern.

Silver cross designThe curves make this trickier to work out.

Having decided that the plaitwork was the simplest, I played around with a few colours

I decided that using my computer drawing program would make that easier.Complete plaitPutting each colour on a different layer e.g.First layer

made it easier to try different combinations.

Different colourwaysMaybe you might like to try on squared paper or the computer.

The only shapes you need are these.Needed shapesor the mirror equivalent. I have used both.

It’s best to start in the middle like this.Start

Turning this into a pattern is easy.

Draw round the curve to represent the chain you will start with, as in this pattern for my bookmark.Drawing for bookmarkYou will make a long chain the right length (or a little longer and undo any excess chains). Working into the back of the chains gives the best finish.

Each crossover point means 4 chains (ignore the squares between crossovers). Each 90 deg turn means either 1 chain or 5 chains if the chain is on the outside of the curve.

Each 180 deg curve is similarly either 3 chain or 11 chain.

You work 1 tr (US-dc) into each chain except for corners and turns.

A corner 90 deg turn is made by working 5tr (US-dc) into 1 chain or else doing 5trtog.

A 180 deg turn is made by working 5tr into first chain, then 1 tr into next, then 5 tr into next, or else 5trtog, 1 ch, 5trtog.

I liked to start in the middle of a crossover point.

This works for any design not just the bookmark.

I realised that if I made the smaller plaitwork design in DK (US-worsted weight) yarn it would be too big for a drink mat so I thought I would try with some #10 cotton.Halfway finishedUnfortunately I had to stop at this point.

I have had pains in my wrists for the past few months and although making my rainbow spiral cloth was fine, working into the back of the chain for these hurt too much.

I thought it was something that would get better if I just rested my hands and didn’t do things that hurt but now I have been told that it is osteoarthritis. The doctor didn’t seem to think I needed any more information as it was enough to know that it was “nothing scary”.

I am still hoping to finish this one day and try my bookmark ideas. Just need to find out a bit more about living with osteoarthritis and whether if it hurts it’s doing damage.

My hands work fine and the pain is not as bad as it was; just don’t want it to get worse.

It’s thicker than the others but I love using my celtic bookmark.

Celtic knot bookmark