Summer Knitting Project: Take-Along Lace Bookmark

Lace bookmarkI recently took a day-trip and the project I took with me was a tank top. I worked on it in the car, but it really took up too much room in my bag and in my lap and I was wishing for a small, purse-friendly project.

I can hear you all saying "How about a sock?" I know, I know–socks are the perfect traveling project (and I should be farther along on the KAL!). But I like to change things up a bit, and since it's getting towards time to start knitting holiday gifts, I thought I'd see what else was out there that would be car/park/lounge chair-appropriate.

I took a stroll through PieceWork's magazine's free pattern archive and I came upon this lovely bookmark pattern.

PieceWork has been one of my favorites for a long time. I love reading about the tradition and history of knitting and PieceWork does such an amazing job of keeping that tradition alive. I have a history with cross-stitch, too, and PieceWork almost makes me want to pick it up again! (So does the beautiful cross-stitch sampler Jeane Hutchins, the PieceWork editor, has in her office.)

Ave Coleman's Lace Bookmark is the trifecta of summer knitting: portable, gift-worthy, and a tiny bit challenging. There are four beautiful lace patterns in this piece, so you'll get a taste of lace on a small scale. And I love knitting with small needles, so this project is perfect for me.

I also appreciate the cotton thread called for in the bookmark pattern. It's all about cotton (or linen or hemp or silk) for my summer knitting. In hot weather I simply can't knit with wool or alpaca, unless I'm in an air-conditioned room (and there's not much AC in Spokane) or if I'm sitting directly in front of a fan (and then my pattern blows all over the place). So you see the terrible problems I face. I do make an exception for sock yarn, which is usually so tiny that I can handle the wool content.

(I think I've added two items to the trifecta: small needles and cotton yarn. The lace bookmark is now a five-fecta!)

Be sure and check out the July/August 2009 issue of PieceWork for even more wonderful ideas, including a whole article on "take-along" projects: a knitted scarf, an embroidered bookmark, and a pair of knitted wrist warmers. Sock knitters might like to try the mitten patterns in this issue, too. They're not socks, obviously, but the techniques are similar.

I think I'll make one of the lace bookmarks for each of the women in my family, and a couple for myself, too.

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