How to knit a simple bookmark (free pattern)

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A simple bookmark is one of the easiest things to knit for beginners. Here’s a free, quick and easy bookmark knitting pattern especially for absolute beginners. Practise your knitting and make something useful in no time.

Materials

  • A small amount of yarn. Worsted weight / aran or DK is easiest for beginners.
    I used Sirdar Snuggly Crofter baby fair isle effect DK in shade 203 Maisie for my multicoloured bookmark and Rico essentials soft merino aran for my plain magenta bookmark (shade no longer available) – see pic below.
  • Knitting needles – 5mm (size 8 US) for worsted weight / aran or 4mm (size 6 US) for DK yarn, or needle size recommended on your yarn. Needle size is not vital here.
  • A blunt tapestry needle for weaving in ends
  • A scissors
  • A small piece of card for making tassel (optional)
  • A few pins for blocking your bookmark to dry (optional)

Easy Garter Stitch Bookmark Knitting Pattern

  1. Cast on 8-10 stitches

    Any cast on method will work here.
    Cast on 8 stitches with 5mm needles (size 8 US) if using worsted weight or aran yarn.
    Cast on 10 stitches with 4mm needles (size 6 US) if using DK yarn, which is a bit finer.
    Use the recommended needle size on your yarn ball. The above is just a general guide. If you have slightly different size needles, that’s fine too. It won’t really matter for this project.

  2. Knit every stitch in the first row

    Use the basic knit stitch, also known as garter stitch, to knit every stitch. Turn your work.

  3. Keep knitting until your strip measures 6 inches approx

    You can knit a shorter or longer bookmark if you prefer.
    Optional: if you would like neater edges, you can slip the first stitch in each row. To do this, bring your yarn end to the front before you start the row. Now put your right needle into the first stitch from right to left, to move it across to your right needle without twisting it. This is called slipping a stitch purlwise. Then bring your yarn to the back and knit the rest of the row as usual.

  4. Cast off all stitches

    Cut your yarn, leaving a tail for weaving in. You can just pull the loose end to secure the last stitch and that’s neater than knotting it through.

  5. Weave in the top and bottom yarn ends

    Take a blunt tapestry needle and weave in the cast on and cast off ends into your knitted bookmark piece to secure and hide them. Congratulations: you have just hand knit a bookmark! If you want to take it to the next level, complete the finishing touches steps below.

  6. Add a tassel (optional)

    You can bling up your basic knitted bookmark by adding a tassel. This looks fancy but is very easy to do.
    Here’s a small tassel video tutorial (using your hand rather than card, but it’s the same approach) or you can follow the instructions below:
    Get a bit of card around 2.5 inches wide, or however long you want your tassel to be.
    Wrap your yarn around the card about 10-15 times and cut your yarn.
    Then take a long length of yarn and thread it through the yarn ends at the top side of the card with a needle leaving a good tail at the start. Wrap the needle back over the top of the yarn ends and back through them again a couple of times.
    Tighten the 2 ends to closely gather the yarn ends at the top of the card.
    Now cut through the yarn ends along the bottom of the card to make a fringe. Tighten the yarn ends at the top again and knot to secure.
    Take a length of yarn and tightly wrap it around a few times about 1/2 inch from the top gathered point and knot to secure. Thread each loose end with a needle and insert inside the tassel to hide the ends.
    Take a scissors and trim across the ends of your tassel to neaten them.
    Finally, take the 2 loose ends from the knot on the top of your tassel and attach them to the top left corner of your bookmark with your needle, weaving them in a bit to secure them. I left around a 2 inch length between the top of the bookmark and the top of the tassel, but you can have any tassel cord length you like.Magenta bookmark knit with Rico essentials soft merino yarn

  7. Wash & dry your bookmark (optional)

    You can use your bookmark as is, but you can neaten it up by washing and drying it first. This is known as blocking and it gives your projects a professional finish.
    Leave your bookmark to soak in a small bowl of water for a while (at least 20 minutes). Then take it out and carefully squeeze out the excess water. Don’t wring it, just press it in your hands or a towel.
    Then lay your bookmark to dry on a towel, or a piece of foam etc. Anything you can leave something damp on will do. Take a couple of minutes to shape the bookmark and tassel as you want it. Focus on straightening the edges and evening out the stitches. If it isn’t staying put, you can put pins at the corners or any troublesome spots. This is good practise for blocking more complex and larger projects in the future.
    Leave your bookmark until it is fully dry. This could take 24 hours or even longer. But you will be amazed at how big a difference blocking makes, even to a simple beginner bookmark. Block your bookmark by washing it and pinning it out to dry

Once you know how to cast on, do the knit stitch and cast off, you can knit this easy bookmark. It won’t take long and I hope you enjoy making it. You can find other knitting project ideas for absolute beginners here.

If you have any questions or feedback on this pattern, I’d love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below.

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