Easy knitted bookmark – A free pattern

A very simple bookmark knitting pattern suitable for beginners with step by step written instructions

Are you looking for a simple knitting pattern you can easily finish in one afternoon? Something easy and suitable for knitting beginners? Then this knitted bookmark might be perfect for you!

a simple bookmark knitting pattern for beginners shown on a wooden board with knitting tools in the background

I designed it using only 3 basic stitches but tried to use them in very smart ways so you end up with something that doesn’t shout “beginner project” from three miles away (check out my Victorian Patience book pattern in case you want something much more advanced).

In fact, this knitted bookmark could be classified as a lace project because it follows those basic principles. And thus, it could be a fun and easy way to open up the beautiful world of lace knitting – without being complicated. Big promise.

You will need to know:

If you don’t know one or more of these stitches yet, kindly go through my free knitting school or click on the links, and catch up. I promise, it’s worth it and all these stitches are super simple!

the knitted bookmark inside an old book with knitting tools on the side

Note: I earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this article.

Materials you will need:

Now, here’s the bad news. You can’t knit bookmarks with worsted yarn. Your finished project would end up way too thick and you really don’t want to stretch the spines of your books too much. I really recommend you stick to a nice lace-weight yarn or a fine sock yarn.

Instructions for the knitted bookmark

knitting a bookmark pattern with very easy lace details suitable for beginners

I try to keep these written instructions as simple and basic as possible. Still, kindly read this tutorial on how to read knitting patterns in case you need to catch up.

  • Cast on 16 stitches using a long tail cast on and leaving a tail of 6 inches for weaving in later on
  • Rows 1-2: knit across
  • Row 3: knit 2, yarn over, knit two together, knit 8, knit two together, yarn over, knit 2
  • Row 4: knit
  • Row 5: k3, yo, k2tog, k6, k2tog, yo, k3
  • Row 6: knit
  • Row 7: k4, yo, k2tog, k4, k2tog, yo, k4
  • Row 8: knit
  • Row 9: k5, yo, k2tog, k2, k2tog, yo, k5
  • Row 10: knit
  • Row 11: k6, yo, k2tog, k2tog, yo, k6
  • Row 12: knit
  • Row 13: k8, yo, k2tog, k6
  • Row 14: knit
  • Repeat rows 3-14 until you reached the desired length

If you look closely at my pictures, you can see that I repeated the arrow pattern 7 times before I started with the tip. But depending on your personal preferences (and the typical size of your books) you may want to create a longer or shorter bookmark.

Once you are satisfied, we need to create the tip.

finishing the bookmark with a pointy tip
  • Row 1: k2, yo, k2tog, k8, k2tog, yo, k2 (16 stitches)
  • Row 2: knit
  • Row 3: k3, yo, k2tog, k6, k2tog, yo, k3
  • Row 4: knit
  • Row 5: k2tog, k2, yo, k2tog, k4, k2tog, yo, k2, k2tog (14 stitches)
  • Row 6: knit
  • Row 7: k2tog, k2, yo, k2tog, k2, k2tog, yo, k2, k2tog (12 stitches)
  • Row 8: knit
  • Row 9: k2tog, k2, yo, k2tog, k2tog, yo, k2, k2tog (10 stitches)
  • Row 10: knit
  • Row 11: k2tog, k2, yo, k2tog, k2, k2tog (8 stitches)
  • Row 12: knit
  • Row 13: k2tog, k4, k2tog (6 stitches)
  • Row 14: knit
  • Row 15: k2tog, k2, k2tog (4 stitches)
  • Row 16: knit

From here, you need to start working on the tassel. If you don’t want the tassel, you could decrease for one more row (optional row 19: k2tog, k2tog), cut the working yarn, and pull the yarn through those last two stitches with a tapestry needle.

knitting the icord for the tassel of the bookmark

The cord of the tassel is created using the ingenious i-cord method. Read this tutorial on how to knit an i-cord. But it basically boils down to:

  • Row 1: Knit
  • Row 2: Slide the stitches to the other end of your needle, and knit across without turning your project around
  • repeat rows 1+2 over and over again

Once you are satisfied with the length of your i-cord, cut the working yarn leaving a tail of around 8 inches, thread the tail on a tapestry needle, and pull the yarn through the remaining stitches and then pull tight.

binding off the icord at the bottom of the boomark with a tapestry needle

To create the tassel, wrap yarn around your hand quite a couple of times (30ish) and create a stack of loops. Then, sew it to the end of your bookmark by going around it a couple of times (pull tight as you go) and squeezing in a knot through the end of the i-cord.

creating a tassel to attach to the knitted bookmark

And then, bring the yarn through the top of the stack and wrap it around it a couple of times to secure it. Sew through it three or four times, and then hide the rest of the tail inside the tassel.

finishing the tassel of the bookmark by sewing through it a couple of times

Use your scissors to cut open the bottom of your loop of yarn and trim the tassel to your preferred length.

And last, but certainly not least, you need to weave in the cast on tail. In this case, I went right through the edge. What you could also do is, you can pick up the cast on tail and knit with two strands of yarn for the first row. Then you can simply cut away the part that is still dangling down once you are finished.

weaving in the cast on tail using a tapestry needle

And that’s it! You finished my easy knitted bookmark for beginners. Okay, that’s a lie. So, please read on.

Reading tip: 10 easy projects for knitting beginners

Now, don’t be scared. I also compiled a chart with the very same instructions. Read this tutorial on how to read charts the right way. Naturally, it totally boils down to your personal preferences. But if you are more a visual person, then I thought you might appreciate a chart on top of the written instructions.

a knitting chart for a knitted bookmark pattern

Important last step: Blocking your bookmark

the knitted bookmark before blocking
The bookmark the way it looks right off the needles

Now, that you finished knitting, you might notice that your project probably looks nothing like the one in my pictures. It’s probably a bit crumbled and wonky. Before you call me a cheater, kindly listen. Even if this was just the most basic and simple lace pattern, you still need to block it.

This means you have to gently soak it in lukewarm water for 20-30 minutes. Then, wring it out really gently between a towel, and pin it to a soft surface (like a towel on a carpet). Avoid overstretching. Just pin it into a nice shape and use a lot of pins so you don’t get spikey edges.

blocking the finished bookmark on a blocking matt to get it into shape

And once your bookmark is dry, you can remove the pins, and it is ready to be used. To me, the blocking process almost feels a bit like magic when you apply it to lace. Before it looks like an unsightly something, and then it turns into this dainty delicate loveliness.

The bookmark after removing the blocking pins once it was all dry

I really hope you had fun knitting this pattern. Maybe you even learned a new technique? If you did! Be proud of yourself. Oh, and remember to subscribe to my newsletter in case you want regular free patterns like this one in your inbox.

Feel free to ask your questions concerning my knitted bookmark in the comments below

easy bookmark knitting pattern

56 thoughts on “Easy knitted bookmark – A free pattern”

    • Hey Katie,
      no, just me not being able to count properly – a common knitter’s problem – lol! 🙂
      thank you, I corrected it.

      Reply
  1. This is my first time knitting in years so maybe I’m just overlooking something obvious but the pattern doesn’t seem to fit for me when I do 16 stitches to cast on. I had to adjust it to 18 to make it work – did I do something wrong? Thanks!

    Reply
      • The problem comes from doing the 2 stitched together twice in a line. Doesnt that make 4 stitches become 2? So it totals like k2 (2) yo (3) 2tog (5) k8 (13) 2tog (15) yo (16) k2 (18)

        Reply
        • I think you are reading the chart a bit wrong. You do two yarn overs per row (+2) and two k2tog per row (-2). In sum, your stitch count doesn’t change.
          Yes, k2tog makes 4 into 2. But a yarn over adds a stitch in between two stitches.

          Reply
          • Ah sorry to be a pain but I still don’t think I understand 🙁 I get how the stitch count stays the same – I’ve been following this pattern and it’s been working well but only when I cast on and knit with 18 stitches across. I tried it with 16 to begin with and I ran out of space for the last 2 stitches. So I am ending up with a slightly wider version of the bookmark but still good practice. I can make it work with 16 stitches if I only k6 instead of k8 in the beginning middle section. Sorry if none of this makes sense, it’s probably my own error somewhere, I am just struggling to see it aha. Thanks for all the speedy replies!

          • Just to verify what you are doing. The first four stitches of the chart are: k2, yarnover, k2tog.
            So, cast on 4 stitches, and knit that. If you can’t make it work, then you are adding stitches somewhere. If you can, then you are reading the chart wrong.
            I bet you believe a yarnover is connected to a knit stitch. But a yarn over is just wrapping the yarn around your needle. It does NOT involve pulling the yarn through a stitch.

          • Hey, I’m pretty sure I can explain what Sam is saying as I was seeing the same issue:

            So, for row 3, you have two knit stitches, a yarn over, a K2tog, eight knit stitches and then a repeat of the K2tog, yarn over and two knit stitches. 2 stitches, plus the two stitches you make with the yarn over, plus the one you make with the K2tog makes 5 stitches. Repeated at the end of the row makes 10 stitches. With the 8 knit stitches in the middle makes 18 stitches.

            Same for the rest of the rows: row 5 has K3, yo, K2tog, 6 knit stitches and a repeat. 3+2+1+6+1+2+3=18, ect.

          • Yes, indeed there are 18 stitches you work through, but at any given point you will always just have 16 stitches on the knitting needle at the end of a row.
            So, yes [yo, k2tog] is worked through 3 stitches (or rather 2 stitches and a loop created by a yo) but the result will just be two stitches.
            So the proper way to count row 5 would be: 3, 1,1, 6, 1, 1, 3

  2. …oh, I (and possibly Sam, if we were having the same issue) was preforming the yarn over with an additional knit stitch following the loop: Pretty sure I just misread an illustration of how to do a YO as “And then you knit a stitch” and took that to be that’s how you do it all the time XD.

    Reply
    • Will, that is a very nice addition and something I often notice. People mistakenly think that stitches like yarnover, knit left loop or so consist of the technique AND the following (or preceding) stitch.

      Reply
  3. I have been knitting off and on for 30+ years (my grandmother taught me when I was young). I’m really excited to try this project. One of my daughters is an avid reader, and enjoys unique bookmarks. My only feedback (so far), is that I can’t find a print-friendly version of your pattern. My internet access comes and goes, and I generally do some crafting when I have no service. Hopefully I can manage. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Elaine,
      there is no pdf for this pattern. But you can easily just mark the few paragraphs of text, paste it into any wordprocessor and print it out.

      Reply
    • Quite frankly, there are so many and you only need scraps for this bookmark (lace yarn typically comes in 100 or even 200 gram skeins). So, I’d rather decide what else you want to make with the yarn and pick it according to that.
      You could also use a bit of (light) fingering or sock yarn. Will be a bit thicker and bigger then.

      Reply
  4. Norman ~ Lovely pattern, and easy to follow. Thank you so kindly! I am using up scraps of sock wool which create unique and interesting book marks. And many book marks are a must for avid readers. Your video is wonderful….I am learning very handy tips and tricks.
    Rita

    Reply
  5. Hello, Norman…I just finished the bookmark project…super tedious on those tiny needles, but so rewarding to see it finished! Thank you for your design and tutorial. Very informative. Question regarding the blocking: Sometimes I’ve seen folks coat their lace in a starch type mixture so it stays rigid. Have you tried that with your bookmark. Am curious if it is worth the time to try or to simply block as you have done. Happy Day to you! Cheers, Pam

    Reply
    • Hey Pam,
      well, I am not entirely sure here. I would imagine that the starching effect quickly wears of as you use it. I think it works very well for Christmas ornaments. In this case, I don’t know. I would definitely block it, however.

      Reply
    • Hello Norman…I was wondering why you used double pointed needles instead of regular or circular needles. Thank you for the cool pattern. Sharon

      Reply
  6. I learned to knit from my grandmother when I was a small boy. My skills were limited to scarfs and hats. I saw your video and tried this patern to see if I can do it. My wife is so happy with her new book mark. I learned 3 new skills with this. Thank you!

    Reply
  7. Hi Norman,
    It was fun making this easy lace bookmark. I also made the cozy for a mug.
    By the way, I keep track of my knitted rows with a beaded abacus I wear on my wrist. I have 2 strands – one for ones units and one for tens units. Maybe a bit slower than a row counter, but it is elegant and brings me great joy to use it. I also like your detailed instructions and close up views of your knitting tutorials. I look forward to seeing more of your tutorials in the future. I hope you’ll keep making them. Happy Knitting. Laurie

    Reply
  8. Great bookmark and easy to make. I made 5 for gifts and all were greatly appreciated. I love your videos and close up views. I have made your cowl pattern and it is beautiful,
    I’m wondering if you have the cowl pattern for the grey cowl you are wearing in one of your videos with the drawstring around the top. It looks so elegant and I would love to make it. Thank you.
    Marilyn

    Reply
  9. Hey Norman! I’m following your pattern but the details aren’t showing as clearly in mine as yours. (First time knitter). Any tips?

    PS I was about to give up on knitting since it was such a struggle/ SO frustrating but I found your website and your school for new beginners is so incredible! Thank you!

    Reply
    • the details will show after blocking! I mean it could also be your gauge or the yarn you are using but I would guess it is more a blocking issue.

      Reply
  10. What is the reasoning/purpose for the double sided needles? I just started the pattern so I am thinking this will become clear to me at some point but reading through it I couldn’t tell if it was necessary or just a preference?

    Reply
    • Well, you end with an icord. While you can definitely also knit that with other needles, it will involve a lot of slipping around and it’s much faster with dpns.

      Reply
  11. Thank you for this Norman. I’ve just knitted this bookmark with 4mm straight needles and it is slightly on the large side but am very pleased with it!
    Have also done the ‘intelligent’ cord and tassel too for the first time ever! Thank you for the pattern and for giving me a project for this evening 🙂

    Reply
  12. Norman, thank you very much for this pattern! I’m making my father a (somewhat late) Father’s Day gift using it! I remember he used to have a knit or woven bookmark, but I haven’t seen it in years.

    Reply
  13. I’m very confused.. I’m a knitter and on row 13 for the book mark I have 18 stitches not 17 . I have done this pattern three times now and still end up with 18..
    help?!

    Reply
  14. Norman ~ I am writing again to Thank You Again for this most marvellous pattern. I have knit it many times and keep coming back to this particular pattern! It’s so easy to knit yet very elegant. So appreciated!
    Rita

    Reply
  15. I am using 2mm needles and low bulk 2 ply lace yarn and really struggling when trying to knit 2 together… I just cannot get the hang of getting the needle through and picking the yarn through, it’s always so tight and fiddly even when doing a loose knit. I have got as far as doing rows 3-14 twice and one side looked OK but the holes on the other side were baggy and gaping. Do you have any tips to make knitting 2 together more of a smooth process? Am I using yarn that is too thin? It’s about as thin as a 2 strands of cotton that you might use in sewing twisted together. Thank you for all of your tutorials.

    Reply
    • instead of knitting them together at the same time, you can also: knit one, slip it back to the left needle, pass over the second stitch, slip the resulting stitch back to the right needle. same stitch, different method

      Reply
  16. Hello,

    Am I the only one having a problem with row 3? I am following exactly. I CO 16 stitches, row 1&2 are knit which means they stay at 16 stitches.
    Then comes row 3. K2, YO, k2to, k8, k2to, YO and per instructions I should have two more stitches to knit, but that’s not the case. It ends after the YO. Can you explain? I can’t get past row 3 and have restarted 5 times.

    Reply
    • I think you are reading the instructions wrong. There are 16 stitches in the row, and these 16 stitches (2+1+1+8+1+1+2 | k2,yo,k2tog,k8,k2tog,yo,2) are worked through 16 stitches.
      Yarn over is worked BETWEEN stitches.

      Reply
      • Hi there, tried again and ran into the same issue. So I followed these instructions and on the last yo of the row, there are no stitches left to knit after that. And the last instructions are k2. Am I supposed to yo and do the next k2tog on that same movement? Because looking up online how to do a yo, it shows completing the whole stitch and that is called a yo. They don’t attach a k2tog with it or anything. What am I doing wrong? I have never had so much trouble 🙁

        Reply
        • I can’t really tell you what you are doing wrong but I can guarantee you 100% that the instructions are correct.
          k1, k1, yo, k2tog, k1, k1, k1, k1, k1, k1, k1, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, k1
          if you count that, those are 16 stitches.
          the k2tog need two stitches each of the row below, while the yo don’t need a stitch. So they equal out.

          Reply
          • It totally is. I was like, it totally makes sense. There is nothing wrong with the directions, I just couldn’t figure out what I am doing wrong. I went to a local yarn shop and tried to explain what I was doing to see if she could help me and I think we figured it out! I am trying again this evening, wish me luck! I don’t plan on giving up. Love all the info you have on this site! Thank you!!!!

  17. I had a problem on line 3 with seeming to be 2 stitches short. The problem was (as said above by Norman) that yarn over is a stitch-less instruction, it is merely moving the yarn from one side of the needle to the other. So yo = 0 stitches, yo + k1 = 1 stitch, and yo + k2 = 2 stitches. I frogged what I made only because I was too lazy to think about how to reverse stitch what I’d done.

    Reply
    • Thank you! Yes, I was counting the YO as a stitch. Once I figured out that yo=0, it worked out perfectly. I felt funny that I didn’t know that before, but I’m glad I was able to ask and figure it out.
      Thanks again!

      Reply
  18. Do you have a video tutorial? I keep sending up with 14 stitches after completing the 3rd row and I feel a visual would help wonders

    Reply

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