I was lucky enough to meet Peter S. Beagle (author of The Last Unicorn) at Sherwood Forest Faire just outside of Austin. He’s not only a great author, he’s also a wonderful person. While talking to him (or listening to him talk, because that’s much more fun) someone came up and gave him a rose and a beer—he had just told her a story about someone giving him a rose and a glass of wine at a convention.
When I got home and started reading through all my new signed books, I thought about making a bookmark. Pretty as lacy bookmarks can be, I don’t like thick bookmarks, so I wanted a simple chain with something to anchor the ends. Because of Peter Beagle’s story, and how I stood there talking to him while he held a rose, that seemed the perfect thing.
It works up super fast, so it could be a lovely touch if you’re giving a book as a gift, or you could use the rose and leaf elements to make cute little decorations for hair clips, a pin, or even gift wrap.
I used embroidery floss, which has a lovely sheen, and has the bonus of being super cheap for the small amount needed. The down side of crocheting with floss is that extremely splitty (make sure you have really good lighting while you’re working). Laceweight yarn or crochet thread would work, too.
Yarn: samples are made from DMC 25, colors 304 red and 910 green. One 8.7-yard skein of red makes two roses (with almost enough for a third), and one skein of green will make at least three, maybe four leaf-and-stem combos.
Hook: US B1 / 2.25mm (or correct size for your chosen yarn/thread)
Note: these are US crochet terms.
SC = single crochet
HDC = half double crochet
DC = double crochet
Making the rose:
With red, chain 18.
Row 1: SC in second chain from hook. *Chain 2, skip next chain, SC in next chain; repeat from *. Turn.
Row 2: *Chain 1. In chain-2 space, 4 DC, chain 1, slip stitch in SC; repeat from *. Cut yarn leaving a tail long enough for sewing and tie off.
Sewing up: I recommend you try rolling this up before you start sewing and get an idea of how tight or loose you want the rose to be (note the difference in the photo above with two of them next to each other). Pinch the first petal in half for the center, then continue spiraling around. Try to keep the petals staggered so the ends of them don’t line up too much. Keep turning the rose over and checking the top as you sew to make sure you’re getting your desired effect.
Making the leaf:
Note: you will work down one side of your starting chain, then around and back up the other side (so the starting chain is in the center of the leaf).
With green, chain 8.
First side: Beginning in second chain from hook, work as follows: SC, HDC, DC, 2 DC in next chain, DC, HDC, SC.
Turning: Chain 2, slip stitch into second chain from hook (the first of those two chain stitches).
Second side: Working into the back loops of the starting chain, work as follows: SC, HDC, DC, 2 DC in next chain, DC, HDC, SC. Slip stitch into the start of the leaf. Do not cut!
Making the stem:
Chain stitch for as long as you want the bookmark to be. The sample is just over 10 inches, but take into consideration what size book this might be used with; paperbacks are shorter, a big hardcover might take more if you want both the rose and the leaf to be outside of the book.
Slip stitch the chain to the base of the rose. If you can do a little embroidery, you could try doing a little satin stitching to emulate the base of the rose set into a stem; otherwise, just make it nice and secure.
Weave in ends, and you’re done!