Tag Archives: shawl pin

Treat. Yo. Self.

This is silly, but I’ve never had a nice shawl pin.

I’ve made some out of wire, and I even made a couple out of clay, when I was working in a ceramics studio (but those broke almost immediately).  And, honestly, if I needed one, I’d grab a pencil or a DPN.  I’ve bought them for other people, and I always admire them when I’m at a yarn store with a good selection.

Anyway, a few weeks ago my husband and I went on a little day trip to visit some friends on Bainbridge Island.  It’s one of my favorite things to do- I love riding the ferry across the sound and spending the day in delightful little shops, drinking coffee and visiting brew pubs.

And, there’s a super fancy yarn store on the island, Churchmouse Yarns and Teas (even the name is fancy).  I love visiting there, even though I always feel like I’m not fancy enough to be there.  But that’s how I roll- super casual.

I was at the checkout (getting some yarn that will become someone’s Christmas present- ssh, it’s a surprise!), and I saw a little glass full of silvery shawl pins in the shape of twigs.  How adorable!

I decided to take the advice of two of my favorite characters from Parks and Rec, and one of the shawl pins made it into my shopping bag.

treat-yo-self1Now, I am the proud owner of a JUL Bronze Twig Shawl Pin.  It’s adorable and shiny, and makes me feel very fancy.  It’s perfect for my Stranger Cardigan and Campside Cardi, since they don’t have buttons.img_3539Do you have a favorite too-fancy store?  What was your latest “Treat Yo Self” purchase?

Tutorial: Shawl Pins

I’ve got shawls on the brain. When I wear a shawl, especially if it’s a particularly oddly-shaped one, I like to break out a shawl pin.  You can find super fancy ones, but basically a shawl pin is a stick of some kind that you use to hold knitwear in place (I’ve been known to use pencils, chopsticks and knitting needles in a pinch). There are as many kinds of shawl pins as there are shawls, all gorgeous, most expensive.

So, in the name of DIY Cheapskate-y-ness, let’s make some functional, fashionable, and simple shawl pins.  An accessory for your accessory… what’s not to love?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A ¼-inch dowel
  • Small hacksaw (or other dowel-cutting implement)
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Sandpaper (I used 120-grit)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStart by cutting your dowel into pieces. I made my pins about 5 inches long, but you could go longer or shorter, depending on what you like.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen, sharpen one end of each pin with the pencil sharpener.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGrab a piece of sand paper and sand your shawl pin until it’s nice and smooth (get rid of anything that could catch on your shawl and make a hole. No bueno). Sand the point down a little bit so that it isn’t dangerously pointy, and don’t forget to smooth out any corners on the other end, too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABrush off any sawdust, and break out the acrylic paints. I like how they look when they’re mostly wood with just a pop of color on the end, but feel free to experiment. How about stripes? Polka dots? Let the paint dry, and you’re ready to go.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGrab a shawl (or scarf, or cardigan) and pin away.