Can’t Stop Now … More Shawl Pin Designs!

Posted by on Sep 15, 2018

I am totally loving my continuing quest to knit things (at the moment – mostly shawls) and then designing the ultimate “jewellery for your knitting”. Thought you’d like to see where my creativity has taken me since I first posted, in June 2018, about my foray into creating the perfect shawl pins.

Tahitian Pearl Penannuler Shawl Pins – constructed with 10 mm Tahitian Pearls in gray and peacock colours, combined with sterling silver that’s been oxidized and then polished.

Here is another Junction Shawl pattern, this time created with a finer lace weight yarn and more yardage (798 yards versus 450). It took me quite a while to knit this puppy – 800 yards is a LOT of yardage! I was curious to see how much larger it would be, and intrigued to see what the difference would be knitting in a lace weight yarn versus fingering yarn – which was June’s blog post version.

I started knitting the shawl in Juniper Moon Farm Findley in Graphite (50% wool, 50% silk) and chose to do it on 3.0 mm needles. When I got too far into it to turn back, I realized I should really have knit it on 2.5 mm needles. I forged ahead, thinking that I would just block it really aggressively and hope that it would even out my stitches and give it a wonderful drape. I was pleasantly surprised that this tactic worked! The aggressive blocking made the project come to life and the feel, weight and size of the shawl is absolutely beautiful.

While patting myself on the back for actually finishing it and playing with it on the blouse form to see it’s drape and look, I couldn’t help but feel that this style, colour, and weight of shawl would be perfect for a wedding, the ballet or Opera – or just a fancy night out. With that in mind, it seemed perfect to me to make a shawl pin that used beautiful pearls.

Luckily for me, the Jewellery Expo Show, a trade show not open to the public, was happening in Toronto in August, so I set off in search of the perfect pearls. And I picked these 10 mm Tahitian Pearl pairs, in beautiful gray and peacock. I couldn’t be happier with the results. For me, this is an example of “seeing something in your head” and the end result is EXACTLY how you imagined it. I LOVE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS IN MY WORLD!

Close up shot. Top Left: Peacock Pearls, Top Right: Grey Pearls, Bottom Centre: One of each colour.

When I make these shawl pins, I make each one separately. Some have a double turn on the stick portion and others have a triple turn. On each one, the pearls have been half-drilled by hand, the stick portion and shawl pin shaped “C” has been hand formed. I make each component and then solder all the pieces together. Then I sand and polish, oxidize the sterling silver and polish off a portion to highlight the dark/light contrast in the metal. The final step is gluing the half drilled pearls into place.

These pins are one piece on purpose, and are based on the historical Penannuler Shawl Pin designs from the Celtics and Vikings. Ironically, this is the same historical time period as my chainmaille jewellery. Knitters know how frustrating it can be to lose the “stick” from your shawl pin. I also matched the pins to the weight of the yarn; so that the weight of the metal doesn’t “drag” the knitted material down, and the pin is able to “grab” a sufficient amount of material and stay put. When I tried to attach the Bauhaus Shawl Pin (from my June Blog Post) to the lace weight yarn, it was a bit too heavy. So I made this pin roughly the same size, but lighter in overall weight. Its design is more complimentary to the finer-knitted material and I think it is the perfect shawl mate. It’s a beautiful accessory to be worn with your luscious shawl to your next special event.

I will be debuting these Tahitian pearl shawl pins, along with my Bauhaus shawl pin designs at the Christmas One of a Kind Show, happening in Toronto from November 22 – December 2, 2018.

And just because I am more than a little excited and obsessed with these pins, I am sharing a sneak peak at the next design I am working on right now. Here’s a quick phone picture – all sterling silver, and a perfect continuation of my Love Knot design series.