Monday, April 20, 2009

Shop Talk ed. 3 - Shawl Pin Tutorial

Hooray! The shawl pins are up and running! I'm totally in love with some of them, and must remember that they are supposed to find good homes that aren't mine. But, before they do, I realize that they aren't the most intuitive design ever. To help with that, I've created a tutorial on how to use a shawl pin that doesn't have a stick pin.

Each pin works on the same principle:

1) Poke the free end into the fabric.
2) Rotate the pin
3) Poke the free end back out of the fabric
4) Rotate until you have the pin situated the way you want.

It'll take a little bit of practice before you learn how to place the pin just right, but it's worth the effort to have a pin where you don't need to worry about losing different parts.

First off, I have the Swan pin, which has flown to a happy home with Joyarna.

Start with the pin at roughly a 90 degree angle from where you want it to be. So, if you want it to look like this:

Then you should poke the wing tip into the fabric like this:

Once it's in, rotate the pin another 90 degrees, and push as much fabric as you want to hold it into place on the pin. Then poke the wing tip back out of the fabric.

Then it's alot of rotating at this point to get the shawl pin where you want it to be. Here's a step by step progression of 90 degree rotations clockwise to get it where you want it to be. See?

And finally, the swan is where it should be, swimming happily in lace. The swan and the delicately swirling shawl pin have the most amount of twisting around and rotating to get it into place. All the other designs have an easier progression to get the pin in place.

For example, the treble clef works in the same way the leaf would. To get the treble clef into the lace like this:

Start by inserting the curved in at the top of where you'd want the pin to be.

Then rotate the shawl pin and push through as much fabric as much as you want onto the pin.

This next step you can do one of two ways. I took a picture in natural light so you can see the curved end of the shawl pin poking through the fabric better. By tilting the shawl pin a little bit, you poke the curved end right below the top for good alignment.

The other way you could do this last step is simply to push the whole curved bit through, to get to the final step.

And there you have it. I like the treble clef and leaf better than the others, because the curved wire over the pin part of the shawl pin holds the lace fabric in place. In the others, you're relying on the tension of the fabric and the many curves of the pin to hold it in place. They work well, don't get me wrong, but there's just that added bit of security with that second wire.

In other shop news, the row counters are finished! Hopefully, I should have some time tomorrow morning to post the new designs up. I've got lovely shades of red, green, and blue glass beads on ribbons in combinations to suit almost anyone. The beads slide smoothly, but still have enough friction to hold their place while you knit. I indulged myself and made one for myself to test out - to make sure that it works well, of course! I wouldn't want to sell something I didn't test first. Yeah. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it.

For other things you can look forward to for the shop, I picked up brass wire! So, look forward to shawl pins in 16 gauge brass wire. I'll more than likely make a few of the current designs and maybe make one or two more new designs. I'm excited!

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Welcome to Crazytown, where my friends have proclaimed me queen. Why did they do that you ask? For some reason, there's very little that I fear about knitting. Hmm, a dress in laceweight done in lace knitting written by vogue? Sounds great! I have very few inhibitions when it comes to knitting, and that sometimes ends disasteriously. Apparently, other people think this signifies a level of crazy that only the royalty can attain. Follow along with my escapades as I dive head first into all sorts of insane techniques and projects without much more than an "Oh! That looks pretty, I can make it!"

Those will probably be my famous last words.