A couple years ago I was trying to come up with some ideas for shawl pins that I could make and sell. I'm very lucky to live quite close to a wonderful bead store called T & T Trading. I never need much arm twisting to visit this wonderful store!
I wasn't sure what I wanted but as luck would have it, I found an awesome book on weaving jewelry called Fiber & Bead Jewelry by Helen Banes. Although the book is actually about weaving jewelry, once I thumbed through it, I knew I could find a way to use these techniques to design my own shawl pins.
This book was truly an inspiration to me even though I did find that some of the pieces I designed decided they wanted to be necklaces instead of shawl pins. I think sometimes you just have to listen to the piece your working on instead of trying to force it into becoming what you had in mind.
Because my husband and I raise alpacas, my intent was to weave jewelry from lace weight alpaca. Lace weight lends itself to this type of project very nicely. It takes a little longer to weave as the fiber is "so" soft it wants to bounce back up on the weft but "oh" what an awesome shawl pin or necklace you get in the end. It's well worth the time and I love that alpaca lends itself to jewelry. Jewelry, who would have guessed!
|1st try at weaving jewelry|
|Necklace woven from lace weight alpaca|
I designed this shawl pin as a class project I taught at Your Local Yarn Shop. Linda & Kelly wanted me to come up with a design that the students could make using their left over sock yarn. So hint, hint you sock lovers.
Using sock yarn instead of alpaca makes this a much quicker project to complete. Throw in some beads for bling, bling and your done in no time.
This piece decided it wanted to be a picture. Nope, not a shawl pin, not a necklace, but a picture! Again, I used hand painted variegated cotton in an awesome color palette and I dyed 100% lace weight alpaca in various shades to use as accents. I wove this piece with the warp going in the opposite direction from the other pieces. You can see how it makes the colors flow in a vertical line instead of horizontal.
Even though we like to think it's all about the Fiber, sometimes for me it's all about the creativity. So when I want a break from following knitting patterns, I let my mind run free to see where it will take me.
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