Friday, May 27, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday ~ Opinions needed

If you've read some of my previous posts, you know I'm crazy about beads.  Here are some pics of some new designs I've been working on for shawl pins. I plan on selling these at various shows I attend and am trying to make different sizes so they can be worn on any weight yarn.

So I thought I'd ask for some opinions on the different designs to see if I'm heading towards a positive outcome or if I'm wasting my time.

Dutch Spiral on knitting needle

It all got started when I took a class on making Dutch Spiral beads.  Then I showed the finished bead it to a friend who  thought it would make a cool shawl pin by placing it on a knitting needle.

Herbivore by Stephen West
Although this picture is not so great, at least it shows the pin in action to give you an idea of what it looks like when worn. 

Then I read an article in a beading magazine on flat peyote stitch and had to try this......

In the magazine they had hooked several of these triangles
together and made a bracelet.  So I thought why not try just making one and turn it into a shawl pin.

Then I thought if I can do a triangle could I do a square?  This was out of my comfort zone since there were no directions but I thought... what do I have to lose?   The square is a little wonky (not so stable) but hopefully someone will like that the corners point a little outward when worn.  This is why I'm asking your opinions!  Should I just stay with the triangle?

These designs turned out to be very light weight so they can be worn on any weight yarn.  One goal accomplished.

Then I had another friend say she really liked the Dutch Spiral bead a lot but the knitting needle was to long for her to wear comfortably.  Because of the weight of the finished bead, you really need the length of the needle to counter balance the shawl pin.  So for the last couple of weeks I've been trying to figure something out for her.

Yesterday I decided was the day to sit down and try to tackle this issue.  I've never worked with wire so this turned out to be quite an exercise in patience. Silly girl, why do I think I can just do this stuff with no help or training?   Now I can really appreciate the talent a jewelry maker has when working with wire.  After many failed attempts this is what I came up with.

Pretty basic, but it didn't take me long to realize I also might need to take a class in working with wire!  Since this only took me about 3 hours to make...what's a little time when your creating, I thought I'd give another style a try.

This one didn't take me as long because I  made so many mistakes on the first one
at least I learned what not to do.
Again, pretty plain but I thought it might look nice to have some wire showing to counter balance the bead.  Then because it's hard to know when to just walk
away...... I decided it might need a little decoration on the wire.

So I tried this....

I didn't want to take away from the Dutch spiral so I just twisted some wire along with 3 silver beads.

Now I'm not sure it was even worth the effort. Should I go with bigger wire and beads... leave well enough alone...?.I'm driving myself crazy with all the possibilities.

That's why I decided to make this my Fiber Arts Friday post.  Who better to ask than fellow artists?

So if you have the time to weigh in on these questions, I sure would like to hear your opinions.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday....hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day and I'd just like to thank all who have served our country!!!!!


  1. Beautiful designs, I love them all, but since I'm crazy about metalsmithing, I especially love the combination of the Dutch Spiral and the graceful wire work.

  2. I really like the square bead instead of the triangle...go figure since I also like rectangular shawls more than triangle. Of the three choices for the Dutch Spiral, I like the second one the best.

    Hope that know you can always get an opinion from me ;-)

  3. Gorgeous!! I love the flat ones, but the first ones were awesome too. Just a thought, if the top is too full does the weight cause it to fall forward?

  4. First-I agree that the knitting needle was too big-although very pretty. I like both of the flat ones-and the spiral beads with the wire I like the best. I know of a great handmade wire pin this would work with-but have no idea how to tell you how to do it-You need 16g wire and have to know how to use needle nose pliers and such. If you want, I can try to send you a picture.

  5. I absolutely love the square - it's definitely my favourite :)

  6. I really like the square one. The curling ones are awesome, they remind me of those lollipops you get at a theme park, but I'd be concerned about the size and weight of it. Is it heavy?

  7. I found you through FO Friday... I think you are doing a great job with all of your experimenting, and I like the square pin best.

  8. The beaded knitting needles are fun but that Peyote Stitch is amazing! I love those two shawl pins.