Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pin or Toggle?

  I've gone on one of those "trends" of mine again, if you haven't noticed... There's been a lot of shawl-creating going on around here! And for as much as I have trends of my own, I'm not really trendy or fashionable. I've gotten into the habit of spending work-at-home days in jeans and tank tops, not bothering to accessorize or add to my wardrobe. (At least I make an effort to put pants on.) So now that I have these shawls popping off my hooks, I'm a little lost about what to do with them.


  Well, I've at least discovered that a simple shawlette can and will dress up those plain tanks and jeans! But, there's definitely a right and a wrong way to go about it. First of all: How to wear it? The answer really depends on the shape and size of your shawl. The "fairy" shawl I made is light enough to tie in the front for a casual look. But what about that Love Knot monstrosity that I made? Big enough to be a throw blanket, tying that one only creates a huge, awkward knot. That is when I realized that sometimes you have to accessorize your accessories.

crochet, shawl, pin, toggle


  To the rescue: A tutorial over at Simply Collectible Crochet for how to make a shawl toggle. I immediately knew I had to make one when I saw it. Now, off to the craft store!... Only to find almost no selection of buttons. I had a choice of round, round, or round buttons; wooden or plastic. I thought "oh well, these will have to do" as I picked out the biggest of the wooden ones.

crochet, shawl, pin, toggle, buttons


  I wasn't happy with my choice, so I hit up the craft department on my next trip to Walmart. I was surprised to find more of a variety than the craft store! But still, not the oblong toggle buttons I was looking for. Just one column over from the buttons, something else caught my eye:

crochet, shawl, toggle, pin, kilt pin


  What is a kilt pin? I'm new to this device, but I would guess it must be for pinning a kilt. ;) Can I use it for a shawl? After browsing through some images, I did find quite a few varieties and styles, but I didn't find any being used as a shawl pin. I worried about the sharp point damaging my work, but I (carefully) used the kilt pin to display my Angel Cakes shawl.

free crochet pattern, Angel Cakes Shawl, Caron Cakes


  It worked, but I could see how a real shawl pin or a toggle would be so much better. The kilt pin leaves a gap unless you pin about six rows together, and doing that scrunches up the shawl. Besides, I don't need all those sparkles when I just want a casual wrap! It looks out of place with a tank and jeans. My plain wooden buttons were starting to look a little more interesting, so I finally gathered my supplies and pulled up the tutorial to make my shawl toggle.


  *Warning* This procedure requires a needle and thread (yarn, actually), but just about every person on the face of the earth will be able to handle it... Except for me. (See post "I am a Sewing Dummy" for reference.)

Can anybody spot what the problem will be here?

sewing, crochet, shawl toggle, fails


Yeah, I didn't see the issue before I started. I figured it out soon enough, though:

crochet, sewing, fails


And after switching to a smaller needle that would fit through the buttonhole, I promptly made another mistake by starting in the wrong direction:

crochet, sewing, fails


But in the end, it was pretty easy to create my toggle. Mistakes behind me, it was only a minute before I was weaving the yarn in to finish.

crochet, sewing, shawl toggle



  I'm so glad I found that tutorial! I owe a big thanks to Simply Collectible Crochet for my new shawl toggle, and newfound confidence in wearing my work. The weather is cooling off and it's a perfect time to wear my shawls, but they can be so troublesome to keep on. Although the kilt pin does work, options are limited. I think the toggle gives you so many more ways to wear your shawls.

crochet, shawl, shawl pin, kilt pin

crochet, shawl, shawl toggle

crochet, shawl, shawl toggle


  As for a "real" shawl pin: I've still failed to find one anywhere but online. Even though I can drool over some amazing handmade or vintage pins, I can't fit them into my budget. The kilt pin was two dollars and some change; the buttons to make the toggle were only $1. I used a piece of scrap for the yarn, so I'm not even considering its cost. The laugh I had over more sewing blunders was priceless.


  So, what do you think? Do you prefer a shawl pin or a toggle? Or would you rather have an easy-to-tie shawl that doesn't require an accessory? I used to think the latter, until I made a toggle. Now I think I'm going to have to start scouring craft stores for buttons to make more!

crochet, shawl pin, shawl toggle

Happy Crocheting!
 
PS: Yay, now I can wear my Grannies in a Love Triangle Shawl! Maybe I'll finally get around to publishing that pattern...


2 comments:

  1. Hello Jenny,
    frankly said: I do prefer a shawl that doesn't need any accessory, simply because I'm afraid of ruining the shawl. But if i'd have to choose, I'd definitely go for the toggle. And as I haven't found any toggle I like so far, I do wonder why I never had the idea of using some of the (quite) numerous buttons I've got in the studio...
    Have a lovely day,
    Marjan
    P.S.: Happy to see you've encountered Matthew well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Marjan! We are very lucky and thankful to have escaped Matthew with nothing more than some damage to the landscape.
      I like the idea of the toggle because it is less likely to damage the yarn. If you already have buttons, just add a little scrap yarn and you'll have your own! The hard part was finding buttons large enough to stay in lacy loops.

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