Tips and Tricks: Knitted Rose Pin

Recently, I finished a pretty pink scarf (see my FO Friday post on the Pinky Pink Rose Ruffled Scarf).  The pattern included directions for a very pretty knitted rose, along with directions to “Sew rose onto a round piece of felt using whipstitch and attach pin back or small stitch holder.”  There was a clear photo of the finished look of the back of the pin, but having never done this before … I was a tad intimidated.  I sought council with my friend Susie, who has made many (many!) beautiful jewelry pieces using beads, precious metal clay, et al.  She gave me some great advice, and I set out to Jo-Anns to see if I could find what I needed.

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Success!  At first I thought of using one of the stitch holders I found in the knitting section, but they were all too long for my rose.  In the jewelry-making area I found the perfect size of pin, and it even had loops (for charms) that I could use to secure it to the rose in a non-slip manner. I also bought some neutral-colored felt, and dug up some heavy-duty interfacing to help support the weight of the rose, and cut both into circles (felt slightly larger than interfacing).  Quilting thread and a sturdy needle round out my list of materials and tools.

First, I marked pencil lines on the interfacing where I wanted holes to admit the pin:

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Then, I cut the holes and threaded the pin through:

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I secured the pin to the rose with many messy loops of thread:

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Then, I hid the mess under the interfacing — poof!

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I tacked down the interfacing to further stabilize everything:

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Next, I cut holes in the felt, and threaded it onto the pin:

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I whip-stitched around the edge of the felt to hold it in place:

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Voila! A pretty rose pin!

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DIY: Magnetic Portuguese Knitting Pins


Have you ever heard of Portuguese-style knitting?  I first heard about it a few years ago, as a “better way to purl.”  At the time, I was facing loooong stretches of purling on a big, slouchy cardigan and they were killing me.  Although I learned to knit “English” as a kid (started out throwing, moved on to my own version of flicking), I had taught myself to knit “Continental” — I’m more of a picker/scooper — no high index-finger flicking for me.  I’m extremely efficient at knitting Continental, but my purling is still coming up to speed today.  When I was working on the Giant Cardigan of Doom, I could barely do a purl or two without struggling, let alone a whole.

Enter Portuguese purling: I learned to tension the yarn around my neck, holding it steady with my right hand, and flicking the yarn around the working needle with my left thumb. It was quick, with small movements — everything I loved about knitting Continental.  If you’ve never seen it before, check out this video from Knitting Daily, all about Portuguese-style knitting.


Now, I knew there were these pins you could use to tension the yarn, instead of throwing it around one’s neck.  But, I wasn’t keen on putting holes in the left front of all my shirts, so I mostly ignored them.  Then I saw an add for a magnetic Portuguese knitting pin.  Eureka, I thought, that’s something I could make for myself! So I did.  Here’s my first go at a button+ magnet+wire = Portuguese knitting pin:

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  • button or pendant, large enough to cover the magnet
  • big strong magnets, as flat as possible
  • glue of the right sort (pay attention to the materials in your buttons and magnets)
  • bits of wire (I found make-your-own chain mail toggles to be perfect size, plus they already have a loop!)
  • tools to bend wire

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Step #1 — Glue magnet to button

Take care not to glue yourself to either!

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Step #2: Benderize the wire

What you are going for: leave a straight part about 1-2 cm long, and curl the rest into a spiral.

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Step #3 — Glue wire to button, thusly.

Make sure the spiral is open so that yarn can slip in easily.

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Step #4 — Let everything set for a day or two.

Seriously, don’t try to use it right away.