June 1, 2021
I am so excited that my book Crafting Thread Jewelry: The Beginner's
Essential Guide to Creating Gorgeous Thread Wrapped Bracelets, Earrings, Necklaces, and Pins Inspired by Traditional Dorset Buttons was released on Amazon today! I have written many magazine articles, and designed many garments and crafts that have been published in book, leaflets and magazines, but creating this book was an incredible journey for me, and it is wonderful to finally see it in print.
I don't think I ever imagined that I would write a book about making jewelry, but having done it, it really feels like a perfect segue from all of the other needle crafts that I have done over the course of a fantastic fiber filled lifetime.
I love knitting and crocheting, needlepoint and embroidery, tatting, and creating Dorset buttons (among other yarn crafts). And, as you can imagine, I have built up quite a stash of beautiful yarn and thread. As a designer, and someone who loves to learn, I generally pick the hardest and most intricate designs when I have time to craft for myself, which is both intellectually stimulating, and artistically satisfying, but not necessarily relaxing.
My serendipitous foray into Dorset Buttons happened a number of years ago, and I have created hundreds of buttons, taught many classes, and zoom classes, and lectured and wrote a book ( which will be published winter 2021-22) about them. Which is all so very great. And I love that all of the different types of crafters — sewists, knitters, crocheters, embroiderers, spinner, weavers, quilters,and mixed media artists— that I have taught have all embraced Dorset button making.
But I also know that one of my passions is trying to encourage non needle-workers to enjoy the wonder of thread and yarn craft. I think many people are hesitant to try something that they perceive as time consuming, difficult, expensive, or impractical. And, even though I can envision many uses for a Dorset button, I wasn't sure if the appeal would be as obvious to people outside of the fiber world.
Last summer(mid pandemic), I noticed that all of the major online retail chains had one iteration or another of fringe and knotted thread jewelry. (I am not referring to the wonderful hand made macrame items— the items I saw were mass produced pieces.) Many were pretty, and of course, there is always the added appeal of being able to match an outfit, but few of the pieces were intricate, or really interesting. And naturally, my mind started to wander. I went home, dug into my thread stash, and experimented. I couldn't believe how pretty and lightweight the thread jewelry that I made turned out to be. I thought the metallic accents were amazing, but conversely, I liked the simplicity of solid color embroidery thread pieces just as much.
The designing and instruction writing was the easy part for me. My goal was to make this craft as approachable and easy to master as possible. I know that some people like to have very thorough written instruction, and I did my best to make the patterns as comprehensive as possible. For the visual learner, who just wants to glance at a picture, I am proud to say that my book is full of extremely detailed diagrams. I definitely found it more challenging to create the illustrations, but I am very happy with them now.
Yes, the thread wrapped rings, which are based upon traditional Dorset buttons, really make fabulous jewelry, and naturally, they are perfect just as buttons and textile ornaments, too!
Each piece in the book is constructed from inexpensive, easy to find materials. The patterns are all made using DMC Article #115 Pearl Cotton size 5, but I have included advice if you would like to use your own fiber. It doesn't take much yardage to make a button, so they are a great way to use up pieces from your stash, or that awesome skein of thread that you couldn't resist buying, even though you didn't know what you were going to make with it : )
I hope that everyone who tries this fun craft becomes as captivated with it as I am. It is so nice to have a just-for-fun project that doesn't take forever, and that you can wear, or give as a gift when you are through. I really think you will enjoy this!