Balwen Woodworks Review & *GIVEAWAY*

One of the best aspects of doing what I do here with my blog is that I get the chance to work with some really talented people who make some incredibly beautiful things and I get to share their work with you, my readers. A couple months ago I was introduced to a new shop, Balwen Woodworks. I was told that the shop was specializing in some really amazing buttons, closures, and shawl pins and that I should check it out.

The slogan, “new life for materials with a story to tell” immediately caught my attention as did the truly unique items in the shop.  This ruler closure, created using vintage folding rulers, touched my heart and brought back a wave of nostalgia.

IMG_9850Some of my favorite memories of my childhood were those days when my mom sent me to go hang out with my dad in the garage, where his tools were kept. He’d work on whatever woodworking project or repair he was in the middle of, never far from one of these folding rulers, and I’d hammer nails into a 2×4, pull them out, and then hammer them in again.  I think I’ll always associate these rulers with those summer days, so it’s pretty cool to me that Lindy Sinclair, the woman behind Balwen Woodworks, found a way to bring them new life as a beautiful closure. Obviously, when I had the opportunity to showcase her beautiful creations here on the blog, I jumped at the chance.

I’ve never actually met Lindy in person, but I can tell you that from our correspondence in setting up this review & giveaway (yes, I said review and giveaway) that she is as awesome as a person in general as she is talented in her work. From the start, she was easy and fun to work with and did a fabulous job of not only suggesting a tie-in with an indie designer, but she found said great designer. That’s on top of her top-notch craftsmanship and incredibly creative & professionally made items. When I see someone that committed, the least I can do is rise to their level. I offered to knit a sample to showcase both artists.

Jen Lucas DesignsGradient: A Shawl Collection contains six very lovely designs. Meant to be used with gradient yarns, this collection of shawls boasts a very innovative style that I loved right away. Having no gradient yarns in my stash, I opted to go a slightly different way with my selected pattern, Bandwagon. With feedback from both Lindy & Jen, I settled on a skein of Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber merino/nylon in the Mr Bates colorway.

IMG_9428The pattern was great summer knitting — well written, not too complicated, but still interesting. I really had fun with it!

bandwagondetIt definitely takes asymmetrical to a whole new level and I love every minute of it.

Now, we’d discussed me using a ruler closure to go with this shawl, but as I knit I saw that the yarn had these gorgeous little pops of a slate-y blue…

bandwagon2And I had this feeling that one of the Balwen Woodworks Denim Jewel Closures would be perfect.

balwen claspThese closures are insanely cool. They are hard and have a really unique texture — if I didn’t know better I’d think they were made from some sort of treated wood. But they aren’t. They are made from recycled blue jeans! To read the ingenious process that goes into making these crazy beautiful closures, you can check out this new blog post in which Lindy shares her process in words and photos. It is so cool!

In any case, Lindy graciously agreed and I’m so glad she did because check out the finished project…

full sideThe closure fits perfectly with this shawl, if I do say so myself. I’m not usually one to be great at using shawl pins and closures, but this project has completely converted me. I truly love how it all comes together so nicely!

Now we have two special treats for you today.

First, hop over to the Balwen Woodworks website and sign up for the mailing list (click the orange ‘sign me up’ button in the lower right hand corner of the homepage and follow the prompts to enter your info). Anyone who does so by July 8th will get a special coupon code for 10% off their next purchase which will be valid through August 31, 2015. You’ll get the code when you confirm your email.

Second, one lucky reader will receive one of the fabulous Balwen Woodworks Denim Jewel Closures…

balwen claspAND

A copy of the Gradient: A Shawl Collection e-book from Jen Lucas Designs.

To enter, you will need to go peruse the Balwen Woodworks website and share in the comments below your favorite piece and why you love it. One entry per person please!

Entries will be accepted through 11:59am CST July 8th, 2015 and the winner will be announced later that day.

Enjoy & best of lucky to each of you!

Many thanks to Lindy Sinclair & Jen Lucas for making this giveaway possible!

For those interested, you can also find Balwen Woodworks on:

Facebook and Instagram

Jen Lucas Designs can also be found on:

Facebook and Instagram

27 responses to “Balwen Woodworks Review & *GIVEAWAY*

  1. I can’t decide between the hand turned shawl pinot the denim jewel closure BEAUTIFUL!

  2. I love the Kilt Lit Pin. I love books, and like genre mashups. Like Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven on a t-shirt? Awesome!

    I’m not a kilt wearer myself, but I’m sure I can get away with using it as a shawl or cardigan pin…

  3. Maybe it’s because I’m a librarian, but my favorite piece is the Kilt Lit Pin. In fact, I liked it so much I just bought one! I’m knitting a light cardigan to wear over a summer dress at a beach wedding later this year and I’ve been looking all over for the perfect pin closure for it – I think I just found it!
    Thanks as always for the chance to win.

  4. I really like the Hand Turned Shawl Pin. Decending from a long line of skilled carpenters, I love the look and feel of natural wood.

  5. Hands down, the Ruler Closure!! I’ve been eyeing it for a while now but can’t decide between getting one or two…and what knit I should use/knit to go with it. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! 🙂

  6. I love the letterpress buttons! I’m a graphic designer, so I can really appreciate everything this wood must have helped create in the past.

  7. I just adore the Ruler Closure and am going to ask for one on my gift list from my family.

  8. It was a toss-up between the Denim Jewel Closure and the Quilted buttons, with the buttons having a slight advantage. In the disposable world that we live in, it’s nice to see that nothing is wasted, and these buttons are made from something that would normally be tossed out!

  9. Hands down, my absolute favorite was the Ruler Closure! I love the cuff link style and the repurposed feel of them enough to start hunting for thicker yarns so that I can use them! This is such an awesome site!

  10. I love the tool handle buttons! Who knew such pretty things were hidden in the handles of old tools!

  11. The Quilted Buttons are so unique and one large button would look great on the green vest I’m planning to knit in the fall!

  12. I like the letterpress buttons because the shape is something other than a circle.

  13. I love the Kilt LIt Pin – both of my grandmothers were Scots (one made sure I had a kilt when I left for college, in fact) and loved to read. Little Women is of course an old favorite, and I love seeing her creative way of saving her old classic book.

  14. They’re all lovely! I think I’d pick either the denim closure or the quilted buttons. Thanks for the chance to win.

  15. I love the tool handle buttons best, but those ruler closures are pretty neat too!

  16. I had the joy of seeing Lindy’s booth at YarnCon and her items are beautiful! My favorite item is the tool handle buttons. So charming!
    Thanks for a chance to win!

  17. It’s got to be the hand turned shawl pin – I love using a shawl pin as a hair pin too so the dual functionality is just perfect for me!

  18. I’m finding it hard to choose just one. Each one speaks to me differently. The denim jewel reminds me of teenage years, young & carefree. The ruler, of projects with dad, and now watching my son work with his dad using grandpa’s folding ruler. The shawl/hair pins are like some of my crochet hooks. Which reminds me of my grandma who taught me to crochet. And lastly the kilt pin touchs my love of reading that I learned from my mom. I love all of these closures. Choosing just one is difficult. I’ll go with the kilt pin. It reminds me of my mom. She’s been with Jesus for 21 years.

  19. I don’t know if she still has any in stock but I bought from Balwen Wookworks a shawl pin at yarn con that had the most amazing story. It is made from the pages of Little Women. If you don’t know the story behind it, you need to ask Lindy about it, it is amazing.

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