And The Winner Is…

Today is the day I get to announce the winner of the Balwen Woodworks + Jen Lucas Designs giveaway!

Hooray!

The lucky winner will receive one beautiful Denim Closure from Balwen Woodworks…balwen clasp

AND

One copy of Jen Lucas Designs’ eBook, Gradient: A Shawl Collection.

And the winner is…

Diane Wolak

Congratulations!

Diane, I’ll need you to email me at knittingsarah[at]gmail[dot]com with your mailing address and Ravelry ID at your earliest convenience so we can get your prizes on their way to you!

Congratulations to the winner & many thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway.

Extra special thanks to Lindy at Balwen Woodworks & Jen at Jen Lucas Designs for making this giveaway possible!

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