Thursday 29 January 2015

A Brace of Acorns - a new brooch pattern

Photograph by R.B.

Introducing 'A Brace of Acorns'. I can't remember where I got the name for this brooch from. It makes no sense, (since they aren't grouse or pheasants), but it has a nice ring to it.

When working on the design, I was influenced by the brooches made from found materials in WW2. Most were made from wool and felt, but all sorts of odd materials were put to good use; such as cellophane, beech nuts, wood, wire and plastic cord. Clothes were being worn out through over-wear during the war, so anything that could 'cheer them up' was very welcome.

This ethos really appeals to me, as I am not one for constantly renewing my wardrobe, preferring instead to find new ways to spruce up my small collection of (vintage and new) pieces with accessories. And knitwear of course. I'm wearing a calf-length vintage cape with it, (from the 1950s I think, judging by those buttons). It's lovely and warm, as it is a wool tweed.

I originally designed this pattern for a knitting workshop I taught for Craft Guerrilla several years ago at The Rose & Crown pub in Walthamstow. I had three patterns for people to try, using different techniques, and they seemed to enjoy it. Some even finished one of the projects by the end of the night.

Photograph by T.G.W.

I made three versions, in different colourways. To purchase the pattern from Etsy, click here.

Photograph by T.G.W.

I photographed them in my garden, very simply, just against the dark stain of the fence.

Photograph by T.G.W.

They are a quick make, you can rustle one up in a couple of hours.

If you are interested in the pattern, here is what you will need:

Small amounts of 4 ply yarn. I used 4 ply wool, and cream alpaca for the acorns, as that is all I had in that colour. It gives them a slight halo effect, which I quite like. You could try cotton as well, as it gives a crisper, more defined look.

A small piece of felt in a colour to match or tone with leaves
Brooch pin
Blunt and sharp sewing needles
Cotton thread to match felt

2 3mm double pointed needles
3.25mm straight needles

Measures approximately 10cm/4 inches wide, and 8cm/3 inches long.

Tension is not crucial for this project, as the 3mm needles will make it nice and firm.   
To purchase the pattern from Etsy, click here.

This is the first of three brooch designs, which I will be releasing over the next few months.

I hope you like it, I do, and wear them whenever my well-loved outfits are in need of a bit of cheer.



  1. I like that! It could make a fun Christmas decoration too.

    (A brace is also a pair, usually one male and one female. Mum lives on a farm, and sometimes one of her friends will hang a couple of birds up on the back door as a gift for her if she's out!)

  2. This is such a lovely brooch, it looks great on the collar of the Cape.


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