Drape-Front Lace Cardigan
Julie's First Cardigan!

Elegant Shawl Pins - A new product review!

Romi_PinsThese distinctive and delicate shawl pins are from Designs by Romi Rosemary ("Romi") sent me a few of her beautifully handmade pins to try out and here is my official review!

I'll be honest.  I haven't worn a shawl in years, so the idea of shawl pins has never really caught my attention.  As a busy mom of 3 little ones, shawls are just not practical for my day to day.  And date night, what's that?

However, I've been thinking about designing a pattern with lovely draped fronts.  You know, the kind you see all over the place called "wrap cardigans" or cardigans with attached scarves or shawl fronts.  They are all the rage.Bird_Pin_on_Green_Cardi  

I finally had the time to knit and design my own version!  I liked how it looked with the fronts open and left to drape, but wanted a way to close the front sometimes for warmth and variety.

I wasn't keen on using buttons - even light ones would affect the drape of the cardigan. And where would I place the buttons and NOT limit how the cardigan could be worn?

Well, it turns out that shawl pins are the ideal solution!

And how are the ones from Rosemary?  Are they versatile enough to use on my drape-front sweater?  Read on for my thoughts!

Pictured here are 3 different designs from Romi: a Bluebird, Swirl, and Heart pin.

As you can see from the photo, all are delicate and eye-catching.  And as a knitter, I can certainly appreciate the handmade quality of these pins just by seeing them!  Up close, you can tell they are hand formed (in a good way!) and are really little pieces of art that you can use to embellish your knitwear.

The edges are all smooth and there are no weird corners that can catch and snag your knitwear (unlike your basic safety pin).  You can tell from seeing all of her designs that this was a very deliberate consideration! All of her pins have gently curved corners so they will work well with delicate open lace scarves/sweaters (though you still have to be gentle in securing the pin).

It does take a little bit of practice to attach them, and each one works differently.  The Bluebird design has a separate stick that you weave in and out of the bird to secure.  The other two designs have attached sticks that slide around to lock.

All of them feel quite secure once you get them in correctly. 

They worked nicely to hold the front pieces of my draped cardigan in place (see all the different ways I used it!). AND I tried them on a bulky yarn cowl to see how it worked. It was secure, although the delicate design is a bit more of a contrast when wearing the chunkier styles, so you would want to consider that.

And what do you do with the pin when you leave your sweater open? Stash it in your purse OR just attach it somewhere like an accent pin. No problem!

So, overall, I think these shawl pins are great and would be an awesome gift! I definitely have expensive tastes (Ask my husband) - and these pins are not at all "cheap" looking. They are well suited to your fine knitwear.

And yes, any kind of decorative broach could generally be used to close a sweater, but these are specifically designed to do that better with the smooth edges and ability to "grab" more or your fabric, so they can be used for heavier-weight knits or for some creative closures.

Here's an example of closing the drape-front sweater by gathering at the waist. Drape_Front_Cardi_Waist_500This would not be easy to do with a broach that has the usual small pin, but it was a cinch (ha ha) to do with the larger Bluebird pin.

See all of Rosemary's MANY shawl pin designs at www.DesignsbyRomi.com (her sheep ones are my favorite!).  Tell her SweaterBabe.com sent you!

DO YOU HAVE A PRODUCT FOR SWEATERBABE TO REVIEW?  If you do, please email me at: [email protected].  Read the submission details.

I will be giving away the heart-shaped shawl/sweater pin to one lucky commenter. 

Just leave a comment about these shawl pins on this blog post by 9pm PST, September 30, 2009, to enter the drawing.  One commenter will be chosen randomly as the winner!  One comment per person, please.


Sue Layman

Thanks for trying these out and providing your thoughts. I've always admired the gorgeous handmade shawl pins, but didn't know if I would really like them or if they would really work as they should. Romi's pins are gorgeous !

Susan Spiers

Great solution, and pretty too! I use pins, and the lighter ones like these are ideal!

Marion Naylor

I love these shawl pins they are pretty but not to busy and If i was to pick one for me the heart would be it! Yes I wear shawls and the pins! Marion


Gorgeous wrap cardigan!!!! I love the color and the design of it! And the shawl pins are perfect!!!! I have a few wraps that really need something to hold them closed, especially if I'm out to eat. Nothing worse than having a wrap come undone and drop into your plate of food! ugh.

thanks for the giveaway!!!!

Meredith Patrick

Shawl Pins................they are elegant and would put the finished touch on any beautifully knitted shawl. I would love to have one for my shawl.

Meredith P
New Hampshire

cyndie schlossberg

love the shawl pins. they are versatile and look great on your wrap. the bluebird is my favorite

Wendy Anderson

This design looks fab for a variety of figure-types--I think it would be great for my pregnant daughter, too. Romi's pins really increase the versatile look, too--elegant to casual!

amy in ne

Oh, those are lovely-I have been looking for just the right pin for a while now! Thank you so much for bringing these to our attention.


I love Romi's pins- I have three of them on my gift-giving list for Christmas presents! :)

Donna Anderson

Looking forward to this new design and to getting one of those shawl pins. Amazing how the pin adds to the versatility of an already beautiful design. The blue bird rocks.

Janina Oakley

I've been watching Romi developing her pins for a couple years now, and she just gets better and better.
Enjoyed your review.

Elaine Dendy

Shawl Pins ... always a must to dress up or even for casual wear. Roni's simple designs are elegant, flattering for anytime, anything or anywhere. I can see using them on my new vests that I am designing. Watch this space!

Elaine Dendy @ The Treetops Studios
Saanichton, B.C. Canada

Linda Clark

WOW...now I am anxious to wear my shawls. COuld never find anything to keep them clsoed...but these are awesome. I will sure be getting some and then to have some on hand when I make a shawl for give away. Thanks so much


I've admired Romi's designs for a long time. I grew up in the Uk and had many pins in my kilts as a child. Celtic pins for shawls have been around for a long time and are so very useful. I had one favorite Celtic pin that has somehow been lost through the years, a new one would be most happily used if it should come my way.

Annie Kichman

Lovely designs, a bit pricey though!!


Gorgeous pins!

geri actor

I use shawl pins now and agree that they can be very convenient - particularly if one uses a grament different ways at different times.

Some of these are pretty ;-).


I love shawl pins! These in particular are beautiful!

Jennifer H

The pins are gorgeous and are a beautiful accent to this shawl and any other.

Doti Roraback

Love the sweater. I too had not paid much attention to shawl pins. Will have to look further. I enjoy your newsletter thanks for taking the time to do it. Thanks Doti



I love shawl pins! And the lighter the weight, the better. Especially on the lace weight shawls. A heavy pin will cause the shawl to shift while wearing. The added bonus is, you can wear them on your knit sweaters, hats, and purses too! They should be called knitting jewelry.


Always wished I had a shawl pin! Then I would have to wear one of my shawls & quit giving them away!

Adrienne  Beckham

I think shawl pins are a great way to show your creativity and style. The ones pictured are very nice. I hope I win one of them!


Those are stunning pins and I LOVE the sweater. I like it pinned at the top and the waist very much, may prefer the top better, have not decided yet. Lovely work to both of you!!! Thanks for sharing this and the pinning ideas. I unfortunatly have to rely on vintage broaches at this time for pinning sweaters and wraps.


The shawl pins are gorgeous! I've always been a sweater knitter, but lately I've been trying my hand at shawls. This would be a great way to keep my shawls secure.

Thanks for the review and contest!

Patrice S

I love the shawl pins. They are jewelry for shawls.


Beautiful shawl pins! But why wouldn't a shawl be good for day to day? Full size, maybe not, but shoulderettes are wonderful. I wear one from the time I dress in the morning until I head upstairs for the night all winter long. And it takes the place of a scarf!

Mary Louise Wotring

Did you try the pins with crocheted shawls or sweaters? I'm wondering how they would work with an openwork type of crochet pattern...


Romi's pins are simple and beautiful.


I love the versatility of the pins and the way they can give gorgeous looks to the same shawl or sweater. It expands your wardrobe x10!!

Vicki Morgan-Bogart

Love this new type sweater. Love the Shawl pins. I looked at Romi's site & especially fond of the one piece shawl pins, since they don't have a separate "stick" to get lost. These are perfect for shawls, scarves & the new "drapey" front sweaters. Would love to have one for my collection of jewelry.


Beautiful pins and such a great idea for items other than shawls, too.

Dianna Charlton-Jones

What a really kool idea. And they look so smart. Could be used on your knitted & crochet hats too, when you get a little warm and don't want to stick they in your purse or pocket. That wrap REALLY ROCKS!!!


Romi's designs are beautiful. I love how you showed that shawl pins are for more than just shawls. They really add to the versatility of a lovely sweater like yours.


I love these pins and appreciate that you took the time to review them. I'm really hoping a merchant will have them at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this weekend!

Carolyn VanPelt, Greenville, SC

I haven't been able to find Shawl Pins in any store -- Jewelry counters at the Mall or Knitting speciality stores -- I guess we are stuck with ordering ON-LINE and paying shipping. Thank for showing us where we can get some!

Gayle Schultz

I didn't think that I would like a pin, but I have found that it makes my life so much easier! I put a scarf around my neck, put on my coat, then take one of the ends out and cross the other end on top of it sort of like a neck cowl, and attach the pin under my coat, but where I put my hand to say the Pledge of Allegiance. It keeps it loose enough so that I can turn my head and move around, plus secure from wind or tiny hands. I am warm in my coat, and when I remove it, the softly draped end shows the pin.

Sandi Shutts

As I knit many shawls and stoles, a good shawl pin is always on my "find one now" list and any new ones are gladly added to my pin box.

Patricia Hill

I think shawl pins are wonderful, and Romi's designs are great. I'd love to own one!


I never met a shawl pin I didn't love immediately! I have more pins than I do shawls to use them on, but that doesn't stop me. I just bought a beautiful handmade cable needle necklace from Leslie Wind -- just gorgeous!


I never thought about shawl pin, what a good idea!


I have long loved these shawl pins, I tend to pick up what I can at estate sales but these are really fine looking and lovingly made...I would love to have 1 or 2 or...oh heck, all of them !!!!!!

Debbie B

Rosemary's shawl pins are gorgeous! I am a big fan of hers, she is a very talented lady.

Denise Hinckley

Beautiful shawl pins. Wouldn't they make great gifts (the heart pin for Valentine's Day?)? If you have long hair, these would also make beautiful hair decorations.

Camy Tang

Thanks for this review! I had seen Rosemary's pins on the web but didn't know much more about them, and your review was very helpful to me!


These are so beautiful

Rebecca Paul

I Love the sheep pin & the BlueBird pin. I wear shawls alot during the fall & winter months. When a shawl is not warming my shoulders, it's warming my knees!

Lehte Rickard

I love shawl pins!! and think they are a perfect accompaniment to any shawl or open jacket. With the myriad of designs around you can make your own statement of how you feel, even if your wearing the same piece day in, day out. Plus they are such a versatile accessory anytime you need a clasp or broach. Can't imagine ever being without one...:>)


I've wanted to try a shawl pin for quite some time now and when I order your new pattern, I'll certainly need one. These are a simple adornment that won't take away from the elegance of the sweater.


Your shawl pins are awesome! They are such a versatile accessory too! Count me in for the giveaway!


I love these shawl pins and the cardi too! The shawl pins finish off the garment and give it character.

Judy P

Wow! I have been looking for the perfect shawl pattern,hope to see it here soon! Love the pins, really helps to know the designer has thought enough to prevent rough edges! Can't wait to see her collection,thanks!

Donna Cooper

The shawl pins are lovely, and versatile. Would look good for a dressy shawl or a more casual scarf. Thanks for reviewing these.
Donna Cooper


I've been an admirer of DesignsbyRomi for sometime now...I love the copper ones myself :-) Thanks for the review and the giveaway!


I wear shawls a lot around the house since it's colder inside than out for much of the year. They don't have sleeves to get damp from housework and are great fun (and economical) to knit! But I love the look of these new cardi wraps and I think the pin is much more elegant than a button, but they are very hard to find. I've adored Romi's designs ever since I first saw one years ago in a knitting magazine :)


Kathy Byers

I'm so glad to have found this review right now. I'm working on a shawl for an exchange and was considering including a shawl pin to the recipient, but wasn't sure of the function and what sort of damage it could inflict on my time-consuming work. These are beautiful and I love the artistic flair they add to a hand crafted sweater or shawl. Will be on the lookout for one to complement the piece I'm making.

Kathy B.

Judy S-G.

Shawl pins add "that touch of class".... and help make "the look" uniquely yours.... a dozen people can have the same shawl/wrap.... but the pin can be an eyecatching focal point.... and if it happens to be a family heirloom, all the better!

jena goshia

I love shawl pins. I prefer them to buttons on sweaters because you can pin them 'just right' and not have the gapping that sometimes come with buttons. I also wear a lot of shawls (I;m a coat hater) and they look so pretty while keeping the shawl on.


Lovely shawl pins, I particularly like the bluebird.


Solves the problem of keeping shawls closed, yet can easily be taken off to open the shawl. Great idea,the pins are delicate and original.


I love Romi's pins; I've given one as a gift and recommended her site (highly) to several people that were looking for something nice. Everyone has been impressed with her work. I sure wouldn't mind winning your give-away!

Sandy Roberts

I've been admiring Roni's work for awhile but have never had the good fortune to own any.
Shawl pins are marvelous dahling. Great for shawl closures for a decorative pine.

Joanne Sherek

If you want a classic look, get a shawl pin - what an elegant touch!

Sue V

Romi's designs are lovely, for both shawls and sweaters.

BarbaraAnn Couturier

I have fallen in love!

Barbara Nelson

I just finished a shrug for my daughter and thought about putting a "frog" closure on it on the chance she would like to close the front. The heart pin would look fabulous instead.

Linda Szenicer

I am obsessive about making shawls and have been searching for beautiful handmade shawl pins. Romi's designs are definitely some of the best I've come across. They are absolutely exquisite!


love the shawl pins!!! I'm always looking for "something special" to enhance all the work of a gifted shawl, the Romi pins are just the right thing!!!


I love those Shawl pins and I have just started wearing shawls and would love to don my new shawl with The Bluebird pin!!!
I would probably use those pins for cardigans that I knit also as I hate buttons.. The Pins are Great!!!

Mae Tischler

A great idea. I love the three you have shown us. Let's see, is there a way to knit or crochet a shawl pin??!!


Great add-on to update the look of any shawl.


I love shawl pins...started knitting shawls last year and had a hard time finding nice pins...thanks for the site.

Rosi G.

I have an addiction to shawl pins! I feel that they just MAKE the shawl or sweater, doncha think? Also, I got your comment on my Ravelry re: my top down cardigan pictures. I'm just not sure where to submit them. :D

Andrea Ihara

I've been looking for a pin just like this, as I knit a lot of shawls and cardigans. I would love to win one - but would be willing to buy a few more...


I want one of these...getting inspired to knit a shawl!


These all look great! I'm always looking for different types of buttons/pins for my projects, thanks!

Susan Claudino

Love,love, LOVE the little bird pin! thanks so much for featuring these, they are beautiful!


Any one of these would definitely enhance my latest shawl!


What beautiful pins! They're so lovely!


What lovely shawls. The heart one is my favorite!


I haven't seen anyone wear a shawl in years. Maybe it's time to get it started again! And, a shawl pin
would be a great addition.

Wynelle Ulrich

Those shawl pins are wonderful! I like that while they are delicate and stylish, they aren't too busy to detract from the shawl. Thanks for sharing.


Lovely pattern and great idea about the pins. You aren't tied down the same way you are with fixed buttons and they give a celtic feel.


They're beautiful. My mom is making a shawl for my niece for her wedding, and a shawl pin would make a great addition.


Romi does great work!! And she is such a sweet person!! I would love to have one of her pins.. it would look good with my bridgewater shawl!! (if I ever finish it!)


The only reason I have never worn a shawl in all my 70 years is the reason these pins were created - they are perfect!

Thanks for the review and for the chance to win them.


I love the swirl one-so elegant!

brenda keeler

they look great on the shawl and the pins are so beautiful they go with anything


I am currently making myself a shawl for an up-coming wedding. This pin is the perfect accessory and it is functional as well. Love the playful designs!

Kathryn Egan

These shawl pins are adorable. They look very light and airy. Pins make a great Christmas present, as well as other occasions. I checked out her website and all her pins are gorgeous.

Juli Bachman

Thank you for showing a dainty pin. The majority of what I have seen are big and bulky.

Peggy A. Lewis

The pins are absolutely gorgeous but, I seldom wear a shawl but, on the other hand I always wear a sweater and the pins will look great on them as well as the shawl.

Pam Nash

Beautiful! I have several sweaters and wraps that ould look great with one these pins. I wonder if they would stay in my hair?


I've never thought of using a pin to close a sweater--that looks really cool.

Sarah Julian

I'm getting ready to knit a kimono style shawl, and these are exactly the type of pins that I'm looking for to go with it! Beautiful, elegant, and understated! Can't get better than that.


These pins are really pretty. I knitted a shawl this summer with tie ends, thinking I'd solved the problem of how to keep it on, but found that I still preferred it pinned together. Unfortunately, my pins are all too heavy and distort the look of the shawl. These pins by Romi would be perfect! I really like the ones that are all in one piece. Much too easy for me to lose the stick pin part.....


Shawl pins - what a great idea! I have always worn pins/brooches on my jackets but never thought about pins for a shawl. Why didn't I think of that?!


They are HOTT. They would look great with any shawl or scarf.


Delightful designs!! These are really unique, lovely!

Linda Grambley

Shawl pins with a matching hair pin would be absolutely lovely. Love the pin look.

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