Adding bling to your SAL to make the most of postage

It makes sense, doesn’t it? You order one small thing that you need for a project, and pay the standard postage. And then you realise that the same standard postage would apply if you added a few other things. Which you’d be getting practically for free. Well, postage-free anyway.

True, unsympathetic persons will probably point out that the only thing it really means is that you are spending more than you originally planned; but anyone who has the sort of hobby for which you buy materials in smallish amounts will recognise the argument, especially when “buying only the one thing you need” turns out to mean paying twice or three times in postage what the item itself costs.

So how does this sound principle lead to adding more bling to your SAL? Well, you may remember that one of the items on the SAL materials list is metallic kid leather. It is optional (I realise not everyone wants to get into goldwork), but if you decide that you’ll give it a go and you don’t already have metallic kid in your stash you will have to buy some. And unless you are lucky enough to have an uncommonly well-stocked local needlework shop, that means buying online, and paying postage.

Golden Hinde sells sensible-sized bits of metallic kid for 70p. Which sounds very affordable indeed until you find out that their minimum postage is £2.60. So what are the options? Well, one option is to buy one small piece of kid and pay £3.30. Another is to go for one of their larger pieces (9 times as big but only about 7 times the price) and still pay £2.60 postage. Or you could think of it as your golden opportunity to collect some serious bling and experiment with it in the SAL.

Without increasing the postage you can go for the larger piece of kid leather, and add 1 gram of 3mm gold spangles (about 70, more than enough for the SAL) or 4mm silver spangles (about 40, still enough) as well as 18″ of a purl of your choice. Purls (except for pearl purl, which I love and which has a brilliant name but wouldn’t work in these projects) are thin, flexible tubes of wound gold/silver/copper wire, shiny or matt, circular or angular, which you can cut into “chips” (short lengths) and use as you would seed beads or bugle beads. For the SAL, a size 6 would probably work best.

The aforementioned unsympathetic person would no doubt point out that including the unchanged postage your shopping basket now stands at £14.40 instead of £3.30 – and he’d be absolutely right. So if you’re fairly certain goldwork isn’t your cup of tea, this would be the moment to close the Golden Hinde website and stick to beads, sequins and a scrap of gold or silver lamé, a 22mm round sequin or even some shiny card instead.

But if your budget can stand it and you’d like a not-too-daunting introduction to using some of the standard goldwork materials, think about it. Because, well, don’t they look pretty?

Optional goldwork materials for the SAL, gold Optional goldwork materials for the SAL, silver

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