Sunday, April 11, 2010

Test Driving Threads (Part One)

When I made the long drive to the Woodlawn Plantation exhibit, I took along a list of DMC colors to use to pull the threads I didn't have in my stash already for the Stuart Plaid Lion ornament.  I was particularly looking for threads that matched the dark and bright reds in the plaid area of the ornament.  I searched In Stitches, Needlewoman East, and Waste Knot the same way-- I pulled out my list of DMC colors, then found the two skeins of DMC cotton floss in each shop that were on my list.  Then I could carry the DMC around each shop, matching shades of red in order to pick something I thought would work with the threads I already have for this project.  Once I had found (or not found) something, I could return the DMC floss to its home on the shop shelves.

I ended up with three red threads for the plaid--two red Trios and a red Kreinik #12 metallic.  Trio is a silk and wool blend that can be stranded like Paternayan into three plies.  It is made by Brown Paper Packages, the company that sells Silk & Ivory.  Silk & Ivory is a silk/marino wool tapestry thread that is not dividable.   It is a little too fat for 18 count canvas, so Brown Paper Packages came out with Trio which can be used on 13 count (all three strands) or on 18 count (one or two strands).  Except for the thread being dividable or not, Silk & Ivory and Trio are identical.

I choose two shades of red in Trio--Really Red #T312 and Burgundy T324.  You can see them both in the Wine Red section of the Brown Paper Packages website.  The color numbers differ online because the threads pictured are the tapestry wool Silk & Ivory line, not the Trio.  I haven't stitched with Trio before so I am eager to try this thread.

I also bought a spool of the new Kreinik holographic thread in size #12, color 003L which is a ruby red (it's called Robot Red).  Here is information about the threads and small squares of the color on the Kreinik website.  If you can enlarge the page, do so to see the colors better.

A few days after my trip, I got an email out of the blue from Dena Lenham of Kreinik asking me if I would like a little of the new holographic thread to play with.  I asked for a second spool of my holographic ruby thread in #8 braid.  I was a bit afraid that #12 was going to be too fat as it really was intended for 13 count canvases.  The Stuart Plaid Lion is on 18 count.  My envelope from Dena arrived last week and I was amazed to find the entire line of #8 braid and also the entire set of 1/16 inch holographic ribbon inside!  Thank you, Dena!  Blog's readers are very grateful that you sent all this for review purposes.

In the photo above, the #8 braid set is on top and the 1/16" ribbon on the bottom.  My #12 spool is in the middle.  The colors are a bit brighter in the holographic ribbon as it is shinier than the braids, whether they are #8 or #12 braid.  But the reds are identical across all three sizes otherwise and the other colors seem to be the same in #8 and 1/16 inch ribbon.  It is just that the ribbon thread shows the holographic Mylar better so it has more reflective ability.

In both photos you can see the frayed cut end of my #12 braid spool, and how curly the thread is when it first comes off the spool.  The curl stays in the thread longer than a perm stays in my hair!  I suggest you cut a twelve inch length, then grasp each end and pull hard.  That will straighten it some. If you use too long a length, the curl will start to kink and knot somewhere in the middle.  Even pulled and stretched, the curl remains and might cause problems in a longer strand.  The curl isn't as prominent in the 1/16 inch ribbon but a short length is still a good idea.  The ribbon will twist and has to be laid to make sure it is flat so that the light will bounce off it well and shine.  I find it easier to lay a thread that isn't too long a length since I only have two hands, one for the threaded needle and one for the laying tool.

I've also decided that once you cut a length and tie a knot, you should trim the raw end past the knot as close to the knot as you can.  The end will splay out into the elements that make up the thread and those loose ends can be pulled into the front as you stitch.

This message is getting a bit long so tomorrow I'll post about actually using these two new threads as I began stitching the plaid area.

Janet Perry has written a review of these new holographic threads.  Here's the link so you can read what she says about them.’s-holographic-threads-–-product-review/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Clark Gable Finished

I finished the second full quilt block yesterday.  Isn't Clark handsome?  The charcoal to black shading in the kite-shaped areas bothers me a bit and I'm still considering adding either black or copper beads to the square, but Pat's idea of waiting until Vivian Leigh is stitched and the whole row done to decide whether to add beads and what color is a very good one.

I also finished the sashing borders around the first two blocks.  My plan is to stitch the sashing margins around each as the block is done so that I am not resting my hand or arm on finished stitching as I work.  I also plan to work the outside borders later for the same reason.

The photo above is upside down.   Stars can be hung with the first row on top or bottom, as one chooses. You could even hang it with the right or left side as the top but I suspect most of us will choose to hang it vertically.  When Stars is framed, I plan to have it done so that either end could be hung as the top so I can change the view occasionally.

Now I am going to switch to my painted canvas project.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
Archived Yahoo 360 postings at