I have been working on the Spots of Fun SAL again. As I said in my post of August 31 [A True Sampler], I am using this project to play with fibers. I am rediscovering just why I love some old favorites like the Caron, WDW & GAST lines and am discovering some new-to-me fibers that I know I'll be adding to my stash in great depth like the Belle Soie and Thread Gatherer collections. I am also making a list of moderately priced workhorse type threads that are to specialty threads what DMC is to cotton floss, like the Rainbow Gallery and Kreinik products. There'll be no picture today because I need to do some frogging. I have two skeins of WDW Sedona which prove dramatically how diverse dyelots can be: one skein shades from golden browns>gold>golden yellow and the other shades from purplish browns>maroon>coral. Since I have used both color ways in this piece I thought it would be interesting to do a motif in each of the Sedonas. Well, it simply didn't work ... on this particular fabric, the second Sedona, with its preponderance of the purplish brown, becomes a garish muddy purple and a very unpleasant pink. And, of course, I chose one of the larger motifs for this floss: the bunch of grapes. Once I pick it all out, I'll re-stitch in Belle Soie Buttercup silk.
So, to reporting on a few more fibers.
--Belle Soie Silks [Colors: Pumpkin Carriage, Lasagna, Buttercup, Carrot Cake] These are exquisite silks, easy to strand, with a lovely soft sheen, rich colors and a high loft on the fabric. And a delight to stitch ... no snagging or knotting ... and, even though I never had to dangle my needle when using an 18" double ply strand, the silk continued to lay beautifully and neatly.
--Caron Waterlilies: a 12 ply silk that remains one of my favorite silks with which to stitch. It strands easily, stitches smoothly and lays beautifully. I love the range of overdye colors ... a great palette ... and reasonably easy to find and order on line and through my nearest LNS.
--Caron Wildflowers: a very fine cotton perle overdye, one strand beautifully covers 28ct and up stitching over two. This floss picks up light a little differently than smooth flosses and adds interest and texture to the piece. And, again, the palette of colors is extensive.
--Catherine Jordan Cotton Overdyes Comparable to WDW amd GAST in quality. Generally speaking, Catherine Jordan's palette tends toward the more muted and subdued tones of soft vegetal dyes. I don't know whether these are commercially available as I came by mine at a CATS class taught by Ms. Jordan.
--Kreinik Silk Moire: This silk feels a little coarse in my hand. It's not one I would use again.
--Rainbow Gallery Fuzzy Stuff: A fussy thread that requires patience, care and a short length ... but is oh so much fun once stitched ... it adds texture, weight and catches the light differently than any other thread on the sampler ... it was a joy to use for a small motif in Spots of Fun but I am not sure I would have the patience to stitch larger areas of hair or animal fur with this fiber in other designs ... not unless I were using a much lower thread count fabric like a 10 ct tula.
--Rainbow Gallery Mandarin Floss: I wrote about all the reasons I love this floss in my August 3 post.
--Rainbow Gallery Splendor A perfectly acceptable silk, less expensive than Thread Gatherer, Caron, Belle Soie and other "carriage trade" silks. Wide range of colors. Relatively easy to stitch with though the needle should be dangled frequently to avoid twisting and to ensure a proper laying of the silk on the fabric. A good choice when price is a consideration.