Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thread and a cute pic

I was reading Jeff's blog and we were talking about embroidery thread just a little bit.  I was mentioning why I don't like using it to  tat with, but I hadn't really thought about it before, I just knew I didn't like using it.   This got me to thinking... WHY don't I like it, what is it about it that I don't like...

so, I did. I sat and thought about it. if I like or don't like something, I should know exactly why I do or don't like it and be able to articulate that the best I can.

I tend to tat with a lot of tension, when I loosen my tension, I am very sloppy with my tension.  I try very hard to make all my knots exactly the same size, sometimes I am really slow at tatting because I am taking so much time placing them exactly right next to each other etc.  When I am making a sample to test out a thread I am not so careful, when I am just making a sample to see what a pattern might look like I am not so careful etc.  When I want to whip something up fast to test something anything out, I am not so careful, but when the project is ready to begin, it has to be just right, and I don't feel I can ever get it with embroidery thread.

To me, embroidery thread is to fuzzy, to stubborn, to un-slidable, to not tight tension working material, to ..... not me.  I love the colors, I do a lot of hand embroidery and have probably a thousand little wraps of thread in boxes,  all neatly put on the shelf, (well, maybe not so neatly) but I just don't enjoy the effects I myself am able to produce with it.  I have tried from all 6 strands, to 1 strand, and well, I stink at it, or at-least don't produce decent tatting.  I do like, when it is called for, the frilly splayed spit pecots you can get from multi-strand thread, but I just stink at it.  

Recently I have been practicing working with looser tension, and my work has been much looser, sliding on the core thread much easier, however, my stitches have been a lot less even, and the work has been so much more sloppy. I am sooooo not happy with the work, but I suppose that will take a lot of practice.

The type of threads I do like are things like rayon cotton blends, Aunt Lydia's cottons, but it is hard to find that one in smaller sizes, Lizbeth, even though that takes hours to get a lot of twist out when hand winding it, polished cotton, and the like.  I am always trying new threads, but anything with polyester in it I have found I do not care for, and anything with any type of coating on it I do not care for.  I do like some nylons, however they are tough to make stay in place, being so soft and silky the knots often slide out of  formation easily so it can be tricky.  I would love to try silk thread one day, and I know I do not like anything fuzzy or uneven in any, anything with any blips or blurs in the size of the thread really bothers me.

Do I seem too hard and picky, or are others similar in their working comfort zone... I just find I am comfortable with certain things, and I really can't stand other things...  I know some of the things I can't stand other people really enjoy working with, and that is great, we need folks who can work with all sorts of thing and I think it is wonderful to find people who can do things I can't, I really enjoy seeing other peoples work, it always inspires me to try new things, and then like Jeff's blog, it sometimes makes me think, ok Bree, you do or don't like this, exactly why... don't just say it, think about it.

 oh, and here is a funny picture, just for fun :D


  1. Most threads with polyester do not slide the knots well. The thread drags. The tighter the twist, the easier the knots slide and that's why a 6 cord thread is often recommended. Obviously embroidery floss is not that, but it can be a fun challenge. I'm just not crazy about having to spend time separating the strands. I've tried all kinds of threads and some add texture or shine or even the fuzziness can be a desired element in some cases, but for most tatting, I prefer the clean crisp look of a smaller 6 cord thread. I've been using size 20 for my 25 motif challenge pieces but it seems bulky after tatting with 30 & 40 now so I can't wait to use a different thread after the initial tat. I have some silk thread, but very limited colors and sizes so haven't tatted with it much. I find the kind of thread impacts my tension too. For instance, the size 20 I'm using, regardless of how good a quality it is, looks clunky next to the finer threads. I feel like my tension is so bad on those, but when I tat the same thing in a smaller thread, it looks like my tension has improved substantially. I haven't figured that part out yet. I like to use a blending filament with some of the softer threads too - it helps it slide better and hold its shape. So you might try that with some of your polyester threads. For instance, I've used quilting thread and a strand of sulky which is very fine, but the two together often work better than when I tat with either alone. I say blending filament but I really mean any fine tightly twisted thread. Some people keep excellent records of the many threads they try out and record their properties, good and bad. I'm not that disciplined, but I do think it's helpful if one is so inclined.

  2. ooooo, excellent comment, ty Gina, I love to hear what others do and try, always makes me think about something I can try or might be doing different. I am not that disciplined either, and i will have to try the blending together of the diff types of threads and see how that works. I have some skulky rayon my Madeira thread says 100% viscose filiment, that is very fine, twisted I believe size 100, and it is incredibly slippery, I just love love love this thread, and it would be wonderful with something with a bit more grab maybe... I really need to experiment more

  3. I don't like tatting with embroidery floss. I think I tried one ring and stopped! I have tatted with silk. I like the sheen and the colors, but it takes a lot of patience for me to finish a piece. It seems like the thread does not stay where I like it, especially when closing rings. I find that I prefer smaller motifs when working with silk. I love working with King Tut quilting thread and Sulky. However, I have to be in the right frame of mind... able to concentrate! I cannot easily undo mistakes with thread that fine.

    My all-time favorite thread is Hakelgarn. I cherish what I have in my stash!

  4. I read Jeff's blog yesterday and left a comment, I am interested to read your blog today. I dont like slippery threads, I find they slip all over the place. I am into Lizbeth and turkist threads at the moment, I have tatted with embriodery thread, I have used 3 strands, but I did have to be careful not to pull it too hard or it will break. I needed for my wedding dress some very fine butterflies and they were done in embrodery thread, it took longer to do them but they did look beautiful even if I say that myself on the day. Its nice to hear what other tatters do or do not do and your question about why you dont has answered itself. Lovely piece of writing.

  5. You're not unreasonable at all. The quality of your thread affects both the ease and the quality of your tatting. We all look for the best threads we can find. Occasionally, as Gina says, you may want a specific look that is best achieved with a thread that's not so easy to tat with-- for instance, I used a size 5 perle cotton when I wanted the rough look of a tree branch-- but that was a one-time thing; I would never choose that thread for "normal" tatting.

    To be fair, Jeff did say that the embroidery floss is not that great to tat with; he just got it because it was free.

  6. I have seen some people's work done in embroidery thread and they do an incredible job, and I have never even heard of some of the threads you are all mentioning, let alone tried to tat with them. I would love love love to find diff thread samples around to try as I come across them. the one I am using right now is a real slippery one from Germany, it is originally a machine embroidery floss and is super shiny, and near impossible to break, bit it is also near impossible to tat with, lol, it doesn't stay wrapped on my shuttles, and I have to really hold the tension on it to get the knots to stay put firmly, finishing a chain or a circle, like at the end of the project, is proving to be a super challenge. I am afraid i would have to glue it, but then, the thread itself will soak the glue up the fiber and discolor it... so I am deciding this one is not going to be good for tatting in the end. As I come across more threads to try, I will expand my experience, I really am at the shallow end of the thread pool at the moment, but it is fun to try it out. A friend of mine spins her own fiber and someone gave her some sort of silk combination something, she doesn't' know what it is except it has silk in it, and it is about a 10 to 15, she said she is done tatting, her hands just don't get it, so she is digging it out and giving it to me, weee, a new thread for me to try, lol, I will eventually get it and post how it turns out for me :)

    I am really super enjoying hearing what everyone's experiences with diff threads are, ty for everyone responding


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...