ThreadworX Variegated Floss – New Arrivals in the Shop!

ThreadworX variegated floss has just been added to my Etsy shop!threadworx variegated floss

Just look at these gorgeous combinations of color – and they’re even better looking in person. ThreadworX creates these brilliant flosses in their Southern California facility. As I live relatively close by, I’ve been lucky enough to meet the creative talent behind these combinations. These flosses truly are hand-dyed – I was greeted with a green handshake the day I visited.

The manufacturing process for DMC and Anchor variegated threads, I believe, limits the number of different colors on one skein to four. While those flosses are gorgeous in their own right, the hand-dyed process at ThreadworX allows for more than four colors on one skein. This is best evidenced by the true rainbow of floss number 1154 – Bradley’s Balloons.threadworx 1154 variegated floss bradleys balloons

When unraveled, these are 20-yard skeins composed of 20 pieces of one-yard long floss as you can see below. This is different than the 8.7 yard long skeins of DMC and Anchor that many of us are accustomed to. However, this is a similar top-quality six-strand floss that stitches up exactly the same as a DMC or Anchor floss.

threadworx skein is many one-yard piecesBelow is a sample of this floss stitched on 18-count Aida cloth in a variety of directions. The top three (diagonal, serpentine vertical, and spiral) used two strands, and the bottom (serpentine horizontal) used just one strand. threadworx 1154 variegated floss bradleys balloons on 18 count aida

Here’s the same floss again stitched on 14-count Aida cloth. The left sample used one strand, and the right used two. threadworx 1154 variegated floss bradleys balloons on 14 count aida

This floss has great quality, it was easy to handle, and it was really fun to see how the colors changed with every stitch.

At the moment, I’m just carrying the 24 flosses you see in the photo at top, however if these start to sell well, I can easily see my shop adding more colors very soon!

Here are a few of my favorites thus far:

threadworx 1039 variegated floss autumn leavesAbove is ThreadworX 1039 – Autumn Leaves. It’s a gorgeous mix of browns, gold, rust, and dark gray. I can only hope that this photos does it justice, as it is stunning!threadworx 1039 variegated floss pastel bouquet

This subtle mix of pink, yellow, gray-green, and purple is ThreadworX 1078 – Pastel Bouquet.threadworx 1068 variegated floss hawaiian flowers

This combination of greens and purple is 1068 – Hawaiian Flowers, although it really reminds me of the beautiful Jacaranda trees that bloom in Southern California in the late spring. threadworx 1044 variegated floss chili peppers

ThreadworX variegated floss 1044 is a spicy blend of greens, dark red, and rust named “Chili Peppers.”threadworx 1032 variegated floss brown sugar and spice

1032 – Brown Sugar and Spice is a subtle mix of light browns – from white chocolate through milk chocolate and dark chocolate shades. It reminds me of seeing timeless geologic strata in bright desert light. Once again, I hope the photo does this floss justice as I really adore this one! threadworx 1053 variegated floss dreamscape

The last one I’ll highlight for now is this ThreadworX 1053 – Dreamscape. It is indeed a dreamy combination of purple, greens and light blue. Lovely!

I hope you check out the ThreadworX variegated floss and all of the variegated flosses I carry in my Etsy shop. Also check out my six-part series on a million different ways to use variegated floss in craft projects from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, home decor and much more!

Photo Organization – Tackling Those Pre-Digital Prints and Slides

This photo organization procedure is here to help those of us with what may seem like a insurmountable challenge. You have a lot of old pre-digital photographs you want to organize. Some are in albums, some are in their envelopes from the developer, some are loose, some are slides… and it’s feeling a little overwhelming. Organizing them is a big job but you can do it!

After we followed these steps, my husband and I now have all our photos organized chronologically, digitized, backed up, and the volume reduced by about 80%.

ancora crafts projects photo organizationThis photo shows my collection of printed photos and memorabilia BEFORE I organized them. Note the albums and the other box of photos on the chair in the corner.

Things to have handy: business size envelopes, manila folders, post-it notes, pen and pencil, note paper, time, and focus. Let’s get started!

Photo Organization Step 1: Take all the photos out of their envelopes, albums, boxes, etc., and put them into chronological order.

You don’t have to dig and find the earliest photos first. Just grab an album, envelope, box, or stack and start taking out the photos. If the album is of a certain occasion, say you went to Kauai in February 2012, put all the photos in an envelope with “February 2012 Kauai” written on it.

If there is no specific occasion, can you determine the month and the year (this was around Mom’s 50th birthday, this was around Chris’ high school graduation)? If you can, put it in another envelope with, for example, “March 1987”, on it. If not, can you determine the year? If you can, put it in another envelope with, for example, “1975”, on it. If not, can you determine the decade? If so, put it in another envelope with, for example, “1940’s”, on it. Keep these envelopes in order because you’re going to find more photos that go in these envelopes as you progress through the pile. [You’re going to love those photos with the date printed on the margins.]

As you go through the photos, if there are any blurry photos, duplicates, shots of the back of someone’s head, or just subjects that are not important (e.g., poorly photographed scenery) THROW THEM OUT! No big deal, who cares! And it’s less to deal with later.

The idea here is that EVERY photo gets put in an envelope or tossed out as part of this first step.

You’re going to find all sizes of photos. Most everything will fit into an open business envelope, but there are going to be some 8 x 10’s or maybe some even larger, so put those in the manila folders and label the folders same as the business envelopes and keep them together.

photo organization - timelineAs you create the envelopes, it will help to make a sort of timeline of events for the family. As this timeline develops, it will make it easier to date the photos. Making a chronological list of dates for birthdays, graduations, weddings, travels, funerals, new houses, etc. will help.

 

Note 1: This excludes photo albums over 60 years old or where there are written notations in the album that identifies the people, places, and things in the photos – but only if these photo albums have any meaning to you. This also excludes scrapbooks with more than photos. I’ll describe more about what to do with notated albums and scrapbooks in Step 3.

Note 2: Negatives. What to do with them? I say toss ‘em, only unless you see a terrific (and I mean it better be National Geographic cover worthy) photo that you would want to get a reprint of. Then get the reprint made and move on.

Photo Organization Step 2: Refine the envelopes

You’ve got an envelope with photos from say, November 1985 for Monica and Bob’s wedding. Hurray! However, how many photos tell a story? Lay out the photos on a table and really sort through them. How many photos do you need of each person at this event? Do you need four photos of the cake? How many photos of the dances do you need? Pick the best and toss the rest.

You’ve got an envelope with photos from 1977. Once again, lay out the photos and really sort through them. Can you now determine if there was an event in 1977 that you can sort into its own envelope or into another existing envelope? How many photos have meaning? Pick the best and toss the rest.

You’ve got an envelope with photos from the 1980’s. Again, lay out the photos and really sort through them. By looking at the other envelopes for the years and events of the 1980’s, can you now sort these photos into more specific envelopes? Which photos are truly significant? Pick the best and toss the rest.

Now is the time to identify people, places, and things in the photos. If the subject matter is obvious, you don’t need to make notes, but if there’s something that other people might not understand about the photo – who this person is, the significance of the item, etc. – make a note on the back of the photo or on a post-it placed on the back.

If you have a slide projector, now is the time to set it up for its final performance. If you don’t have a projector, get a slide viewer or a convenient window and a magnifying glass. Go through the slides with the same eye for content as you have with the printed photos.

At the end of this step, you want to be looking at a major reduction in the number of photos, as well as a good grasp of the content and importance of the remaining photos.

Photo Organization Step 3: Scan the photos and organize the scans

The scanning is a big job and you can either do this yourself or hire someone to do it for you. We did it ourselves, so I can’t add much information about the process of hiring it out. In doing it ourselves, we made sure the envelope groupings stayed intact.

If you have albums or scrapbooks where photos are permanently attached, there is information written on the pages, or a specific layout are important to maintain, scan the whole book, page by page. Modern scrapbooks are on 12” x 12” paper, and those won’t fit on a typical home office scanner. In this case, a trip to a UPS or FedEx office store scanner might be in order. If you have photos in those sticky magnetic and photo damaging album pages, NOW is the time to get those photos out of there!

There are a lot of ways to scan slides. I haven’t had to do it, but here’s an article that describes some different methods.

The digital file organization structure and naming is important. File managers generally sort folders alphabetically, so you don’t want to name your folders with the month name first, e.g., March 2010, April 2010, May 2010. You’ll end up with months in alphabetical order (May 2010, May 2011, May 2012…) and that’s not helpful. Instead, name your folders 201003, 201004, 201005 and they’ll keep their chronological order.

For earlier decades, there may be very few photos. You may want to only have one folder per decade, unless you can identify specific events, like Grandma and Grandpa’s wedding in October 1932. In this case, I’d create a file structure that looked like this:photo organization file structure 1930s

When I was organizing my 1970’s photos, there were so few that I just created one folder per year. Starting in the late 1980’s I had enough photos and events to necessitate monthly folders. Now, with digital photography, I have sub-monthly folders. For example, in February 2012 there was a family trip to Kauai. For us, that trip had three parts – Kauai with the family, then we went to Oahu to see an aunt who lives in Honolulu, and then we went back to Kauai to see friends on the other end of the island. The file structure looks like this:photo organization file structure 2012

The idea here is to create a file structure to keep the photos organized and in manageable groups.  You don’t need to create a folder for every year and month since the dawn of time. However, a good file structure can provide some context to the images.

Photo Organization Step 4: Tag the photos

This is optional, but tagging is a great way to sort photos IF you keep the tags very simple. I’m not sure how it works on a Mac, but on Windows File Manager, there is a data field for every photo called “Tags.” In this field, I put simplified names of people, places, and things.

As my Mom and Dad come from big families, there’s no way I can tag every dang person. My Mom, Dad, Grandmothers, and Grandfather have their own tags, but otherwise I use the first name (a lot of them have the same last name) of the relevant aunt or uncle for themselves and for their descendants.

I tag photos of friends with their last name. I tag photos of pets with their names. I tag locations with “Italy” “Hawaii” or “home.” For photos of my craft projects I use “craft.” I also tag the month and year, and when applicable, the holiday.photo organization tag field

I can then do a search in File Manager for a tag or tags. When I search for “Hawaii” it shows all my photos of Hawaii, regardless of the year I had taken the trip or their file location – because who wants to search through every dang folder?

This can be incredibly useful – when an uncle of mine passed away, his family put out a call for photos to include in a slideshow. It took me about three seconds to see every photo I had of him. From there it was easy to select the photos that I sent to the family.

Photo Organization Step 5: Back up the photos

Dropbox, Flickr, external hard drive, whatever. There’s lots of different things you can use here. Just make sure they’re in more than one place, one of which cannot be destroyed by fire or a natural disaster at your home.

Photo Organization Step 6: Keep the best and toss the rest, again.

Now that you have these photos scanned, do you really need to keep the originals?

I’ll give you a good example. I had a scrapbook of my first trip to Europe in January and February 1994. This was pre-digital photography. I had an inexpensive camera and it was cold and grey most of the time so most of my photos were dark and grainy. In the scrapbook, I mixed things like ticket stubs and museum postcards with the photos.

The photos and ephemera were not precious, but the memory of the trip was. So I scanned the pages of the scrapbook… and then I tossed them out.

The question is – how often will you look at these photos? Are they worth the space they take up? Are you more likely to look at them on screen or in print? Of course, there are going to be photos where you keep the originals – formal wedding photos, baby pictures, graduation shots, happy holidays, sentimental favorites. But do you need to keep ALL originals of the receptions, the birthday parties, and vacation trips? What is more important – holding on to the thing, or holding on to the memory of the thing? Keep the best and toss the rest.

Photo Organization Step 7: Organize the remaining photos

Decide how you want to store the remaining printed photos. Acid free albums and photo boxes, elaborate scrapbooks, frames, or just keeping them in envelopes in a Rubbermaid container all work. You may want to divide the photos amongst the family, or keep them together – it’s not as big a deal if everyone has digital access to every photo. That, and the sheer volume of the photos could be a small fraction of what it was originally.gypsy ways - what remains of my printed photos

The photo above shows the result of my organization effort – one small storage box plus a larger envelope for a few pieces that wouldn’t fit in the box. No more bulky albums for me!

Photo Organization Step 8: Include other items

My husband and I are in this phase now. Over the years, we’ve collected some stuff – a few Christmas photos from other families, ticket stubs, some choice greeting cards, kid art, just stuff we want to remember. We’re sorting, scanning, and adding these files to our digital photos. Then we’re keeping the very best and tossing the rest again… the result being a huge reduction in weight and volume in unnecessary stuff. It’s lovely!

Good luck with your photo organization! I think you’ll find that it’s very worth the effort.

DMC Coloris Variegated Flosses

The new DMC Coloris variegated flosses have just been added to my Etsy shop!

dmc coloris 24 new variegated flosses

These 24 flosses are outstanding additions to DMC’s already excellent line of variegated threads. These are all true multicolor combinations, where most of their predecessors have more subtle color combinations.

These are so new in the States that it’s a little tough to find information about them. DMC USA has not updated their website yet with Coloris information, however the DMC UK site has a little information and five free charts.

I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when opened the boxes containing these flosses – it was so fun! I’m sure my husband got tired of me repeatedly saying “oooh” and “wow” as if I were watching fireworks. But these combinations are just so different and striking that I couldn’t help myself.

Here are a few of my early favorites…

DMC 4501 ColorisDMC 4501, called Fleurs des Champs (Wildflowers), is a springy blend of watermelon pink, green, and light teal. It reminds me most of the inner layers of a watermelon rind.

 

 

 

DMC 4502 ColorisDMC 4502 is called Camellia and is a springy combination of bright pinks, green, and light blue.

 

 

 

DMC 4506 ColorisDMC 4506, Primavera (Spring), is a gorgeous blend of green, blue, and yellow.

 

 

 

 

DMC 4507 ColorisDMC 4507 is called Bougainvillea, and it’s a gorgeous group of teal greens, blue, and dark pink. It reminds me most of peacock feathers.

 

 

 

DMC 4523 ColorisDMC 4523, Vent du Nord (North Wind), is a lovely combination of light purple, light blue, and sandy browns.

 

 

 

DMC 4520 ColorisOne curious note: I think DMC 4520, called “Christmas Story,” is identical to the older DMC 4042 “Very Merry.” I will have to compare them in more detail, but in the meantime I’m wondering why they repeated this combination.

 

 

These DMC Coloris variegated flosses are just lovely and I really look forward to stitching with them. I also think they will look great in any of the multitude of crafts that can be done with variegated floss (check out my six-part series on variegated floss projects!).

Glow in the Dark Thread Review

I’ve created this glow in the dark thread review as I was genuinely curious about two things: how to use the Kreinik’s line of glow in the dark (GITD) threads and the difference between the Kreinik and DMC’s E940 GITD floss. I carry the DMC floss in my Etsy shop and it has proved to be very popular. However, DMC has only the one color of GITD floss where Kreinik has seven colors and eight different sizes/types of thread.

The participants:glow in the dark thread review - all the threads I tested

Clockwise from top left you see Kreinik Blending Filament in Grapefruit, #4 Braid in Watermelon, #8 Braid in Lime, #16 Braid in Lemon Lime, #32 Braid in Tangerine, 1/16″ Ribbon in Blueberry, #8 Braid in Grapefruit, and the DMC E940 floss.

Kreinik also has #12 Braid, #24 Braid, and a 1/8″ Ribbon, but I decided against trying them out in lieu of the 4-8-16-32 progression you see above. Kreinik also has a seventh color, Grape, but it is only available in 1/16″ and 1/8″ Ribbons.

I used the Kreinik threads in cross stitch on 18 and 14 count Aida fabrics. I also used the Kreinik threads in tent or basketweave stitch on 18 and 14 count needlepoint canvases and in 7 count plastic canvas. I didn’t necessarily use every thread on every canvas – as you’ll see below, some of the combinations of thread and fabric were impractical.

With that in mind, let’s see how these Kreinik threads stitched up on a variety of cross stitch fabrics and needlepoint canvases. Let’s get started with the 18 count Aida…
18 ct aida light

The Blending Filament is interesting stuff – it’s a bit like stitching with very fine fishing line. It is composed of lots of extremely thin filaments that love to fray at the ends of the strand. I was able to thread it in a #26 tapestry needle pretty well. Using this color filament on white material took supreme concentration to make sure that all the stitches were done correctly. You can barely tell that the filament is there – it just adds a little plastic-y shimmer to the fabric.

The only issue I had with the Blending Filament itself on this 18 count Aida was that the strand frayed pretty badly while I was stitching. This didn’t happen with the filament as prominently on any of the other fabrics or canvases I tested. Below left you see the back of the Aida, and on the right you see the front. Keep in mind this filament was not necessarily designed to be used like this, so this is not a big deal. I just wouldn’t recommend using it in this exact same way.
18 ct aida issue with blending filament18 ct aida issue with blbf1ending filament

 

 

 

 

 

The Watermelon pink #4 Braid provided great coverage on this 18 count Aida, where the Lime green #8 Braid was a little too heavy (you’ll see how I made a few cross stitches crossing two at top just for fun). Using these Braids is like stitching with a heavy waxed dental floss. Rather than form knots, the threads tend to kink like a garden hose and they like to fray at the ends of the strand. I could not thread either Braid into my #26 tapestry needle. Unlike cotton floss that can “squish” into a needle eye, the #4, #8, and #16 Braids have no ability to compress whatsoever and needles with bigger eyes are necessary.

Stitching with the #4 and #8 plastic Braids produces an interesting texture on the fabric that I’ll call “crunchy.” You’re stitching with plastic, so “crunchy” is to be expected! It’s just different than the more soft and pillowy stitches that result from using cotton and wool.

Ah! But how do they glow? Well, they glow great!
18 ct aida dark

You can see the light coverage of the Blending Filament, the good coverage of the #4 Braid, and the lumpy coverage of the #8 Braid.

Up next is the 14 count Aida…
14 ct aida light

Again, you can hardly see the Blending Filament. The #4 Braid has some coverage, but the #8 Braid is about perfect on this 14 count Aida. I tried a little of the Lemon Lime #16 Braid, but it proved to be just too thick, distorting the fabric and holes pretty badly.

Stitching with the #16 Braid is like stitching with a very tiny paracord, so it doesn’t kink up quite like the #4 and #8 Braids. Finding a needle with an eye big enough to accommodate this Braid that won’t distort the fabric can be tough. And in the dark…
14 ct aida dark

the results are similar. The Blending Filament and the #4 Braid don’t quite cover the Aida effectively. The #8 Braid is about perfect, and the #16 Braid looks lumpy. Also, there’s not much difference in color between the Lime #8 and the Lemon-Lime #16 Braids.

On to the needlepoint canvases! First up, 18 count…
18 ct needlepoint canvas light

In tent stitch, the Blending Filament is hardly visible, the #4 Braid doesn’t quite cover, the #8 Braid gives a little more cover, but the #16 Braid is the one that effectively fills in the canvas.

Here I used the 1/16″ Ribbon in both tent stitch and backstich. The ribbon is flat, so it is quite easy to thread through a needle and it doesn’t tend to fray much. It does require constant untwisting and manipulation to keep flat. In tent stitch, it covers well but looks a little crowded. Ah, but in backstitch it really looks great! You can easily see the light color and the shimmery texture. The slight difference in the brightness between the tent stitch and the backstitch is true-to-life – the tent stitched portion really is a bit darker than it’s backstitched counterpart.

In the dark…
18 ct needlepoint canvas dark

the results are similar. The Blending Filament and #4 Braid are definitely visible but don’t cover at all, the #8 Braid is better, but the #16 Braid and the 1/16″ Ribbon cover well. The ribbon in tent stitch glows a little brighter than the backstitched section, but it’s not a huge difference. There’s also not much difference in color between the Lime #8, the Lemon Lime #16, and the Blueberry 1/16″ ribbon, whereas the Blending Filament in Grapefruit definitely looks more blueish. Interesting!

In 14 count needlepoint canvas,14 ct needlepoint canvas light

almost identical results as the 18 point canvas. The Blending Filament, #4 Braid, and #8 Braid aren’t enough to cover, while the #16 Braid and the 1/16 Ribbon covers nicely. The Ribbon looks better and less crowded in tent stitch than it did on the 18 count canvas, and again the backstitch looks nice.

In the dark, again similar results as the 18 point canvas:
14 ct needlepoint canvas dark

Nice coverage by the #16 Braid and the 1/16″ Ribbon.

The last material I tried was 7 count plastic canvas.
7 ct plastic canvas whiteI started with the #4 Braid, and here you can see that it, the #8 Braid, the #16 Braid and the 1/16″ Ribbon don’t cover the canvas at all. The Ribbon in cross stitch is enough to cover the plastic canvas grid but leaves the holes completely open.

Here I tried the #32 Braid for the first time. This braid, unlike it’s smaller siblings, does flatten out. It seems to be somewhat hollow in the middle – the closest comparison I can offer is that it’s like stitching with a tiny Chinese finger trap – and it has a bit of spongy give to it. Like using the ribbon, it does require some manipulation to get it to lay flat. Even the #32 Braid in tent stitch doesn’t fully fill all of the holes in the canvas (the photo shows the coverage as being a little more generous than it is in real life). However, the #32 Braid in cross stitch completely covers the canvas and fills the holes.

In the dark…
7 ct plastic canvas dark

the #4 and #8 Braids are barely visible, the #16 braid and 1/16″ ribbon are bright but don’t cover well. The #32 Braid glows great, but the full coverage is only in cross stitch. Here you can see better the difference between the color of the Blueberry Ribbon and the Lemon Lime #16 Braid, and the Tangerine orange of the #32 Braid is clear.

Thus far, this review has been all about using the Kreinik threads. Now here’s how the DMC floss compares with it’s closest Kreinik counterpart.
14 ct aida comparison light

On the left is Kreinik #8 Brain in Grapefruit, and on the right is two strands of DMC E940 Floss. I chose the #8 Braid as it provided the best coverage on 14 count aida, and I chose Grapefruit as it was the closest in color to the near white of the E940.

On the top, I did a few backstitches of varying lengths, and then I stitched six rows of cross stitch. It’s pretty clear to see that when it comes to behaving like regular six strand cotton embroidery floss, DMC has a clear advantage. It is soft and pillowy, whereas the Kreinik Braid has the “crunchy” texture I talked of above. The Kreinik produces a noticeably thicker and more sparkly stitch rather than the lower profile and matte finish of the DMC. The backstitches in DMC lie flat and behave well, and the Kreinik backstitches are a little more unruly.

And how do they glow?
14 ct aida comparison dark 0 seconds

They both glow well, but I’ll give the edge to the Kreinik, especially when it comes to the backstitching.

How well does the glow last over time? Here’s the glow after approximately 30 seconds:
14 ct aida comparison dark 30 seconds later

and again after approximately 60 seconds:
14 ct aida comparison dark after 60 seconds

The two are just about equally effective. Please keep in mind that the glow after a minute is more detectable by the human eye than by my camera. The glow is easily seen for much longer than just one minute!

So, after all this review, what would I use? Well, if the white color of the thread in daylight was fine, and I was doing cross stitch or needlepoint in 14-18 count, I’d use the DMC. It really is that much easier to use in those applications. However, if I wanted the stitching to be a color other than white or I was using plastic canvas, I think the Kreinik would be my choice. I would also use the #8 and larger Kreinik Braids and Ribbons in embroidery as couched threads (you can read more about couching here and here).

The DMC is definitely designed to act like six-strand embroidery floss, whereas the Kreinik is designed for a wider range of applications. How both of them are used is up to your creative talents!

Have you used any of these DMC or Kreinik glow in the dark threads? How did you use them and what are your impressions?

Variegated Floss Comparison Part 2 – DMC and Anchor

This variegated floss comparison Part 2 between DMC and Anchor will help explain the similarities and differences between the two brands. In Part 1, I covered Anchor’s 1200 series where each floss is variations of one color, e.g., fuchsia pink to light pink or from royal blue to light blue. In this Part 2, I’ll go through Anchor’s 1300 series, called their “Multicolors,” most of which really do live up to that name. variegated floss comparison part 2 - anchor 1300 series variegated flosses

I’ll share a brief description and a photo of each Anchor floss with what I determined to be it’s closest DMC counterpart. I’ll also offer a rating between 0 – not different at all to 5 – very different, and also share which Anchor flosses have no DMC counterpart at all.

Anchor 1300 DMC 4145Anchor 1300 and DMC 4145 both include similar shades of brown, but the Anchor is lighter overall and includes a touch of straw yellow in the mix. Difference rating: 3.

[Clicking on the photos will take you to Flickr, where you can take a closer look!]

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1301Anchor 1301 is the second “incomparable” (the first being the lilac purple 1209 from Part 1). This is a lovely mix of pastel pink, yellow, and blue – a bit like looking at mother-of-pearl.

 

 

 

Anchor 1302Anchor 1302 is another “incomparable.” Anchor named this floss “Marble” for good reason – it is a great mix of white, pink, peach and a bit of grey – like a pretty piece of marble stone.

 

 

Anchor 1303 DMC 4073Anchor 1303 has two DMC counterparts, DMC 4075 and 4073. 4075 is much more gold than the creamy yellow tones in the Anchor, and 4073 gets darker than the Anchor as well. Difference rating: 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1304 DMC 4070 4080Anchor 1304 also has two DMC counterparts, DMC 4070 and 4080. They’re all gorgeous and they all look like daffodil fields to me, however 4080 is definitely lighter than the other two and it’s shades of green are much more subtle. 4070 has more green where the yellow in the Anchor is more prominent and tends toward orange at it’s extreme. Difference rating: 3.

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1305 DMC 4126Anchor 1305‘s closest counterpart is DMC 4126. The DMC includes some pink where the Anchor does not, and the Anchor has more yellow than the DMC. Difference rating: 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1315 DMC 4120Anchor 1315 and DMC 4120 have orange in common, but that’s about it. The DMC is all in shades of orange and orange pink where the Anchor includes true pink and yellow. Difference rating: 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1316 DMC 4200 4205Anchor 1316 has two counterparts, DMC 4200 and 4205, and all are gorgeous fiery reds. Where 4205 is red and purple and 4200 has slightly lighter reds mixed with some pink and orange, the Anchor includes raspberry, red, orange, and gold. Difference rating: 3.

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1318 DMC 4090Anchor 1318‘s closest counterpart is DMC 4090. While they are both peachy, the DMC is definitely more yellow compared to the pink in the Anchor floss. Difference rating: 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1320 4260Anchor 1320 and DMC 4260 both include pink and purple. The DMC includes darker purple where the Anchor includes a hint of peach in it’s pinks. Difference rating: 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1325 4215Anchor 1325 and DMC 4215 are both gorgeous combinations of blue, purple, and pink. While the blue is very similar, the pink in the DMC is much more subtle than the bright fuchsia in the Anchor. Difference rating: 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1335Anchor 1335 is the fourth of the eight “incomparables.” This variegated floss is a very fun combination of pink, purple, aqua blue, and lemon (almost fluorescent) yellow. I can’t wait to see this floss in a project!

 

 

Anchor 1342 4020Anchor 1342 and DMC 4020 share a similar light blue, but the Anchor is basically shades of that one blue only. The DMC includes other shades of blue and is more water-like than it’s sky-like counterpart. Difference rating: 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1344 DMC 4214Anchor 1344‘s closest counterpart is DMC 4214. The DMC has much more pink and the blue at one extreme is much darker than the Anchor. The blue in the Anchor also is a bit closer to aqua. These are both really pretty flosses, but they definitely are different. Difference rating: 4.

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1345 1347 DMC 4050 4030Anchor 1345 and Anchor 1347 are in in a unique situation with DMC 4050 and DMC 4030. With it’s combination of bright green, aqua, and blue, 1345 looks like a great combination of 4050 and 4030. 1347, with it’s deep blue and light aqua extremes, just seems like the last step in this gorgeous four-floss progression. Difference rating for 1345: 3, for 1347: 4.

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1349 DMC 4240Anchor 1349 is pretty much just a lighter version of DMC 4240. Difference rating: 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1352Anchor 1352 is our fifth “incomparable.” With it’s minty to celery green shades, it’s a very pretty combination of green.

 

 

 

Anchor 1353 DMC 4065Anchor 1353‘s closest counterpart is DMC 4065. However, the DMC is green with some grey and peach colors where the Anchor is slightly brighter greens and buttery yellows. Difference rating: 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1355Anchor 1355 is another “incomparable” – this time a lovely mix of dark blue and yellow-greens.

 

 

 

Anchor 1360Anchor 1360 may be my favorite of all these “incomparable” Anchor flosses. It’s really what I would consider to be closest to a rainbow with it’s variegated raspberry, gold, green, blue, and purple.

 

 

Anchor 1375Also very cool is Anchor 1375, the eighth and final “incomparable.” Anchor has named this floss “Harlequin” and it’s easy to see why with it’s variegated pink, gold, green, and blue.

 

 

 

Anchor 1385 DMC 4128Anchor 1385 has it’s closest counterpart in DMC 4128. The DMC is mostly shades of one color where the Anchor includes taupe, rust, peach, and dark gold. Difference rating: 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1390 DMC 4140The last Multicolor is Anchor 1390, who’s closest counterpart is DMC 4140. These are two very different flosses as the DMC is warmer tones of brown with a hint of pink, whereas the Anchor is in cooler shades of chocolate, gold, taupe, and maybe a touch of purple in the mix. Difference rating: 5.

 

 

 

 

 

All DMC Variegated FlossThat wraps up this variegated floss comparison between Anchor and DMC. One thing to keep in mind is that DMC has 76 variegated flosses compared to Anchor’s 40, so all of the DMC flosses did not appear in this comparison. In fact, DMC has 43 variegated flosses that have no comparable match in the Anchor line.

Don’t forget, this Part 2 post covered just Anchor’s 1300 “Multicolor” series of variegated flosses. Please check out Part 1 that covered Anchor’s 1200 series of flosses as well!Anchor 1200 series

 

A footnote on this post: In order to get the full effect of the differences and similarities of the flosses, you really need to see them for yourself in different types of lighting. I’ve tried my best to capture the subtleties of the color differences, but cameras can’t always do the same job as the human eye. Also, keep in mind that all of the various computer monitors and screens will display colors differently.

Variegated Floss Comparison – DMC and Anchor Part 1

This variegated floss comparison between DMC and Anchor will help explain the similarities and differences between the two brands. I’ve carried all 76 colors of DMC variegated floss in my Etsy shop since mid-2013. They are absolutely gorgeous but most big brick-and-mortar craft shops don’t stock them. All DMC Variegated Floss

I recently decided to add the 40 colors of Anchor variegated floss to my shop as these are even more difficult to find, either in person or online. I was a bit worried that there might be a lot of too-similar color combinations between the DMC and Anchor lines, but I’m happy to say that my concern was unnecessary. While there are a few overlaps, the vast majority of the Anchor flosses are quite different from DMC’s.

I’ll share a description and a photo of each Anchor floss with what I determined to be it’s closest DMC counterpart. I’ll also offer a rating between 0 – not different at all to 5 – very different, and also share which Anchor flosses have no DMC counterpart at all.

This first post will cover Anchor’s 1200 series flosses. Each of these flosses are variations of one color, e.g., fuchsia pink to light pink or from royal blue to light blue. variegated floss comparison - anchor 1200 series variegated flosses multicolors

Anchor 1201 DMC 4180Anchor 1201 and DMC 4180 are very similar. The Anchor floss swings a tiny touch lighter and darker than it’s slightly more subtle DMC neighbor. I’d give these two a difference rating of 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1202 DMC 4110 4190Anchor 1202‘s nearest counterparts are DMC 4110 and 4190. Anchor calls this floss “Peach Glow,” but to my eye it appears more like a pretty pink grapefruit color. The Anchor floss is in shades of just the one pink, while the two DMC flosses have oranges and peaches in their mix. I’m going to give this floss a difference rating of 3.

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1203 DMC 106Anchor 1203 and DMC 106 are quite different. As the DMC leans toward orange while the Anchor is in shades of cherry red, I’ll give this a difference rating of 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1204 DMC 107Anchor 1204 and DMC 107 are also pretty different. Although they both have similar shades of pink, the Anchor floss sways from red to a very pale pink while the DMC is all in shades of pink. Difference rating: 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1206 DMC 115Anchor 1206 and DMC 115 are virtually identical, with the brighter side of the Anchor floss being a fractionally lighter red than the DMC. Difference rating: 0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1207 DMC 48Anchor 1207 and DMC 48 are also very similar. This time the color swings in the Anchor are a tiny bit less extreme than the DMC. Difference rating: 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1209Anchor 1209 is the first of the “incomparables.” It is in gorgeous shades of lilac purple. DMC has lovely purples but not one quite like this.

 

 

 

Anchor 1210 DMC 121Anchor 1210 and DMC 121 are nearly identical. Is it also a coincidence that their numbers are nearly the same as well? Difference rating: 0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1211 DMC 4237Anchor 1211‘s closest match is DMC 4237. While they share a similar medium blue, the DMC definitely includes darker shades of blue. Difference rating: 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1212 DMC 67Anchor 1212 and DMC 67 are quite similar, the main difference being that the Anchor floss is just a touch darker. However, DMC no longer manufactures 67, so 1212 is the way to go! Difference rating: 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1213 DMC 125Anchor 1213 and DMC 125 are very similar shades of green, but the Anchor floss has a little more green and the DMC has a little more white. Difference rating: 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1215 DMC 92Anchor 1215 and DMC 92 are totally different. In fact, I’d say that 1215 is closer to 1213 than the more forest green of DMC 92. Regardless, 1215 is definitely a different green than it’s more minty neighbor 1213. Difference rating: 5

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1216 94Anchor 1216 and DMC 94 are very similar shades of green, but the color swings in the DMC tend a little more extreme to dark and light. Difference rating: 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1217 DMC 4077Anchor 1217 and DMC 4077 are nearly identical, with the DMC maybe a hair brighter. Difference rating: 0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1218 DMC 105Anchor 1218 and DMC 105 are somewhat similar. The Anchor is warmer in tone than the DMC’s chocolate brown. Difference rating: 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchor 1220 DMC 51Anchor 1220 and DMC 51, while both shades of similar orange, are quite different. Anchor’s name for 1220 is “Butterscotch,” but I think “Orange Creamsicle” might be more appropriate. The Anchor is all in shades of one color, while the DMC has more depth of colors ranging from deep orange red to gold to light peach. Difference rating: 3.

 

 

 

 

 

That wraps up the 1200 series of Anchor variegated flosses – roughly the equivalent of the original 16 DMC variegated flosses that preceded the 60 newer Color Variations flosses.

In my next variegated floss comparison post I’ll move on to the 1300 series, Anchor’s “Multicolors,” which really do live up to that name. There are seven gorgeous multicolors that have no DMC equivalent – you’ll have to check them out. Here’s a peek!variegated floss comparison - anchor 1300 series variegated flosses

A footnote on this post: In order to get the full effect of the differences and similarities of the flosses, you really need to see them for yourself in different types of lighting. I’ve tried my best to capture the subtleties of the color differences, but cameras can’t always do the same job as the human eye. Also, keep in mind that all of the various computer monitors and screens will display colors differently.

[Update: here is Part 2]

Variegated Floss Projects Part 6

Welcome to Variegated Floss Projects Part 6!

Part 1 of the series covered variegated floss projects in the needlework areas of cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery. Part 2 had variegated floss in plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-pom projects. Part 3 explored variegated floss projects in jewelry and scrapbooking. Part 4 looked at variegated projects in knitting, spinning and dyeing. Part 5 featured crochet, lace and tatting, and basketweaving, and this Part 6 will showcase all kinds of crafts in furniture, seasonal projects, string art, and home decor!

variegated floss projects part 6 - DMC 4126

As I said in in Part 1, variegated flosses and yarns are beautiful and they make every piece that uses them unique. No two people will ever use the exact same length of a floss in the same way, thus every project will have a different result! This makes creating with them an exercise in curiosity and a fun adventure.

Variegated Floss Projects in Furniture

So by now we’ve all probably seen a tutorial or six on how to make small yarn or string balls with balloons. This light string DIY by Kimberly at KandyKreations is a good place to start…

 

 

 

and now take that to a much bigger scale and use variegated thread, and you get this beauty! This example, seen on CargoCollective, is from a student art sale,

 

 

 

dsc_8303and CraftyNest has a tutorial to make your own. This example uses 20 lb. weight hemp string as a way to recreate a similar (and expensive) product from a retail shop. I imagine similar methods were used to create the student version above.

 

 

Bonbon by Ana KrasA completely different look for string wrapped pendant lamps is achieved in these unique pieces featured on ManMadeDIY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are some great ideas for table lampshades as well! First, there’s this yarn lampshade tutorial at LanaRed. Imagine this in a colorway of cool greys and blues…

 

 

 

 

home077Then there’s this lampshade idea from NorthernCottage. They’ve spaced their string rather loosely around the drum, but you can see how easily the spacing could be tightened up to create a more opaque shade.

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 6 - string wrapped lampshadeIf, rather than recreating an entire lampshade, you would just like to embellish an existing shade, there is this fun tutorial from LandofNod (might I suggest DMC 4069?).

 

 

 

 

 

 

It turns out that artists have been wrapping thread on furniture for a while. An interesting example of that are these Spool Chairs by Keisuke Fujiwara as seen on DeZeen. These chairs feature 12 different colors of thread to achieve this variegated result.

 

 

 

Maskcara Office Makeover vintagerevivals.com-11To recreate this look there is this clever tutorial from Mandi at VintageRevivals on how to embellish furniture with embroidery thread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

anton alvarez: the craft of thread wrappingTake this to the extreme, and you have the art of Anton Alvarez. His invention, the Thread-Wrapping Machine, makes it possible for him to actually join the furniture using glue-soaked threads. It’s fascinating, and you can see more information on the machine and his process at Artsy.

 

 

Variegated Floss Projects in Seasonal Crafts

Embroidery Floss Eggs in BowlSimilar to the light string made with yarn at the top of this post, this DIY by Janel at LifeasMom uses balloons. However, Janel uses variegated embroidery floss rather than yarn to create these slightly more refined Easter egg shapes.

 

 

variegated floss projects part 6 - martha stewart thread wrapped easter eggsThen leave it to Martha Stewart to create the DIY for these stunning Easter eggs using Styrofoam egg forms and perle cotton thread along with some millinery flowers, ribbons, and decorative trim.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another fun Spring craft would be to make these thrifty “tiny fairy dolls” with this DIY from Angie at TreasuresforTots. I like how she used variegated floss for the hair and some of the other features on the dolls.

 

 

Nikki at EverythingUndertheMoon has this super simple DIY for creating these Autumn pumpkins with variegated yarn. These are fun and a little more crafty than displaying plain foam pumpkins!

 

 

The tutorial for these cute and decorative variegated yarn Christmas trees comes from PrettyDitty (I like how she gives a musical suggestion for making these),

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and Pam at GingerbreadSnoflakes has the instructions to make these fun star ornaments. I can see some how variegated yarns could incorporate into these nicely!

 

 

 

how to make an easy winter yarn wreath with snowflakes and snowballs The last winter holiday project I’ll feature here is this pretty Snowflake & Snowball Winter Yarn Wreath by Sharon on CraftsnCoffee. She says this can be made in less than two hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variegated Floss Projects in Home Decor

Super pretty spring yarn wreath made fast with a thick yarn. Sharon really knows her way around a wreath, as you can see in the DIY for this summery example also on CraftsnCoffee. She used a gorgeous variegated yarn for this…

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, I love the striking simplicity and beauty of this idea from Laura at DuoFiberworks that combines grape vines and embroidery floss in such a unique way.

 

 

 

yarn wrapped frames behind branchCentsationalGirl has a DIY on how to create these elegant yarn-wrapped frames,

 

 

 

 

 

 

while Sarah at CrannyandMe has this tutorial on creating yarn-wrapped letters,

 

 

 

Paper Mache Yarn Bowland CarolynsHomework has simple instructions to make this yarn bowl. While these three projects look great in their solid color yarns, in the right circumstances, variegated yarns could really make these projects pop!

 

Take, for example, the tutorial to make these yarn wrapped bottles by Angelique at DIYSweetnSimple. A solid color yarn would look fine, of course, but these bottles are distinctive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even the kids’ versions (also from DIYSweetnSimple) look fun and fabulous!

 

 

 

 

I found this outstanding idea on BeautifulWindowDisplays from an Anthropologie store – each brick is wrapped in some kind of string or floss!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For decorating the home it would be more practical to wrap floss around brick-sized pieces of red and brown foam core or cardboard rather than full-on heavy bricks. Either way, the concept is just striking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variegated Floss Projects in String Art

There are a ton of string art projects out there, so I will only show you a few of my favorite tutorials, all of which could look great in variegated flosses. First is this “Heart in Ohio” DIY project on TheHarpsterHome. This particular example is for Ohio, but this could easily be modified for any other geographical mass in the world (Heart in Moldova, anyone?).

 

Another favorite is this Dream tutorial by Dina at HoneyandFitz. This is very, very fun, and I’m wondering how well that cork held up over time.

 

 

the red thread string art completeI also like this DIY by Lisa Tilse at TutsPlus Crafts.

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 6 - rustic heart strings sting artKristi Mauws of Etsy shop RusticHeartStrings has her own unique style of string art. And I’m proud to say this piece, custom made for her client, was made with floss that she purchased from me (DMC 4068 – Camouflage)!

 

 

created at: 04/21/2012To wrap up this series of posts, I wanted to share pieces from a few artists who work in thread and yarn. First, Martin at ManMadeDIY shared this installation by Lee Baker that uses nearly 33,000 feet of colorful yarn. The link also has a video showing some of how it was set up.

 

portraits made from single thread wrapped around nails kumi yamashita (3)Next are these amazing portraits by Kumi Yamashita as seen on TwistedSifter that use thousands of brads and a single black thread. Stunning!

 

 

 

 

 

Colored Thread Installations by Gabriel Dawe thread installation color And finally, I am a big fan of Gabriel Dawe’s installations. He uses only normal sewing thread to create his translucent works. Take a look at his website to see more of his fascinating installations.

 

 

That luminescent art wraps up this Variegated Floss Projects Part 6! Are there any more examples in these crafty categories of furniture, seasonal crafts, decor, and string art that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you check out the whole series! Part 1 featured cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroideryPart 2 had plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-pomsPart 3 covered jewelry and scrapbooking, Part 4 had knitting, spinning and dyeing, and weaving, and Part 5 had projects in crochet, lace and tatting, and basketweaving.

If you have enjoyed this series, you may want to check out my two other series to date – my four-part series on hexagon crafts and my six-part series on water-themed crafts!

Thanks, and happy crafting!

Variegated Floss Projects Part 5

Welcome to Variegated Floss Projects Part 5! In this six-part series I’m sharing a bunch of ways to use variegated floss in craft projects ranging from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, and home decor.

Part 1 of the series covered variegated floss projects in the needlework areas of cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery. Part 2 had variegated floss in plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-pom projects. Part 3 explored variegated floss projects in jewelry and scrapbooking. Part 4 looked at variegated projects in knitting, spinning and dyeing, and weaving, and this Part 5 will feature crochet, lace and tatting, and basketweaving!variegated floss projects part 5 - DMC 4120

As I said in in Part 1, variegated flosses and yarns are beautiful and they make every piece that uses them unique. No two people will ever use the exact same length of a floss in the same way, thus every project will have a different result! This makes creating with them an exercise in curiosity and a fun adventure.

Variegated Yarn Projects in Crochet

To start off, variegated yarns can present some interesting challenges. Jennifer at FiberFlux offers some great tips and techniques for working with these beautiful yarns, as well as a number of knit and crochet projects that look outstanding in variegated yarns.

 

 

 

 

There is more good information about what to do (and maybe more importantly what NOT to do) when working with variegated yarns in this post on About.com Crochet by Amy Solovay. This potholder is one of her examples of what NOT to do.

 

 

 

journbig 003There are a million blanket and afghan patterns that look great using variegated yarns. One of the more unique examples I found is this fun and scrappy granny square afghan by Robin Meade at LifeInColor.

 

 

Another unique design is in this octagonal blanket by Monika Rose. In an earlier post, she has more links to the pattern (by Red Heart) and information on the yarns she used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - basketweave crochet pillowMichael Sellick at TheCrochetCrowd has the pattern and video tutorials to make this fun basketweave pillow using two different types of variegated yarn.

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - crochet hat and scarfJust like afghans, there are a million ways to use variegated yarn in hats and scarves. This free pattern available on About.com looks like a great place to get started with variegated yarn in crochet,

 

 

 

 

 

Precious_cowl__3_small2while this Precious Cowl pattern by Sophie Gelfi Designs on Ravelry, gorgeous in the variegated yarns you see here, is probably better suited for more experienced crafters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - crochet potholder pastelUnlike her craft fail above, Amy Solovay has some successful potholder patterns out on About.com Crochet. This Shades of Spring is nice in pastels,

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - crochet potholder watercolorand this Watercolor potholder pattern uses five different variegated yarns!

 

 

 

 

 

teacher giftsI just love these very fun washcloths that were made as part of a teacher thank you by Julie-K. This post on her Kundhi blog has the link to the free Ravelry pattern.

 

 

 

Who can resist these amazingly adorable crocodile baby booties? The ones seen here are from BumbleBeeDesigns, and links to patterns and tutorials to make your own (for babies, children, and adults!) can be found in this post on Examiner.com.

 

 

Granny Square Necklace - 3I have more examples of using variegated floss in crochet to make jewelry in the third post in this series, but I thought this cute granny square necklace on TheHookandI looked perfect right here.

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - crochet hobo bagCrochet bags and purses look terrific in variegated yarns! Examples include this free Hobo Bag pattern by Red Heart Yarn on FaveCrafts,

 

 

 

 

 

 

this granny square purse by Dawn Sparks,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

this Dynamite Market Bag pattern by Jamie on CrochetDynamite,

 

 

 

 

 

and this Starling Handbag pattern by Alice at her FutureGirl blog.

 

 

 

 

Crochet Pattern - Big Crochet BasketWhile this basket pattern on ZoomYummy wasn’t crocheted in variegated yarns, I can only imagine how great it would look with some Noro yarns, perhaps?

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - crochet conch shellConnie at MiscFinds4U reviewed this free conch shell pattern from Joann.com. Her experience with the project was that she used a variegated yarn that complimented the shape, but she couldn’t get the stitches quite right (use this link to see the pattern on Joann.com). I think her project turned out great nonetheless!

 

Crocheted Layered flower with button centerThere’s a world of crochet flowers out there. I spied this lovely pattern that uses variegated yarn at CreativeJewishMom,

 

 

 

 

and this outstanding board on Pinterest, curated by Kay Kutchenriter, is full of all kinds of gorgeous crochet flowery goodness!variegated floss projects part 5 - pinterest crochet flower board

I like how Monika Rose used variegated yarns in this mandala project,

 

 

 

 

 

and I’m impressed with the variety of circular and mandala type projects that are available. This Pinterest board by Annoo Crochet is FULL of inspiration and patterns.

variegated floss projects part 5 - pinterest crochet mandalas

One of my most exciting finds for the this whole series is this most excellent “Light Carpet” as seen on dutchDZINE. It combines a flexible LED light string and a rope rug in such an ingenious way. Imagine this with some gorgeous variegated fibers in a rug, wall art, made into a basket – the possibilities are nearly endless!

Variegated Floss Projects in Lace and Tatting

Rainbow SnowflakeVariegated thread and tatting compliment each other so naturally. This snowflake project

 

 

 

 

 

Bookmark Exchangeand these bookmarks by Jeff Hamilton of Bridge City Tatting,

 

 

 

Tatted flower hair clipsas well as these hair clips

 

 

 

 

 

Shamrockand this subtly shaded shamrock pendant by Marilee Rockley of YarnPlayer are some great examples of how tatting and variegated threads can work together. As well as her own blog, YarnPlayer has some good links to tatting websites and dyeing websites, and her Flickr feed has many more gorgeous pieces of her tatting and her stunning hand-dyed threads.

 

Needle Lace Skeleton LeavesOne other really interesting link I found is a detailed tutorial on how to make these really lovely needle lace skeleton leaves by Kris on HowDidYouMakeThis? The tutorial calls for normal DMC six strand floss, and in these solid colors they’re beautiful. I imagine they would also be beautiful crafted from some variegated colors,

DMC Variegated 6 Strand Floss 4070 Autumn Leavespossibly DMC 4070 (Autumn Leaves)

 

 

 

 

DMC Variegated 6 Strand Floss 4122 Fall HarvestDMC 4122 (Fall Harvest)

 

 

 

 

DMC Variegated 6 Strand Floss 4020 Tropical Watersor even a non-earth tone like DMC 4020 (Tropical Waters)? Yummy…

 

 

 

 

Variegated Floss Projects in Basketweaving

Many basket weaving projects use solid color materials in order to achieve certain graphic patterns, but I was able to find a few examples of baskets that use variegated yarns. The first two come from the same source, the resourceful Adrianne at HappyHourProjects. This Woven Yarn basket tutorial has some solid instructions on how to make a coiled basket with simple supplies. In this example, you can see how the yarn colors pooled in interesting patterns.

Her Heart Shaped Yarn Basket is another great tutorial, and is a much quicker project than the one above. Once again, she gives the pattern and instructions to make this fun basket from very basic supplies. In this basket, you can see that the colors didn’t pool at all.

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - variegated thread coiled basketFinally, I spied this post of coiled baskets made by a talented group of 7th and 8th graders. I’m partial to this one – what a fun combination of colors!

 

 

 

 

That wraps up this Variegated Floss Projects Part 5! Are there any more examples in these crafty categories of crochet, lace and tatting, and basketweaving that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you check out Part 1 which featured cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroideryPart 2 which had plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-poms, Part 3 which had projects in jewelry and scrapbooking, and Part 4 which had projects in knitting, spinning and dyeing, and weaving. Stay tuned for the finale of this series covering furniture, seasonal projects, string art, and home decor!

Update: Here is Part 6

Five Tutorials I Would Like to Try

link-love-icon250Following Diane and Tammy’s Link Love mission, today I’m sharing five tutorials I would like to try!

 

 

 

 

 

Chevron Scarf#1 Jody McKinley’s Chevron Scarf pattern on her JavaJem blog. I also featured this project in my recent post on variegated yarn projects. I just love how the six different colorways of Koigu combine so cheerfully. My biggest hesitation on this one is that I have never knit a single stitch. I’m thinking I’d have to tackle some much simpler scarves before attempting this beauty.

 

 

 

 

#2 This DIY Chevron Wall Art project by Emma of MyBojuLife. There’s lots of paint chip art out there, but this one grabbed my particular attention. I have a lot of leftover paint chips from when we remodeled one of our bathrooms, and this looks to be a quick and fun project.

 

 

#3 Rachel at LinesAcross has this tutorial on how to make beads from scraps of paper and leftover embroidery floss. This tutorial I also featured in a previous post on using flosses in jewelry. It’s a brilliant way to be creative and thrifty at the same time, and I think I have an idea of how to use these beads in projects other than jewelry…

 

 

 

#4 I love the concept behind this baby mobile by Alisa Burke guest posting at SewMamaSew. Once again, I featured this project in a fun previous post about water-themed crafts. With a minimum of planning and expense, she created this striking project. I don’t know any babies who are currently in need of a mobile, but I know some little boys who might like to help me make them a cool door curtain…

 

 

 

 

Picture of Rain Gutter Garden Planter Troughs#5 Last of the five tutorials I would like to try is some variation of this Rain Gutter Garden Planter tutorial on Instructables. Our house is on an incredibly tiny lot, and planters are our only option. Using rain gutters is an economical way to go vertical without creating too much weight. We’re thinking that some (shallow-rooted) herbs and lettuces might be a nice place to start!

My previous posts in the Link Love Mission include “Five Books I Made Something From,” “Five Posts I’m Proud of Creating” (note: from early in the history of this blog), “Five Favorite Projects for DIY Crafty Goodness,” and my favorite and most important: “Five Blogs that Make Me Laugh.”

Variegated Floss Projects Part 4

Welcome to Variegated Floss Projects Part 4! In this six-part series I’m sharing a bunch of ways to use variegated floss in craft projects ranging from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, and home decor.

Part 1 of the series covered variegated floss projects in the needlework areas of cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery. Part 2 had variegated floss in plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-pom projects. Part 3 explored variegated floss projects in jewelry and scrapbooking, and this Part 4 will look at variegated projects in knitting, spinning and dyeing, and weaving!

variegated floss projects part 4 - DMC 4030

As I said in in Part 1, variegated flosses are beautiful and they make every piece that uses them unique. No two people will ever use the exact same length of a floss in the same way, thus every project will have a different result! This makes creating with them an exercise in curiosity and a fun adventure.

Variegated Yarn Projects in Knitting

Knitting with variegated yarns can present some choices and challenges, and Crystal at VivereNelColore talks about her experiences with them (like this darling Toddler Tee),

 

 

 

 

and at CrafterNews, a helpful guest post by Wendy D. Johnson explores the question “To Variegate or Not to Variegate?”

 

 

 

Slipped StitchLinda at PlanetShoup offers a list of “Practical Uses for Variegated Yarns and Threads,” and Sarah at IntrepidTulips has a list of “Knitting Stitches to Show Off Variegated Yarn.” The sock you see here is in slip stitch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 4 - knit cowlNow on to some real, live, gorgeous projects that use variegated yarns. I have to say I adore the fantastic combination of color and texture in this cowl. The Weinstock pattern is by Kerrie James of dyod*Studio and available on Craftsy.

 

 

Then there are a world of scarf patterns out there. Some that lend themselves to variegated yarns include this Bennington pattern by Melissa Leapman on Better Homes and Gardens,

 

 

 

 

 

 

this easy and pretty garter-stitched scarf also on Better Homes and Gardens,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drop_stitch_scarf_011106this bright and fun seafoam pattern by Christine at FrazzledKnits (with lots of clarification in the comments),

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chevron ScarfJody McKinley’s super colorful chevron pattern summer scarf,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and this playful puppet scarf for kids (and fun adults) from Better Homes and Gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 4 - socksVariegated yarn can also make some outstanding socks. Anne Hanson of knitspot has her pattern for these basketweave socks available on Craftsy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some blankets and afghans look superb with variegated yarns, and I’ll just share a few favorites. One is this simple and elegant baby blanket by Jordan Reid on her RamshackleGlam blog.

 

 

variegated floss projects part 4 - windowpane afghanAnother is this Windowpane afghan on FreeKnitPatterns. Imagine these blocks in some various colorways of variegated yarns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 4 - drops design over the rainbow projectThe Over the Rainbow blanket pattern by Drops Design is lovely and dramatic,

 

 

 

 

 

 

and I especially like this free pattern for the intriguing Honeycomb Waves blanket on MusingsofaYarnMom. The yarn used here is from Noro, which is so distinctive it really creates it’s own category of projects.

 

 

Beautiful Noro yarn projects can be seen in this Pinterest board by Sonja Sokol. There are some simply stunning pieces here.variegated floss projects part 4 - pinterest board of noro projects

POP blanket by Emily WesselOne of the most fun looking projects on Sonja’s board is this POP!! blanket tutorial by Emily Wessel at TinCanKnits. I love the fun of it and how it can use up some leftover yarns.

 

 

 

Another project that uses up leftovers is this fun blanket WIP by Barbara Delinsky (with a link to the pattern in the comments). It uses both leftover solid and variegated yarns to a bright and colorful result! Also note how she uses knitting as a way to relieve anxiety.

 

 

 

There are a host of good ideas for using up variegated yarn scraps in this post by Beth at SerenityKnits. One of my favorites is this precious treasure pouch she found on Ravelry,

 

 

 

 

 

 

and another favorite from her post are these variegated cotton ditty bags where the colors have pooled into curious shapes.

 

 

 

poolingPlanned pooling is it’s own art and science, as exemplified by this article by Karla Steubing on the TwistCollective blog. She combined her expertise as a professor and statistician and her love of yarn to study how variegated yarns can be manipulated into fascinating patterns such as in this shrug. She has instructions on how to plan your own patterns and co-admins a Pooled Knits group on Ravelry.

 

 

 

 

Variegated Yarn Projects in Spinning and Dyeing

This article on Squidoo is an amazing resource for various methods of spinning and dyeing yarns. Of particular interest is the list that starts about two-thirds down the page called “DIY Hand Dyed Yarn.” The techniques linked there involve crock pots, Kool-Aid ice cubes, handpainting, hot pouring, easter egg dyes, ombre-dyeing, and tie-dyeing, all to produce variegated yarns.

 

 

 

PB050069In addition to that, Stacey at FreshStitches has a tutorial on how to Kool-Aid dye yarns with long colorways, similar to those intriguing Noro yarns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, my green and teal skeinsWhen it comes to spinning variegated yarns, I’ve found a couple of articles of interest. In the first, SeaGreenandSapphire describes their experiment of spinning in two different methods and shows the results.

 

 

The second article is by Lisa D. Jacobs on EnneaCollective and it shares some interesting information on “impressionist color blending using variegated rovings.” The article compares using the colorway shown here vs. a more monochromatic colorway.

 

Variegated Yarn Projects in Weaving

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketConsidering the volume of examples of the more artistic use of variegated yarns in weaving, I’m going to concentrate more on the more crafty side of the genre. For example, this excellent tutorial by Marlene of Wovenflame on weaving using a nail loom. These easy and quick squares can easily be combined into a larger, and what I imagine would be an incredibly warm and sturdy blanket.

 

On a much smaller scale is this tutorial from Sister Diane of CraftyPod while guest posting on Dabbled. These adorable woven sachets perfectly utilize this variegated yarn!

 

 

 

 

This unique combination of handmade paper and weaving makes for great wall art. Victoria Gertenbach has some more information on her TheSillyBooDilly site.

 

 

 

 

Picture of Branch WeavingNext is this interesting branch weaving tutorial by wold360 on Instructables. This example creates a lot of visual interest through using some different weaving patterns. Although this particular example doesn’t use variegated yarns, it’s easy to see that they would look great in the mix!

 

 

crafting with kids 1024x682 Gods Eye Yarn WeavingA simpler version is the classic God’s eye project. This version by Lorelei at CraftsMumShip uses tree branches and variegated yarns,

 

 

where this version on CraftsbyAmanda uses good ol’ craft sticks. I think the button accents are a cute touch!

 

 

 

 

 

wall decor embroidery hoopJust check out this fun finger knitted art tutorial by Hani at Craftionary. It’s inexpensive and colorful – I wonder what a grouping of these on a wall would look like?

 

 

 

Woven Straw Stars Ornaments - Cardboard VersionFrom the ever-crafty and ever-thrifty Pam at GingerbreadSnowflakes comes this cereal box star ornament tutorial. Derived from similar straw ornaments that celebrate the stars, this example is a cheerful combination of solid and variegated yarns.

 

 

Lastly are two flower projects from Knitting-and that use a Clover 24-pin Hanaami loom. There’s a tutorial for six-petal version (that includes directions for making leaves) and a very cheerful eight-petal daisy tutorial.  Take a look!

That wraps up this Variegated Floss Projects Part 4! Are there any more examples in these crafty categories of knitting, dyeing and spinning, and weaving that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you check out Part 1 which featured cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery, Part 2 which had plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-poms, and Part 3 which had projects in jewelry and scrapbooking. Stay tuned for the next two parts of this series covering crochet, wreath making, string art, lace and tatting, and a whole lot more!

Update: Here are Part 5 and Part 6