Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Space-dyed fibre addict

So I'm a bead junkie since way back by now, especially when it comes to seed bead colours -- Gotta Catch 'Em All! -- and soon I became a copper junkie (though it's more base metals in general now). Then I got back into embroidery and drooled over every conceivable embroidery thread shade and type. I'm as addicted to embroidery threads as to beads now! And more specifically, I've recently become crazy about space-dyed or variegated fibres of all sorts. Preferably hand dyed.

Don't ask me why because I often end up not using them very often or, when I do, not using them in a way that specifically shows off the space-dyed effect particularly well. But I still can't help to drool over it. Guess it's the lovely colour combos all in one thread that does it. It's an instant colour palette inspiration. Maybe it's also because these threads are less common, more unique (especially the hand-dyed ones), or because they have more depth, the blending hues making them more attractive than the usual uniformly coloured embroidery threads. And maybe can add another thing to it as well: the fun effect you can get when beading with ombré or variegated/space-dyed stringing materials, something I've written about here.

It's not a totally new addiction -- I've shown tendencies in post like Embroidery threads for Christmas and More yarn. Not to mention One offs sorted -- and why mixed skeins are a fab challenge. And it's evident in this pinboard too. Space-dyed fibres also make me talk to myself as you can see here and here. But this time I've almost outdone myself: not being able to resist a 10 % off offer, I bought more. Heavy linen thread, matte 6-ply fine cotton, 12-strand silk, viscose gimp, braided silk and even a new mixed skein (If you don't know what that is, see photo above and the One offs sorted post linked to above). Couldn't stop drooling and just have to get my fix.

(Please don't look at that pic trying to figure out how much I spent on this one order... I'm a tad embarrassed, but at the same time I'm treating myself to some yummy supplies after 10-11 months of living as frugally as possible.)
Don't know how well it shows in the photos, but I just love how matte the 6-ply cotton is. Normally I'd say linen is matte (see fifth skein from the top in the above photo), but this thin thread is even more matte, making the colours feel like chalk or powder. Love it! Only mishap was that I thought the pastel skein was going to be a bit more like silk rods and not as pastel-y as they turned out to be, but the matte finish still makes it a nice buy. And you always need a few different accent colours when embroidering, not all colourways are for big areas. It can still be very useful.

The violet and blue silk cord (third from top) was also a choice I'm very pleased with, especially now that I'm trying to work a little more with blues. It'd be better for jewellery if it was thicker (seller doesn't have any thicker silk cord of this sort), but it still works in both embroidery and jewellery making.

12-ply silk is super soft and fluffy. I've bought a skein before (as seen here) or I'd be over the moon right now, telling you how lovely and beautiful it is. It really invites you to just sit and stroke it. And being silk, it has a nice lustre and makes the colours shine -- though it's of cause not a shiny as, say, filament silk.

Should I say something about the last two threads too? There's the viscose gimp, which turned out to a little too similar to a skein I already have, but with darker maroon and red hues so it'll probably find its use too. And I had to get yet another mixed skein just because it looked so nice in the photos. To be honest, I do prefer the mix of threads in Oliver Twists (top photo) than in Stef Francis' Texture Selection, they're the better choice for the jewellery maker in my opinion, but the colours seduced me. Can you blame me?

But it does mean one thing: now I really have to get a grip and at least start working more with them, not just treat them like eye candy as usual! If nothing else I have to invent a good reason for spending so much money on this...

Anyone else likes variegated/space-dyed threads? Do you have any good tips or suggestions when it comes to working with multi-coloured fibre to share? Or are you maybe in the same stage as me, just beginning to use it?

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