needle and thread...
So, I was asked in a comment on the last post about how many strands of embroidery thread/floss I use, and what kind of needle. Let me start by saying that I sort of just decided one day to try embroidery...didn't look at a book or use a pattern or "learn" how to do it. So, most of what I do comes from my own trial and error.
For thread strands, it varies. Sometimes I use all six, but lately I've been changing it up within each piece. Since the coasters had small-ish characters, some with lots of different lines (considering their size), I never used more than four. So, thick lines were four strands, medium used three, and the thin lines had two. Only for the detail on the acorn top did I drop down to one strand.
Now, needles. When my 90-year-old "aunt" moved apartments, I acquired a lovely sewing basket. It is full of all kinds of delightful notions, and I keep meaning to take pictures. But here is the collection of needles that was in the basket. The really old packaging is my favorite. (18 needles for 15 cents?!?) But the kind that I like to use are the ones that are called tapestry needles. And really, I've been pulling from the folded white paper that my aunt labeled "counted cross stitch needles." I don't do cross stitch, but the needles, I like.
At this size, it's a little hard to see, but click through to flickr, and you'll see that the point is not too pointy, and the eye is nice and big. I tried an "embroidery" needle and it just hurt too much. And I like to use lots of thread and stitch by the light of a TV, so ease of threading is key. This type of needle can be a challenge on some fabrics, but generally I use a semi-loose weave, so it works.
There's my thread and needle thoughts...any habits or tips you'd like to share?
By Mollie Johanson at Wednesday, November 05, 2008