Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rayon Floss

I finished some more bracelets--these for the kids project--for the YMCA April project. They use mixed beads and memory wire.

On Friday I found a great new project from DMC on their Facebook page (DMCThreads). Both their Facebook page and Blog are well worth following for some great designs and tips. And just plain enthusiasm for stitching.I printed it out and printed the design outline onto Transfer-Eze so I'd be ready to go. It uses DMC's "new" Satin thread. So on Saturday I headed to Jo-Ann's to see if they had this new thread. They did but only in a boxed set. And it wasn't a "new" thread, it was rayon floss.

Now, I have a love/hate relationship with rayon floss. It can be very pretty. It is also a total unrelenting pain to stitch with. But the colors were pretty and I'm a sucker for color and I do like the DMC pattern so I bought the box of floss (six or seven skeins--and I had a coupon to use). And I thought perhaps this would be different.

Nope. First off, the tape sticking the skeins in the box was very sticky and had stuck onto some of the loops of thread at the ends of the skeins--meaning it was a mess even before I got it out of the box. DMC's new long central sleeve helps keep it in line, somewhat. It also makes it impossible to pull the threads out of the skein. sigh... But it still is pretty...Then I made a big mistake. I found a piece of fabric I really wanted to use for the ground, a dark gray almost black. I think it will make the colors pop. But I forgot that the design on the Transfer-Eze is also dark gray and the product is somewhat translucent. It makes the (rather casually drawn) design hard to see.

My choice and I'm sticking with it. Bright light and magnifying glasses help. Practice helps--each time I use rayon again there's a learning curve.

DMC includes a booklet with tips for stitching with rayon floss and, I think, a design or two. Some, like stitch with it damp (even wet) and use short lengths, are essential. Others, like always use three strands for satin stitch, are, well, plain wrong--I'm using one, perhaps two strands, and they fill the design shapes just fine. More would be too much. This stuff is springy and it's hard to control one strand in small areas.

I forgot I was using a water-soluble pattern for my design. Well, I know it will dissolve well when I'm done! So far, my design is intact and if one area dissolves as I stitch it, the remaining parts of the design stay well stuck to the ground fabric. And I can tell, from the dissolved areas and the back that the black does make the colors pop.

So, I'm plugging away and have actually completed a lot since I took this picture. And I'm actually starting to have fun.


coral-seas said...

I thought I'd share with you a couple of things I found helpful when I used this thread.

I used a handmade Japanese needle and half-hitched the thread into the eye. That way it did not keep slipping out.

I also found it much, much easier to control with my fabric in a hoop, and the hoop on a stand and stitching two handed. Keeping tension on this thread, in the same way we do the silk in JE helps to control the bounce. And I used my tekobari to lay the threads.

I find myself applying things I have learnt in JE to much of my other embroidery :-)

Jane said...

I used some Kreink rayon in a design, and got a hint to stretch my floss before stitching. That helped quite a bit, takes out the kinks and the tendency to knot.
Can't wait to see the finished product.