A Thread Roadblock

Just as I felt like I was zooming towards a finish, the thread goddess decided to give me a smack upside the head and make me properly humble. What happened?

Well, I had actually backed myself into a bit of a corner with my thread choices. To play up the contrast between a smooth, sinuous snake and the wild, furry rodents, I wanted the obvious: silk. But the silk was expensive, and limited in size, and I only had one spool and didn't want to waste it, so I used a fair bit of six-strand embroidery floss and size 8 perle cotton for the heavier lines. To create the right kind of curving line for the snake's scales, however, needed something with a bit more body and weight than the perle.

Silly me first tried the organic weaving cotton that had worked before. It was too thin and sparse looking. Two strands of perle was too heavy. I did have some rayon gimp that was perfect in every way - weight, sheen, body - except that it was red. So I got out the dyepot and attempted an overdye. Either I had misread my burn test for fibre content, or my dyes were too old and weak, but it didn't work. I just got a slightly darker red.

After a brief episode of self-flaggellation that resulted in nothing more than lost time and lowered morale, I went back to the thread bin and pulled out my single precious 10 m. spool of heavy brown silk. To conserve the thread, I couched it down with sewing cotton. Whaddya know? It seems to work!

I have sent James in to town to Stitcher's Muse, where the lovely and helpful owner Dione has stashed away her last two spools of Cinnamon Brown silk for me. Fie on the expense! My time is worth it, not to mention my mental health.

Full speed ahead!


  1. the things we do for love :)

  2. Your art is always worth it! Hang the expense. Your poor snake deserves the best.

  3. the stuff we do for art, ha

    seriously Heather, you give me a huge mental push forward, to just keep at it!

  4. Anonymous11:31 AM

    atta girl, go for it! looking very smooth and slippery.

  5. I love this project and your dedication to line Heather

  6. couching scales...marvelous idea!


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