This Wednesday I haven’t managed to get much done. You will forgive me I’m sure, as my partner has come to spend half term with me and my time is understandably taken up with cuddling and other delightfully soppy stuff.
I did get a little sewing done, more than it actually looks like. Between Wednesdays I finished sewing the mistletoe leaves and started making french knots in metallic white thread for the berries. So yesterday I started off with about two berries already done. However, I had to unpick and resew them as the metallic thread tangled behind the aida and made several very neat knots which I would have been proud of if they’d been on the right side. I have no idea how I did it.
So, job 1 was cut and unpick my french knots. Job 2 was finish them off with some fresh thread. When it comes to french knots, I never seem to be able to fit in as many as are shown on the pattern, and they’re never as neatly spaced. Does anyone else get this problem?
When I was half way through the knots, I had to park my thread as I’d realised I’d missed out two backstitches between the top and second mistletoe leaf. Once I’d finished the stitches off, I carried on with the french knots. I breathed a sigh of relief with the last one – finished! Or so I thought.
I never realised how much I hate working with metallic threads until I started this project. These days I hate them more with every stitching session on this project.
Okay, so they look absolutely lovely. But they are such a pain! I don’t know the science behind metallic threads, but they appear to be made up of a combination of materials – a thin, supple, almost clear thread, with more rigid metallic material attached. All very clever, until you realise that these two materials have the potential to separate, and after a few X stitches, do.
I was so proud to have finished a batch of french knots with only one unpick of them. But as I was surveying my work, I realised that the stitches on the top leaf looked like they’d snapped. Had they? No. The metallic thread had separated from the rest. So I had to unpick the stitches and resew the leaf.
It turns out that these threads are pretty lousy for doing any real amount of stitching. After a row of about 10 complete stitches, the constant being pulled through aida damages the thread. And if you have to do half stitches it’s even worse.
After finishing my mistletoe I went on to do the initial stitches for a bauble the other side of the holly.
While I love the look of this project, I think I’m going to avoid projects using metallic thread as a base like the plague in future. Even using Thread Heaven, it’s giving me hell. However, I have only ever used DMC Metallics. Have you had similar experiences with other brands?