I have a couple of questions and I thought this would be the best place for me and my questions!
Do any of you use a thread conditioner when embroidering? For instance, in counted cross my thread often shreds or tangles or knots because...well, because that is what thread seems to do.
What brand of needle do you all think is best to use for any type of embroidery? I've been doing counted cross lately and bought some DMC blunt needles, but I think the eye in the needle is causing problems with my thread. Am I imaging things?
And finally--I am soooo sick of plastic hoops. They don't last, they warp, and they certainly don't hold my material tight enough. I've been looking into wooden hoops. Does anyone have suggestions?
A big thank you before hand to all you wonderfully talented embroiderers!
I have not figured out to use or not to use a hoop. Sometimes I do sometimes I don't. I have been stitching since I was 6 or 7 years old I did not have a hoop at this age but still got my stitches on the cloth. So I guess because I started stitching with out a hoop I am comfortable with or without a hoop. Without a hoop my hands do not get as tired. And I have more control over holding the fabric. I too use John James needles.
I think that the tendency of hoops in general is perhaps to stretch the fabric, but I prefer the wood to the plastic (there's just no romance to plastic). However, like Joanna, I have just gotten a wooden stand. It's the table top variety, so the table to chair ration has to be right. I think it is superior so far. I have no experience with thread conditioner, but have felt ok with running it through my fingers and feeling which way is which beforehand. --not an expert like these ladies, but rather just an extreme amateur ...
You're not an extreme amateur, Keith. There is no such classication... you just learn, like all of us do, new things every day. We all discover new stitches, new techniques, fabrics or threads.
I bought myself a little spring hoop, this is very handy when working with surface stitches in metallics, attaching beads or couching down threads. Other than that, I work only freehand. I might have to invest in a floor stand sooner or later, the only frame I can "stand". Hoops are just a hindrance for me.
As with thread conditioner, it has nothing to do with the way the thread runs, I don't even care about it. It's rather to protect it and make stitching easier. There are threads, like art silk for example, and many other silks too, that need conditioning to be able to work with them. You can dampen them, but I found this not such a great idea. But then again, there are always different preferences. You also take the static out, and the laying is easier. Thread Heaven also works great on metallics (not real ones please...).
Thread conditioner does help but I think if you change the brand of the tapestry needles you are using it would help. Some brands have a wider eye than others which enables the thread to feed through more easily.
Don't use plastic hoops! Use a wooden one & bind the inner hoop with bias binding. This stops the linen from slipping & keeps a firmer grip on it. Also try using a small screw driver to tighten the screw on the outer hoop - this also keeps the fabric tight. With regards to the thread shredding or becoming fluffy try letting the needle swing every few stitches to rewind the thread, or give it a small twist now & then. Hope this helps you.
That's a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing.
Rose Kauhane said:
Thread conditioner is less meant to get a thread through a needle, but to protect it and keep the static away. I love my John James needles, just perfect for me.
I agree with you on the wooden hoops but think this only is really important when using hoops all the time. When you stitch only occasionally small parts - like laying out metallic, or have no choice but stretch the fabric in a hoop the spring hoops are perfectly okay. I don't like these strange white plastic hoops either, or these strange rubber hoops you can also then use for hanging a picture. I think they get dirty very quickly and leave marks.
I also use Thread Heaven when stitching with stranded cotton. I find it helps keep the tangles to a minimum.
Cathy Snider said:
Teri, I do all sorts of needlework and I do use Thread Heaven especially on perle cottons. I also use primarily
John James petite needles. I've never had a problem with them. As far as hoops go
I have used Morgan Hoops with good success, however if you're looking for a good wood
Hoop, Hartwick hoops are the best! Get the wide hoops and then dress them with cotton
Stripping. I have size 6" and 8" they. Are about 7/8 inch wide. Hopes this helps. As for
Plastic hoops Trish Burr recommends Susan Bates hoops!
I used to use plastic hoops until I discovered stretcher bars. You can get a multitude of sizes, they hold the fabric drum tight from start of project to finish, and there are no ring marks to deal with.
I've just received my Klass & Gessmann "fanny" hoop this week - it's fantastic. I'm going to get a few differently sized hoops for it, and it'll make work so much easier. I'm not a real hoop person, but sometimes the need arises.
As to thread heaven, as far as I know it does not affect the threads at all. It is acid free and non-toxic and protects the thread. Supposedly it also protects from UV and keeps the colours from fading, but I wouldn't dare putting my embroidery in the sun here anyway.