Friday, 20 December 2013

Threads for Wanaka Embroidery School

When you enrol for any embroidery class, there is often only a small picture to give you an idea of the project.  Sometimes a kit is supplied and each person works on the same project. But when you need to supply your own threads etc, when the list of requirements arrives, then you have to choose a colour or colours to work with.  Often the threads/fabrics stated have a particular name of the manufacturer/dyer.  This is often the case if you are working a project form the embroidery magazines. 
Firstly look at the weight of the threads indicated if possible...
A 2 ply thread can be quite different in weight in each type of thread.  We know the weights of cottons - Perle 5, 8, 12.  Perle 5 is the thickest and Perle 12 the finest, but among different manufacturers and types of threads, there is a distinct difference A 20/2 silk is a lot thivker than a 20/2 tencel, and that makes it confusing
If a thread is a single one it is known as ?/1 I.e. 5/1, 8/1/ 12/1
Likewise if a thread is a 2 ply, it is known as ?/2 i.e. 5/2, 8/2, 12/2
You can also get threads that are a 3 ply so it will be stated like this: ?/3
All of these threads cannot be stranded
Below are threads I have that are the weight of a single strand of stranded Cotton.  These photos are of 20/2 Tencel threads.  They are a lovely thread to use and have slightly more sheen than the cotton

The following photos are 60/2 Silk. 
 Note the different no (60) but these are the same weight as the Tencel threads above

The following threads are a Stranded Silk.  There are 10 strands of the 60/2 weight in each skein
 They can be used on the same way as the stranded cotton we are used to.

Of course you can use the Stranded Cottons.  These are the colours I have dyed.  They are all random dyed so are interesting to use, and give a subtle effect

Another thread of the same weight is Bambu.  It is a soft thread and very easy to use
 I only have these colours available but am looking to obtain more of this thread

 If you would like to have the contrast between dull and shiny in your work, following are the Stranded Rayon Threads I have for sale.  They are 4 strands of Rayon  threads and are available in many hand dyed colours


There are many threads available on the market, but these are a few of the fine ones I have.
They will be available at the Wanaka Embroidery School and I intend to add more colours before then.  You can also contact me at



Friday, 22 November 2013

Wool and Cars seem to Multiply

Boys and their Toys
I thought it was the wool that multiplied around our place, but it seems that cars are also multiplying
This photo shows Bill's Morris 8 on the right.  It is nearly finished and looking good.
On the left is a 1936 4 door Morris 8 belonging to Keith Jeffrey of Winton

Don't they make a great show lined up together

Keith's Morris which is a hard top and four door sparkling in the sunshine


And then David Calvert arrived with his bright red 2 door Morris 8.
Of course Bill had to try it to see if it was the same as his
Bill & David with their cars. 

 And now to the wool.  These are some new skeins of yarn I have been spinning.  They are made up of a mixture of wool, Silk, Alpaca, and  Banana Fibre or Bamboo mixed in to give a lovely handle.
I use these type of yarns for the fingerless gloves and hats.  They have a longer colour changes and make interesting and unique articles.  they are usually less than 100 gm but it is easy to make more of each colourway if required.  These skeins are for sale - from left to right
1: 66 gm $16.50; 2: 58 gm $14.50; 3: 61 gm $15.30; 4: 94 gm $23.50; 5: 61 gm $15.30
Email me at for more details

Showing some of the Embroidery Threads in the studio.  I have heaps of colours, but it is amazing how often I don't always have the right colour for projects.  Makes me experiment to dye specific colours to add to the selection I have available

And more knitting wool

Some of the hand dyed Double Knitting Wool.  I use this wool in the children's garments I make along with plain colours.  See the example if the girls jacket below. It fits a 2 year old and is for sale for $65
 I find the bright colours are very popular

Some of the dyed wool for spinning. 
 I have been dyeing alpaca fleece and am very tempted to spin some of it finely for a
lovely warm scarf


Saturday, 7 September 2013

Stewart Island Embroidery complete

This is the finished embroidery before framing.
The boats, the Secret in the foreground and the Mystery in the back were two of the boats built by Bill's Great Grandfather in the 1800's on Stewart Island. He saw the potential of the fishing and oystering industry of the Island.
The settlers all wondered where he got the money and the timber from to build the boats - "all kauri too" they said. All Ned's boats were Kauri built - and one by one they went off the stocks at Horseshoe Bay.

The Mystery is still around but not in good order.

The Secret was restored but slipped its moorings and went on the rocks about a year ago

Photos of the framed embroidery.  It looked so good with once framed, but with the glass is now hard to get a good photo without reflections
It is now hanging in our museum in Invercargill for the next month in the "Gems of the South" Embroiderers Exhibition.
All the work paid off as I received the prize for the "Looking out to See (Sea)" category at the exhibition.  A real surprise.
As they say things keep changing, and Bill has decided to sell the Mk 5 Jaguar that we have had for 35 years. He is finding it heavy to drive. There is much interest as we have put it on Trade Me for sale.


Friday, 16 August 2013

36 Morris Car & Stewart Island Embroidery


With a lot of the fittings back on the car, it is looking really good now.
In fact it is a source of interest, not only for the guys, but also it is greatly admired by some of the Gore Spinning Group ladies - well I think it is the car they are admiring, and I thought they were coming to the studio...!

More embroidery this week.  I am on a time frame for the ANZEG Southern Region Embroiderers Exhibition.  See more detail on Southern Stitchers website.
My project is Stewart Island. 
Bill's Great Grandfather built several boats on Stewart Island, and I am taking this as a theme
This is the basis for the Island made from hand dyed Silks

I have stitched the bush on the Island and have 3 oysters and a Blue Cod in the sea.
Stitching on the sea is in progress

A close up of the bush stitching.
This has become a bigger project than I had first thought, but it is coming together now.
Our exhibition is in September, so I have to keep working at it.
I will be spinning Milk Fibre next week, so show photos etc then