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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hearts and threads

Dyeing to try out my own HDT's...Hand Dyed Threads if there is anybody out there still not addicted to these!

I have been asked if I am going to show the threads that I have dyed and what I am going to make with them, so here goes.

I think that it's going to be a case of trial and error to find out the designs they suit. I already know that every HDT will make a stunning Gecko, but tatting isn't all about gecko's.......yes I do know that!!

Decided that something frilly with lots of picots should work and so I decided upon Martha Ess's Scallop Shell Heart from her Book Tat Amore...the book that I discussed at length in previous posts.

First try was in a Flora 20 thread that I have lots of, to work out how much thread it takes. I do my trial dye skeins in 15 meter lengths so that I can decide the ones I really like.

It worked out perfectly within my 15m, but Oh those split chains with picots were a trial! I have avoided them before but now I have to master them. the one on the bottom right is pretty bad but I will get better.
I want to include my mistakes as well as my successes to say...stick at it until you get it right! For every perfect piece published who knows how many not so perfect ones came before it.

On to the HDT's..what colour to try. Here are a few of my first attempts at dyeing.
I started using Dylon Cold Dye that was readily available but soon moved on to Procion MX as used by Yarnplayer and Lady Shuttlemakers the masters.

Giving names to the colours is very evocative, I hope I haven't repeated anybody else's name, I don't want to compete with my masters in any way.
If I get around to it I tat a small butterfly with each skein. Jane's SCMR butterfly takes about a meter which covers most of the colour changes. then I can stick them in my receipe book

Yes I know that is an awful lot of work..nearly as much as preparing them for this blog!! But that is me and the novelty is bound to wear off!!

Here are just 2 more threads that will concern us today.

Back to the hearts at last, I made them in Rose Blush..oops massive mistake in there that I hadn't noticed until I blocked it...way too many small rings on the right how did that escape my notice..must have been dazzled by the colours. This colour selection didn't work well at all for this I don't think.

Next came Turquoise Delight, didn't like this much either..not a scallop colour.

Butterbeer came next (Harry Potter fans will recognise my names..just as I imagined Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice to look like). This one is perfect, finally got those split chains with picots licked!

The final one at the bottom is a redyeing of Rose Blush dyed on a Flora 20 thread in a pale salmon colour...much less pink..but then got too clever and made major mistakes so had to reinvent the pattern as my version. No such thing as a mistake just a new pattern!!

My thoughts on HDT with this pattern were that the heart looked better in the solid colour thread as the design is so clever that varig threads takes from it.

That was until I gave skeins of Pumpkin Juice (you have seen this in Jane's One Pass Edging in my previous post) and the new Rose Blush now renamed Salmon Mousse to my tatting class and the hearts they made are fabulous. They have changed my mind. The colour changes in these two threads are subtle enough not to mask the design.

I am beginning to realise that my favorite HDT are going to have subtle colour changes, but there will of course be vibrant multicoloured ones when I decide what to tat with them...geckos of course!!

Pumpkin Juice is def one to be repeated.



  1. oooh, pretty! I like them all! You make me want to give it a try too.
    Kate :)

  2. I love all your colors! I have Martha's book, and I've oohed and aahed over it, but I haven't taken the plunge... yet! I guess I'll have to get to that!

  3. You have been so busy! They are all wonderful, but I think my favorites are the Rose Blush and Pumpkin Juice. Great names!

  4. How very very pretty! I love the handdyed look. I'm fairly new to tatting, so I'm not up to speed on all the different threads out there. Do you prefer the Flora 20 the most?

  5. That heart pattern is beautiful and I looooooove the "Rose Blush" and "Salmon Mousse" ones - gorgeous!

  6. Well, well have been a busy lady!! Your efforts certainly have been worth it. Your threads are all so nice! It is hard to choose a favorite thread, so I'll just choose them all. The Pumpkin Juice, Butter Beer and the Salmon Mousse are my favorite, and I also like Blackcurrent Mousse and Turquise Delight.

    I have not seen Martha's heart before, it is lovely.

    Have fun with all your HDT's.
    Happy Tatting!

  7. Wow! you certainly have been one very busy lady! Your hand dying is definitely working for you, you must be really pleased.
    Keep on with the split chains, you know the saying, "Practice makes perfect!"

  8. go to short lengths (pun intended)..but they ARE lovely. I guess I'm not one of the HDT addicts yet though I did have great fun dying my own a few years back...still, I have so much thread that I've not begun to use up. LOL! Now...if I could dye color combinations to complement my solids I would be in heaven!
    :-) gina

  9. The hearts are SO BEAUTIFUL and in so many colours! I love the Scallop Shell Heart best. Thanks for showing all the possibilities!


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