Updated April 30, 2023.
Stitchers pften are afraid of using hand-dyed and variegated threads in a project, or o I have been told.
Not only is it because of the dreaded diagonal stripe problem (avoid it by stitching in Continental, learn why in this post) it is also because these threads can seem hard to control (learn about that in this post).
Unlike many stitchers who reserve these threads only for geometrics, I use them often, and instead of solid cotton and silk floss. Even so, problems can occur. Joni Stevenson has a lovely post discussing the problems that can occur when using these threads and her solutions.
To her suggestions, I’d like to add a couple.
- If you are making something symmetrical where the overdye is used on all four sides, use two different lengths of your overdye, pairing the same thread on opposite sides. The design will continue to look symmetrical.
- With overdyed floss or stranded silk that is shades of one color, reverse the direction of half the strands. This evens out the color nicely.
- If using two strands of a three-strand thread such as Watercolours, put aside the third strand for use in another project.
- As much as possible, make the beginning end of your new thread match the ending of the last thread; this will make color changes gradual.
Using techniques like these will make variegated threads your favorites too.