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Joined: Aug 2006
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How do people handle hanks of pearl cotton? Storage, getting lengths off, etc? I always seem to be untangling tangled masses, even when I open a new hank.

Julie

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Do you mean embroidery thread? When I could use a needle, I would wrap my colors around a paper towel cardboard and tape the ends.

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Hi Mary Ellen -

Pearl Cotton is a special kind of embroidery thread that can't be separated into strands. I'm starting to believe it just hates me or something because I have no problem winding hanks of knitting yarn or regular embroidery thread. Using the paper towel cardboard for wrapping is a good idea - I usually pieces of index card but I really feel like I should be recycling.

Julie

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I actually don't have problems with it. I tend to take the paper off, then hold one end and let it untwist, so I'm left with a "circle" (as it were) of thread. Then I snip the knot holding the two ends together and roll it round a used sewing thread bobbin.

Mary-Ellen - I love your idea of the toilet role holder or paper towel holder for larger types of thread!!

I use a lot of silk, and a normal bobbin leaves it with creases in it, which is why I love used sewing thread bobbins.


Megan McConnell
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Hi Julie,
I just found Bella Online - looks like an interesting place smile
If you look in the store where you buy pearl cotton, you'll see small plastic squares that you can use for wrapping the pearl cotton. They are also good for embroidery floss, although it creases the floss a bit. One skein of pearl cotton can be wrapped around each plastic square and you can label it with the color # and brand. Then look for a flat white plastic box with compartments for lining up all the cards wrapped with thread. Makes a pretty palatte for stitching!

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Barb -

I'm glad you've discovered us! Be sure to check out the rest of the site, not just the forums. I've noticed sometimes people have so much fun in the forums they miss everything else!

Thanks for the tip on the plastic floss holders. I do use those for floss, but they are a little small for my preference for pearl cotton.

I recently saw some photos where it looked like the person had cut the untwisted hank, resulting in pieces about 18" long and then attached the strands with a larks head to a ring. I may try that next time I have a fresh hank, because realistically, I usually cut 18" pieces anyway,

Julie

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If you're going to stitch with shorter lenghts of the pearl cotton - like 18 " - cutting and tying to a ring is perfect! Needlepointers do this naturally. I just long lengths to stitch Japanese temari so don't like to cut up my threads until I know how much I need. Sometimes its a loooonnngggg piece.

It does seem as if a whole skein won't fit on the piece of plastic, but it will stay there - just looks a little fat.

Didn't know there was more to Bella than forums so I'm off to surf!

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Barb -

I've been loath to cut pearl cotton because occasionally I knit or crochet with it. But realistically, it might be worth buying a second hank of any given color when I need longer pieces.

I just realized you wrote the book I've been drooling over every time I go visit my mom (they have it on display at the knitting and gift store), it's beautiful!

Enjoy the rest of the site!

Julie

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um - Julie, the book I wrote is not out yet. In fact, I'm doing a last edit on the page proofs this weekend. It's called Japanese Temari. Hopefully, it will be out this summer (2007).
Sorry - I was busy and didn't check back here for new messages for a while.

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Really? I'd swear I saw something very like the cover photo from your site at the store in my mom's town behind some Temari presented as christmas ornaments in November and December. Someone in the area is into Temari, because my mom got a couple small ones as Christmas gifts.

Maybe it was printed and they are taking pre-orders? In a tourist town any source of winter income helps... Now I want to go see what exactly I saw (though it's probably not there anymore since it's March.)

Julie

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I'm learning alot about book publishing now, too, since I handed over the manuscript. The first thing they did was to shoot the cover photo and start advertising - before we even edited the manuscript! This past week they had another photo shoot and I bet they'll change the cover. The title is slightly different now, too. That's all up to the publisher but I do get some input.
There are several temari books in English with photos of the balls on the cover so it was probably one of those you saw. But if they were taking preorders for Japanese Temari, that would be great!

All of the balls in the book are stitched with pearl cotton. Ha! That's another thing - my editor would not budge on the spelling of "pearl" vs. "perle." I've always spelled it "pearl" and so does the EGA. But she went with "perle." So, I'm trying to relearn!
Barb
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Sorry I haven't been round much the last week - a very hectic week at work.

Good luck with the book Barb! Please let me know when it does come out so that we can promote and review it.

Perle cotton is usuall spelled that way, the use of Pearl for it is one of those Americanism spellings that came about. Both are acceptable usually, but in the international publishing world (especially when it comes to needlework), the original Perle is usually used.

I've always loved the look of temari balls, but have never tried to make one myself. Perhaps, with an expert on the board, I'll give it a gow so that I can run screaming to you with questions.

Like Julie, I find that the plastic bobbins are often too small to hold the whole skein of perle thread - which is probably why I use either toilet rolls or sewing thread bobbins.

But I love the look of all my floss wrapped around bobbins in a box - the colours look so pretty and it really does help in choosing colours!


Megan McConnell
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Funny, I hadn't noticed that the EGA uses the spelling "Pearl." Then again, I've always used a mixture of English spellings and in the early years of my professional career, I worked very closely with several Australians. I actually find myself having to check my writing to make sure that I'm using a consistant spelling for the same word. (Colour and Color are a particular problem for me that way.)

Julie

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Somewhere in the old EGA website, I found a glossary of preferred terms and spellings. Or it may have been something that came from them about writing for their publications. That's where I noticed that they prefer "pearl." It doesn't really matter to me, though, so long as we understand each other smile

Yes, the plastic bobbins are pretty fat with a whole skein of perle on them but I usually go through the thread fairly quickly.

Had a panic today when editing the proof for the book, I found that I had sent them a different colored ball. Luckily the photos are larger than life, so I rushed off to my local thread shop just before it closed and figured out which threads were on the ball they shot in the photo! I certainly now appreciate why I sometimes find errors in books. There is just SO MUCH to double and triple check and then BAM! something you didn't notice before pops up.

I'd be happy to assist any of you in temari. I also love English smocking although I've not done any for a few years.

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As an Australian, I used to worry about using American spelling when writing for Bella.

The years, however, have taught me to spell the way that I know, and then when I get complaints to point out that I'm Australian and that is the correct way to spell!

Fortunately, over the years, the problem has become less of a worry as more and more people over the world take a "world" view of spelling and grammar.

Barb - thank heavens for large photos! And isn't it fortunate that our local thread shops are staffed by fellow enthusiasts, so crazed women comparing threads on actual articles and from pictures just before they close don't raise any eyebrows or cause any problems!

It's one of the reasons I love to patronise these smaller stores rather than the big "chain" stores. The other is because the staff know what they're doing.

A friend of mine recently got a job at our local Spotlight (a huge fabric and craft store) and and a number of us in the area have breathed a sigh of relief that we can actually talk to somebody who knows what they're doing. Unfortunately, she's not allowed to actually sell us anything, but she can advise!


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...you mentioned a "world" view of spelling and grammer. On the package of DMC Perle - note the spelling. French. So, I really don't have a problem with speaking a little French smile and going with "perle" as the spelling for this product.

Yes, local shop owners who are enthusiastic and helpful are great! Fun, too. Sometimes I want a deal so I'll go to a chain store with a coupon but not to ask anything.

Barb

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