If I were wearing a hat I would take it off to Yvonne at West End Embroidery. Throughout the ordering process she has exhibited the patient of a saint as I kept asking for things that weren’t available or changing my mind about the colours I needed. And very reasonable prices too – highly recommended!
One of the problems, as I explained a few posts ago, is that West End Embroidery are pretty much the only online shop in the UK to stock Dinky Dyes perles, and they are phasing them out. Sew & So will order them in for me with no minimum order, but they are quite a bit more expensive; and both Yvonne at W E E and Margaret at Little Thread Shop said they couldn’t just order one or two skeins, which is perfectly understandable. Now for the Guildhouse project I showed you last time I will need about 50 yards of a hand-dyed perle #8; the one I used in the model is Dinky Dyes 095 Airlie which is very pretty and of which I have about half a skein left. Yvonne had only the one left, so on to Plan B – email Margaret as she had said she could order in if I wanted at least three of one shade. Unfortunately Margaret had already placed her order with DD and wouldn’t re-order in time for the course. It was clearly time for Plan C.
Earlier this week I telephoned West End Embroidery to make sure that all the chopping and changing I’d done hadn’t irreparably messed up my order, and she was very patient and helpful; for one thing I learnt that it was not just my imagination that there can be an awful lot of difference between Dinky Dyes dye lots. It doesn’t matter too much in my designs as I tend to use them as the only colour in an otherwise neutral piece (like Douglas, Heather and Round the World), but it’s something to bear in mind. She then suggested that I look at Threadworx perles as a possible alternative.
That was inspired. I do, in fact, use them already (in Scotland the Brave and the coloured version of Lviv), but they are not one of the “default” brands I think of when choosing threads. And there are so many lovely colours! The one I would have used for preference in the Guildhouse piece is the one I used for Lviv. It’s not a direct match for DD Airlie, but it’s got that same multi-coloured pastel look.
Unfortunately it only comes in stranded cotton and perle #5, so I took the Threadworx perle #8 page as my starting point to find a few possibles. The only pastel rainbow one is a bit too sweet for my taste, and Bradley’s Balloons, though fun, is perhaps just a touch too bright. In the end I settled on a colour that isn’t in the least like Dinky Dyes Airlie, but which I think will look quite striking – 1040 Shanghai Nights. I’ll let you know when the threads arrive (and whether I managed to order what I meant to order)!