I'm really quite a fan of Pearl Cotton #12. I like the gauge (similar to two strands of stranded cotton), the texture and plenty more about it. To be honest, my use of it thus far has been limited, but there have been plenty of ideas: Needlelace things in stumpwork, parts of freestyle designs that needed a little more texture than stranded cotton provides, as can just about be seen in the streambed sections of this Helen M Stevens' design I used it in back in 2008, and also fine filling stitch work for hardanger, for a start.
The only thing I didn't like about it was how few colours it came in. The first picture above shows the entire of the original Anchor Pearl #12 collection including about a dozen colours that weren't available in the UK and I had to have shipped from Nordic Needle in the States. No proper yellows or oranges, no browns beyond a few beige shades, no grass greens. It was a really limited selection. Even DMC couldn't help much. They had some other colours available, but still no oranges, yellows etc, and a selection of only the same size.
Of course, there were some casualties and the colours shown here in this selection of muted greens, blues, pinks and purples, along with a slightly deeper than vibrant red shade were all retired from the range. I must remember not to use these in anything I might design for sale later on, although DMC still seem to have some comparable hues. Shame about that red, though - Anchor shade 47, as I find it more useful than the brighter 46.
These were the first balls of the new set that I invested in. I chose landscape colours mostly so that I could continue to use them in Helen M Stevens' style pictures, where she represents fields, water and so on in long stitches of twisted silk. This would work well as a substitute thought I.
Of course, me being me and a complete thread-head floss fanatic, I didn't stop there and, two or three hauls later, I found myself with this as a personal collection:
Certainly a much better selection of shades than used to be available! There seem to be about 117 (only 40 in DMC just now) at the moment, and I don't have all of them. There seem to be about 30 I haven't yet bought, but I'm out of space for now, although I could create it within the system I already own. I don't want to need to look for new thread storage solutions as, much as I don't mind filling up the drawers and workbox that I have, I'm not interested in buying more. I have a LOT of thread, and much more could get beyond ridiculous, no? As you can see in this last shot, what I own just now fills the available space nicely, with room for two, three or four more balls at some point.
I have my Pearl Cotton #8 balls in the other cantilever section on the other side of the workbox and those could be rehoused if need be, i.e. if I ever wanted to expand this collection again. For now though, it stays as it is.
What about you? Have you used Pearl Cotton #12? What for? What other uses can you think of for it?
BTW, I won't be doing Stash Sunday posts every week!!
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2015