Here is another sample of the hand-dyed Soie Surfine, this time on 40 count. The reindeer on the left is done over 2 with 1 strand. The reindeer on the right is 1 strand over 1 thread. The line below them is done with 2 strands over 2. The needle is a Bohin Tapestry 28 to give scale.

Stitching 1 strand over 2 on 40 count gets you the somewhat sparse look. Over 1 you get a very dense, tightly packed design. To make the work really stand out using 2 strands gives a very stitched design.

The thread used in this sample is more of the original color from Cathe's stash so it's got more color change that our Series #1 colors will have. The reindeer is also from the Quaker Friendship Sampler chart mentioned in previous photo posts.

Carmine Rose Photo

Here are a couple of photos of our first color to be released - Carmine Rose. It is a tone-on-tone thread. This particular color is released as a cut skein but the colors are aligned so you can stitch with one or more strands easily.

We package our thread in a crystal clear zip bag with a hole at the top. You can put your bag on a small ring for easy organization and it keeps this very find thread safe from tangling.

The photos below are with the first two samples of hand-dyed Soie Sufine (neither is available as they were tests). All were stitched by Cathe at Needle In a Haystack on 45 count Lakeside Linens with one strand of hand-dyed Soie Surfine over 2 fabric threads. The needle pictured in the first photo is a #28 Bohin Tapestry needle, which will give you a little sense of the scale.

The original "accidental" color of what lead to the Society wanting to hand-dye this thread is the one pictured here. It's Cathe's favorite color from Gloriana Threads and only exists in Soie Surfine in her stash. The design is a motif from Quaker Season of Friendship (see below) which is a large sampler but has a wide range of motifs useful for small things. The fabric is Lakeside Linens 45 count Vintage Luna.

The seahorse is from the same Quaker Friendship Sampler and is done in the second test for the Society thread. We wanted to see how a tone-on-tone color would work with the Soie Surfine. The fabric is Lakeside Linens 45 count Vintage Luna.

As you will be able to see from our first offering (Carmine Rose) the tone-on-tone idea works out great in this thread and that tone-on-tone look is the basis for all our Series #1 thread colors.

The squirrels and acorn are from the same sampler design as above. This was stitched with the original color thread on 45 count Vintage Sand Dune. There was no attempt made to control the color progression, it just worked out that way.

This sample (also in the original color) is blackwork over 2 on 45 count Lakeside Linens Vintage Luna. It's from a book of blackwork designs by Laura J. Perin.

This is the Quaker Seasons of Friendship from Crown & Thistle aka R&R Reproductions (it's a photo from the cover of the design). It is a wealth of Quaker motifs. Your Society Member shop should be able to order it for you if they don't have it in stock.

Any motif sampler will give you some great options for use with our Society of Soie Surfine thread.

We hope when you join the Society and receive your first thread, that you will go forth and create beautiful stitched works!

FAQ - Series #1

  • What is Soie Surfine?
    Soie Surfine is a 130/2 tightly twisted silk thread from Au ver á Soie.
  • What's the difference between Soie Surfine and Soie 100/3?
    As the weight indications would imply Soie Surfine is thinner than Soie 100/3. Soie Surfine is twisted with 2 strands of silk vs. 3 used in Soie 100 and is about 25% - 30% thinner. You can feel the weight difference with your fingers or even better, you can view it with a microscope. Both are supple threads that do not untwist like Soie d'Alger so they hold their shape and stitch smoothly.
  • Is the Society thread a skein or a spool?
    Because this is a hand-dyed thread it will come as a skein.
  • Is the skein one continuous thread or cut?
    Our threads come as a hand-twisted 100 yard cut skein. The color is aligned in the skein so you can easily use one or more strands.
  • What threads colors are part of Series #1?
    The five thread colors are rose, green, gold, blue and brown. They will each be a tone-on-tone color and will coordinate with each other as well as with the custom color of Lakeside Linens fabric we're calling Society Charm. Carmine Rose is the first color in Series #1. Olivine is the second color in Series #1 and was released in December 2009. Inca Gold is the third thread color and was relesed in February 2010. Northern Lights will be released in late March and Cocolat in late April.
  • What count fabric does it work best on?
    Soie Surfine works great as a single strand on 40 or 45 count. We have stitched with it both over one or over two on these counts. Over two on 45 count gives great coverage, it's sparser on 40 count over two so if you want it too look full, use two strands. Over one on 40 count works better than over one on 45 count if using cross-stitch - it's a little too plump but it's still lovely. If you want to do over one on 45 count do a half-cross or tent stitch. You can use it on other counts but you will need to use more than one strand. The colors are aligned in the skein so stitching with more than one strand isn't a problem.
  • Can I sign-up now the series has been going for a while?
    You can sign-up for Series #1 until approximately 30 days after we have released our last color (expected in late April 2010). You will receive all the of colors released for Series #1 up to that time as well as any not yet released as they become available. If you wait until the end of Series #1 you would get all of the threads and the fabric in one shipment.
  • Can I order more of a Series #1 thread or fabric?
    You can order more of the Series #1 thread colors and fabric until the end of Series #1. Additional thread and fabric is only available to Series #1 Subscribers. We will take orders for additional thread and fabric until approximately 30 days after our last color is released. At that time all colors will become unavailable.
  • Can I order a different count of fabric?
    We are only doing Society Cuts in the 40 and 45 count as part of the subscription. But you can order a Stitcher's Half of 28, 32, 36, 40 or 45 count as additional yardage. We will handle all the extra fabric orders after the subscription shipments have been completed. Additional fabric is only available to Series #1 Subscribers.
  • How often are the releases?
    We plan to do one each month. So there will be a single thread color in 5 of the months and the fabric in the sixth month. Timing is not exact since we have to get the base thread from France, which can sometimes take a bit and fabric from Italy and Germany.
  • When will the fabric be released?
    The fabric - Society Charm - was released in February 2010.
  • Are there designs for the thread?
    There are no specific designs at present, either for the hand-dyed Society thread or the solid colors. We are talking with designers about that but have no definite plans yet, but there is interest on the part of a few designers to work with us. However, we're sure everyone has great designs they would love to use this thread on in the meantime. Any designs that are a single color or tone-on-tone work great. You can find photos of some of them on the blog.
  • Does Soie Surfine come in solid colors?
    The Society is having the thread dyed in part because availability of the solid colors is very limited. Au ver á Soie makes Soie Surfine in several solid colors but only a small portion of that is available in the US at any given time. The Society has worked with the US distributor to bring in some of the colors in sufficient quantity so that it would be available for those wanting solid colors. Contact your Society Member Shop to see what we've been able to get for solid colors from Au Ver á Soie.

The Carmine Rose skeins are on their way to our Society Member shops. You should see announcements from each of us within the next few days on how to sign-up for a Series #1 subscription. If you're not on the mailing list for your local Society Member shop, contact them ASAP as this is a limited release.

Our very first release is just about ready to go to our Society member stores. Here are a few preview pictures of it and of the packaging process.

This is our lovely bundle of Carmine Rose just arrived from the dyer. Makes you want to fondle it!

The small hanks are separated and twisted into 100 yard skeins. That done, it's time to put the labels on the bags and package the thread.

The thread is packed in clear bags with labels for the Society, thread color, etc.

All in readiness to ship to our Society Member stores! Be sure to talk to one today to sign-up for our Series #1 Subscription.