When I began wanting to learn tambour, I tried a variety of threads and 3 different hook sizes. I bought button hole twist and top stitch thread and small crochet thread and various other kinds of odd bits. Vintage Coats & Clark silk button hole twist worked very nicely, but its vintage and hard to get because they don't make it anymore. *sigh* When I did the small Peacock Rangoli piece, I had picked up that variegated turquoise thread at JoAnn's Fabrics. It was nice, but they only carry a few colors in it. To get the right colors I had to cut the color spectrum apart and only use a piece here and a piece there. It worked well for that small piece but it would be a major pain for anything larger. It was that variegated turquoise that I picked up and used for the stem of the lotus sampler - just because it was pretty and I wanted to see how it would do. Using that with a size 120 hook was the perfect combination. Maybe that was the secret that made it so easy. Maybe the 90 hook I was using was too small for the thread and it kept splitting the strand. So I dug out the ball and got the specifics of what brand and size it was and searched it to see what other colors it comes in. I totally hit the jackpot.
The thread is Lizbeth brand #20 tatting thread, sold online only by Handy Hands Tatting Supply http://www.hhtatting.com/lizbeth-thread.cfm . Its not a question of what size; they carry all standard sizes 3, 10, 20, 40, and 80. Its not a problem of what color they carry; they carry well over 100 colors in all the sizes with shades of colors available. Its not a question of quality, 100% Egyptian cotton, pre-shrunk, dye fast, fire polished, tightly twisted. I was in thread heaven. One of the things I like best about embroidery is going to the store and seeing row after row of all those delicious colors. I have boxes and boxes of DMC floss on my studio shelves that I pull out like an painter's palette. What I wasn't really sure about was what all the colors would look like in real lighting. the only way to tell was to dive in and get the assortment I needed. strictly speaking their prices are more than reasonable, but getting that initial selection of any new fiber can get pricey. So I broke the piggy bank and splurged.
The next nice thing to say about them is their excellent delivery time. The order went in on Thursday and by Monday it was all here. And they certainly did not disappoint. Full spectrum, deep rich colors that harmonize beautifully with each other. It was like a captured rainbow. Yes. This is definitely going to be a pleasure. Even our cat, Godiva seems to approve.