DIY Pearl Cotton

Not only am I way behind on bookmark pattern development, I am now at a standstill on bookmark #3. I’ve decided to finish it differently. I have only a vague idea of exactly how, but it will come as I play with it. I need pearl cotton, and I had to contact Presencia to get it. They’re fast, which I greatly appreciate, but I do live in rural Alaska, so it will take a few days to get it, at least.

So I made my own!



Is that cool or what?!

Now, before you give me all sorts of undeserved credit, you should know that I didn’t make this process up. I learned it from needlework artist, designer, and teacher, Linda K. Reinmiller. I’m pretty sure she didn’t make it up either, but she does have a nicely illustrated pdf tutorial which I cannot seem to find on her site anywhere. I’ll ask her about it.

Anywho, I twisted various numbers of strands of floss, and got varying sizes of pearl cotton. It’s a snap–a fun snap, at that!–to do, and it really, really, really holds its twist. You can see in the top picture that the ends are not knotted like a twisted cord would be. I stitched with a couple different sizes of homemade pearl, and it worked just like pearl off a ball, but I wound up ripping them both out because they don’t work with the design. The giant 8-strand pearl in the pictures is too thick to stitch with on 28 ct. linen, but I’m content to just look at it and touch it. Yes, those are the colors of bookmark #3.

Here’s how the process works: First you twist one or a group of fibers together in the same direction they are twisted individually. Then you twist a second group of fibers the same way. Finally, these 2 groups are twisted together in the opposite direction. According to Linda, these opposing twists lock the whole shebang together. I figure it’s either that or magic because it really works. If I can’t get a link to Linda’s tutorial for you, I’ll create instructions of my own.

Right now I’m wondering why we bother with twisted cord.

Categories: Needlework