Working with Etoile and Opalescent

Hi! Serena here with a first blog post. I’ve never done blogging before, so pardon any indelicacies I may breach. But considering this is about cross stitching, I’m sure we’ll be fine! But I digress…

So, what I’d like talk about here is the new floss from DMC, which is called Etoile. Its catch phrase is “Stitch with the Stars” which is apt, as it sparkles like the night sky.

35 colours of sparkly Etoile floss in a beautiful collector’s tin

Now, this type of floss may have already permeated hand embroidery patterns and may be very big in the needle painting spheres, I really just don’t know. But for cross stitch, I have yet to find a pattern that calls for it, which is disappointing because Etoile really is just so pretty.

Now we have one pattern that calls for it and was created specifically to use all 35 (yes! 35 whole sparkly colours) of the Etoile flosses, and in my travels through the cross stitch-iverse, it’s the only one I found that calls for it.

“Etoile Extravaganza” counted cross stitch pattern uses all 35 colours of Etoile floss

But that doesn’t mean we don’t sparkle where we can! Like Light Effects, Satin, and Diamante, it has a corresponding number with regular cotton floss (its letter designation is “C”. So C666 is the same as S666, etc. All of which are impossible to say out loud). Inspired by the rack of Etoile I look at everyday in the shop and the opalescent I dream of every night, I decided to combine them together into a pattern I made a few years ago to celebrate Pride Month into one Super Sparkle. I had to play a little fast and loose with the chosen colours so it would stay in the confines of Super Sparkle but a rainbow is a rainbow no matter what yellow you choose.

With that, I have learned a few things about Etoile and opalescent! Having only worked with the 14 count Aida opalescent I can firmly say that it does Not shred Etoile thread when doing whole stitches. I have not done half stitches on anything other than the odd half stitch on 28 count linen, over 2. So, if you want to know about half stitches ask my mom! (donna@MagicHourCrossStitchSupplies.com).

Though, I have it on some authority from a user I have been in communication with on Deviant Art, Opalescent Aida will shred your thread faster than with normal Aida, because of the rough shiny threads woven into the fabric. They didn’t say about opalescent Lugana or linen, but considering that my next project will be both filled with half stitches and on opalescent Lugana… well I guess it’s all part of growing up!

Now, Etoile. It’s not so hard to work with these few tips.

  1. The first few stitches will kind of bunch up on you if you don’t first run you fingers, in a pinch, down the full length of the thread. Not sure why, but it helps with that.
  2. Use shorter pieces of thread. Because of its puffiness, it will get tangled a bit more easily than regular 6-strand cotton floss, as well as just disintegrating and floating away on a soft breeze leaving only the filament left, and that’s no good. So, to combat that, use short pieces.
  3. When threading your needle, the key is to get the floss part of the thread on first and the filament will follow.
  4.  Also, as usual, matching your needle to your fabric is key but it is better to use a lower count (lower count, bigger needle) needle (I used a 24 but I was stitching on 14 count Aida). This will help with the breaking and disintegration.

Now, hopefully, you too can add a little Super Sparkle to your project!

Do you have any advice or questions about opalescent or Etoile? Leave a comment!

This, but sparkly! Just imagine!

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