Over the past few days, I've been testing out some different threads. Linda sent me some Turkish thread and Diane mailed me some samples of the new Liz Metallic thread. I also decided to try out Aunt Lydia's Metallic crochet thread, which I found locally.
I tried the light blue Altin Basak first because I thought it was the prettiest on the spool. It is wound with a strand of silver thread which gives it a sparkly look, but unfortunately I've heard that this thread has been discontinued. A close up photo shows the sparkle well:
This thread is a little difficult to work with, due to the fragility of the silver part. The blue thread is strong, but I did break the silver strand when I wasn't paying attention to closing a ring. It was easy enough to weave back into the next ring though. The woven silver thread makes it bumpy when closing rings, but not too bad. Size wise, it's a little smaller than Lizbeth 20, which is why my six pointed snowflake turned into a seven pointed motif. The central beads which usually pull it together turned out to be a little too big in this case.
Next, I tried size 10 Aunt Lydia's Metallic crochet thread, because it was the closest thing I could find to the Altin Basak locally. There is a very big difference between the two threads, and I wouldn't recommend using the Aunt Lydia's. It's too large for my taste and the silver strand has a tendency to bunch up when closing rings, making the task nearly impossible. Here's a side by side photo of motifs tatted with Altin Basak (left) and Aunt Lydia's (right):
Linda also sent me some metallic Oren Bayan thread, which I was pleasantly surprised with. From the look of it, I thought it would be difficult to use and that I wouldn't like it. However, it was easier to work with than the Altin Basak, and the colors are nice too. First, I made a little flower motif in silver, and because I liked the thread so much, I made a rosette snowflake in gold:
You do have to tat a little more slowly when using the metallic thread, as the stitches need to be carefully slid into place. The thread is much stiffer than cotton, so it tends to kink when stitches are formed. It makes for a very solid snowflake, which keeps its shape well. The thread is strong and did not break when closing rings. Rings close very smoothly, and the stitches slide more easily than they would with a cotton thread.
Yesterday's mail contained samples of the Liz Metallic thread from Diane, which I was eager to try. I tatted a motif with color #327 Gold Dust. Since it was only a sample, I didn't have enough to complete the motif, but it was plenty for me to understand the look and feel of the thread. Here it is next to the Oren Bayan snowflake:
It's really difficult to photograph the sparkle. If you scroll back up to the second photo in this blog post, you can see the sparkle a little better (though the color is too yellow).
As for tatting, the Liz Metallic feels very similar to the Oren Bayan Metallic. It is strong and the stitches slide with ease. The Liz Metallic is thicker (around size 20), while the Oren Bayan feels more like a size 50. The Handy Hands website mentions that the colors may bleed, but I didn't notice anything on my hands after using it. I think the Liz Metallic is a tiny bit easier to use than the Oren Bayan, maybe because the thread is thicker and it doesn't kink when forming stitches. However, I still had to tat a little slower than I would with cotton thread.
I'm going to continue testing the samples of Liz Metallic that Diane sent me, and I'll write more about them later. The Sand Dollar color looks promising, and so does the Silver. The Iridescent color is a little confusing as it looks more like a shiny rayon than a metallic, but we'll see when I tat something with it!