Cottage Garden Threads

Early this month I was sitting in the car waiting for Hubby. I was scrolling through the pretty yarn eye candy that is Instagram and came across a photo by Cottage Garden Threads.

I was immediately excited. Because in amongst all the hand-dyed yarn goodies I was perusing, Cottage Garden Threads was offering hand-dyed embroidery cotton! And they are Australian!

Why was I excited? I love a good gradient and while I have yet to venture beyond bead embroidery in the embroidery department, I do play with both kumihimo and micromacrame.

Getting a gradient in these tiny mediums has been a challenge for several reasons:

  • Hand-dyed is usually wool and while it will do a decent kumihimo and macrame, there are issues with the yarn halo – cotton and bamboo work best.
  • I can purchase both wool and cotton hand-dyed, but the cost for the little bit I need to make a bracelet is forbidding. Though I will admit to using leftovers from crochet for these crafts and the colours are luscious.
  • Hand-dyed yarn doesn’t often have a short enough gradient to kumihimo a bracelet length (about 17cm).

So finding these hand-dyed cotton embroidery threads at a reasonable price was an immediate cause for a credit card accident…which may have happened the very next day…oops.

I waited eagerly for my order to be dyed up – I ordered colours that align with my current working collections – Penelope (pinks, purples and golds) and Waterlillies (pinks, golds and greens) – and I received them on Friday night.

Immediately before a weekend off! How could I ask for better inspiration?

There are two opened packets in that picture because I couldn’t help myself and started creating right away.

These are the six stranded versions of each colourway. The stranded versions come in 10m cut to 50cm lengths – perfect for a kumihimo bracelet. For my macrame, I will need to order some of the perle versions which come in 15m continuous lengths (oh, dear, I’ll have to have another credit card accident at some point, what a shame).

Because I’m constrained to the 50cm lengths, I found my kumihimo experience so much shorter and more rewarding – previously I’ve kumihimo’d with lengths of 150cm and this can take a day’s worth of braiding. I’m good at overkill, apparently. But 50cm lengths allows me to kumihimo and start a bracelet immediately while still inspired.

Anouk colourway braided

This is actually the second braid I did. A simple eight strand braid. It has come up thinner than I usually work with, but I should have enough strands left to do a sixteen strand braid as well.

The thinner braid does make for a more delicate bracelet, however, and it wasn’t long before I was designing for the first braid I created out of the Sweet Pea colourway.

Waterlilly diamonds bracelet plus the Sweet Pea hand-dyed thread it was created from.

This bracelet design is a new one, including the diamond pattern on the peyote beads. I love the change in colour throughout the bracelet length. It adds so much more depth to the design.

For reference, here is the simple peyote bead pattern I designed on the spot.

I have exported the pattern from my Loomerly design app, so here is an equally simple PDF if you would like to recreate these beads. The pattern loops infinitely around the bead. I used Delicas in this example and the Delica details are in the PDF as well.

I played with a few new things in this bracelet, including some very basic bead embroidery in the round as I wanted to fix some of the beads in place. I also have designed a more secure way to attach the clasp to the kumihimo as bracelets get a lot of wear and tear, so the design has to be up to some day-to-day beating.

Waterlily diamonds bracelet

I’ve just completed this bracelet and am still in the post-project-completion high, so I’m buzzing to share this with you.

I would like to thank Pam, Katie, and their team at Cottage Garden Threads for their lovely threads and and customer service. I am having so much fun!


(should I work on my stamping project or work up the next kumihimo bracelet next? Oh, the want to do everything!)