Thread Sizing between Manufacturers

I am currently planning to switch thread manufacturers because the DMC thread is harder for me to source (the reliability of sites like is very disappointing) and because the colours offered by DMC are not being updated with new choices. The Lizbeth thread is very commonly praised by other tatters on their blogs, so I am trying it out.

The shocking part is that the sizes of Lizbeth and DMC threads are wildly different!

The higher the number, the thinner the thread, the smaller the finished tatting should be. But this only applies within the brand!

DMC8 Lizbeth10
DMC size 8 smaller than Lizbeth size 10

Doing completely the opposite to what I was expecting, Size 8 in DMC makes a much smaller snowflake than Size 10 in Lizbeth.

DMC12 Lizbeth20 Florence
DMC 12 smaller than Lizbeth size 20

I though size 20 would be much smaller than size 12, but it turns out it makes much bigger doilies.

DMC12 Lizbeth20
DMC size 12 smaller than Lizbeth size 20 closer view
DMC8 Lizbeth20
DMC size 8 compared to Lizbeth size 20

Even when comparing DMC size 8 to Lizbeth size 20 is a shock – they are close to the same!

Graces: Gwen Final Pattern

Gwen Finished
My pattern Gwen finished. One of my 3 Graces patterns created in 2015.

Final results of my pattern Gwen. This looks like a very easy pattern, but it does use 2 shuttles, and the Josephine Knots require a certain amount of focus I hadn’t expected! It could just be that the thinner thread is more challenging.

I am pleased with the results, and the pattern is included with my 3 Graces pattern on my Etsy store

Diane: Testing the new centre

Diane with new centre
Testing out the new centre for Diane.

And… it seems to work! This centre fits really well, and it gives some needed stability to the snowflake. So now to make it with the thinner thread…

Note on thread size: I typically work out new patterns with size 8 thread. This is quite thick thread that makes for a big doily, which is not really the desired end-product, but it makes problems stand out. I’ve tried using patterns from the early 1900s that show pictures of the end design done in tiny thread. Very often there are problems with the pattern spacing and the sizing of some of the elements… but if you make it with small enough thread it’s hard to see the problems. I’ve stared in annoyance at these photos many times when the pattern hasn’t worked and I can see the problems in the photos too. Smaller thread just means you have more ability to mush the errors into compliance. Not good enough for a pattern I create.

Florence: The pattern settles

Final pattern settles
The final pattern settles, it sits flat, the points are prominent, and I’m happy with the result

Snowflake pattern Florence is good to go. The last change that makes it work is:

  • making the rings of the outer points bigger
  • making the echo rings between the points the same size as the outer rings

I’ve used thinner thread for this iteration of the pattern. It is made with size 12 thread. I typically use size 8 thread when creating patterns. The thicker thread makes problems stand out. The size 12 thread I’ve used here makes for a very delicate snowflake. It is about 9cm (3 1/2 inches) in diameter.

I did make a mistake with this snowflake, so it’s not one I will sell in my Etsy shop,, but it does make me happy with my pattern, so it is a success.

The next step is to repeat the pattern a few times in different threads, and then I will use the pattern with the inspiration thread for the snowflake Florence.