Tutorial: Understanding Floss Requirements
Scarlet Quince presents floss requirements two different ways: the total amount of DMC floss you will need to have on hand to complete a pattern, and the blended lengths required for each symbol. The first is your shopping list. The second is used if you want to pre-blend the floss for each symbol so that it is ready as you stitch.
1. Here is the key for a pattern using 15 symbols. We'll use it as our example.
2. There are two ways to get the total floss you'll need. The back page of each pattern includes the floss requirements for 16- and 18-count fabric stitched with 2 strands. There is also a floss calculator which gives you more options. See our tutorial on Using the Floss Calculator for how to use it.
3. Here are the floss requirements for our example pattern.
4. Floss lengths by symbol are not part of the printed pattern, but you can print them from the website. When you are on a pattern page, look on the left for a button that says Floss lengths by symbol.
5. The floss lengths by symbol are the total lengths of blended (or solid) floss you would need to put together if you wanted to blend all the floss you would need for each symbol before you started stitching. The calculator doesn't ask for the number of strands you will stitch with, because the length is the same whether you are using 2 strands or 4. Thus the lengths by symbol can differ markedly from the basic floss requirements.
6. Here are the floss lengths by symbol for this pattern. Let's look at a few symbols and compare them to the basic DMC floss requirements.
6a. Consider . It is solid DMC 840, and 840 is not used in any other symbol. The requirement for is 52 yards. The requirement for DMC 840 is 2 skeins. How do these relate? 2 skeins = 2 × 8.7 yards per skein × 6 strands = 104 yards of single-strand floss. The total blended length for is 52 yards but it takes 2 strands so we need the 104 yards of DMC 840. 52 yards is the length of the blended floss once it is blended. It would be 52 yards no matter how many strands you stitch with.
6b. Now let's look at . It blends DMC 3863 and 3864. Once again, these two floss colors are not used for any other symbol. The requirement for is 48 yards. The requirement for DMC 3863 and 3864 is 1 skein each. To make our 48 yards of blended DMC 3863 and 3864, we will need 48 yards of each. 1 skein = 8.7 yards × 6 strands = 52 yards so we'll have just a little left of each color after blending.
6c. Now let's consider DMC 413 which is used in two symbols, and . We will need a single strand of DMC 413 for each symbol, of length 50 yards for and length 19 yards for , or 69 yards altogether. The floss requirements call for 2 skeins of DMC 413. As we saw above, 1 skein contains 52 yards of single-strand floss so we do need more than 1 skein but we only need about 1/3 of the second skein.