I tried separating the plies of the wool yarn, but there were a couple of problems. First, even a single twisted strand was too thick and the stitching looked sloppy, and second, without the support of the other plies, the fibers would just pull away and the strand kept coming apart. So, I experimented with some of the leftover DMC Medici wool that I used on the blanket and made some sample stitch-outs of the Palestrina stitch that I like so much. It looked a little anemic with one ply, so I tried it with two and I liked it a bit more. I went on line and ordered some Appleton wool in varying shades of purple. In the meantime, I thought it a good idea to practice with some DMC cotton floss to perfect my stitching. As I stitched,I began to wonder why I didn't want to use the floss originally. I think I rememeber making a cross stitch design on a romper for my daughter when she was a baby and the color bled in the wash. Since this dress will be lovingly hand washed in Eucalan, I tested the DMC floss for colorfastness by rinsing a sample in some cold water and setting it by my fireplace to dry. No bleeding - even after I rolled it in white paper towels while it was wet! I did not use the Eucalan, though. I hope it doesn't make a difference. Now that I am typing this, I am thinking I should do a test with the Eucalan just to be safe. I have to say I really like the cotton floss and as luck would have it, I have lots of it, too! I think I am going to use cotton floss instead of wool. It looks really nice and it stitches up like a dream. I took another look through my A to Z book and found a cast on rose that I wanted to play with, so I practiced it a bit. Then I began to doodle on a trace out of the pattern piece and I came up with a design for the embroidery that I think satisfies me.