Nina's Threads · Pen Pals series · Stash · Storage · The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery · The Grey Tail · WIPs

the How To series – kitting up with hand dyed threads and floss storage pt. 1

this is probably a more interesting read for you, because I kit up with hand dyed threads ALL THE TIME. 😀 I just find it easier to get the colour right from a hand dyed thread rather than 4–5 solids; it just matches the way my brain work, I guess. 🙂

now, with time I developed a different method according to the project:

  • A. if it’s a big project that I already know everything about, I simply create a text file on my laptop with notes on the linen count & colour, colour threads, etc.
  • B. if it’s a SAL/Club/mystery/etc. I sometimes prefer to pick some colours as I go, so I leave blank spaces in the thread list or write down multiple options that I’ll consider later on, once I reach that specific part of the project.

since my thread stash is built heavily on Nina’s Threads, for option A I put all the floss-away bags into a ring, with the project’s name written on a piece of paper I previously punched.

storage summer 2015

I didn’t start like this, and now have some old WIPs whose key rings are numbered A or B or C.. 😀 I can still tell what they’re needed for, but still.. 😉

on the other hand if I decide to stitch something for which I will pick up colours as I go (option B) what I do is I keep whole skeins or portions of skeins all together in a couple of rings and I browse/choose what I need as I go. currently I’m using two of these big rings for several projects at the same time.

storage summer 2015

for instance, I’m using & have been using these same skeins/key rings for The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery‘s:

  • Once Upon A Time
  • Story Time Sampler
  • All Hallow’s Eve
  • Pen Pals
  • my version of Summer Sparkler Party
  • Christmas Celebration Sampler
  • and surely other projects that I can’t remember right now 😀

you see, working 1 over 2 on 40ct. with 8 m long skeins means I really don’t have much thread usage, especially since I add a lot of colours to the charted palette. so basically I can use the same 8 m skein for a whole lot of medium projects and still have enough leftovers to stitch a bunch of smalls with it.

this is why I prefer using floss–away bags to anything else: I can save all those loose bits that can still work for a few stitches rather than throwing away precious thread. they all stay carefully tucked away in their respective bag and when it’s time to stitch, let’s say shoes (which are two rectangles of 2 cross stitches each) or eyes (2 cross stitches with backstitch all around them) I can use those bits and save myself a whole lot of cash. 💰💰💰💰💰💰💰 😀

I never write anything on the bags, this way I can reuse them ad infinitum. I keep the floss tag on the skein and the skein in the bag, that’s how it stays labelled without having to ruin the bag.

in case that skein or portion of skein (like two full lengths) comes from a previously kitted up project or a WIP I can easily tell won’t need a full 8 m skein of that colour to stitch up, I slip a piece of paper into the bag saying where it came from. if you look closely at the previous shot you’ll notice that the yellow thread in the bag on top has a small piece of paper in it that reads key ring B. want to know what key ring B is for? 😛

for example, I had to borrow Shadow from L*K’s Holly & Hearts for my current TFPS projects, so I took a length from the whole skein and put it into a new bag with a note saying it came from H&H. I added the new bag to my big key rings for various projects and put the remaining Shadow in the H&H key ring. 🙂

this big key rings system I came up with works really well when I have to choose colours for a new project: I just flick the bags on the ring until I find something that catches my eye and I work out my options from there.

most of the time I can tell from the plan I have in mind which thread/tone I’m going to use, so what I need to do is check if it actually works on the linen I picked.

take that Shadow grey for Holly & Hearts: when I kitted up with one it was originally meant to be Pigeon – but once I started working on H&H I found out that it didn’t show up much on the linen I chose, so I substituted Pigeon with Shadow and put Pigeon in the big key rings.

if a project is big enough (or features threads I fear I might run out of), I get brand-new skeins for it – but if it’s not I find I can use the same skeins over and over again without running out of thread. that’s one of the upsides of tiny lil’ stitches. 😀

– – –

here are a few shots of my two WIP baskets with other handy bits I like to have at hand when I stitch 🙂

storage summer 2015

on top is my Longaberger vintage wicker basket, which became quite the topic at one of those needlework fairs I attended in Formigine 😀 I didn’t even remember I had taken it with me until a few months ago Tania from Lilli Violette invited me to visit this year’s winter edition, and to bring that dream of a basket with me! 😀

storage summer 2015

storage summer 2015

my other basket is for small projects, bits and things. it’s a Hobby Gift sewing basket that is slightly bigger than my very first basket my mother gifted to me when I was a kid (green with teddy bears in various outfits, I think I’ve shown you before).

storage summer 2015

storage summer 2015
lots of handy lil’ things, including a small toothbrush for fuzzing up Wisper threads 🙂
storage summer 2015
pins and needles
storage summer 2015
oh, an old update on my Pen Pals.. didn’t do much on it, did I? 😉

11 thoughts on “the How To series – kitting up with hand dyed threads and floss storage pt. 1

  1. We are so the same, the only difference being that I put record cards in my floss away bags to strengthen them due to the way I choose to store them. I love your WIP basket and sewing basket 💜!


    1. 💖 I know! I saw that in one of your videos are liked how organised it is, although having something with ink in one of those bags for years would freak me out.
      I once wrote something on a thread card with a ballpoint pen, left it in a plastic bag (the inside pocket of one of those DMC Gold Concept bags) and overtime it left an ink mark on the plastic, it was absorbed by the card, went through the paper itself and almost reached the threads behind it. WTF!! 😬😬😬😬😬


  2. That’s a great idea! I store my DMC on bobbins, and it’s okay for them, I don’t like being overly greedy with floss and will often just through out those little odds and ends (they are not wasted, mind you, I use them for stuffing), but for hand dyeds, it does make sende to ‘recycle’ more, so getting those bags might end up an my to do list 🙂


    1. 😀 I keep them for stuffing too, and I agree, with solids I’m a tad less sparsam. 😉 🙌🏻
      I reckon you’ll find interesting the other post about floss storage I wrote while on laptop break, I should be able to edit & post it next week. 🙂


  3. What a great idea! I use the bags and threads bows for my full skeins and then bobbins for the little leftover bits. But I must admit that I also have a box of previous project threads that are still on the symbol cards that one day I should remove and organise properly…. and now I have an idea – floss bags for those left over and the little bits instead of bobbins. Will be so much quicker looking through numbered bags than a box of threads that have no real organisation!!!
    Hugs xx


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