Cloudsfactory · Harry Potter Giant Sampler · Nina's Threads · Storage · The Grey Tail

this girl likes bags

last month I decided to organise some of the random skeins of solids I had in my stash. I also came up with a plan.

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I had a bunch of Anchor left from my previous Operation Bobbination in April, a few skeins of Madeira I got with magazines (or ages ago while on holiday in the mountains), but most of them were DMC extra skeins (doubles or triples) I somehow managed to hoard through the years without even noticing.

some were half-skeins from a magazine my Grandmother subscribed me to as a gift (each issue came with 5 DMC half skeins) ❤️, some came with those Mango Pratique boxes and DMC boxes I already talked about many times, and some were gifted to me or bought for projects that I figured would require lots of thread.

all these threads, at any rate, remained for years in various places and degrees of untidiness, until I stumbled upon the worst cases (the ye olde Anchor skeins I had in cardboard boxes of pure mess) and decided to put an end to this insanity.

Anchor stash

you know how a Scrooge I am with my stash: I might invest a lot in supplies but none goes to waste, that’s the rule here, so I bought some cheap cardboard bobbins and two DMC storage boxes and gave the guys the attention they deserved.

Anchor stash
I mean, honestly.

stash organisation

all in all I gave up almost a week worth of stitching time, but I got great improvements on the situation:

  • all my Anchor & Madeira are now organised by code on bobbins apart from that terrible Gold metallic I used in my very first attempt at stitching with metallics back in the 90s with my Alma Lynne’s Santa Bunny. actually you can recognise leftovers from that piece in my Anchor threads, as well as colours from my very first cross stitch kit, the Forever Friends bear. (they’re pictured right above; two of the Santa Bunny leftovers are beneath)

IMG_6793

  • all the DMC half skeins or almost used up skeins are on bobbins hoping to get used up soon (more news on that later)
  • all the old Anchor threads on bobbins with the black top (which I mentioned here) have been unraveled, washed, dried on an improvised indoors clothes line and moved on bobbins that:
  1. would fit the box (unlike the previous ones which were too tall)
  2. (hopefully) won’t leave giant kinks on those poor threads.

I don’t know if this depended on how tight I had bobbinated them, the fact that they had been waiting there for about 25 years for goodness’ sake, or a combination of the two, or what else, but the moment I took one colour off the old bobbin and put it onto a new one, the old kinks on the thread were so hard I could feel them through my fingers as if they were knots.

even the freshly bobbinated bobbin looked terribly wonky, as if the thread had gone through a bad hairdo or something.. you know I have OCDs but this to me looked bad, bad even for regular people.

there was no way those turns and bends wouldn’t affect the look of my stitches, so I took them off the bobbins and washed out all those horrible corners and angles, let them dry on an improvised clothes line and restored their appearance completely.

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I’m happy to say none of them bled or knotted (although I do know some of the tricks of the trade to wash threads without incurring in a tangling/colour mayhem) and now we can officially close the file as the Mission: Kick Those Kinks’ Ass has been accomplished. 😀 😀

– – –

my regular DMC collection (which I checked is still 50 something skeins short of being complete) is on Stitch Bows, a system I adopted at the end of the 90s especially to avoid this kind of issues and INSANE amount of time spent bobbinating. had I known at that time of the existence of Floss-A-Way bags I would’ve spent way less money on my storage system but, alas, this is Europe not the US. I had just started looking online for needlework supplies, and not even in my wildest dreams I imagined that a LNS in the US would be so kind to take email orders from an Italian teenager! AH! the difference 10 years make! 😀

anyways, to sum up, my thread storage system consists of:

  • bags for all that’s expensive, delicate, can’t be washed, etc.
  • cheap cardboard bobbins for those solid leftovers that won’t stay there for long
  • Stitch Bows for my old DMC full 8m skeins simply because they’re already on them. if I was to start my stash organisation today I would get bags for these as well because they keep all my lengths and leftovers safe from dust, cat hair, tangles, weevils, etc. 😀 they are recyclable, inexpensive and very portable.

I’m a girl, I like bags.

my silks, hand dyed, Satin, Metallics, Wisper, etc. are in Floss-A-Way cardboard boxes I covered with fancy craft paper; one years ago, one more recently as you can see 🙂

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– – –

and now onto that announcement I know you’re all so excited to hear about 😀

long time friends know I have been stitching only with hand dyed cottons and silks from 2012 to 2015 without even blinking. I love them to bits and they’ll stay my primary source for stash (no wonder!), but you know that at the same time I am also that much of a Scrooge not to tolerate any waste of precious, good, solid thread, so from finishings to small/simple projects this stitcher will start using solids regularly in the attempt to reduce the volume of this portion of my stash.

it’s not a big plan I have all figured out; I just want to make sure I always have a project in my rotation that features solid threads, especially DMC as they’re the majority.

there are many designs/designers/types of patterns that turn out perfectly with solids, so my aim is to let them guide me in an easy-going, stress-free journey through my solid stash.

I currently have Chubby Taras in the called for DMC, then there’s solid Alice that is super close to a finish, and then I’ll move on to the second Alice, the one I’ll keep: I had so very little done with hand dyed threads on her, so after pondering over the situation for a while I decided to start it over again in the DMC I had chosen for her months ago. this way this entire SODA series will get stitched in solids 🙂 – if I had chosen hand dyed for Alice I would have had to go with them for all the other tales, and there are 5 more so far.. how could I waste the chance to use that many of my DMC colours?! 😀

– – –

I hope you’re enjoying the rest of the weekend, I’ll be hermitting the rest of the day while trying not to kill the man who killed SIX of my plants yesterday, including all the Sky and Ice. men. why do they even exist, I find it so very hard to understand.

sgrunt. chiara

WIP - Cloudsfactory - Harry Potter Giant Sampler

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19 thoughts on “this girl likes bags

  1. Nice start on the HP designs.
    I am a huge fan of Flossaway bags, life is way too short too bobbinate! I put some DMC on bobbins right back at the start of my stitching life and realised very quickly that I didn’t like the kinks. If they do that after just a couple of months I wonder what they would be like now 20 years later?

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    1. mine all say they have been dyed in the Mulhouse factory in France. it would be interesting to compare two tags for the same colour and see if they look any different 😀

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  2. Great system! I’m not quite as organised as you are, but I know where to find everything. I hate starting a new project and having to hunt for supplies, so I don’t let it happen. lol

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  3. How intelligent you are, using the black labels on bobbins. I agree with Jo, life is too short to bobbinate and it wears out the thread as well.

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    1. I’m afraid I can’t take credit for those black bobbins, they came printed that way with an old magazine, and unfortunately they didn’t fit the box so I had to remove them all. plus those poor threads looked really battered after spending years on them. what a sight! 😬

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  4. I have some DMC on thread bows… some on bobbins (mostly odds and ends) and others in baggies and yet others in a Lo-Ran(?) thread roll…. I suspect that I will eventually return to the baggies with all my threads as I really do dislike bobbins…. also means I can store more than 1 skein in a bag… Always on the look out for other options in the hope of finding the perfect all in one storage solution!!
    Hugs xx

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  5. Love all that OCD goodness happening! Thumbs up to your plan, too, it sounds awesome. Your progress on the Harry Potter sampler is beautiful! 😀

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    1. oh, danke schön!! I picked the colours and have sometimes been terribly demanding with them, but the genius who dyed them is Nina, I’ll forward the compliments to her! 🙂

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  6. I applaud you for the washing and drying of floss, I’m ashamed to say I just would not have had the patience! My DMCs and Anchors are all bobbinated and rarely see the light of day these days – it appears my floss collection runs on a class based system where some threads get treated MUCH better than others. I obviously need equality and diversity training 😛😄!

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    1. hey, I’ve been very aristocratic in this sense for years too 😂😂 but money is money, no matter what you spent it on so they will get used (or at least some of them will) 😄

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