The thread problem

I love to dye my own threads, as you know. But no matter how careful I am with the skeins, this kind of jumble seems to be inevitable after a while:

I have hundreds of those little cardboard bobbins, and most of my stranded threads are stored on those. Better, but not ideal, because I don’t like the way this happens:

The creases are often permanent, and are particularly vicious on viscose threads, meaning that you have to either wet the thread or iron it if you want to make something like tassels (where you want the thread to drape, not stick out at right angles). Also, the crease can weaken the thread after a while.

So I made some little rolled up cardboard tubes – from pieces of scrap card, about 2″ x 3″ – and tried that for an alternative:

Better. But imagine how long it would take to rewind every other thread in my collection. Alas, life is too short.

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20 Responses to The thread problem

  1. @home says:

    What beautiful threads….. I wish I had so many it was a problem! Sue x

  2. Phillipa says:

    Ikeep alot of mine in coin bags from the bank. The new ones are just the right size for storing until I want to use them. Then I wind them onto a card.
    Regards Phillipa

  3. karen says:

    I tend to keep my whites as they are, in the skein because I go through them so quickly it isn’t a problem but I do agree…life’s too short for lots of things like putting your CD’s in alphabetical order, taking car registration numbers because parking is annoying your husband and the neighbours and you couldn’t care less, and most of all…peeling potatoes!!

    • Karen Turner says:

      Oh… um… putting your CDs in alphabetical order… um… hmm, so that’s why I have so little time…

      • Janice says:

        I’m not going to say anything about CDs in alphabetical order. Or separating out different genres like classical, modern, flamenco, soundtracks. Or anything like that.

        But Karen, I do love your hand dyed threads. And the spools.

  4. Rachel says:

    I tend to leave things in the skein until I start using them, and then wind them on cards, but I think I shall also be keeping the spools from my Au Ver A Soie and re-using them for delicate threads I don’t want to have creases in. Again, only when I start using them!

  5. I know just what you mean. I wind mine round old lace bobbins or sticks but it does take time!!!xx

  6. Penny says:

    I’m on the side of just leaving them in a ‘blob’ and sorting as I need them – probably not the most efficient way of dealing with the problem. I do so agree with you about those fibers that are folded over – hate that!

  7. Ger says:

    It is, indeed, and life´s a struggle… P.S. this post lifted my mood considerably…;)

  8. Sweetpea says:

    I was just about to purchase some of those cardboard bobbins but now you have SAVED ME!!!

    Happy hearts day, K, glad to *know* you!

    • Karen Turner says:

      Happy hearts day to you too C x
      Very easy to make little cardboard tubes – just roll the card around a knitting needle etc to get a nice smooth cylinder, double sided tape to secure. Happy rolling!

  9. lyn says:

    I have lots all jumbled together in a basket, I agree lives to short to spend it rolling threads round carboard!

  10. karen says:

    Ha! I was just thinking today that I should try to sort out my threads…BUT, alas it does indeed take up way too much time! So I will continue to do as I have been doing. they are in a bit of a jumble – but no matter, I can always find the ones I want!

  11. serenapotter says:

    this made me happy.

  12. SandraG. says:

    Hi Karen: love this post, love all your threads and love the replies, ha : ) I must admit, I’ve just recently wound a bunch of thread on those cards and truly enjoyed just taking the time (lots of time : ) doing it, ha : ) like fabric, I love the feeel of the threads and ohhhhhhh all the colors, yummmmm : ) if I lived near you and any one else, I’d volunteer to put them on anything for you, I truly get lost in the mundane of it alll, hahaha : ) Happpy Hearts to you and everyone here : )
    Blessings, Sandra in AZ, USA

    • Karen Turner says:

      Thank you for the offer, Sandra! It would be lovely if we all lived near each other and we could get together for an afternoon of thread winding. But you’re right, if you enjoy doing it, it doesn’t matter how long it takes. I might just make a few more tubes and get started 🙂

  13. Penny says:

    Karen, I like the tangled mess…way better than those cards that put the permanent creases in. I recently learnt a new way of storing my threads and will see if I can explain it! Basically, cut through one end of the skein. Plait the skein and store it like that. The main goal is perhaps not tidiness but when you want a new length of thread you just pull one from the “head” of the plait. Oh, yes, and the person who showed me started her plaits by stringing them through a hole in a piece of card. If the card is the length of the skeins then that would help keep them flat and neater? Does that make sense to you?

    • Karen Turner says:

      Thanks, Penny – yes, indeed that does make sense, and sounds very practical.
      Actually, I quite like the tangled mess too. But your plaiting idea really does appeal; I like that a lot.

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