OK, so I had to break the rule about not buying stuff. Yes, already. Well, what can you do? I needed more textured/shiny/glittery stuff for my Viking ladies. I like these space-dyed variety threads from Oliver Twists Fibres because you get a little of a lot, and when just a little is all you need, they’re perfect:

They look lovely in that twisty skein, but they’re impossible to use like that. Once you pull one thread out, you tend to end up with a chaotic heap of loveliness that tangles itself up the minute you turn your back on it, as you can see in the white pile on the left. I needed a way of organising the threads, just so that I could see what I’ve got. I have used those little card bobbins in the past, and still have a lot of threads that have been wound like that for many years. Largely, I don’t like them, for this reason:

I don’t like the creases. I like my thread to be smooth and straight. I don’t like that zig-zaggy effect it gets from being permanently pressed like that, and I worry about whether it weakens the thread. So I did a bit of lateral thinking and came up with this:

Plastic drinking straws, cut in half, with a slit cut into each end, make excellent thread bobbins. Who’d have thought it? The bendy end works just as well as the straight end, and very fine threads can be wound onto quarter-lengths. Of course now I want to do this with all my threads, so I’m taking a break while I focus on that.

I may be some time

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7 Responses to Diversion

  1. Chloe says:

    I just went to have a look at Oliver Twists on Etsy: in fact they’re called Oliver Twists Fibres 🙂 I shouldn’t even be looking of course, I have enough to keep me busy for years but ooh… prettiness! And now I’m worried about my threads all bound up on their plastic cards, which were already secondhand when I bought them ten years ago…. It’s very satisfying getting your supplies in order, I’m with you on that! Plus it has the added benefit of giving your project time to simmer away in the background for a while too.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Chloe; I corrected the link title. Yes, they do have some really lovely threads and fabrics… I shouldn’t have been looking either 🙂
      I shouldn’t think those rectangular bobbins actually do any significant damage. I guess if your threads are still OK after ten years, then they’re probably fine. Some of mine must have been like that for about that long too. It’s the look of them that bothers me rather than anything else; all those unnatural angles and straight lines…

  2. Oh well, you will have plenty of time to rejoice in your threads and make your plans!

  3. contemporaryembroidery says:

    lol….you need to take at least two weeks annual leave to wind all those. I am so happy you are back!!

    • Karen says:

      It’s strangely therapeutic… though I think I will need more straws! Thanks for coming to see me 🙂

  4. Amanda says:

    I have quite a few of those mixed hanks too, devine things. I quite like mine in a heap, sort of organised chaos. I’m surprised you use plastic straws. I suppose it’s a good bit of recycling rather than letting them loose into the environment.

    • Karen says:

      I don’t use plastic straws – that’s how I’ve got so many of them. The straws and fancy diner-style dispenser were a gift from a friend. I agree it seems better to use them this way than launch them into landfill via the bin. Glad you enjoy the chaos, wouldn’t do at all if we were all organiser nerds 🙂

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