Do I have Stash?

Someone asked me if I had much stash and how I stored it… Well yes, but not as much as some others I know… but I do have my fair share…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince I do several needlecrafts I have a large overlapping stash…(my DH calls it my mini Hobby Store…This is from a man whose workbench and area looks like a hardware store after an earthquake..don’t tell him I posted this picture!)… mine is very well organized even though it does take up a large portion of our home. I dabble in any needle art, but my favorites are needlepoint, temari, needle felting (new), knitting (learning), crochet and sewing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a library…it has all needle related books.  I have a stitching area in here but seldom use it.

 

In our office I have a stitching chair too, but use it mostly for selecting threads. I have closet with threads and beads; these are stored on wire shelves in plastic boxes and drawers. Most are stored by type (i.e DMC #5 Perle, DMC Floss, Kreinik #8 Braid, Rainbow Gallery silk, Silk and Ivory etc….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWithin the box or drawer, it may vary as how I store each thread: DMC and Rainbow Gallery Silk are stored by number, some Rainbow Gallery, Silk & Ivory and all Kreinik and beads are stored by color.  All threads and beads are clearly marked by number as well as who produced it and name (if applicable.) It is whatever I find works best for me and the particular thread or bead.

My general supplies are stored in clear plastic containers or bags and marked in my master bedroom closet: I have painted needlepoint canvases, cut plain needlepoint canvas
yarn (for knitting a & crocheting), leftover yarn from crochet projects is wound into bases as I go to desired sizes) I use this bases not only for temari balls but also for needle felting balls. When I’m making a temari, I chose the ball and wind with sewing thread.


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My sewing threads are kept in the sewing area with finishing supplies for finishing needlework.

 

I also keep  a box and/or bag for each type of needle art tools/supplies:
I have a bag and small tin for knitting and crochet OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
tools…haven’t been in to this long enough to mass great supplies.

 

 

 

I have a lunch OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
box with Kumihimo disks, and weights.

Bobbins are in a plastic bag.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATemari has it’s own lunch box of tools.

 

 

 

I have plastic boxes with stitching tools for beading. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

Since I started needlefelting I purchased a set of rolling drawers. I store some supplies and  needle felting roving in here. I also have a plastic box for tools and a couple containers with tools I use.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut needlepoint takes up the most areas.  I have a couple stitching nests; each has a floor stand, light and comfy chair for stitching. One area has a set of drawers to keep extra supplies and dodads.

 

I have three bags of stitching tools; one large with seldom used tools, one small that I take to classes and seminars and one I use all the time. Not to mention my collection of needlework tools that I have blogged about before.

So yes, I guess I do have stash! I’m lucky I have a pretty good idea what stash I have and where to look. I can go right to it without much trouble.

I would love to take over the living room (we live in our family room) as an art area but DH has drawn a line in the sand, says he can’t turn around now without fearing for his life of being stabbed by a needle or pair of scissors…men!)

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue


 

More on thread organization

Organizing threads is an on-going project…

My SplendoOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAr, Watercolors, and DMC flosses and perles are sorted by number, the rest are mostly by color and then by number. If I found a chart for color families, I have a copy with the threads.  Splendor, Silk & Ivory, Vineyard silks (these are the ones that come to mind) also have color family lists that I think you can find on line at their websites…I keep a copy of these also with the thread.

I also have color cards for many of my threads and these are stored hanging, in my old wooden toy bucket, or in a notebook (these are all my Rainbow Gallery threads).  I need to update these too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me add a note here…I use and store my threads UNCUT, since I do some of my own finishing… I want to be able to pull the threads to use when making twists. I do not cut my Watercolours either but that is a post for another day. ThreadworX (http://threadworx.com/) is one of the few threads I have that are cut; the other two that come to mind are Dimin Epic and Rosebud Studio Felicity’s Garden and that is because they have such great animal fur colors. Epic and Felicity’s Garden are stored by color.

Back to storage…Some of the threads are stored on rings in sweater boxes; these are mostly stored by color, then number on large rings; the exception to this is ThreadworX and they are stored by number.

Another added note: I use the Floss Keys; I got mine from YarnTree (http://yarntree.com/) and Floss Pak bags to store yarns that I have begun to use on these rings.  If the skein or put-up  hasn’t been opened it hangs on the ring as is, but once I go to use it I wind it on a card.: I try to buy threads I know that have changes in their dye lots in pairs, so I will have two skeins of most colors. Once I wind one of these skeins on a floss Key I will store both in a Floss Pak bag. Once one of the skeins is completely or almost completely used I will buy two more hang them on the ring next to floss bag.

I also use the storage boxes I get at Hobby Lobby with my coupons; each box is labeled to the contents. Kreinik, DMC, Trebizond, Kreinik silks, Painter’s threads. Some others that I have limited colors are stored in these boxes too one for cool colors V-B-G and one for warm colors Y-O-R. These threads are stored by company , then by color, then by number;  I usually have less than two dozen of these threads per company…otherwise they would rate a box.  I always keep the label with the thread!  I make a template to store in the lid with number info for all these boxes.

All the DMC floss, #3 and #5 perle are stored in Hobby Lobby boxes. I use floss keys to wind the threads; each is specifically marked and is stored with the labels as well (I wind the thread over the labels.) The Floss Keys are marked not only with the color number on the top right but the type of thread on the top left: i.e. DMC (floss), DMC#3 or DMC#5.

 

I have some threads hanging on a wall but the sun does not hit them and they are mostly threads I have made samples of myself and some are discontinued or threads I do not use. I would not store threads here I plan to stitch with, there is too much of a chance they would fade or get dusty.

 

When I started this re-organization, I decided I also needed to update my inventory sheets. I have kept (and I use this term very loosely) a spread sheet of the different threads in my stash for years. I am not very good at remembering to update these files and so as I started the physical re-organization of my threads, I also took the time to update and re list threads in the spread sheets. DMC was the file I had semi kept the best and it was fairly easy to update. Some of the other threads I had listed all their colors even though I only had a partial inventory; so I made a second sheet within the spread sheet for the thread and called it “my threads” and the complete list is “master.” I moved the color info for only the threads I have in inventory to the “my threads” sheet. Now when I go to use threads I will be able to see if I need to fill in families (if info was available).

It took me a while to set up but it keeps me on track. I have been a poor record keeper and so I have some threads that I have kept buying because I was not sure I had them. I have 7 cards of #820 red Splendor; since this is a Christmas red I think several of these are probably from classes I have taken but I probably bought several too. I am from the school when in doubt, buy two. I have a few others of these and I did notice they are all in my comfort palette so I know I have purchased them more than once.

I have promised myself now that I am pretty thread organized both in storage and on paper I am going to keep it up. Will let you know at the end of the year how I feel I did. I have also bought a small loose leaf notebook (5.5×8.5″) that I am going to adapt the spreadsheets to fit, so when I am shopping I have it with me. Probably won’t work as well as I envision but we’ll see.

Storage and record keeping of threads is an ongoing thing and a personal thing. I think you have to look and listen to how others do theirs and then incorporate what works for you. AND then you have to be diligent about using your method.  I have a friend who gives or throws her threads away after every class or piece she stitches…she says it is more trouble and aggravation to remember where the threads are, to get them, and she never has all the right ones. There is too much Scotch blood in me for that…

Now that I have my threads in 85% order…it’s never completely finished, I am starting on all the stitch diagrams and stitch patterns I have collected and want to put in my computer. I know there are a great many stitch books out there and this is just for my benefit, don’t plan on writing a stitch book. But I have lots of stitches I have written down that I think could be developed into quick little designs.

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today

ttfn…sue

Needlepoint Housekeeping

It does not matter how slow you go, as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

Read that on someone’s blog and thought it was great (sorry I forgot to reference the original blog  source).

January (even though it is mostly over) is usually the month we all get real impulsive and  decide to organize our lives (eating habits, exercise habits, and yes even our stash and needle nests).

My impulsiveness was happily contained by my bout with the flu; no diet for me and it’s much too cold to even think about a walk to the front door let alone around the block. But while I was recouping  my January/ February issue of 14-01-28 magazineNeedlepoint Now (www. Needlepointnow.com)  arrived…and just in time too, I was about to suffer from complete needlepoint withdrawal since I had not stitched in two weeks. I read EVERYTHING even the page numbers on every page 🙂 . And there within these pages were others talking about organizing their stash and needlenests.  I like the rest of us who have more than a dozen different threads have contemplated for years: store by color or thread type, that is the question.

ED NOTE: if you know needlepointer  that only has only a  dozen threads , you need to have an intervention quickly…that needlepointer is having a needlepoint  breakdown  So, quickly have several friends send her a few extra threads so she too may contemplate the age old question: color or type?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is not a single answer to this question; everyone has to find the system that works for them. Last year I semi- reorganized my thread stash and came up with a system that works for

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me. I used all the thread rings I have a decorator elements and hung them in my office; I have my OLD re-purposed toy barrel I use to hold most color cards; I have a notebook to store Rainbow Gallery color cards and the rest of the

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stash is sorted by thread type in boxes in my thread closet that when we remolded the office I had them leave the doors off. So from my desk I can see all the threads, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Most of the drawers are Rainbow Gallery and these threads are stored by type: Splendor, color: yellow, number 1,2,3.. The larger boxes are also by supplier: Caron: Impressions, Brown Paper Packages: Silk n Ivory; DMC flouche…and these are sorted on rings by color and then numerically. All the overdyes are in boxes by name or number which even the thread manufacturer suggests. I have two boxes from the hardware store; one holds Kreinik by size and color and the other has Needlepoint  Inc silk by color and Trebizond by color. Most of the floss and perle coton are being converted to large plastic floss cars and stored in divide craft boxes.  And this works for me.

14-01-28 nestAnd I have a new addition to enhance my stash collecting and needle nest. Last year when a local needlework shop closed I purchased at the auction four empty DMC floss cabinets. I drew up a base that I wanted to have made and asked my husband to make it for me. Life happens and the stand got put on the back burner but not forgotten. Last week-end the base was finished and now sits next to one of my needlenests waiting for me to fill it up. Oh what is better than a stash area waiting to be filled!

And yes I have more than one needlenest…I have to have a place to stitch in all my favorite places…There is a place in the library with all my needlepoint books, a place in my office, one in the sitting area of our master bedroom and of course the family room too. My sons are constantly reminding me that when they were young and left their toys all over I would tell them to pick them up and take them to their rooms or the toy room. And I am just as quick to remind them that what I said was a case of “do as I say not as I do” ; or they can just blame it on getting old…I forget where my nest is and just make a new one…and if that doesn’t work for them: it is MY house I can do what I want.

Okay I am off to fill my DMC drawers and have a good day, after all I only have three more days left in January to be impulsively organized (this compulsion usually abates itself by Valentine’s day.) And remember it does not matter how slow I go as long as long as I don’t stop until the drawers are full of stash…sorry Confucius for the play on your words.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

Re-storage

Seems like January is the month where we all feel a compulsion to clean house, start anew, and organize…not me not this year. I am going to live forever because I have enough unstitched canvases, counted designs, and unfinished classes to last 50 years and that’s if I stitch one a month for the next 50+ years and never buy another thing. And we all know this is not going to happen…I already have new canvases in mind and even though I have tried to convince myself I do not need them they are speaking loud and clear to me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have organized my threads the way I want them, I keep a fairly accurate inventory on spreadsheets (especially the threads I use often) but I place no value on them. Two reasons: I don’t care to know how much I spend…I think of it more as an investment (in my sanity.) And anyway, we all know that when it comes time to pull threads for the project of the moment, we never have all the right threads and without a trip to LNS stitching cannot begin…it is an unwritten law, a step in the process.

I also feel no desire to rearrange, redo or organize because last spring/summer when we combined households I did this. When you combine households you lose some things and you gain other things. I lost my sewing room but truthfully it was so cluttered it needed a complete overhaul anyway.

My daughter in law has an embroidery machine and so we made a new sewing area. Someday when I have more time I am going to learn how to use the embroidery machine and then I will embroidery dates on the back of finishing material for ornaments…until that day I will just ask my daughter in law to do it. Once we get through the holidays, we can spend more time in the sewing area and sewing with a friend is always more fun.

I had already gone through my needlepoint canvases and was procrastinating about sending them to Pat at Stitch Destashing (http://stitchingdestashing.blogspot.com/)….so I sent them off and within six weeks had a check in the mail. Pat also sent me back the canvases that I wanted back and the rest she donated.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had been replacing my thread storage units trying to make them more accessible. And since we had just finished redoing a room for an office I just appropriated the larger closet for my threads. I also used some threads as decorating elements.
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So all in all I think I did not lose anything I still have my stitching nest and my threads are closer and so are my canvases. And …I gained a finisher.So you see I am ahead of the January rush and this leaves me more time to read, stitch and compute…oh yes this is a good year!

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue