Splitting Threads

One of the problems I have with my cross stitch kits is that the different threads tend to get all jumbled up.

This is especially true of the smaller kits which don’t also come with those nice thread separators – you know, the bits of card with holes punched in.

However, I have recently discovered, quite by accident, a reasonable alternative for this mini kits: my crochet bag, which usually lives, wool spilling out, on the sofa where I stitch.


Then, as I finish needing each colour, they go back into the paper envelope of the kit. Nice and safe for next time.

How do you keep your threads untangled?

The Queen in Her Counting-House


Isn’t eBay a wonderful place to shop?

I came home to a collection of 175 Anchor embroidery threads this evening, and only a third are duplicates of shades already in my stash. I foresee a few happy evenings sat in front of a film or TV series peacefully winding my new threads onto bobbins and organising them neatly in my thread-boxes. I shall probably require more bobbins though.

But I’m one step closer to having a full set of Anchor threads, and I hopefully have more of the more common ones so I can more easily take up new projects.

As I Was Going to St Ives…

Really this has nothing to do with St Ives, which is quite a pretty Cornish town, but simply that the working title of this post was “Kits and Charts”, which simply reminded me of the man in the riddle with his wives, their bags, the cats and their kittens. This is about kits and threads and thread-boxes.


I’ve been cross-stitching for less than a year, mostly little kits, which is where most of these threads come from. The only large kit, so far, has been the Winnie-the-Pooh cushion, whose threads are the rainbow collection. The rest have been collected from Mouseloft kits or magazine giveaways. It’s not a bad collection of threads, although very few of them have floss-numbers.

I’ve given it a lot of thought, what to do with my threads-with-no-numbers and I’ve realised something else. While I buy cross-stitch magazines and I flick through the pages, admiring the projects at my disposal, I then look at the list of floss-colours required, and quail at the thought of collecting together the sometimes quite large number of them.

Very pretty, thinks I, but life’s too short. Another day, perhaps.

I like cross-stitch kits because they come with everything needed, including the needle (I’m building quite a collection of them too!). I don’t need to hunt down the thread colours, making sure I’m using the correct brand. And thus I have a gathering of unnumbered threads. I could, it’s true, make more of the same designs, but I’d soon start to lose interest. So, really, I need new charts. Charts which are, shall we say, less fussy. I know I can just substitute colours, but I always feel bad, guilty almost, for deviating from the plan.

My plan, therefore, is to create designs which do not require specific shades, merely colours, for the express purpose of using up an unnumbered stash. The kind of chart for which you might only need to buy the aida or linen. You’ll have enough threads and colours in your stash.