Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Floss card dilemma

One of my favorite pastimes is cross stitch embroidery.  As complex as it may look, and the sample on the left is not a pattern for a beginner, I find it relaxing and distressing.  It is rather amazing how a 14-page pattern that is actually a map can be deciphered by needle and thread into a work of art.

This is being worked on 32 count even weave linen. I learned on 14-count aida cloth like just about everybody else, but I found this pattern, “Delphiniums”  by The Silver Lining, at my local needlework store in the sale bin and just had to have it. 

There are 48 threads of various blues and greens and a few neutrals used in this pattern.  I had been collecting DMC embroidery floss – what cross stitch thread is called although I have no idea why – so I had almost everything I needed already.  I had some of my floss wound on card bobbins, and some on plastic.  I used the big rings to collect whatever threads I need for a project.  Because of the large number of thread changes required in this project, my card rings got a lot of use which resulted in the card bobbins eventually tearing their bottoms holes.  I assumed the plastic bobbins would be OK, but assuming is not always a good thing!  Plastic gets brittle.  Brittle plastic breaks.  Both types bobbins get beat up and end up looking like the specimens in the picture.  Boo.  Hence the dilemma.

The bobbin shape is rather important for keeping the floss under control, so I have reached the conclusion that, for me, paper card beats plastic.  Since card bobbins can wear out at their holes, keeping the project threads consolidated on a ring is out of the question, so I started to keep my threads in the organizer pictured below.

This works best for me!  The only problem is closing the thing – it squishes the top of the bobbins, which is not good for the plastic bobbins.  The cardboard bobbins are much more tolerant and flexible to that particular abuse.  This storage method also works wonders when you want to pick up and go with the project.

I hope to have this project completed before the summer sets in!  I have found another company that digitizes some amazing pieces of artwork and I'm really anxious to start a new project.  This one is taking me longer than I want to admit!  It doesn't help that I'll put it down for weeks (and sometimes, alas, for months) on end.  So I decided to start coming up with project goals, something I have never done before.  But the older I get, the more I realize I need goals to keep my focused.  Especially since as I get older, I am finding more and more things I want to learn and do.

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