Victory! I have finally wound all the Caron threads and other perles into submission. The next problem was deciding where to store half a dining table full of bobbins. Until now, all my Caron thread have been living in the top half of my dragonfly thread box; the bottom half, which isn’t divided into little compartments, held my #12 perles, some scissors, and a few spare white and cream perles. I decided to get two bobbin boxes, like the ones you use for stranded cotton, thinking that would be plenty – but they were smaller than I thought, and definitely smaller than the thread box.
There was another consideration; I wanted to try and keep the Caron threads together as much as possible. Ideally I’d like to keep all my threads together, but that’ll have to wait until I have my own craft room. For the moment they are rather scattered around the house, although I’m trying to keep certain brands or types of threads together. One thing that helped was the narrow chest of drawers which eldest son decided he didn’t want to take with him when he left home, and which I have now confiscated. It’s not perfect, the drawers are rather too deep, but it holds my fabrics, stock of squissors and coasters, finishing items, stitched models and some threads in a reasonably accessible way.
So here is how my Hardanger threads are now stored (there is quite a collection of other threads as well, but we’ll ignore those for the moment; let’s not complicate matters unnecessarily!) – to begin with, a box (decorated with Little House Needleworks’ “Necessities Sampler” on the lid) holding my balls of perle #12 and spare skeins of white, antique white and cream perle #5. It sits on top of the record player in the sitting room. I forgot to take a picture of its present contents, but here is a small photograph of the box:
My standard perle #5 are all cut into 1-yard lengths and attached to small wooden rings, then to larger metal rings according to colour. They are kept in a stackable plastic box. Two identical boxes hold my balls of perle #8. The three boxes are stacked in the bottom drawer of the chest of drawers, which lives upstairs in one of the bedrooms.
Anchor and DMC variegated perle #5, House of Embroidery and Threadworx perles likewise reside on rings in pre-cut lengths. They are kept in a box given to me some time ago by a kind friend who was looking for a good home for it. It has a tapestry top and is kept underneath a spare chair in the dining room.
Any other hand-dyed or silk perles, or other silks suitable for Hardanger, are wound on bobbins and kept in a standard plastic bobbin box. This holds Dinky Dyes, Weeks Dye Works, Treenway, Gloriana, Kacoonda, Vineyard and some one-offs, plus my Caron Snow threads (for reasons which will become clear in a little while). It sits on top of the tapestry box.
And finally, the dragonfly box. I estimated that it was probably just about big enough to hold all my Caron except the Snow threads, if I packed them in fairly tight. It is. Just. I think there is probably room for another 4 or 5 bobbins, so my future purchases will have to be carefully considered! I spent a happy hour or so trying to decide how to arrange the colours – not easy, but enjoyable – and between the first and the second picture below I constructed some dividers from a cereal box to keep the bottom bobbins neatly aligned. This box is kept on the chair that the previous two boxes are kept under.
And there you have it, my thread storage system! Rather scattered, and not particularly coordinated or uniform, but it works. One day, though, one day … I will have pictures to show you of my very own craft room with two or three (or four) cabinets full of drawers that are just the right size, and everything organised just so. But don’t hold your breath – it may be a few years .