Basket purchase

Last month I made a basket purchase which has given me a great deal of pleasure in a low-key, subdued kind of way. I spent a few days in Devon on holiday, staying with a friend, and we went out, as we always do, to Totnes. It’s well worth a visit; there are lots of charming and often idiosyncratic shops, a couple of art galleries, a functioning and well-stocked artist supplies shop and so on. I found the basket below in one of the shops, for £12:

Basket of threadsIt’s about 45cm (18″) in diameter and I liked the look of it for keeping threads in during a project. Because it’s shallow you can really spread the threads out and it’s much superior in this respect to the little tin I normally use. These days I’m more parsimonious than I used to be, and also aware of the need to cut down on clutter and not add to it with indiscriminate purchases. In short, I try not to buy things. But I felt like making an exception in this case. I put in all my threads for the cochineal stitching project and have been enjoying the look of the basket. It sits in the corner of the living room looking both useful and ornamental. And really, you can’t ask more of an object than that. Well worth the twelve quid, I think.


Keeping threads

Keeping threads tidy is quite a challenge once you’ve built up a collection. Their natural tendency is to turn into a tangled mess as soon as your back’s turned. I keep them in a series of plain IKEA wooden drawers (see photo below for example).Ikea simple wooden drawers

This type of unit is compact enough to keep on a windowsill or desk, without getting too much in the way. I see from Wikipedia that IKEA now has stores in 40 countries, and it’s a very useful resource for really cheap storage. A couple of months ago I spent a happy Sunday afternoon organising my threads by colour (what it is to be an obsessive) into about sixteen drawers, as in the examples here. Threads, grey and yellow

Threads, yellow and white

I find this system works well for me, although it doesn’t stop the threads from tangling themselves up as soon as the drawer is closed. On the whole I like to have lots of threads to choose from, although as always, too much choice can be a bad thing…..

Some of my thread collection goes back many years to childhood, and even beyond. Many years ago a friend of mine at university was left a couple of boxes of threads by her grandmother. Being not remotely interested in stitching herself, she kindly passed them on to me, and I am still using them, many years later, and even more years since they were first acquired. They don’t seem to me to wear out or to become weaker with age, although I know that some people say they do. So I’ll carry on using them, pleased that they are being used maybe half a century later.


Vintage threads

I found these threads at an antiques place in Hebden Bridge. Lovely.Vintage Threads