storing pearl cotton
Whether you spell it "pearl" or "perle", this cotton thread is nice to work with when embroidering and crafting. It comes in lots of colors and even different weights, so you have plenty of options. Usually I stick with six-strand floss, but from time to time I go for the pearl. The thing is, I might be more inclined to use this thread if it weren't so tangly. Because here's the deal...it can go from skein to snarl in no time!
When you start a skein of pearl cotton, you untwist it, giving you a large loop. Traditional instructions tell you to snip through the whole thing in one spot of the loop, cutting the entire thing into pieces all at once. This would be fine if that's how you want to use it, but what if you want to keep your length options open?
To store mine, I fold the giant loop in half, then tie a loose knot to hold it. But even knotted, it's only a matter of time before it gets messy. And it seems that when you go to use it, as you pull off some thread, the whole thing knots and twists and you have skeins that look like this. (These are courtesy of my sister who borrowed my supplies!)
But then...a eureka moment! While working on projects for this week, I had my supplies out, and found a new storage solution!
Here's what you need:
Jumbo craft sticks (tongue depressor size!)
A binder ring
A Crop-a-Dile (My Crop-A-Dile punch remains one of my most favorite tools. It wasn't cheap, but I've used it so much that I've more than gotten my money's worth.)
Use the Crop-A-Dile to punch a 3/16-inch hole in each end of the craft sticks. If you don't have a Crop-A-Dile, you could get someone with a drill press to drill holes in a big stack of craft sticks, or you can skip this step for an alternate version.
Hold one end of the pearl cotton along the center of the craft stick, then start wrapping.
One downside to wrapping on something flat is that you will get kinks in the thread over time. To help stop that from happening, you could wrap some thin batting on the stick first, then wrap the pearl around it. I'm not overly concerned about it though.
When it's all wrapped evenly, tuck the loose end through one of the holes in the craft stick. If you are making yours without holes, secure the end by tucking it under some wrapped threads or using a small piece of tape (washi, anyone?)
Hang all of your wrapped thread on a binder ring and you've got tangle-free pearl cotton that's organized and even travel-friendly! (Not to mention so pretty and delicious, I could eat it all up!
I'm becoming convinced that a huge reason that I love embroidery as much as I do is that it gives me a good reason to look through gorgeous colors and touch them all and move them around and take pretty pictures as I do so. And I'm entirely okay with that! Especially now that I'm not constantly frustrated by this smooth and saturated supply!