Building your Needlepoint Thread Stash
Do you have have more needlepoint thread than you need? You aren’t alone. That stockpile of thread is called your “stash.” Some people, like me, have enough stash to keep me stitching forever. Other people buy thread only or the current project and have small stashes of odds and ends of thread.
But there are great ways to build your thread stash quickly and often inexpensively. That way you have those little bits of thread you need to stitch a bit on a project or, if you are lucky, you have enough to stitch an entire project from stash. I’ve done many of these and often they turn out more fun than they would if you had bought the thread from scratch.
1. Save the ends of your thread from other projects. Sometimes this is only a little, sometimes it’s lots, but it’s good to have that little bit of red for a pair of lips instead of buying a whole new skein.
2. Take advantage of sales which come your way.
Does your guild chapter have an auction? Stock up on thread there.
Is your local shop closing out a thread? Buy lots so you have some stock of your own.
Does the local thrift shop have some threads? Buy them. I am making a Maggie Co piece with over 50 colors and half of them are from a thrift store pile I bought a couple of years ago.
3. Do you see a thread you like or a new needlepoint thread? Instead of buying randomly (which I used to do most of the time), now I try to buy threads in colors I’m going to use often. Maybe you stitch lots of Christmas canvas, then buy red and green, or your house has lots of blue, then buy blue. This gives you thread you are going to use more quickly.
If you are thinking about buying larger quantities, go for good background colors. Even if you end up making stripes because you bought two dyelots, you have used some of your stash.
I call the whole process “shop the stash first” and now (but then my stash is really huge) most of my projects use stash threads, either completely or partially. And looking at my threads often inspires new projects. In fact I’m planning a small piece now which is based on a Watercolours I bought because it was pretty. All the other threads are from my stash.
It’s like having a shop in my studio. If you follow these ideas you’ll have your own shop of needlepoint thread as well.