Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Hand Embroidery Accessories – Thread Rings & Keeps


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When it comes to hand embroidery, you’ve probably already realized I’m a bit obsessed. I often wonder if I’m going to ‘stick with’ embroidery all my life, or if I’m ever going to lose interest in it – you know, like outgrowing certain kinds of household decorations or fashion preferences, or even hair styles! But I guess it’s not the same – and one thing that keeps me delighted in embroidery, besides the creative process, is the variety of stuff out there that makes the work prettier, easier, more organized… I like the accessories!

While squizzing about the internet, I came upon another embroiderer’s blog, and on it, I saw an accessory I had never seen before: thread rings. These are little rings of mother-of-pearl that you hook your threads through to keep them organized. I suppose any smooth rings would work, but these are apparently made just for thread.

The Happy Stitcher worked up a beautiful little thread roll, inside of which she lined up these thread rings, hung on ribbon, to keep thread for a project organized. Incidentally, speaking of accessories, the Happy Stitcher also makes and sells pretty little scissor and zipper fobs. And, while you’re looking around her site, you might be interested in her “finishing school,” where she gives step-by-step photo instructions on finishing different types of needlework projects.

Back to the thread rings…. When I saw this delightful little stitching accessory, I wanted to know what the rings were… and so I searched around for “thread rings” and came up with this:

Stitching Bits and Bobs is an extremely colorful website devoted to supplies for embroidery, and especially for needlepoint and counted thread designs. It is, in fact, the site where you can find Giulia Punti Antichi’s embroidery designs. She’s the lady who designed the little free Assisi work etui pattern I posted a while ago. You can find Giulia’s patterns at Stitching Bits and Bobs, so if you want some nice designs to browse or purchase, you might take a look at them!

Back to the thread rings: I think they’re a great idea. They don’t have to be used in a thread roll like the happy stitcher did, but if they are, I think they would be very effective. I was also thinking they would be nice, just strung on a ribbon or on a bigger ring, while working a project. I suppose you could slip your thread in them and carry them loose, too.

There’s also another cool little accessory at Bits and Bobs called a “thread keep.” It’s mother-of-pearl as well, and it holds six groups of floss:

I don’t have any of the above accessories, but they look like great ideas, and someday, I might even invest in some of them! Would they keep me more organized? Hmmm. I can’t guarantee it! One of these days, I’ll have a little etui roll – I’ll roll it up and put it in my nantucket basket, and love the fact that everything tucks prettily away. But I reckon I’ll have to make it first – so I may be waiting a while! In the meantime, I guess I’ll let my plastic box continue rattling inside my basket!

Oh – by the way – with Christmas in the not-too-distant future, I think all these accessories – the thread rings and keeps, or the scissor and zipper fobs – would make marvelous stocking stuffers for stitchers!!


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(3) Comments

  1. Rings in generic shapes can be found in jewelry supply. I get metal split rings in many sizes and a few colours at a local craft supply store. Other materials may be found through on line jewelry supply vendors.

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