While attempting to straighten up my workspace the other day – sorting through embroidery thread, organizing too many needles, trying to find space for fabric, and in general wishing I were just a wee bit more organized (know the feeling?)! – I found myself holding this little piece of Needlework Furniture, and thought, “Why, I haven’t shown them my spool holder.”
So today, I’m showing you my spool holder!
I love this little thing – not only is it attractive in a simple sort of way, but it’s downright handy! Now, admittedly, much of the embroidery floss we use for stitching comes on skeins, not spools. But there are many sorts of fine embroidery threads that do come on spools – take, for example, many of the Au Ver a Soie threads, or Trebizond, or Accentuate and Bijoux. Metal threads often come on spools (passing threads, fine braids, and so forth), too. Spools are just something that a needleworker is bound to run into!
When using embroidery threads that come on spools, a spool holder helps to keep threads on hand, organized, in one spot, and clearly visible. The disadvantage to my (small) spool holder is that it only has 8 spindles. I’ve seen double-decker versions of antique spool holders and always rather drooled over them. I’ve seen the type that have a pin cushion situated at the top of the holder, and, admittedly, I’ve coveted them, too.
For example, I’m quite taken with Helen Stevens’s Bobbin Joe. It’s simple in design and totally functional – though I’d dearly love to have something similar, with 8 spindles… and maybe even two layers of 8 spindles. (Greedy Me.) Incidentally, there’s this deliciously beautiful mahogany spool holder on eBay that is pretty close to my Dream Spool Holder… except in price. Yeesh!
Ah yes, I like my little spool holder – kind of humble, very simple, made out of various stained dowels more or less, though dressed up a bit with finials. I am quite fond of it. For some reason, it makes me happy.
Come to think of it, these things might even have a more pleasing name than “spool holder.” But I have no idea what they’re called. The mundane appellation of “spool holder” seems a bit blah, doesn’t it?
It would be easy enough to devise simple spool holders, using dowels and a 2×4. And in sewing stores, you can find pre-made spool racks that would suffice. A dowel-riddled 2×4 and the unfinished spool rack are both quite functional. So why is it that I crave spool holders that are pretty and finished and functional? (Greedy Me, again, I suppose.)
Have you noticed that embroiderers tend to lean towards the Decorative in their tools?
I think that’s ok, though. Don’t you?