Many brands of sewing threads and several brands of embroidery threads are spooled up these days on plastic snap spools.
On each end of a snap spool, the “head” of the spool lifts up a little bit so that you can anchor your loose thread underneath the lip of that liftable head, and snap the spool closed again – a convenient way to anchor the loose end of the thread.
If you use sewing threads packaged on these kinds of spools – or embroidery threads (certain Au Ver a Soie silks come on them, as well and Londonderry Linen thread, Trebizond, and others) – when you’re finished with the spool, don’t pitch it!
I re-use empty spools often, and here’s one way I recently put one to use.
I am contemplating an experiment. A test. I have a notion that I can take a kind of “short cut” on a project, and once I test my theory, I will share it with you – whether it turns out to be one of those happy moments of triumphant success … or an abject failure.
Before I can test my theory, though, I had to overcome one small difficulty.
Enter, the pull skein.
Perhaps I should call it the Unpredictable Pull Skein. The Highly Temperamental Pull Skein. The made-to-irritate-me-and-drive-me-nuts pull skein.
I’ve written about the frustrations of pull skeins before. You see, it never fails. Whenever I think I’ve got The End (as in, the Correct End) and that the whole skein is going to pull out smoothly and cooperatively, it happens.
It bunches. It knots. It stops pulling.
We’ve all experienced it, I’m sure – it’s just one of those minor inconveniences to which we become accustomed.
Well, for my proposed experiment to progress without a hitch, I couldn’t have a pull skein that refused to cooperate.
So I decided to spool up the pull skein onto a snap spool.
I snapped one end of the thread from the pull skein (the Correct End, I hoped!) onto the empty spool, mounted the spool onto one of the pins of my spool holder, and proceeded to wind the thread onto the spool.
At first, I figured it would be a two-minute job, well worth the time. It actually turned out to be a twelve-minute job, but I still think it was worth the time.
The trick is to keep tension on the thread coming off the skein, moving it back and forth along the spool in the same way that a bobbin on a sewing machine loads, while turning the spool with your other hand.
Half way through the experience, I wondered if I could use my sewing machine bobbin winder somehow to do the turning. Why didn’t that occur to me before I started? If I need another spool, I may try that!
In the meantime, though, this worked out pretty well. Yes, it took twelve minutes, but if my deep, dark, secret plan works, it will be well worth it!
Given this recent topics on Needle ‘n Thread, and given the fact that this thread is used profusely on one project I started within the last year, you’ll probably guess what I’m planning to do….
But it’s more fun to be mysterious.