Sunday, March 25, 2018

Small tip

Wanted to share a quick little tip with you.  If you wind your DMC floss on those plastic bobbins, then you probably already have the winder tool.  What a marvelous thing – so much faster than winding those bobbins by hand. 

But not perfect.

The small peg that holds the bobbin in place is made of the same hard plastic as the winder and (for me at least) works best with the paper/cardboard bobbins.  But I want the durability of the plastic bobbins.

Over the years, I’ve tried a bunch of things to either snug up or take the place of the peg, most often stuffing a piece of paper in the hole with it so the peg doesn’t fall out after three or four turns.  Some plastic bobbins are thicker than others and I’ve had ones that barely fit into the slot – the peg was unusable with those as the holes did not align perfectly and then I used a piece of copper wire snipped out of a bit of leftover romex.

Having quite a bit of floss to wind right now (will explain that below), I was once again mentally grousing that the peg has no give and then inspiration struck.  Years ago, a friend suggested using knitting needle point protectors on the tip of my embroidery scissors to protect both my fingers and the scissor points and at some point I’d bought a package of them.

Ta-dah!  A softer, friendlier peg!

And why am I winding all this floss?  Some of you might remember that Wonderful Husband gifted me with an incredibly scary amazing chart of the Unicorn in Captivity tapestry for Christmas. 

I took advantage of a great sale at my favorite online needlework shop to get fabric for the unicorn.  And since I expect this project to take approximately forever, it seemed wise to just go ahead and get new DMC, so have been using coupons at Michael’s and JoAnn’s to accumulate all 119 colors in the design.  Eeek!

The other day, Wonderful Husband asked me what I’d like for my birthday.  And being mindful that the size of the Unicorn is 285 x 404 and is solidly stitched (eeek again!), I thought perhaps something smaller would be a better first for a solidly stitched piece.  So I suggested this, which is a detail from the Cluny tapestry known as  À Mon Seul Désir. 

(image from Scarlet Quince website)

Hey, it’s only 123 x 274 stitches.  And has only 109 colors of DMC. 

Yes, I probably am crazy.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!



  1. A bobbin winder. I am so isolated. Or maybe too lazy too thoroughly browse! I'm a bagger myself, always was. Your new design is spectacular, beautiful colors, and not for a wimp.

  2. 109 DMC colors WOW--that is scary and overwhelming

  3. What a great idea for the winder, thanks for sharing it.
    That's a LOT of floss, but at least you got it on sale! :)
    Have fun stitching those beautiful works of art.

  4. Very interesting. I'd never heard of a bobbin winder. I'm a bag person too. lol! I've always said there's no way I could stitch one of those solidly stitched pieces. Good luck!

  5. Can't wait to see your progress on both of your unicorn pieces! Wow!

  6. Oh my!!! I cannot even begin to imagine stitching that piece. I saw it in person in the Cloisters in NYC this past fall. The series of the tapestries are there and they are just amazing to view in person. I admire you tackling this project!!! Mary

  7. Wow! You must be getting close to a finish on Jane to be already winding all of the floss for the tapestry piece, Deb. That will be amazing to watch come to life!

    Happy winding :)

  8. I am a weirdo hand bobbinator! :D It seems a lot of people dislike the task but I loooove it. I've been taking advantage of the coupons (and recent 3/.99 sale) to fill in gaps in my DMC collection too. Did you have to buy a new box too?

  9. Wow! Both designs are stunning! The Lady and the Unicorn is currently showing in Sydney, so I am thinking of going up to view it - probably my only chance to get to see it as it is only the third time in 500 years that it has left France!

  10. I have not heard of the bobbin winder and such a great idea.
    109 colours! that is going to keep you very busy.
    Happy weekend

  11. Aha! Bobbinator! I “inherited” two boxes of threads already on bobbins and a mass of other bits and pieces, and there could well be such a thing amongst all the bags! But I have most of my collection of threads stored whole and the few I’ve wound have been wound by hand. I think I need to search for the bobbinator now! Great tip thanks Deb!
    Wow, those unicorns!!! I look forward to watching your progress!
    Happy Easter!
    Barbara xx

  12. I´ve never seen a bobbin winder here. The designs are gorgeous, what a lot of stitching on the horizon, enormous amount of thread colours, amazing. this will be interesting to see develop