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Scarlet Quince Ramblings

Cross stitch ... life ... art

Big boo-boo
June 27th, 2011

So I was stitching last night, minding my own business, when it slowly soaked into my consciousness that the needle I was using to stitch the & symbol, which should have had a green and a gold thread, actually had two brown threads. (No, I don’t memorize the colors for each symbol but some I just learn after I’ve stitched them for a while.) I pulled out the last 3 or 4 stitches which were around the edges and then decided that would be a good time to quit for the night. I’m not actually sure of the extent of the damage — there are at least a few more wrong stitches, and to get at them I will have to rip out all the surrounding stitches. I’m going to look at it and maybe decide that it’s not worth bothering with. Although the thread is the wrong color, it is similar in darkness. It’s in a very confettic area but there is a pattern although you have to step back to see it.

I’m not sure how this happened. I may have parked a needle in the wrong place, although I think I’m really pretty careful about that. Much more often, I think, I just put floss back onto the wrong bobbin. I don’t know how I do that. I think maybe I look at the right bobbin and then pick up a different one. That sounds odd but I’ve caught myself doing it. Then later I notice I have 4 colors of floss on one bobbin, or I pick a bobbin up and realize that the color on it is clearly wrong (like a light color with a dark symbol, or vice versa). Sometimes I can figure out what the symbol for the floss should have been and sometimes I just have to throw the floss away because I don’t know what it is.

Earlier today, I thought, “I should snip half an inch of the two colors of floss on each bobbin and tape it to the bobbin.” That would be a way to check whether I was putting floss on the right bobbin. And even if I still put it on the wrong bobbin, I would probably notice when I went to use it again. My next thought was that that sounds like kind of a chore, so now I’m thinking about printing floss labels with the colors. The numbers and symbols would still be black, but there would be two little swatches or lines of the appropriate colors added to the labels. This wouldn’t necessarily let you know which thread on a bobbin was which, if it was ecru and sand for example, but it might keep you from putting blues on a bobbin that was supposed to have pinks.

What do you think?

5 Responses to “Big boo-boo”
  1. From Cecilia
    12 years, 11 months ago

    Gosh, what a pain when that happens. What I do to ensure this doesn’t happen (anymore) is that all bobbins are nicely in their place in the bobbin box, except for the one I’m using. This is pulled out and laid on top of the other bobbins in the box (either over the blended bobbins or the bobbins of one color – depending on which symbol I work on). This bobbin stays in this position until, I work with another blend. Then I put this bobbin in place and repeat the process.

    Of course, having the colors on the floss labels is really wonderful…and most probably useful!


  2. From Julie
    12 years, 11 months ago

    Oh, I’ve done it too. I can get slightly distracted and pick up an adjacent bobbin. If the color is drastically different, I realize it immediately, but a beige/sand blend vs. an ecru/sand blend? I won’t catch that until I glance at the bobbin label some stitches later. Like Cecilia, I try to keep only the bobbin I’m currently using out and available. I use bead sorting boxes (plastic, really cheap, and just the right size for holding bobbins with the top edge up so the labels can be readily seen). These boxes come with lids that can be removed. Place the lid under the box, and the bottom edge of a bobbin will slide right into the narrow gap that’s formed. The label can easily be seen. This way, if I’m called away, or the phone rings, I can easily remind myself what’s in the needle. That said, I think that having a bit of the color available for a permanent reminder couldn’t hurt and might help a lot of us. Are you thinking of having the line of color directly under (or over) its corresponding number? That would be the most helpful configuration for me.
    Good luck with the ripping!

    Yes, the colors would be either above or below the corresponding numbers so you could easily see which number was which color. There’s not much room below the numbers right now so the colors might go above or I might move everything up.

  3. From susan
    12 years, 11 months ago

    I keep myself on track by using little plastic snack bags. The skein of floss is in the snack bag with the DMC label and the bobbin with the floss label attached. If I have to do a blended colour then I only get out the two snack bags with the colours that I need and keep all other bags in my craft box. I open one bag and get out 1 strand of floss and then put the remaing floss back in the bag right away. Then I open the other bag and do the same. My eyes aren’t the greatest and the only way I keep from getting colours confused or mixed up is to be hyper-vigilant. I only have 1 needle threaded at a time as extra insurance against mix-ups. It’s a horrible feeling when you realize that you have been stitching a wrong colour or have counted incorrectly. Hopefully you won’t have much to rip out.
    Take Care,

    Yep, as you all may have guessed, I have a horrible pile of bobbins in my lap and a bunch more in a box lid I use to keep the colors that are more or less active. Not a good idea, clearly.

  4. From bea
    12 years, 11 months ago

    Hello everyone;

    I keep my floss and label in a snack bag.

    1. Thread my needle and put the skein back in the bag along with the label

    2. I don’t usually use the bobbins as I find the thread is more twisted when you go to stitch it.

    3. If I have a small bit of thread left, I will the number the bobbin and wind the thread on to.

    Bye for now and happy stitching

  5. From Pam
    12 years, 10 months ago

    I think the colors on the floss labels is an EXCELLENT idea! I haven’t made this mistake yet (at least that I know of), but I can see how it could easily happen. I do use the floss labels on the bobbins, and I have multiple needles threaded at a time. When I have to get a new bobbin out, I try to only have one out at a time. (I have been more vigilant about this since reading your story.) I am somewhat OCD, which helps in that I check and double check, which makes for slow–but fairly accurate–stitching. Anyway, a color on the floss bobbin would give me an extra bit of comfort that I am using the correct threads. Thanks for thinking of new ways to help us out–even if it came at the expense of your own mistake:( We have all made plenty and usually learn from them.
    Pam (Armywife)

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