You might be well-rounded, knowledgeable about the world and able to converse with people on many topics, but is your stash well-rounded? Can you find threads there to stitch many kinds of canvases? If you have a canvas stash do you have a canvas you can use to make a quick gift? If you do charted needlepoint or design your own projects, do you have enough blank canvas to start a new project when inspiration strikes?
No matter how small or large your stitching space may be, planning and buying for your stash strategically creates a stash that is like a well-rounded guest at a party — able to fit in anywhere and do a variety of things.
So what goes into a well-rounded stash?
Basic metallics – In your preferred metallic thread (or threads) have a gold and silver you like. Most lines have several shades of these so find the one you like and always have it on hand. On most canvases metallics aren’t used extensively so using one shade and keeping it on hand is very useful.
Special metallics – Two metallic colors I always keep on hand are white and pale yellow. The yellow is perfect for stitching lit windows and it seems as if I am always finding places to use white metallic, so I’ve learned to keep both on hand.
Flesh tones in silk or floss – Even if you don’t think you do lots of people, you will do them from time to time, having the flesh colors of the thread you like makes doing them easier.
Greens – In nature there are lots of greens, an almost infinite amount. Whenever you are stitching plants (here’s another area you do more than you think you do) using a variety of greens will make them look better. You should have greens in many different threads to make this easier. I have a rule about buying threads “When in doubt, buy green.” This adds to my stash and makes stitching plants easier.
Background threads – If you have been stitching for awhile there are probably threads and types of colors you love for backgrounds. For me these are almost white colors, colors that are so pale they have just a hint of color. While finding a background color and thread can be frustrating, if you keep a stash of your favorites, you probably will have enough to do something small.
Your favorite color – Most of us get into color ruts, using the same colors often. The basics in your stash should also include threads in your favorites. Having these makes it easy to create a new project when you are inspired to do so.
Many of us have canvas stashes as well and those can be well-rounded also. Here you need to think about two things in order to buy strategically. First, think about the occasions in your life.
Are you making ornaments for family? Buy canvases that will work for this.
Is there a designer or series you love? Buy them when you can both afford them and find them.
Are there special occasions coming up in your life? Weddings? New babies? Graduations? Buy canvases in anticipation of this so you are ready to make the gift. I kept the graduation ornament for my son for three years because I found it on sale. I didn’t do this for his younger sister and I ended up buying something I didn’t like as much.
Organize your stash and add to it strategically and you will have plenty of projects to stitch and threads to use in them.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
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