My biggest problem when it comes to doing a Scrap Bag Needlepoint project is my Scrap Bag itself. It’s a mess. In fact it’s three of them.
First there is my “wad” of silk (thanks to Sharon G for this wonderful description). It’s all my unlabeled silks. It’s in a box on a high shelf. Supposedly it’s there if I need just a bit of a color, but in reality I haven’t used it in over 3 years.
Second there is my “current” scrap bag. It’s a small box that lives on my desk. Leftovers go in it. I sometimes use it for projects. But it’s completely unsorted.
Third there is my “old” scrap bag. It’s a much bigger box, packed with threads. It’s so full I can’t find anything in it. So it mostly lives in the garage.
Mostly, when doing a scrap project I pull threads from my stash. That kind of defeats the purpose.
So it’s easier to use our scraps, let’s organize. You will need containers for each category you have. These can be anything as long as you can grab them easily. I use closed plastic boxes because of my cats.
Next pick your method of sorting. You can sort by color, putting each color into a different container: red, blue, violet, etc.To this I would add bins for light and dark neutrals. This works great if you tend to think about projects in terms of color (as in “My daughter loves orange, let’s make her an ornament featuring orange this year.”)
If your stash is small, or if you prefer to have a variety of colors in your projects, sort by value. This can be harder because it can be difficult to tell the value of some colors. But you will want roughly five piles: light, medium, dark, light neutral, and dark neutral.
I have sorted out the neutrals in both methods. Why? Neutrals are often important as backgrounds for your projects, By sorting them out you can use your stash for backgrounds instead of buying a new thread for it.
If, as you sort, you find you have lots of threads if a particular texture (metallic, shiny, furry), put all the threads of that texture into a bin.That puts them together to be used as accents.
Now you have the building blocks of your patterns and you have an organized stash of threads for a project. Tomorrow we’ll cover how to pick a color theme for your project.
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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