Untangling the threads

I've been using these threads a lot recently, on some new needle felt work. They are mostly Danish flower cottons. They are harder to get hold of in the UK, but I much prefer them to the thicker, stranded DMC embroidery threads. I've had mine for over twenty years and have always stored them in a vintage 1960s chocolate box, which has become more battered over the years.

The colours are subdued, but have a natural richness to them which I love. However, as you can see, they have become somewhat muddled. Tidying this rainbow melange has been on my 'to-do' list for a very long time. And this year, I finally tackled it. 

Gradually and over several days, I untangled the rats nest of threads, finding it strangely soothing and most satisfying to see the neatly wound pile of card bobbins growing. There are little lessons to be learned, in that brute force will not make a knot disappear. The thread has to be gently coaxed and drawn out softly.

Coincidentally, I have been rummaging through old papers and discovering notes and poetry snippets scribbled out many years ago. One caught my eye. The poem, rather like my tangled threads, needed some rearranging and tidying. I'm not sure why I wrote it, or what I was doing at the time, but it does express some of the quiet comfort to be found in 'doing' with one's hands.


There is darkness around her.
In the darkness, a basket.
She lifts the lid.
The shadows shift.

There is light in her hands.
In her hands, a needle.
The needle flashes.
The darkness retreats.

There is silk in the needle.
In the silk, a song.
The needle flies.
The silk sings.

The day begins.


Granny Sue said...

Oh, I like that poem! The repetitive pattern is intriguing, and leaves one wondering about the lady with the needle. Well done.

Charlotte said...

Lovely. Threads and button boxes are things of quiet joy.

Twiglet said...

I so agree with the therapy in sorting threads! Your poem speaks to me too of course! You are such a talent Gretel. x Jo

Karren said...

Oh, what soothing thoughts and sights in this post. The lovely colors, the order out of chaos, and ending with the poem. What a wonderful way to start my day.

The poem is so intriguing because you can't know if her needle is stitching a design in fabric, knitting, crocheting, mending socks or needlefelting. They all share that meditative, soothing act of needle and thread. Marvelous!

BumbleVee said...

I laughed when I saw the tangly mess.... been there, done that. Somehow threads play secret games when we aren't watching...I know they do. Otherwise, how did it get like that? Similar to Christmas light strings...how do they get so tangly during the months when we are not looking at them>?

The bottom photo is so relaxing... all done and beautiful wrapped... so pretty. Congrats on patience and perseverance ...

Tiffany Dawn Smith said...

This should have relaxed me too, but I have the same procrastination in that closet in there-- a bag of tangled threads (stranded DMCs). One day, one day.
Lovely poem, by the way!