Sunday 3 August 2014

Must Have Stitching Kit......THE TANTO!!!!

This is it. The Tanto Organizer
(which you can buy from HERE)

Some of my US readers have expressed some difficulty finding this.
So, here are a couple of UK sites that ship to the US:
 If you click on either of these it will take you straight to the Tanto page.

Almost from day one of my blog I've had a link on here to the Tanto website.
Because, in my opinion, it's one of the best pieces of sewing kit I've ever bought.

So, what do you get?
Well, you get what you see (minus the threads of course).

It's made of lightweight, but sturdy, plastic.
You get the base, three uprights that make give the adjustable height, and the wheel (oh, and a little hook to pull the threads up through the hole).
Each wheel can hold up 50 colours.

In the instructions you actually just pull the thread up through a hole and slip it over the little peg. Then there's a strong elastic band that sits over the top of the threads that holds them in place.
Then you simply make a note of the number peg next to the colour on the chart.
If you want you can then separate all your threads prior to starting your project and then, as you need them, you pull a single thread from the bunch.
Also, you can have multiple needles threaded and just keep the needles tucked under each bunch on the wheel.

Personally, I like to have my threads secured the same way as I would on a thread card organiser: fold the thread length in two, pull the loop up through the hole and then pull the loose ends through the loop and pull to secure.

But, one of the best things about the Tanto - for me at least - is the ability to have multiple wheels which you just swap over with each project you're doing.

As is my way, I'm never content with just throwing my wheels into a plastic bag when not in use....

So, here's what I bought:

Some nice looking boxes (from TKMaxx)
These cost about £7 each (although the big one was in the reduced section).

Also, I put Nigel to work at the sewing machine.
Nigel hates having his photo taken (unless he's prepared), so this is the largest he'd let this photo be seen:

What did he make?
My Tanto cases!!!
Nigel always has an eagle-eye open for nice material and this one I particularly liked, so he's made me these little cases to keep my Tanto wheels in when not in use.
This keeps the dust off my threads and makes sure they don't get tangled.
So, I have one of these for each of my wheels (that'd be three, in case you're wondering).

So, once in their little Tanto beds where do I put them?
That's what the boxes were for!

This is the larger of the two boxes and, as you can see, I can put multiple Tanto wheels inside (all three fit in here) as well as the charts I'm working from.

Also, when not in use the entire Tanto comes apart and also fits in this box!

Then we come to the smaller box.
That one's for threads.
WHAT!? I hear you exclaim?
Why do you need that if you've got the Tanto?

Well, as with most stitcher's, I have my little peculiarities.

I like to have my skeins of thread on bobbins, which I normally buy from Leisurecraft Tewkesbury as they're the cheapest for DMC. But, they supply their skeins pre-wound onto their own numbered cards. Cards which are bigger than standard-sized bobbins. Which don't fit in the standard plastic project boxes that you can buy everywhere.

So, an alternative was called for.
When I saw this small box, which came with dividers, I thought 'Eureka' (or some other less geeky word) and bought it.
As you can see the dividers are perfect for separating the bobbins. And the LC-T bobbins fit the box exactly. There's even room to keep one of my small project boxes in there too!

As I work I cut a length off the bobbin - but when I've finished with that colour, if there is some of that length left, I then put that thread on my Tanto and note the number peg on my chart. That way my bobbins don't get 'fattened' by odd bits until the end of the project.
Some people will probably think that's pointless - but it's how I like to work.

Obviously, a kit you can just put all the threads straight onto your Tanto at the start and you're all ready to go.
You can see from this picture that it's the perfect height to have by a chair. But, you can also take out one or two of the uprights and it can sit on a table or arm of the sofa etc.

 Finally, another great feature of the Tanto is how light it is to carry. You can take it apart, put it in a bag and you're off.

OK!! OK!!! People have already mentioned them...CATS and KIDS!!!
I don't have children but I do have cats. My cats are really well behaved and don't touch the Tanto at all. Draw your own conclusions. :-)

Personally, along with my floor stand, I think it's one of the best inventions ever for cross stitch and I'm happy to give it a plug on my blog!
And, no, I don't have any affiliation with Tanto themselves...I just like to support good designers!

Hope you enjoyed reading about it.



  1. Looks neat, I might take a closer look once I get to have my own little stitching corner someday :) How many different colors can you fit in there? From the pictures I guess you only use the outer ring, but the inner ring has numbers as well so is there a way to but threads there as well, if this makes any sense?

    1. Hi, thanks for spotting that I left out a crucial piece of info...50 colours. I've updated the article too. :-)

  2. The Tanto looks a very useful gadget if using skeins but I use the Leisurecraft bobbins and bought the whole lot at a Knitting and Stitching show a few years ago. They came in a box with dividers so no I just replace the ones I need (when there is enough to order).

    1. I prefer to use my Tanto for the lengths I cut off from my bobbins - that way my bobbins stay neat and tidy.

  3. I had never heard of these things until I read this blog entry, but what a fabulous idea! I'm off to see if my LNS can get them. Thanks Neil.

  4. I completely missed this post but am glad I found it! I'm thinking that Tanto would make a great prize for our stitching contests!