Thread Winners is a crochet duo consisting of artists Alyssa Arney and Liz Flynn, who met in the California art and museum scene and quickly became friends and collaborators. Since then, they’ve done over two dozen exhibitions together with hopes to do even more. Their name is “a play on the concept of the typically masculine term “breadwinner,’” and they “aim to subvert the patriarchy and status quo through the vehicle of crochet.”
Without further ado, we are happy to share with you Thread Winner’s Happy Place!
What system do you use to organize your yarn?
We'd like to say that we have all of our yarn organized by color or something cool like that, but honestly, our organization system is based on squeezing as much yarn as possible in to any small space we have! Alyssa is usually a bit better about organizing by color, and Liz tends to organize her yarn by size (ie bigger skeins on top of the pile, smaller skeins on the bottom).
What furniture/storage systems do you use to organize your yarn?
We both live in apartments and share our space with our partners, so we both tend to use baskets and makeshift cubbies that fit on our desks, in closets, and around our bookshelves. Baskets are great because they can be easily moved out of the way or under desks if need be.
How do you like to de-stash?
It's been a while since we've de-stashed; we are notorious for buying or taking donations of yarn when we already have more than enough! We like to use left over and random yarn for fun little yarnbombs that we occasionally put up around our neighborhood. We also try our best to use any yarn we have for our art pieces. Sometimes using a color or a small amount of yarn that we aren't initially drawn to creates a nice creative challenge.
More often than not, what colors are always in your office/yarn corner?
Hm, that's a good question. We use a lot of pinks, blues, grays, and purples. We like to have as many colors on hand as possible, because who knows what we might want to create next!
Do you like to work in the same space where your yarn is stored? Why or why not?
Yes, we work in the same space where our yarn is stored because it creates a nice environment that keeps us focused and inspired. We're also visually-driven people, so being able to see all of the materials available to us while we're working helps our creativity thrive.
When you are working on a project, do you have a specific spot you put it when you aren't working on it, or does it follow you around beyond your space?
When we aren't working on something, we use our respective closet spaces to store projects. We commute back and forth between our homes to work together, so we are constantly traveling with our projects and materials! We tend to use Alyssa's space for storing pieces, since she has a bit more room available.
How important is a well-organized yarn corner/office to your mental wellbeing?
It's important to both of us. Liz sometimes needs to organize and clean before she can start working, otherwise she tends to lose focus on our crochet work at hand. Alyssa is more flexible and can crochet whenever, wherever! It's our collective dream to have a dedicated room or studio where we can organize all of our yarn together, alongside our Threadwinners art pieces and materials.
Where did you purchase everything shown in the photos you submitted?
Wooden crates, Target. Baskets, glass jar, ceramic crochet hook holder, Home Goods. Bookshelf and desk, handmade by Liz's dad.
Share any tips or advice you have for someone who is trying to reorganize their stash.
We recommend the Marie Kondo strategy of laying everything you have out in an open space, and organizing from there! It's great to see everything you have laid out so that you can visually conceptualize if you want to organize by size, color, fiber, etc.
Share any current projects or promotions.
We are currently working on an upcoming solo show at Gallery @ WorkWell in Irvine, CA! The opening will be late August/early September, and updates can be found at https://www.workwelloc.com/gallery and our blog https://threadwinnersart.wordpress.com/blog/.
All photos courtesy of Threadwinners.