I used to buy huge quantities of DMC floss every few months, in colours that caught my eye on that day. I would load up on 50-60 skeins, make my way to the cash, and apologize to the cashier who had to scan them all individually. Sometimes I tried smiling sheepishly to see if that helped (it didn’t).
Nowadays, I tend not to buy any thread unless I have a specific project in mind. I will pick up more of one shade in order to get the colour just right, instead of picking up a rainbow and getting inspired as I stitch.
I think the main reason I do it this way is because I am no longer doing primarily redwork. When I started doing embroidery, most of my stitching was pretty simple, and only needed a few colours to make it work. As I got into crewel work and now needle painting, I am having to be more conscious of my colour choices. Working with “what I’ve got” is no longer good enough.
If I had the money to invest in the entire DMC run in one go, I would perhaps think differently. But until then, I think I will stick to buying what I need as I need it. What about you? Do you have certain colours you can’t not buy? Do you get inspired by seeing a rainbow of threads all in a row?