No to old thread, yes to wine for all crafting occasions, yes to long stitch length and yes to two rows.
For what it’s worth I loosen the needle thread tension when sewing gathering stitches. This is easy to do on my (and most?) machines. Turn the number down for low needle tension then turn it back up to continue sewing (don’t forget that bit, I have, many times).
Adjusting the bobbin thread tension is another thing altogether. On my machine it’s a little screw on the bobbin casing, so there’s no way of knowing how tight or loose it is, or where to turn it back to. That’s one I don’t mess with. But, I have two bobbin casings. One at normal tension for sewing and another that’s super low tension for doing double needle hemming. That certainly solved my popping knit hems. But that’s another thread breaking story altogether. 🙂