Hello stitching friends,
One of our members recently suggested that we add a printer-friendly version of our tips pages so that they can be printed to read off-line. Done! You can now print the tips without all the menus and graphics taking up space. The link is at the top of each tips page.
Spiral Eye Side-Threading Needles
If you have trouble threading needles, we have a wonderful solution for you! The Spiral Eye Needle (tm) has an eye that is open on the side. You just wrap your thread around the needle and it slides up and locks into the eye. Pam Turner, who invented them, graciously sent us one to try, and they're amazing, both in workmanship and functionality. (This picture is of a giant model needle, and while it shows how the eye works, it doesn't convey how shiny and finely made the actual needle is.) You don't even have to be able to see where the opening is -- just wrap the thread near the end of the needle and turn the needle until you feel the thread go in.
They are about the size of a size 22 tapestry needle, which is a little bigger than you probably normally use for cross stitch, but they work just fine. On 14-count and 18-count aida, they fit snugly in the holes in the fabric but are not difficult to put through, and of course softer fabrics are no problem. The sharpness is right for cross stitch. More sizes are coming, so stay tuned.
For stitching with 2 strands of floss, you need to thread the needle one strand at a time (the eye holds up to 5 strands but the opening is smaller). A good way to do this is match up the ends of your 2 strands of floss, loop them across the needle with a bit of space between them, and pulling the floss taut against the needle, slide it along. The first strand will drop into the eye and slide up as the second floss arrives at the eye and drops in. Easy!
You may have seen or tried the so-called calyx eye self-threading needle which is open at the top. And guess what? As soon as you take a stitch, the thread comes right out. The Spiral Eye Needle really stays threaded!
You can purchase them at the Spiral Eye Needles web site. They cost more than an ordinary needle but if struggling to thread your needle is taking all the fun out of stitching, it will be more than worth it to you. Be sure to read about how this tenacious lady fought the nay-sayers to make her idea a reality -- it's quite an interesting story.
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