Apr 11, 2013

Needles

Hi all!  Wow.  What a storm we had.  Very brief, but powerful enough to down trees throughout the valley.  We lost five a few years ago to a micro-burst but were spared this time.  Mark has been picking up limbs and raking twigs for several hours. 
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Needles.  Is there a real difference between current brands in design?  Do you change to a new needle after every project?  Do you have a sore hole in your middle finger from the eye end piercing through?  First time ever for me.  Most of the needles I have, and have received from others, are all DMC.  This is what I've used for years and what is available locally.  The other packs in my drawer are from Loving Touch which I'm assuming are no longer made.  Too bad - cause I like 'em. 
It's the one on the right side end, and you can see the difference from the DMC on the left.  The eye is a little wider and the hole a little shorter.  Much easier to thread and honestly, this old DMC's eye end is not blunt enough!  I actually had it pierce the skin many times leading to a really sore finger.  Yes they are really thin and my skin is really dry, but it's never happened before.  Since most of my projects are done on 28 to 32 count, I guess a size 24 is correct, but I've always preferred 26 for smooth stitching.
So these are Loving Touch size 26.  I really like the shorter wider eye and have no idea what other brand would be comparable.  Should I just move down to 24 when these are gone?  Two packs left which should last a while.  The ladies I stitched with years ago hardly ever changed to a new needle, but my sister in law changed with every project. 
I have a few that are gold plated and platinum but the eyes are really thin so they must be 28's.  Comparing the DMC size 24 to Loving Touch 26, doesn't look much different in the eye except for length.  I guess it's not a big deal but I'm still trying to rid the excess around here that I will never use. I used to have John James and liked them - but that was so many years ago I don't know if they are the same now.  I'm certainly no where near running out of needles!  But if I find something I like, I buy bunches.  Too many favorites end up discontinued or no longer carried .  I read that Bohin is popular and found several other makes online.  So what did I accomplish with this post?  Nothing really.  I have a dozen of 26 that I like, a bunch of 24's, will put away the ones I don't care for, and will add a new brand to my orders for fabric and chart.  See?  I always resolve issues during a post.  Or maybe I just wanted sore finger sympathy.
Anyone interested in the pork roast recipe can find it here.  A new treat kick for me is stirring a tablespoon of peanut butter into my vanilla Greek yogurt.  Like my favorite peanut butter pie!  Especially if you top it with ground peanuts, or chocolate syrup, or crumbled grahams, or all.  Love it.
Haven't chosen a new project yet.  I'm thinking I should try something a little larger but my patience is telling me otherwise.
We all struggle with the same decisions at times and if we make a mistake in our choice, big deal.  Picking the linen and working out color changes if needed is sometimes worse.   So I should just do it!   What's the worst that can happen?  
Have a fabulous weekend - stay safe!

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29 comments:

Kaisievic said...

Great discussion re needles. I had some gold-plated ones I loved to use but I can't seem to get them anymore. I prefer Size 26, too and I have been using John James or Piecemakers but I am, too, having problems with the ends being a bit pointier and pricking my finger. (Now I sound like Sleeping Beauty - lol!).
hugs, Kaye

Shirlee said...

Very interesting topic! I don't remember being particularly impressed with DMC needles or the John James, especially the platinum plated JJs. It was as if I had to drag them through the linen. I liked the gold plated ones although the gold wears off rather quickly & then they drag as well. My favorites as far as that hot knife through butter thing are Bohin needles. However, the inside walls of the holes seem to be a bit rough. I almost always have to use a needle threader to thread them because of this roughness, but they have that hot knife through butter thing about them which is worth having to use a threader most times. I always use size 28s. They are just comfortable for me. I don't know why since I am somewhat on the big side (think Herman Munster) & my hands/fingers tend to bend them all the time. When a needle gets too bent, I toss it & grab a new one.

Karen said...

Very interesting about the needles.
Now I just assumed all needles had a pointed ouchy eye!
I have a perpetual hole in my finger from the eye poking...sometimes it heals and then I poke it again and away it goes...but always in the same spot. There's actually a mark there from always getting poked.
I will now look for different needles.
Karen

Deb said...

I've tried just about every needle and I always come back to John James in 26 or 28 depending on the linen. I didn't like the Bohin needles at all. And I've been using the same needle for the last four projects. I keep using them until they snap and that's only happened to me twice I think. I think they wore thin because they weren't bent at all. Others I've lost, but if I don't lose them I just keep using them. And I don't poke myself either.

cl said...

I love John James 26 petites. I use them until the break, bend or get lost.
I thread my needle by wrapping the fiber loosely around the top of my finger and then lay the eye if the needle in the direction of the thread. I wiggle the needle back and forth over the thread and it slides through the eye. Then I pull the fiber through.

Penny said...

This is the first year I've actually poked a hole in my finger! And I've been stitching for over 30 years! I am using a different needle.... don't know what kind or size, as it came in a kit from years ago. It will go in the garbage soon. It's just too thin. I will have to look for the different types mentioned here... I have only purchased DMC brand in the past b/c it's all I've seen in the stores..... didn't even know there were others!!
Thanks for another interesting post, Marly!

Glenna said...

Love the needle talk. I use Bohins in 28. Every now and then, if I'm having day after day of stitching time, I'll get the hole in the finger from the eye end of the needle. Ouch! I tried every kind of thimble, hard to soft, and hated them all. So I bought a roll of medical tape, cut the tiniest little piece (1/2 inch by 1/2 inch maybe) and stick it on my finger where the needle gouges it, and no more pain!

Annie said...

PieceMakers and Bohin are my favorites. I don't like DMC or other types. I use 26ct on everything. With my favorite brands, they seem to last a really long time. Piecemaker 28 are great for attaching beads.

Faye said...

Hmmm.... The ole needle topic.... I'm a Bohin size 28 lady... Nearly exclusively just because I prefer 36 and 40 ct linens.... When I stitch on 25 ct Lugana, they work as well also.... Now, when I stitch one over one, I use John James ball point beading needle size 10.... I can't recall which expert stitcher recommended them, but once I found them at Stitch and Frame in Rock Hill SC, I keep them on hand.... I love reading everyone's ideas on this topic...

Margaret said...

Well, I usually use John James 28 petites. But I've been having trouble with them breaking constantly. My LNS owner said they don't seem to be made in the UK anymore, but in China. maybe that's why. I've been trying Mary Arden size 28 petites and so far so good. I love petite needles. I thought the Bohin size 28s were nice, but they don't make petites. :(

Cindy said...

I am a Bohin 28 stitcher. Send me your address and I will share a few a I buy in bulk. Cynthia.earnhardt@gmail.com

TheCrankyCrow said...

Hey Sweet You...Long time, me no visit....Hope you will forgive... But, ahhh, coming back is like never leaving - you always have an interesting topic brewing and put a smile on my face. Needles. Really? I haven't even thought about needles so this kinda cracks me up. I actually use Bohins....or, at least that's what I purchase...But when it comes to stitching, I grab whatever is stuck in my pin cushion and it likely is just some old button needle that I found the hard way stuck in the cushion of my chair. Size? Ummmm - couldn't tell ya, as I never figured out the rhyme or reason to what size I was supposed to use. Holes in my finger? Never. Once would have to stitch more than once every few months for that to be a threat I suppose.... ;o) Sorry to hear about the storms - we're getting a layer of ice now (on top of the snow that we still had), but they're saying tomorrow we're in for a good dumping again - 3-12 inches. Good Lord, where's a 3rd story window when you need one??? Smiles & Missed Ya Hugs ~ Robin

Joanie said...

I use piecemakers and bohins but I don't know what size. I'm thinking 26. I don't like John James. The Bohin I'm using now should be replaced, I've worn the finish off it and it drags through the fabric.
I love your questions!

Karla said...

I don't really have any worth while thoughts about needles (I tend to use the same ones over and over and have no idea what size they are), but have you tried a leather thimble for your sore finger problem? I have a couple that I'll pull out if I'm working on perforated paper or even plastic canvas. You can find some here: http://www.herrschners.com/Product/Leather+Thimble.aspx

This one is a little different than the one I have. Mine has some stretchy fabric over the knuckle, which helps when you're actually trying to use your finger. Anyway, hope this helps!

Judy said...

First wanted to say that Dorothy is lovely! I like that you made her into a sweet pillow. What a cool discusion of needles! I have never given it much thought. My LNS--now closed :( --put a needle in you fabric everytime you bought it, so I have quite a few on hand. But when I need to buy them...I have suggestion. Thanks.

Hope you get some nice weather soon.

Judy heartland stitcher

Vera said...

Hi Marly, I use John James and Bohin, like them both, and many times end up with a hole in my finger. I like Glenna's idea of surgical tape -- will have to try that. Thanks for the pork recipe -- looks wonderful!

backporchcarver said...

Being so new to the cross stitching I haven't had time to really develope a preference, but I got some bohins cause they were suggested on one of the web sites and I really do like them, they slide through the linen better that the ??brand I was using. I got some of several sizes but am so far using the 26's.I will probably keep using them.It was interesting to read what everyone had to say.

MJ Hunt said...

Piecemaker Tapestry #24 is all I use. If my project is large I usually change needles. Thought I kept your address somewhere but some 'elderly' person has misplaced it!! Send it to me and I'll mail you a packet of these to try. MJ

Dirty Martini Queen said...

Interesting reading on needles and everyone's faves. I use JJ 28 petites and bought a lot when we made the move...too afraid I'd never find them over here or even a cross stitch store which since I haven't found one yet was a good call. Anyhoo, I use my needle until it wears thin and snaps or I lose it. I hate the goldplated ones because the gold wears off rather quickly and I hate that look. I also have stitcher's sores on my fingers and they crack like crazy but I hubby bought me some "mole skin" which he cuts to fit my pokes and that helps greatly! Now the next subject you should cover is what hand lotion helps those of us with dried out hands from handling fabric constantly.

Donna

Chris said...

I really have never paid attention to what type of needle I use but I know that I have friends who are dedicated to piecemakers or the bohin needles.
I can't wait to see what you start next. Great tip on the greek yogurt mix-ins.

Elisabetta said...

Very interesting post...I tried both Dmc and John James platinum but believe me there is nothing that can match the Bohin's needles!! I bought them from Brenda Gervais (With Thy Needdle and Thread) and under her advice just like flow in flax just like a knife through butter, you have to try them and after please let me know what do you think about....

Charlene ♥ SC said...

I was a Bohin 28 girl, then I found 10 (LNS) or 12 ball point beading needles. They flow through 40ct with the ease of butter! No - I don't change with every project. I use until they are broken or get a spur, or lost.

As for the sore finder - I use the little round bandaids for when this happens!

Deb on the Cumberland Plateau said...

Hey Marley. I buy Bohin needles in 50 packs, sizes 26 and 28. I've used DMC, John James, and Piecemakers, but like the Bohins the best. When my finger gets tender, I make a thimble out of white electrical tape. I do this for quilting also. Tea Tree Oil will take the soreness away.

Barbara Shores ~ Village Folk Art said...

OMGosh now you've got me worried about what brand of needle I am using. I'm a newby so I bought the Bohin variety pack and use what ever size needle is conveniently sticking in my pin cushion. Looks like I will now have to pay closer attention to my needles. Never have I had a hole in my finger ... must not be stitchin' correctly or often enough. No matter, I will continue to do what ever makes me happy. I hear a happy wife makes a happy life???

Love your Blog ... as always Peace and Blessings,
Barb

Janice Boucher said...

My all time favorite needles are Piecemakers #26. They are comfortable and reliable. I can't remember the last time I actually changed my needle. They last forever. I also do love the feel of Bohins and the way they go through the fabric.... nice and smooth.
I don't like 24's...I find them too thick and bulky. I stick to 26's for all my stitching.

Cricket-bug Corner said...

I buy gold top needles from Fons and Porter. I get that at Joanns int eh quilting section. When the gold wears off - I change needles!

Katherine said...

Hey Marly - great question. I have a callus on my finger; you can't see it, but I can feel it. When I've had my hands too wet - especially when canning - my callus is in danger; so I've taken to wearing rubber gloves. I'm a Bohin 26 - sounds like we're talking about bra sizes, doesn't it! I totally agree with you about the DMC eyes been too small. But I can't always get Bohins. So, I'm cycling through my DMCS. I get rid of them when they bend. Just picked up new Bohins at Glenna's shop

Jan - Life on Buttermilk Hill said...

Wow! I never knew about the choices of needles!When I quilted, I just used the little sharps...and sharp they were! I constantly had very sore fingertips where the back end would pop through my finger. I finally learned to use a thimble, but that hurt too because my nails are very wide. Now my fingers are ok , but my back hurts from hunching over painting. Sigh...you just can't win!---Jan

katica said...

About 15 years ago while living in Hungary, a lady at one of the LNS introduced me to ball pointed needles... These are not the same as the JJ ones mentioned above, these have small balls on their tips, and they are the best needle I've ever used... And I've tried many. I won't use anything else. They glide beautifully through your fabric, the finish doesn't wear off that fast and they last... So you dont need to switch that often. I know you can't get them here in North America -trust me I've looked... So I stock up whenever I can. I would be more than happy to send you one to try if you like

I also love Bohin 28's for beading

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