Thursday, December 12, 2013

Another Holiday Gift Idea


In early November, I blogged about those cool measuring tools by SA Curve Ruler. My friend Sue decided to order two sets of these tools - one for herself and one for another sewer. She bought this set and then she added another great gift, a neck lamp.

She found this lamp at Costco (in the office supply section), but it's also fairly inexpensive on Amazon: Twist-A-Lite Handsfree Flexible Neck Reading Book LED Light. She kindly gifted me with an extra one she had and it is so perfect. It will also be great if the power goes out and one has to use the bathroom. ;) My clever friend Heather puts one on her dog's neck when he had to go out in the dark.

Well, let me say that this entire gift was very popular! Much admired and coveted.

Here's another thought for you. I do a lot of hand sewing. A lot. I am fairly finicky about my needles. Margy asked me the other day what kind I use, and I thought maybe others might be interested. I like my needles to be slim and sharp, but not too short or too long. I like the eyes to be on the long side, but not fat.

What can I say, size matters.

I think that some people who hate hand sewing have maybe never used a good needle.

Maybe. ;)

I use a needle for a long time. It often develops a bit of a curve, but I like the personality.

Anyway, I really like John James needles, which are made in England. Those English tailors require good tools.

Here are some on Amazon: John James Professional Needle Collection-100/Pkg.

I am sure that Clover needles are also good (I love Clover pins and other tools) but I haven't used those. Are there any other needle brands you can recommend?

22 comments:

  1. Shams, you are SO influential! The needle packet is already sold out at Amazon.

    People should know that the EZ Wheel is right-hander-centric. I've emailed seller about a possible fix. The concept is a good one--but I'm on the fence so far about its utility. I also want it to have darker measurement markings (YMMV).
    Lisa from BABES

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure they had that many needle packets to begin with. I have a packet of 50 assorted needles and I can't remember where I picked it up. My favorites are the darners.

      You are right about it being right-hand-centric. I am left handed and that hasn't bothered me (I'm used to such adjustments), but it might bother some left handers. Thanks for pointing it out!

      Thanks, Lisa!

      Delete
    2. I just received my wheel today - it's a new version. I know, because I've been waiting for them to be in stock! I'm left-handed and I have to say, I don't have a problem at all. Claire told me she made a couple of changes, but another possibility is that I've simply become too accustomed to living in a backwards world. I can't even figure out how to use it in an awkward fashion. ?? I love it!

      Delete
  2. Susan Khalje sells some wonderful Japanese handsewing needles:

    http://www.susankhalje.com/store.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, I bet those are excellent! Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
    2. japanese needles rock ... so thin and sharp ... i got mine here: http://www.shiboridragon.com/Notions-Japanese.htm ... i love em ...
      half-way down the page it says:

      JAPANESE NEEDLE ASSORTMENT in
      Black Carrying. Travel Case

      Japanese sewing needles, hard steel, very sharp, in assorted sizes.
      50 needle assortment includes 10 sizes, 5 needles of each size ranging from size 4 (1 1/8" smallest size)
      through size 9 (1 1/2" longest size).

      they come in a plastic case, all sorted, all nice and ready to sew ... they are a bit *spendy,* but you will not regret your purchase; i *actually* look forward to hand sewing now ....

      darlene, who loves your blog ...

      Delete
  3. I to am picking about my hand sewing needles, I also use John James brand , yes they cost a bit more but they last a long time and stay sharp. happy sewing

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great gift ideas! I find handsewing very relaxing, and I do like a special kind of needle. I´m going to check out the brand you recommend. Than you for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  5. My John James needles are on their way...I'm probably partially responsible for the sold-out on Amazon...and I'm sure I'm one of the hand-sew-haters you mentioned above...we'll see if John changes my mind!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol, Margy! I hope the quality holds up!

      Delete
  6. I believe that John James needles are no longer manufactured in England.
    I use Bohin Needles which are manufactured in France.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is *very* disappointing to hear, Stevii! The packages of John James needles I own very clearly state "Manufactured in England" but I've had them for awhile. I will keep my eye out for Bohin!

      Delete
  7. Well, Shams, you have started me on a quest for needles that are more enjoyable to sew with! I have a large tin full of needles, mostly from my mother's stash, but so far none of them perfect. I love to hand-roll the hems of silk scarves; very fine needles are best for that. However, arthritis in my hands makes short needles difficult to use and many of my finest needles are short. So thanks for the info that made a good starting point for my search.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I buy mine (Richard Hemming in the UK) from Wawak (15 for $1.89) and love size 10 millners. I have bought these for over 40 years and if your eyesight is still good enough using a size 11 is so fine for lightweight fabrics as it glides and doesn't leave a big hole.http://www.wawak.com/products/product.cfm/pid/11836/Millners-Hand-Needles-Size-10/

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have a pack of John James needles that I bought at Hancock's of Paducah on a trip through Kentucky a couple of years ago. I like them very much, for the reasons you mention. Bohin is also very nice. Even with nice needles, I'm still no fan of hand sewing!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I liked the Twist-A-light and I want one! We just had a black-out here about two weeks ago and I could have really used that! Thanks, shams.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm a fan of Japanese hand sewing needles. I've had the same pack that I bought in Japan more than 20 years ago and love them! I recently bought a pack from Susan Khalje (someone posted a link above) and they are just as great!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I join in the Japanese hand sewing needles fandom parade. I bought one package from Susan Khalje and treat the to their own special needle book. They do have a small eye so sometimes when I plan on hand sewing at night while watching TV (tonight for instance) I pre thread a half dozen during daylight....what little we have of it on a snowy day today.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I like the John James needles too. I have special needles to make my bullions and they have taken on a certain curve that really aids in the process. Love that.

    ReplyDelete
  14. How thoughtful to put together a gift package of some of the most sought after notions on the planet. That tape measure bow is a pure stroke of genius. Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete