I have fallen in love with various tools and gadgets for needlework. They aren't exactly needlework but they are needlework adjacent. I'm wondering where Krista would prefer we put that sort of thing or if we should limit the conversation to projects alone. To be clear, I don't think we should be using her forum for hawking other people's stuff, but I do think it could be helpful to share a little bit about things we love to use or things we might want to try to see if anyone else has experience with them.
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I seem to warp my hoops, bend the part where the screw fits in and loose the little rubber thingy that covers the end of the screw. I seem to need to replace my hoop after 4 or 5 projects. I'll be interested to hear how frequently everyone else is replacing hoops or if I just abuse them somehow. I may try one of these when I destroy my current hoop.
It doesn't seem thicker to me. The shape works well with the striped motif I'm currently working on.
I really like the shape of that. Is it thicker than regular hoops?
Love this topic! I have so many favorite tools! Something I use frequently is a 10x10 square Hardwicke manor hoop. It is big enough for most motifs, but small enough to manage. I use it with a stand (I've never been able to hold a hoop and stitch -- I would need more hands!). I move the hoop around as needed, and remove my piece at the end of each day. It has never given me any trouble with distortions or marks on the piece.
We must be scissor sisters! Lookie here:
The tiny ones are Japanese Cohana scissors and completely functional. I like that I can toss them in a bag and take them anywhere. The ones with the red sheath are my every day go-to scissors and boy are they sharp. I love them! The last photo is a special gift f rom The Man. We went to the Stanford Pow Wow some years back, and the sheath is completely handmade. He got these for me right before my graduation. There are 13 beads/inch and they're applied to smoked deerskin which still has a nice aroma years later. The original scissors were seized at the airport when I was trying to make it back home after 9/11 but I got as close as I could to the original pair that the artist provided.
As far as beloved gadgets go, I adore my Lowery Stand. I've also started to get a collection of wooden hoops. The size Krista sells, and then a larger round one, and one squareish one. Also, I must confess, two of the new needleminders and the set of floss organizers are coming my way. I've been waiting on both, and the pictures don't disappoint! They look gorgeous. Oh, I'm also starting to amass a collection of scissors. I now have three snips for thread -- one very cheap, one of medium price, and one 40 dollar one -- and one pair of scissors just for cutting cloth. I've never sewed before starting this hobby, so I was starting from scratch at the beginning when it came to supplies. I tend to have two projects going at once, one surface embroidery and one cross stitch, so it makes sense to have two pairs of snips for thread. But I have no excuse for the third other than I wanted it after hearing the Fiber Talk folks talk about their embroidery scissors. Hah.
My first favorite thing: a little tape measure! This belonged to my grandfather, who was the dairy engineer for Roberts Dairy in Sioux City, Iowa. The dairy has long since closed but he worked there for many years and made sure all of the machinery was running and in good repair. He kept this little tape measure with him all the time, even on his off hours, in his chest pocket. It makes me happy every time I use it because it was literally close to his heart for many years. The housing is plastic and the tape itself is steel with charming engravings like "Made in Western Germany," "Vernon Co. Newton, Iowa," and "Keep Clean and Oil Lightly." It's quite precise and in perfect working order, despite being over 50 years in use.