Problem With Needles.

Q: I've been reading all the comments about threading needles with crochet thread, but that isn't where I have a problem. I am relatively new to the art of beading, and love to make earrings using wire bases, but whenever I try to thread the needle with silk beading thread, I run into a snag. Either I cannot get the thread through the eye (I broke three threaders), or when I tried the twisted wire needles, I keep loosing the thread. Does anyone have any suggestions?

A: Here are some tips for threading needles... many of which I learned here. • Throw away the threader... they never work with beading needles. • Switch hands (hold the needle with your right hand if you're right-handed). • Use sharp scissors to cut the end of the thread at a very slight angle. • Moisten the tip of the thread with your lips, wearing a touch of chapstick. • Hold the very end of the thread between your finger and thumb of your left hand, and pull the thread so that the tip just barely disappears between your fingers (don't pull it too far... you'll want the tip to protrude a bit if you roll your fingers apart slightly). Then, place the eye of the needle (held in your right hand) just over the spot where the thread tip is hidden between your fingers, and gently push the needle's eye down and over the tip of the thread as you roll your fingers apart slightly, exposing the tip. The thread will go right through the eye every time (there's no place else for it to go). • Thread several needles early in your beading session BEFORE your eyes get tired. • If you can't thread one side of an eye, try turning it over. I've heard there is a "wrong" and a "right" side of needle eyes, because they're stamped. I always keep a bottle of 'Fray-Chek' with my beading supplies. Dip the end of the thread into the 'Fray-Chek', and run your fingers down it towards the cut end to remove excess and to "glue" the fibres into a flat point, ready to go into the eye of the needle. Keep stroking the thread, and blow on it ocassionally to speed the drying process. It takes about 15 seconds to dry, and works a lot better than beeswax. If you have to remove the needle in case of a mistake or something, the 'Fray-Chek' end stays ready to be re-threaded. I will try your suggestions today. By the way, from my sewing days, I know that there is a "right" and "wrong" side to a needle. If you look at a large eyed needle, you will see that one side is actually open wider than the other. On beading needles, you can see it. Have you tried using the 'Milliners' sewing needles? I do all my beading (with the large-holed Japanese and 'Delicas') with them. The eye is large but long, and I can thread these MUCH better than the beading needles which I can't even see with my glasses on!