Help Threading A Needle.

Q: I have been told it is possible to thread a size 12 needles without using a threader. When I use a threader, I pull too hard and break the needle. The manager of my LBS told me it is possible, but due to personal reasons, she hasn't been in the store. Anyway, she said there was trick, holding the needle upside down maybe? If anyone has any ideas, let me know!

A: I've heard that you are supposed to put the eye of the needle over the thread - not try to put the thread into the eye. Cutting the thread at an angle is supposed to help too. Also, wax your thread with beeswax, or 'Thread Heaven' before you thread the needle. I find that this helps a whole lot! Make sure you cut the end of the thread with a sharp scissors, so that there are no little "hairs" sticking out, or they'll hang up on the eye and block the main part of the thread. I use the drugstore magnifying glasses to thread my needles, but not to work with the beads; I don't need them for that (yet). The trick is to needle the thread. Grasp near the end of the thread with your left thumb & forefinger (reverse left & right if you're left-handed), and carefully pull the thread back with the other hand until the end of the thread is just barely visible between your thumb & forefinger. Then, pick up the needle with your right hand, and direct the eye down onto the thread-end. Make sure you're using a small thread size, too. That makes a lot of difference, especially when you use a needle threader, because the thread has to get through the hole, doubled. One trick I've found helpful is to moisten the end of the thread and the eye of the needle. Try the 'Big Eye' needle, the short one (the long one is too flimsy). The whole needle is the 'eye'. The thread can be lodged at either end and it won't pull out even though I usually only put about 1/2 inch of thread through the needle. Threading the Big Eye needle is like sinking a football through the goal posts. Also, if the threads you are planning to weave back into the work are too short, even an inch long, just put the 'eye' end of the needle through the bead and the bead will push the thread to the other end of the needle as you go through. I can get through sz. 11s and Delicas about 4 times or more if my thread isn't too thick. That doesn't happen to me either because I mostly use 'Kevlar' thread which is very, very small and almost unbreakable. Marilee is right! Hold the needle in your dominant hand and put the needle to the thread. Another thought....if you are having difficulty, turn the needle around. There are two sides to the eye, one works better than the other (your side and my side may be different). Some say that the thread, when coming off the spool, turns a certain way and one way is better than the other. I have not found this. My best threading comes when I use a magnifying glass.... 'Betty Beads' in Minnesota.

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