Friday, December 30, 2011

Sharps and flats: sewing needles, part 2

Way back in May 2007, TECHknitting had a post on the two types of sewing needles: blunt pointed and sharp pointed.  The point (ha!) was that each kind has a different use.  Blunt points are best for such tasks as weaving, where you don't want to split the plies of the underlying yarn. Sharp points work well for splitting plies, good for such jobs as skimming in ends.

Although each type is good at what it does, the truth is that it can get rather tiresome having to switch back and forth, for example: first threading to a blunt point for weaving in an end, then rethreading to a sharp point to skim in the last nub of the tail.  The temptation is to skimp and just muddle through with whatever kind of needle comes to hand first.

Recently, Patti from Canada was reviewing this old post.  In response, she sent her own little trick to avoid needle switching.  Her e-mail reads as follows:

If you need to use both kinds of needles, 
it is easiest to thread onto a sharp needle, and 
> then just push it wrong way around
(eye first instead of point first) 
in those places you need the blunt point.
> Just be careful not to stab yourself.

What a swell idea!  No more muddling, no more skimping!

Weaving with a sharp needle held wrong way around

Close up

No need to rethread onto a sharp point
when the time comes for skimming in

Using a sharp needle backwards: really very clever! (And I will try not to stab myself.)  Thanks, Patti.



m1k1 said...

And all around the world could be heard the words, "Why didn't I think of that?"
Thanks to you and Patti.

Diana Troldahl said...

Brilliant Patti!!

LadyEEKnits said...

Elegant solution!

Eric Tischler said...

Just in time. I have sharp ones and was thinking of buying dull ones. Issue resolved.

Suzanne said...

Fantastic tip!

Anonymous said...

Hi TK,

Don't know if this has been covered before, but threading a needle by inserting a fold of the yarn through the eye is much easier for me than inserting the end of the yarn. I use the length of the needle to tighten the loop, then squeeze that loop through the eye of the needle. Grandma showed me that one a long time ago. I could send you a photo if that would help.

Many thanks for all your fabulous postings.


TECHknitter said...

Hi Linda--I actually thread a needle that way, too, and was also taught by my grandma! Maybe one day, I'll do an illustrated post about it! Best, TK

Anonymous said...

What's "skimming in"???

TECHknitter said...

Hi Nancy--if you click on the link at the words "skimming in..." in the post, you will be taken to a different illustrated post all about that. Best, TK

=Tamar said...

I find that if I make a U-turn in the weaving direction, the ends stay in better.

Going blunt-end-first is also handy for unweaving when I change my mind about where I wanted to weave the yarn in.