Margaret Randolph

Margaret Randolph
Margaret Randolph stitched by Jenny


Monday, 25 February 2013

Hannah Brassington and Bohin Needles

I spent much of last Sunday cozied up to the woodstove, happily stitching to replays of movies I've "seen" a hundred times.  This was my progress at about ten hours over the weekend.  I can tell that the stack of about 20 pieced quilt tops in my studio will likely be sorely neglected - at least until this summer, when I'll be looking to the basement studio and quilting for a reprieve from the heat. (Yes, it gets hot - and very muggy - in Wisconsin).

I am in search of the perfect needle.  I have had some issues with my favorite John James needles lately in that the last couple of packs I've purchased  have had something of a burr inside the eye, and are snagging my thread.  Bohin needles were recommended as a "favorite" by one of the staffers at the LNS, so I grabbed a pack each of #28’s and #26’s last Saturday, and have since re-discovered my dissatisfaction with Bohin #28's.  The eye of the needle I started this project with is already collapsing with just a few hours use, and the eye end is beginning to make a sharp turn for the worse!  I immediately took inventory of my tapestry needles, to discover that this is the THIRD TIME I've purchased these needles.   After passing two packs of Bohins on to KathieB Thursday night at our bi-weekly stitch 'n' bitch, I quizzed her about needle threading.  Perhaps it's HOW I thread the needle - bending two strands of thread over the shaft of the needle to make a nice crease that pushes easily through the eye.  (I'm sure I read this tip in a magazine somewhere.) It does mean that I'm stuffing four strands through that tiny hole, and that I'm putting some stress on the shaft of a fine needle. Maybe I need to go back to the way grandma taught me. Draw those two threads together, lick 'em,  and pass them through the needle's eye.  I will give it a try.

And this is my progress over the past week - approximately 20 hours since last Sunday.  Please excuse the poor quality of the photo.  My camera is in the car and it's dark and chilly out there, so this one was taken with my iPad in relatively low light.

You get the idea.  Those last two flowers aren't filled, and I have some work to do yet on the greenery.

By the way, I did try another Bohin, eliminating the stress of my previous threading technique.  Apparently, I am very hard on needles, as this one is developing a significant bend, as well.  I doubt that I'll become a much less aggressive stitcher unless I abandon the "linen method" and choose to "poke and pull."  Not likely.  I just need to use a stronger needle.  I do like the way the slender #28's glide through the linen.  Any thoughts?


Lynn said...

My favorite needles are Piecemaker, have you tried those? I can't compare them to John James or Bohin but I've only ever broken one Piecemaker! Good luck finding your perfect needle.

FlyawayJil said...

Actually, I'm using a Piecemaker needle now. Sturdy, though this is a #26. I'll have to see if I can dig up a #28.

Nicola said...

I use John James 28 Gold and I find they work well although the needles Marsha includes in her kits are very good too. I don't know what make they are.

Hannah is coming on so well, those hours are paying off.

Kaisievic said...

I am using John James but #26. I thread the way that you do but having no trouble with this size.

Ann at Beadlework. said...

The Bohin size 28 bends with me too. I also find that the eye of the needle catches my thread. I tend to always go back to Piecemaker 28's - they're not perfect. They used to be perfect but recently the quality hasn't been quite as good but they're still the best I can find.

Angie Burrett said...

I also have an issue with needles: the last packet of Bohin needles were a disaster, they all bent and became unusable very quickly. I agree with Nicola that the needles Marsha puts with her kits are excellent - and certainly last a long time. Can she please tell us which ones they are?!
How lovely spending an afternoon with old familiar movies! - I do the same, I am word perfect on so many, positively embarrassing. But it is like spending time with "old friends"! - love it!!

MoonBeam said...

One of the gals in our weekly stitch group just said exactly what you have said about the John James needles.

I haven't noticed this, but I use a larger needle and usually buy the gold plated ones because of sensitive skin issues. Don't know whether either of these things make a difference.

Good luck in your search.


Serena B said...

I use John James gold and also DMC gold,and find they both work well.
Hoping you quickly find a solution to your needle woes!

Nicola said...

I have just checked with Marsha and she uses John James.

woolwoman said...

I've not had any of the trouble you all are describing with the Bohin - OMGosh - I hope their quality is not declining. However I must say I would never use 2 strands with a #28 needle. Prior to using Bohin I used Mary Arden - have you tried those? Good luck with your pursuit.

FlyawayJil said...

Thanks for the many suggestions. I'm more than willing to try anything I can locate... Needles are very economical tools for all the pleasure they give us!

Fiona said...

I use John James #28 petite, and quite often crackthe eye. I can't comment on the other brands as the John James are the only ones I can get in the UK. I thread my needle the same way and never gave that any thought. Maybe contacting them as it may have been a faulty batch.

Anne said...

Hmm, seems to me that Bohn has gone down in quality since I've noticed the snagging as well. I just purchased a pack of the #28 Bohn's and am not too happy with them. Someone gave me a pack of Piecemakers and I really like them. No snagging and fairly sturdy. Lovely progress on Hannah! I'm on blog one and stitching her too :D


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