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Threading your needle can be easy!

by Shelly Hazard

How many times have you gone cross-eyed trying to thread your needle? Getting a piece of thread or floss through that tiny eye can be an exercise in frustration, and a discouragement to anyone just starting to learn needlework. Here's an alternate way of threading your needle that may solve your needle-threading blues.

Many years ago, I learned a different technique to thread a needle that I find far easier than the traditional method. This technique makes threading everything from fine sewing thread right up to heavy rug yarn a snap.

In summary, the technique is to fold the thread over the needle making a loop, then push that loop through the eye of the needle. Follow the steps below to try it.

Since sport weight yarn or embroidery floss are the easiest to thread, I suggest using one of these to start with for this technique. Make sure you have a proper sized needle for the weight of yarn you're using.

NOTE: I am right-handed, so my instructions (and the pictures) are written as a right-handed person threads the needle. If you are left-handed, you may have to reverse my instructions (but try it first this way).

STEP 1: Hold the thread in your left hand so that about 1/2" is showing between your index finger and thumb.
STEP 2: Hold the needle in your right hand and place the eye of the needle underneath the thread in your left hand.
STEP 3: Move the needle up, thus bringing your fingers together so that you are holding the thread and the needle between your finger and thumb.
STEP 4: Withdraw the needle and squeeze the thread tightly together. You want that loop of thread to be as small as possible but you also need the very edge of the thread to be visible for the next step.
STEP 5: Push the eye of the needle over the thread you're squeezing.
STEP 6: Once you can see some of the thread through the eye, release your left hand and use it to draw the thread the rest of the way through the eye.
STEP 7: You've now thread your needle - and without squinting!

As you become more comfortable with the technique, you'll find you don't need to squeeze the thread as hard. With heavier yarns, you may find it difficult to get that much thickness through the eye. If you have this trouble, prick the end of the yarn with the needle so that it frays some then use this flatter area to fold over the needle. When using stranded threads, like 6-strand floss, make sure you have all strands through the eye before pulling.

The technique may seem a little awkward at first but stick with it and you'll be threading with ease in no time!

All contents copyright 2004, Shelly Hazard. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted for personal use of the material found on this site. The materials on this site may not be duplicated for personal profit. Material noted to be by a different author is copyrighted by that individual.