Dena Lenham, aka KreinikGirl, is Creative Director at Kreinik Manufacturing…
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Are you looking for a gift to give a stitching friend for the holidays? I’ve got a few ideas, focusing on stitching things they can use all year long. Here are five super useful gift ideas for stitchers—including some you should get for yourself.
The gift of needles
Sounds boring, right? Actually, needles are something a stitcher needs all the time. Chances are we’ve lost more than we’ve bought this year, and we are probably using some older, rusty, nicked-up needles. They make great stocking stuffers for stitchers and are small enough to mail without hassle. Stitchers often use Tapestry needles (blunt point), plus Embroidery/Crewel needles (sharper but still larger eye).
- Factlets: A nicked needle can cause a thread to fray. A rusty needle can rub off onto your needlework or thread. A too-small needle can slow your stitching, damage a thread, and frustrate you. In other words, needles are important and useful gifts for stitchers.
- My needle suggestion: “Pat’s Favorite Needle” is the name of a new Tapestry needle from famed cross stitch designer Pat Carson. This is not a paid endorsement. I’ve seen them, looked at them under a microscope, and used them. They’re good. Google “Pat’s Favorite Needle” or “Pat Carson’s needle” to find a source near you. For stitching with metallic threads, get a vial of The Kreinik Needle, specifically designed to make stitching with metallics easier.
Gift of good quality scissors
Goes without saying: you love stitching, you stitch all the time, you deserve good stitching tools. A good pair of scissors will not only make you happy, but it will make your stitching better, easier, smoother, happier, and bring world peace (not really but it will help you). Get a good pair and keep them away from everyone. Then buy your stitching friend a good pair for a holiday gift.
- Factlets: Dull scissors will not give you a sharp cut, leading to thread fraying and frustration. Real metal threads can dull scissor blades, so keep a pair exclusively for your new goldwork obsession. Choose a serrated blade scissor for the sharpest, cleanest cut on metallic threads.
- My scissor suggestion: There are so many fun styles of scissors now, you can pick one to match your favorite animal or color. But go for a quality over quirky. I personally use Premax® scissors that are made in Italy. It’s hard to explain the smooth, precision movement and how good they feel in your hands. I have a small pair that’s cute (must have!), a Ring-Lock® pair (won’t ever loosen), a serrated blade pair (for cutting metallics) and a curved scissor (great for cutting at angles). Start your Premax collection here.
Gift of good finishing
Do you or your friends stitch ornaments, or anything with a trim? If so, get a cording tool. Aside from Kreinik threads, the Custom Corder is the other Kreinik product I use all the time. This little tool will help you create professional trims using any thread and color. That means late at night, when you are finishing your project, you can create a perfect trim (or ornament hanger) using colors from your project, and finish your design beautifully.
- Factlets: I have made purse straps, jewelry, trims, cording, ornament hangers with the Custom Corder. You can combine any thread, yarn, strips of fabric, rick-rack, etc. Kids use this tool to make friendship bracelets and raise money for school events. My 83-year-old mother gets tickled when she helps me make cording. It’s something you can use in more ways then you realize, it’s cheap, it’s fun, and it’s easier than borrowing a drill to make cording.
- My suggestion: Get one for yourself and your stitching friend here. Watch videos of the Custom Corder in use here.
Thread color card
Here’s the “Surprise!” gift item you want for yourself AND your stitching friends will love. Splurge on actual color cards for your favorite thread lines. Most manufacturers have them; if you don’t see them on a website, email the company and inquire.
- Factlets: When you’re creating your own designs, replacing threads, customizing projects, or gathering supplies, a thread color number doesn’t tell you much. You need to actually see the thread. Computer screens and photo images don’t do a color justice.
- My suggestion: Look for color cards with actual thread swatches, not color photos.
Fun accessories make useful gifts
Here are a few more ideas for stocking stuffers that every stitcher would love to receive.
- Needle minders are little magnets hold your needle while you’re away from your stitching. They’re as invaluable as scissors in my mind. You can find so many styles, there’s one to suit every personality. I have about ten (well, we all have more than one project going at a time, right?!).
- Needle cases organize those important needles (yes, try to keep them organized, and identified so you can pick the right size and kind for the job).
- Magnifiers and mini lights—because most of us like to stitch at night, curled up, when we’re tired and need a moment of zen. Magnifiers and mini lights will save our eyesight so we can keep stitching for years to come.
Tis the season to be shopping. No matter how many presents I stitch, how many gifts I buy throughout the year and put away for the holiday, this time of year is like an alarm going off in an all-you-can-buy-in-a-minute supermarket spree. Take a breath, relax, and focus on gifts that are really meaningful and useful. Your stitching friends will be delighted with any of the above suggestions. I’d love to hear your ideas for more gifts.
Dena Lenham, aka KreinikGirl, is Creative Director at Kreinik Manufacturing Company, a family-owned, USA-based business that manufactures high-quality yarns and threads made of metallics, silks and real metals from their West Virginia factory. Dena’s monthly column, Kreinik Calling, sheds light on the fascinating fibres that we all use and love.