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On Pins and Needles

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This pair of tiny scissors cuts the mustard as a needle minder but won't cut your thread. Look for this needleminder from Kelmscott Designs at your local needlework shop.

A hazard of cross stitching is that sometimes I do the magic trick of walking on a bed of nails, or in my case, needles -- unsuccessfully. Those nail-bed walkers you see on TV skip along without drawing blood or searching frantically for a Band-Aid. I was reminded of this peril the other night when I asked my husband to move my lazy-girl chair to look for the cats' laser pointer. I didn't find the toy, but I found a cluster of tapestry needles sticking up in the carpet. So that's why I keep running to the store for my trusty Size 24's!

But finding a nest of needles isn't really a hazard. Stepping on one is, as I found out long ago.

Even as a wee wisp of a girl, I loved my stamped embroidery projects just about as much as I liked going barefoot in the summer. The cool grass between my toes was a delight, but skipping along asphalt in 100-degree South Carolina summers was not. Luckily, by August the skin on the bottom of my feet was as thick as corduroy.

If you're the queasy type, skip the next paragraph.

One day in late summer when I was 10, I discovered a scab on my big toe. I started picking at it (what self-respecting kid isn't going to pick at a scab?). Day after day I worked this little scab, until all at once the scab gave way. As I pulled the scab of of my toe, out came a 2-inch-long needle. What fun I had tormenting my little sister with my crusty-skin covered sharp!

Thinking back on this incident, I realized that needles in my carpet should be avoided. Hence, I began my quest for a needle minder.

I had been using the magnets on my metal pattern holder (see picture below), but obviously it wasn't up to the task of corralling my cross-stitch needles.

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I love the convenience of this slab of metal that holds down patterns with magnets.

Browsing my local needlework shop and online, I discovered some cute but heavy-duty magnets and went on a spending spree.

A basic needle reminder is a pair of magnets. You place one magnet under your cross-stitch fabric and the other on top. The magnets not only adhere to themselves, but they attract nearby metal objects. Hold your needle an inch away from your needle minder and drop it, and voila! It falls on the needle minder instead of the carpet.

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Here you see the front of a needleminder (the crab) and the magnet that you put under your stitching. The two magnets adhere to themselves and attract metal objects, such as your needle.

Here are some cute needle minders (including the scissors needle minder pictured above), which you can find in your local needlework store. Some you can find online as well.

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You can find these cute-as-a-button crab and snail shaped needle minders from Mchelle Ink designs at www.runforsanity.com.
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Point the way to your work with this handy (I can never resist a pun) needle minder from Cottage Nest at cottagenestinteriors.etsy.com.

Use any one of these when working on your Free Pattern, the Shamina Challenge, The Christmas Stitch, or one of your current projects.

Don't forget to take your needle to Annie's Needle Arts Festival: Christmas at Williamsburg.

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