I’m relatively new to embroidery, and admittedly spend more time cross stitching, but I love needlework in general. It’s relaxing and gratifying. I have far more books about embroidery then I have time to deal with and I want to try just about every technique I’ve seen, so far. Sadly, I have a day job that steals all my embroidery time :) Of course, that day job means that I can have nice tools and enough multiples to spread around. This is a good thing, because I like to have several sets of tools: for work, for home, and for the few times a year when I travel. I generally try to only own what I need, but these are small things and it’s very handy not having to worry about carrying things around with me all the time or about having to replace things if I were to ever lose something.
At work, I only have a very small and basic kit: scissors, a threader and a few random needles. I typically keep a needle with my project (and, typically bring kits, which already have a needle, to work), so these are only “just in case” needles. The threader essential because I use a lot of threads from Dragonflylotus Designs Handspun Thread (one of the prizes is from Liz – her threads are wonderful!), and I find that it’s just easier to use a threader with handspun threads.
At home, I have various sets tucked away with various WIPs. One of my favourite things is the needle case my sister-in-law made for me. She did an autumn colour theme on the front, which is wonderful because they live out East, where the autumn colours are stunning, and I live in Edmonton, where the autumn colours are typically a few shades of mustard covered in grey dust. It tends to house the majority of my needles (a mix of various needles, most of which came in kits).
I also have two cases/containers. One is a lovely light blue case that holds my favourite scissors (the dark pinks ones) …
… and the other is a small tin I converted by gluing a few magnetic strips to the lid. I hate to admit it, but I also always have a seam ripper close by. The one in the picture above is an old one that was my mother’s. It still works, so I refuse to throw it away.
These are both great for travel, but I tend to take the latter as I can fit a bit more in it.
Two other essentials are hoops and graph paper. This is my favourite hoop. I don’t know why. I guess it’s just a good size and easy to use. I also have a small q-snap with extensions. The graph paper is something I found online (free to download, so, naturally, I didn’t keep the link to share). I don’t use it often, but I recently decided to alter a “virtues” cross stitch pattern to say something slightly less virtuous :)
Something else I have, but tend to only use as needed, is Thread Heaven (thread conditioner). I have discovered that it is a *must* when using Liz’s silk threads. Otherwise they get tangled and knot easily.
Last, but certainly not least, there’s my tray. It’s big enough to hold a few pens, lip balm, a catch-all bowl for things like threads and tools, and a cup of tea. These all live permanently on my ottoman. I also, typically, have at least one WIP on my ottoman and a few library books.
What tools do you use?