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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Needlework Tool: Thread-Tucker-Tweaker-Fixer-Thingy

 

Quite a while ago, when I was writing about tambour embroidery, a reader asked about a tool in my tool box that showed up in one of my photos.

Well, I would have answered the tool question a little more clearly and directly, except that, in all honesty, I didn’t know what the tool was called.

Sometimes, I call it a Tucker Tool. Sometimes, I call it a Tweaker. Sometimes, I call it by its long name (invented by me) – it’s a Thread-Tucker-Tweaker-Fixer-Thingy.

Not knowing its official name made it somewhat difficult to look up, but I did eventually find it online. I discovered that it has an official name – it is a Stitch Fixer.

I wasn’t too far off!

Let me introduce you to this handy tool that’s been in my box for years, and that I use All the Time, for All Kinds of Things.

Stitch Fixer Needlework Tool

The Stitch Fixer is a small tool that can nestle comfortably into most stitchers’ tool boxes, etuis, tool rolls, tins, or whatever you gather and keep your tools in.

It’s simple in concept – a wooden dowel-like handle with wires poking out of each end.

Stitch Fixer Needlework Tool

The wires are the size of a 24 tapestry needle on this particular version of the tool. The size (24) is marked on the side of the wooden handle.

On one end, there’s an open-eyed needle eye sticking out. This is the eye of a needle that is split at the top, so that you can push the open eyed needle eye onto a short thread to get it into the eye.

Stitch Fixer Needlework Tool

The other side has a bent, pointed wire, the same thickness, sticking out of the end.

I use the word “wire” rather loosely. These aren’t bendable wires. Think “needle shaft” and you’ll understand that they are sturdy, fine metal rods.

Stitch Fixer Needlework Tool

When you have short threads on the front or back of your needlework that you have to tuck away, you use the open-eyed-needle-eye end to push the short thread under other stitches or back down into the fabric.

Stitch Fixer Needlework Tool

You use the bent end of the Stitch Fixer to grab and pull threads through tight spaces.

So you can see that, although really simple in concept, this tool can come in really handy when you’re in a tight spot, stitch-wise.

I picked mine up at a needlework shop somewhere at some point in time – I don’t remember when or where. I’ve had it a pretty long time, though – I can’t remember not having it. I use it in situations like those described above, but I also use it for other things as well. When doing tambour work, I use the bent end when finishing threads, to pull threads through loops to end them. I find it works better than the tambour needle, because it isn’t sharp like the tambour needle, so it doesn’t snag.

You can find the Stitch Fixer at your local needlework shop (if you have one). I’m sure it can be found online at a variety of shops. Nordic Needle carries the Stitch Fixer under tools & accessories, with stitch fixers and hiders.

Just one of those useful little tools I never really think about, but use often… I love those kinds of tools, don’t you?

Hedgehog Handworks Needlework Supplies

 

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(14) Comments

  1. G’day Mary,
    Yes, I too love those kind of tools. In the quiet of night when the toys come alive, you can sometimes hear the plain stitch fixer chuckling at the fancier tools in the work basket, those who have been condescending to to him. Chuckling because he’d helped out many times that day while they were lucky if used once or twice.
    It’s time I had a wander around Nordic Needle again so will go visit before I go back to bed.
    Thanks again Mary for pointing out the simple things in life that make a difference.
    Cheers, Mary.

  2. I have one of those! It really is invaluable — super useful for many things.
    I think that when I bought mine, it was called “Stitcher’s Best Friend” πŸ˜‰

  3. I once spent a fair amount of money (maybe $30) for a pretty fiber hider tool – one side had a hook, the other a loop – that was supposed to do basically the same as your Stitch Fixer. I didn’t really need the tool, I just thought it was pretty, and of course I promptly lost it! So I continued using my old stand-by – a small steel crochet hook – that I’ve had for years. It works pretty well – I can tuck away short thread ends using the hook to pull or push the thread as necessary. Works for me!
    Mary in MN

  4. I’m sure I’ve seen these somewhere before, but I only took up embroidery again about 5 years ago. This is a really useful tool! I know that one end could be used to pull through threads on sweaters. Something I have to do at least once a year, and I’ve had several people ask me to do it for them too. Thanks for sharing that, Mary!

  5. Oh,
    I have one of those things and it is a handy devise for fixing all sorts of stitch problems…especially for cross stitch embroidery. And it’s a sturdy little thing, too. Love your name for it best. Now I know I’m not the only one who makes up names for things. I get accused of making up the English language all the time, but I just tell them, that’s what old English teachers do… especially writers.
    Tess

  6. I look forward to,starting my day with your always interesting and fun post of the day and I always appreciate your sense of humor.

    I checked your latest “do-hickey” on Nordic Needle and they have a variety of sizes. I would surmise that the difference is the size of the stitch fixer but can you explain which sizes are best for which material? Most of my embroidery is do e on woven cotton and wool.

    Thank you.

    BarbaraP

    1. Hi, Barbara – the sizes are based on the needle size you would use on a given project. So if you stitched a project with a 24 tapestry needle, you’d use that size for fixing on that project. But I don’t really use mine that way – I only have one! And I find the size 24 is a good, all purpose size for anything I need. – MC

  7. One of the things I like is a #13 bent “weaver’s needle”. I mostly use it as a laying tool (esp. good w/ ribbon emb.), but find myself grabbing it for all kinds of things. pushing something into place. dabbing a touch of glue in a corner. Simple and useful.

  8. Dear Mary

    I do love the Thread-Tucker-Tweaker-Fixer-Thingy I must have one as you say its ‘s useful for those days when you need a fixer-thingy to sort out your stray threads. I will order one of these straight away as I’m sure I this accessory will get used. Thanks for sharing the information on where to buy this.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  9. Hi there Mary, just stumbled on this article. I have a tool just like this, I use the ‘hook’ a lot but not the fork… it seems very sharp to me and seems to snag threads. Is that case with yours? How do you handle that? Thanks

    1. Hi, Evangeline – yes, the tips are pretty sharp. I turn it until it slides under. It seems to go under the threads better if it turned so that the it’s going in on its side.

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