Do you ever get to that point in your stitching where you have just a couple more stitches, but ooooooh – your thread is running out and you’re pretty sure your needle isn’t going to let you go any further? I experienced that a couple times last week. What’s the solution? Petites.
Tapestry petites are little needles – a full quarter inch smaller than a regular sized tapestry needle – and they are ideal for getting the most out of your thread.
These needles, stuck in the needle felt block I keep my Japanese hand-made needles in, are both size 28 tapestry needles. Tapestry needles have a long eye and a blunt tip and are the ideal needle for counted thread work, needlepoint, petit point, and other techniques where you need a blunt tip that will help you avoid splitting fabric threads.
The needle on the left in the photo above is the tapestry petite.
You would not think that a quarter of an inch on a needle would make all that much difference, but it really does! The short needle allows you to work closer to the end of your thread, getting the most stitch coverage out of it, while still being able to manipulate the needle underneath the threads on the back when you’re ready to tie off.
Tapestry petites do require some getting used to! That little needle, especially in a size 28 (which is relatively small for tapestry needles) is much more delicate, so your fingers have to get used to finding it. But once you’re used to the smaller needle, you’ll find it’s a great tool for your stitching needs.
Tapestry petites come in different brands, but the local needlework shop where I bought my last bunch of needles only carries John James. That’s quite ok – these are pretty good needles. I’ve never had a problem with them, even after long-term use.
One online source that I really like for needles, especially if I’m buying in bulk, is Colonial Needle. They have just about every type of needle you’d want for regular handwork, and their prices, shipping, and customer service are hard to beat.
So, if you’re looking to get a bit more out of your thread, next time you buy needles, consider picking up some tapestry petites. I think you’ll like them!
How about you? Do you use petites? Do you like them? What’s your Favorite Needle?