This weekend, I was rummaging through the workroom, taking photos of needlework tools and accessories that I have, but have never shown you. This was while I was supposed to be cleaning up.
I never quite got around to cleaning up.
Once upon a time, I was a bare-bones stitcher. I didn’t have tools and accessories, beyond the very basics. But one thing I noticed while writing about embroidery here on Needle ‘n Thread is that needleworkers of every ilk and every persuasion of needlework just love their accessories and tools.
So I started noticing accessories and tools. Can you guess what happened?
Now, I love discovering unique needlework-related tools and accessories – the kind that you don’t see everywhere. The kind that are hand-made. Personalized. Interesting. Little lovely things that make stitching easier or simply more pleasurable.
So today, I thought I’d show you this particularly neat little gadget that’s new to me. I’ve seen plenty of magnetic needle keepers out there – especially the kind that rest on your fabric – but I’ve never seen one quite like this! I love it!
This is a magnetic needle keeper made by Adan Aker, at Akerworks, which is a family-owned design and manufacturing company in Tennessee. They make unique things, like collapsible bobbins for spinning (they can be taken apart for storage or travel), baritone ukeleles, wooden pet name tags, and – what interests me particularly – these magnetic needle keepers.
The needle keepers are made from a lovely, smooth cherry wood and backed with walnut. Inside, there’s a very strong magnet imbedded (which is not visible at all).
Upon that magnet, you can put your needles.
The needle keeper has the option for a 24″ sterling silver chain, but if you don’t want to wear it around your neck, you can skip the chain. It can be attached to a chatelaine, it can be hung on the edge of your wooden embroidery frame – you can put it anywhere you want, pretty much!
Just so you know, it is a very strong magnet – a neodymium magnet (a rare-earth magnet).
Remember my Ernest Wright scissors from last week? Well, they aren’t light-weights. They’re pretty hefty for fine scissors. The magnet not only picks them up, but….
…I can swing them around and they don’t budge!
Ok, so it wasn’t my over-the-head-sweet-cowboy-lassoing-move, as far as swinging goes. I’m almost smart enough not to do that with good scissors. (Or any scissors…) But it was a decent swing. And they held right on.
I can put the chain around my neck and rest my scissors on it, or rest needles on it while I’m working. And even if I get up and move around in a normal way (I didn’t try hyper calisthenics, admittedly), they don’t go anywhere.
Of course, there’s the typical caveat when you’re dealing with very strong magnets: if you use any kind of medical device that might be affected by it, you’d probably give this a miss, as far as a necklace goes. And you’d want to keep it away from sensitive electronics.
What I like about it: it’s unique, customizable (there are options for customizing the needle keeper shown here, including initials, quilt square designs, flowers, a couple animals), it’s made out of beautiful wood (I love beautiful wood!), and it’s made at a family owned business, by people who make interesting things.
The needle keepers are just over an inch high (just around 1.25″) and less than an inch wide (right around .75″ wide), and just a hair over 1/8th” thick.
I got mine directly from Akerworks. I don’t know if they are available through retail needlework stores – I suspect not. But you can always ask!
What about You?
What about you? Do you have any unique needlework tool or accessory that you just love? Was it a gift, or did you get it for yourself? Or are you more of a bare-bones stitcher? Or new to the whole notion of accessorizing your hobby? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your take on needlework tools and accessories – do you like them? Do you like to hear about them? Do you like reading about them, or would you rather skip ’em altogether? Feel free to expound below!