This has been a long time coming!
Well over a year ago, I was sent a wee needlework gift (Thank you, Holly!). And ever since then, I’ve wanted to tell you about it. But I couldn’t, without burdening the person behind it.
But now I can! Yay! Why? Because Jenny Adin-Christie, needlework designer and teacher extraordinaire, finally has a new website with an online shop. If you haven’t seen her new site, you must.
I said it was a wee needlework gift – and it is small. Small, but Mighty! A testament that big things really do come in small packages.
This is Jenny’s little laying tool / stiletto. It is hand-turned, stainless steel, polished to a glorious shine, and made by her father.
The stiletto function of the tool is found in its sharp tip and graduated shaft. A stiletto is used to open holes up in fabric, to a given diameter, and is very handy to have for making eyelets in whitework – or really, in any situation where you want to ease open a hole in your fabric.
The laying tool function of the tool is, of course, part of its smooth barrel and easy-to-hold and control shaft.
If you’re not familiar with what a laying tool does and how it’s used in embroidery, I’ve explained what a laying tool is here and, using a video tutorial, I’ve demonstrated how a laying tool is used here.
I’ve been using the tool for well over a year now on a regular basis. There are four aspects to the tool that I’ve become so attached to that I find myself reaching for this little thing over any other laying tool.
1. It is short. Most laying tools are long – and while I have used long laying tools for a while, I’ve become rather fond of the shorter length of this one. Why? Because it is so easy to control. There’s no accidental snagging or catching of your threads or fabric while you’re stitching. It becomes an easy extension of your fingers.
2. It is comfortable and easy and natural to hold. The double twisted, three-side turn at the holding end of the tool feels good in the fingers and gives you a three-sided surface to hold onto that makes sense.
3. It is weighty in the right way. For being so small, the tool has a nice, weighty feel to it, adding to the comfort of the hold and to the perfect balance of the tool.
4. It is fabulously smooth. There’s No Chance Ever in the World for this thing to snag your threads. Threads of every ilk just glide over it. There’s very little friction. Brushed stainless steel tools seem to offer a bit more friction between the tool and the thread. There’s a toothiness of sorts to brushed stainless steel. But this polished stainless steel is like… like… I really don’t have a word for it, because the only thing I can think to compare it to is highly polished stainless steel, which is what it is.
Another feature of the tool – which you can see in the very first photo of this article – is the little ring at the holding end. Here, you can tie a ribbon or affix a small fob or something similar, to keep the tool visible and at hand.
At one point, admittedly, I tied it onto a very long ribbon and hung it around my neck when I was using it repeatedly on a project. But I discovered this is not perhaps the best idea in the world because 1. it’s easy to forget it’s there, and the next thing you know, you’re sporting a somewhat lethal-looking tool around your neck while you’re out in public (but hey, it opens up many a conversation!); and 2. I almost got a belly button piercing for free. Stick to a fob or a short ribbon!
Finally, you can use the tool for a lot of other purposes. I find myself using it as a nudger, as a placer, a prodder, a turner – anywhere my fingers need a little extension or I need a small tool to move things around.
So there you have it! It’s a tool I love, and if you’re in the market for an excellent stiletto and laying tool, you’ll want to put this one on your list. You’ll probably grow just as fond of it, and you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it!
You can find Jenny’s little stiletto / laying tool available here on her brand spanking new website, where I challenge not to sigh over all the other gorgeous tools in what is aptly called the Jennyland Treasure Trove. Personally, I’m besotted with the hand-made tool section. Those wooden trays? The ceramic heart waxers? The needle minders? My little heart goes pitter pat…
US readers should be aware that Jenny is located in the UK, so you’ll need to do a currency conversion and you’ll need to keep an eye on the shipping costs.