I was asked, via e-mail, about keeping fibers from twisting ... using laying tools and railroading. As always, describing something is one thing ... pictures are much easier!!! I thought I'd picture laying tools in today's post -- and then, try to get photos up tomorrow about how I use them. With one of the boyz help, I think I can manage : ) I hope this is helpful, and please consider starting a blog!!!
In March, 2007, I did a post about laying tools pictured on my afghan. And, seriously folks, I use all of them. I like laying tools, I don't usually stitch in-hand. I'm a two handed stitcher & prefer using a q-snap or scroll bar frame. These are my opinions. I'm sure other stitchers have different favorites - likes/dislikes, etc.
Bone Needle better photograph! I tend to grab this most frequently!!! For me, I like the feel of it - and the length. Plus, I've dropped them & they don't break. I bought a few of them at House of Stitches.
Perfect Stitch Laying Tool photograph here. The best feature is the thimbles come in different sizes & it is comfortable. And, you don't have to HOLD it while you stitch. The bad news is that you can poke yourself with it!! I was in a workshop once and one of the students was using a trolley needle. The teacher launched into a great big lecture about trolley needles & poking your eye out!! Yikes. If you use it, don't forget it is on your finger -- ok??
Best Laying Tool (BLT) photograph. I use metal laying tools when I use metallics. Esp b/c I put a groove in one of my wooden laying tools from metallic thread. Advantage is that you can set the tool on a magnet & keeps it from rolling off your work when you flip it over! The point on the BLT is sharp - stiletto sharp. Excellent length, IMO.
Lacis tools scroll down to rosewood stiletto. I have two wooden laying tools. They are great for watercolours, flower thread, perle cotton. I like the grooves in the wood. The disadvantage [again, IMO] is the length. They are just too long. I prefer a shorter laying tool. I like the feel of wood in hand.
LAST, but not least, I have a couple needles from the craft store. I keep a yarn needle and/or a doll needle in the car. They are inexpensive - and I don't worry about them getting lost. I tuck them into a 'in-the-car' project. I suggest giving this a try FIRST, before purchasing a more expensive laying tool.
I have not tried any of the glass laying tools. I don't know if people actually use them or just admire their beauty! I have not tried using a trolly needle - but, it looked kinda heavy and thick. I do own a brass stiletto which has a cap. I don't use it as a laying tool. I use it to open up canvas squares when I'm going to stitch eyelets. Perhaps it would be a good laying tool - I'm not sure. The point is rather sharp!
There are a couple web links, I found, with 'instructions' for laying tool use HERE and railroading HERE
Sheila, I hope this is helpful. I'll put up a 2nd post tomorrow.