In a few weeks, I’ll have a round-up of the many magnetic needle minders I have been trying out lately, in the meantime, I have discovered some useful hints about how to get the best use out of them.
1. Match the size of the minder to the size of the needlepoint. Last night I was working on a small piece. I had put on it a Kelmscott Needle Minder because it’s next on my list to stitch. But it’s way too big for the canvas, so it’s in the way when I stitch. And I finished a piece last week that was very large but had a tiny needle minder on it. Often it was hard to find.
Put the appropriate size minder on your canvas.
2. Magnets from craft stores aren’t strong enough. I like to make my own minders. For a long time, I bought magnets wholesale and made them for the retail market. But I stopped doing that and when I went back to making some for myself, I used magnets from the craft store. Quite simply, they are not strong enough to hold together.
If you make your own magnets, buy Rare Earth magnets to use. They are widely available and very strong.
3. Glue is important. So far, in this testing process, I’ve had two minders come apart on me. One was the Ty-Di magnet (reviewed here). The other fell apart when I took it off the card it was on when I bought it. This one was from a shop and had a lovely piece of dichroic glass on it. And the employee at the store told me about how they tested the glues. Maybe I got a lemon. But then maybe not.
You can reglue them, so you should keep some Krazy Glue nearby for repairs. The new bottles they come in make storing and using them MUCH easier.
4. Most magnets are not strong enough to hold your scissors. There are specialized holders, reins, and tools for this.
Don’t lose your scissors by trying to hold them with a magnet made for needles.
5. I keep my magnets in my tool drawer and they hold onto everything. So prying them apart to use a pair was getting to be a problem.
Now I use the cards the minders come on to store them, sometimes with several on one card. I have also placed many of the small ones on the outside of a metal card case for holding needles.
Store your minders on cards or other flat things where it is easy to isolate one set and pull it off.
I am having tons of fun testing these and it has made my needlepoint go so much more smoothly, I wish I had converted earlier.