Updated August 30, 2022.
I thought for ages that owning one of these was something for old people — but I was wrong! I have found them so useful that now I have two, one by my stitching chair and one at my desk.
These inexpensive tools are, quite simply, fantastic aids for the stitcher.
I lose needles and thumbtacks all the time when I stitch. With my magnet extended I can do a quick “sweep” around my chair and pick them up. That’s what I figured I would do.
But it’s also great for picking up scissors that have fallen. My stitchy chair has open sides and a trash can next to it. In my stitching marathons, I used it to retrieve my scissors from the trash can (twice), under the coffee table, and from under the chair. While picking the current pair up from under the chair I found another pair I had forgotten about. I regularly sweep around my chair to find fallen thumbtacks and needles.
The cleverest use of all comes from Mary Corbet, who writes about using it as an ad hoc pole for holding threads. I’m going to have to try this soon.
The tools are common and inexpensive. I bought mine from Fireside Stitchery, but you can find them at your local big box store, drug stores, hardware stores, and office supply stores.