When I first started reviewing needlepoint products for the Web (in 1996) I would make little squares using the thread. There would be a square of Tent and then a square of a textured stitch. In those days I rarely reviewed anything else with the exception of books.
Then it occurred to me that I could both test the threads and create some needlepoint at the same time!
Every time I get a new thread I find a canvas to use it on. I actually buy some canvases just for this purpose. There are two advantages to this, for both you and me. The first is that I learn how the thread reacts in real projects under real conditions. I’ll discover aspects such as
- the way it works with other threads
- how long do the stitching lengths need to be
- is it hard of easy to ply or use in low light
The other advantage for you is that you see the thread in context. For me, it’s that I get another project finished.
Because the world of items I test has grown larger, so have the projects I do with items to be reviewed. If it’s a self-finishing item I have a stitched project for it and have finished the item myself. If it’s a tool, I have used it in one or more of my current projects. If it’s a book I have left it by my stitching chair and used it for projects.
This makes the reviews more helpful for you because they are informed by my tests. I’ve been thinking about this this week. I found an adorable magnet on my magnet board. I was big and cute. BUT the magnet was far too small for the top. As a result needles would not stay on it. I have no idea where it came from, but I’m going to redo the magnets. That’s the kind of problem you may not notice without testing the product.
I have a canvas forgoing into the Planet Earth jewelry box and just ordered the wallet and a canvas for it from Mindy. Just after I got some Etoile to try I got a canvas that had several of the colors in the thread pack in it. I’m starting that this weekend. This way I’ll know how the threads and products work and can use them better.
You can be sure that the items you see here have been tested and used before they are reviewed.