RIP My Favourite Needle

For the last year, every single embroidery project I’ve worked on has been stitched with the same needle, a Bohin No 5 Crewel needle.

Molly Mutante (close)
Scrappy Bits pouch #2 (mosaic)
Needle-book with Crewel Embroidery Flower
Daisychain ABC Sampler in progress

Molly Mutante, finished last year in July… The Running Stitch on a Pouch… My Crewel Embroidery Needlebook… My Unfinished ABC Sampler… Every one of my Doctor Who patterns…

Anything I’ve stitched on linen or linen-cotton blend fabric or even quilting cotton if I used interfacing to stiffen it, it’s been stitched with that same No. 5 needle. It turned me into a Bohin needle apologist. I’ve got packets and packets of them in all kinds of sizes, I gave one away to someone in a swap who was looking for a good needle, I don’t ever want to use another brand of needle again, but that particular No 5 was my favourite. It felt good in my fingers and was as sharp and perfect as the day I first pulled it out of its packet, so I just kept on using it, until yesterday when it died.

Bent Needle

So that one’s gone to the little needlebook in the sky, but hey! I’ve got a whole packet of them, so I guess it’s all right if that one is gone. I bent it doing some hand-quilting on a mug rug/mini-quilt wall-hanging for the Modern Scrappy Bits Swap:

Hand Quilting

I finished up all the stitching with that bent needle, but it was kind of difficult getting it through where I wanted it to be, considering the general kink in the straightness of the thing. I suppose I pushed it too hard – multiple layers of fabric (front and back, with a lot of wadded up bits where the triangles all meet – the front is all triangles), a layer of batting and a layer of medium weight interfacing (I wanted to keep it fairly stiff so that it can be hung without the sides drooping). That needle treated me well, anyway, and it’s a shame to see it go to the little metal tin of bent pins and needles, but it was its time to go I guess.

Anyway, in other fairly ridiculous news (as regards that particular mini), I managed to feature the word BUTT right on the front of it. Or BUTTO, if you want to get technical, but it’s the BUTT that stands out so much to me:


That’s what I get for not paying too much attention to fabric placement when I stitched all those bits together. Oh well, I think my swap partner will like it regardless of the BUTT in the middle of it.

14 thoughts on “RIP My Favourite Needle”

  1. I am forever amazed at your awareness of your tools, fabrics etc. I *might* be able to remember what fabric line a fabric is from, but I rarely know the designer and I can tell you right now, I don’t have a clue what needle I’m embroidering with at the moment. It’s whichever one I pulled out of my needlecase that looked most likely. How’s that for detail?! Rest in peace, well used little needle!

    1. Heheh… when I find a thing I like, I tend to stick with it, so it’s useful to know what it is/where it’s come from! (Also, I have a good memory for detail, most of the time. Though I guess it really depends on how much interest I’ve got in a thing!) I do have a lot of no-name needles that came from who knows where and always seem to pop up out of nowhere when I need one for something, but those needles aren’t special! I bend them all the time and they barely last through one project! (I think they’re mostly Singer ones that you could buy in a grocery store sewing section, once upon a time. The ones that come in a package of 25 or 50 needles of various sizes and types. And I have some that belonged to my Grandma before she died, though they’re all incredibly weak – if your hand gets too warm, they bend like Uri Geller’s spoons.)

  2. (TAPS PLAYS) Don’t worry, if your beloved needle wound up in the recycling bin, it will be reincarnated and find it’s way back to your hands. 🙂

    I have several groups that I flip through, so I am only using each group every few days so that they will not get to warm and bend. I also have a couple of the kind I need in each group, and instead of rethreading the same needle, I have another needle of the same type ready, so I am almost always flipping back and forth. 🙂

    Just a couple of thoughts, since you mentioned having a stash of needles.

    1. Well, of course, I COULD do that, but why do a thing that makes sense, when instead I could just use and use and use my favourite one all the time 😀 (I can’t claim to be sensible…)

      1. Anyone who claims to be sensible 100% of the time are people who would be better off residing in padded rooms, or who (unfortunately) are elected into government…… 🙂

        I do that for the time efficiency, not to prevent the bent needles, that is just a bonus. I prefer to thread a couple of needles at once, so I don’t have to fiddle around with the threader every 4 minutes. If I have a couple/few threaded, depending on how much time I have, I spend more time embroidering than threading.

        1. I rarely seem to do those kinds of time savers – I know a lot of quilters will spool up a few bobbins at a time for when they quilt project so you don’t have to deal with it when you’ve got an in-progress quilt, but even if I tell myself it’s a great idea, I never seem to get around to doing it!

  3. It sounds like an exceptional brand of needles! I just hate it when one of my favorite tools dies — even if I have another just like it, it doesn’t feel quite the same. Lovely stitching.

    1. Bohin needles are really wonderful, they’re higher quality than a lot you’ll find, sturdy and sharp and smooth and I’ve never found one with a rough spot or burr inside the eye (which I have had problems with with other needles). That was definitely my favourite needle, but I’m warming up to the next one out of the packet 😀

  4. So long, faithful needle. You are warmly remembered. 🙂

    You gave me a good chuckle about the BUTTO thing!

    1. Butto sounds like something spouting out of the mouth of a drunk….. Oh, butto! You make me so happy! Oh so happy! That sort of idea….

    2. I never really put too much thought into the whole What Happens To The Words When You Use Text Fabric thing, but clearly I should be paying at least a little more attention!

  5. I have a straw needle that I use for paper piecing, and it’s all bent out of shape, but I still use it anyway, even though I have 9 more and they were free to me as a gift. I guess that’s the Dutch in me. If you can make it work, use it till it breaks in half! But I guess that would be harder to do handstitching with a bent needle.

    1. Yeah, it certainly wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but I got through it 😀

      How do you use a straw needle in paper piecing? Or do you mean like.. handwork paper piecing, like for hexies and that?

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