I enjoy feathering my nest with nifty gadgets and things that manage to be at once pretty and useful. I especially like to make my own accessories like scissor keeps and velvet boards, and of course the bobbins I showed you yesterday. Like many enthusiasts, I have an impressive stash of different kinds of scissors, thread organisers, work bags and boxes. And lots and LOTS of pins and needles. For a while now, I have been keeping my needles in their original packaging, bundled together in a little plastic bag, with a goodly number sloshing around loose in the bottom of my work box, waiting to stab unwary fingers. I have been looking for a pretty needle book that is big enough to house my burgeoning collection, in a way that would allow me to have some kind of filing system to stop my sharps mingling with my crewels, and my betweens rubbing shoulders with my Japanese silk embroidery needles… After extensive digging around the internet, I found nothing that fitted the bill. All the needlebooks, even the supposedly “large” needlebooks, had only two or four pages and were little square things. very pretty, but not what I had in mind. So I made my own, here it is:
It is about 10 cm x 13 cm, with six big pages all in brightly coloured felt. It was a good excuse to get to grips with my second hand Husqvarna viking embroidery machine, using some bargain space-dyed rayon threads picked up from the internet. The sewing pattern for the book was very much made up as I went along, but it turned out quite well.
I soon got started filling it up, needles on every page, with my flower-head pins inside the front cover, and safety pins inside the back cover…
My favourite feature on it is this dangly felt flower on the spine.
It holds the ribbon in a loop so it can hang on a hook or a clip, but it also has a secret additition. Inside the felt flower is a very tiny neodymium rare earth magnet. these magnets are small but immensely strong – don’t get them too close to your watch or credit card! Inside the flower toggle, the magnet can be put to several uses. It will find and pick up any dropped pins or needles. It will easily support the weight of the needle book, so you can have it attached to a nearby lamp stand or other metallic object. But mostly what the magnet does is hold on very nicely to my scissors!
Since making the prototype, two people have asked me to make needle books for them, which I am more than happy to do – clearly I am not the only person who thinks needle books are just too small!
Please do contact me if you would like a needle book made – they are £15 with the neodymium magnet toggle, and £13.50 without, and any money made will go into funding the equipment and materials required for my RSN course (I am currently trying to raise £115 for the first module’s materials starter pack). A choice of colours is available. I will try to get a page up and running in the near future with a gallery of items available for sale or commission.