Welcome friends and needleworkers, hope your
Thanksgiving Day was very special!
Oh my goodness, it's time to peek into this
Today's topic is the humble little "needle"
This young peasant girl will share her
most treasured possession...
Needles are the most important tool for sewing,
and are as old as time!
They were found in gold and silver in Pre~dynastic Egyptian
tombs, and are used virtually unchanged today.
Little is known about the origins of the steel needle, except
that it was brought in Medieval times from Islamic countries to
Spain, from where it slowly filtered into the rest of Europe.
Recorded needlemakers were registered in Vienna, Austria as
early as 1295. Nuremberg in Germany was making steel needles
by 1370 and Queen Elizabeth I had the steel needle brought to
London in 1566.
From the end of the sixteenth century Amsterdam had it own
Here are some examples of early museum needles...
These three brass needles were excavated in Amsterdam
in the 1970's....dating back to the first half of the 14th century!
By the 1840's sewing needles were being produced in
great quantities. The average person could now afford to buy
a packet of needles whereas previously it was only possible
to own an individual needle.
During the eighteenth century fine embroidery was very
much the province of the upper classes.
These were the ladies who owned fine embroidery tools and
spent their time producing decorative items and samplers.
On the other hand, the sweet peasant girl, a poor villager,
thought of her needle as her most treasured possession as it
was needed for the necessities of life!
There are, in fact, recorded instances of one needle being
shared by a small village!
For this level of society there was no time or place for fine
As the years passed needle companies were a growing
All competing for attractive packaging!
Wow, a whole package of needles for only .4¢!!!!
This package is from my Grandmother's workbasket.
Frozen in time...just the way she left this single needle!
Then, retail companies started using needlebooks as a means
of advertising, to reach the woman of the house...
Do you have any old needlebooks in your stash?
And finally, during the 1960's ~ 1970's grocery stores
gave them out as a complimentary thank you gifts...
I actually remember shopping at A&P grocery store as a
I wish grocery stores would revive such a generous
Back in 2007, I purchased one of my favorite needles...
It may look like other needles, but it is very special because
it is a handmade Japanese needle!
I still have the original little glass jar it came in...
And I like to keep it in this jar...so I don't loose it!
For my personal everyday favorite needles I always
use John James Tapestry Petites...
I recommend using size 24 needles on
28 ct linen or 14 ct aida cloth
Size 26 needles for 28 & 30 ct linen or 16 ct aida cloth
Size 28 needles for 32, 35/36, 40 count linens or
16, 18 count aida cloth
What makes these needles different is the shorter (Petite) shaft,
making them wonderful to hold in your hand while stitching.
Because there is less needle shaft, you are able
to keep stitching, using most of your thread...much less waste!
Plus, with the petite needle you'll be able to stitch
John James Petite needles in sizes 24, 26 and 28
are all available in my Etsy Shoppe...
Weekend Soul Food...
It is easier for a camel to go through the
eye of a needle,
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Looking forward to visiting again on Monday...see you then!