Another Way to Thread a Needle

Some people are really good at threading needles – thread, needle, stabby-thread-through-needle-eye, presto-change-o, needle threaded. Some people are maybe no so much and it goes more like, thread, needle, stabby, stabby, stabby, curse, stabby, CURSE, stabby, stabby, needle threaded. If that sounds familiar, great news! There’s a way to thread a needle without all the stabby-stabby business.

required objects

You will need: two free hands, a needle with a longish eye, and some thread.

pinching loop of thread

Pinch a loop of thread between the thumb and forefinger of your off hand.

pulling loop down

Use the thread tails to pull the loop downward until it's barely visible between your fingers. You just want to see a little line of thread from the top of the loop.

needle between fingers

With your other hand, place the eye end of the needle between the fingers that are pinching the thread. Saw it gently back and forth like the worlds smallest violin. The eye should face directly in to the crack between your fingers.

loop through eye of needle

The sawing motion will cause the loop of thread to pop into the eye of the needle.

pinching the loop

Roll your thumb slightly so that most of your grip is above the needle, and pull the needle downward with your other hand.

loop pulled through needle

That will pull more of the loop through the needle.

needle threaded

Then you just need to pull one side of the loop through the eye, so that the needle is threaded normally.

One of the neat things about this method is that you can thread a needle by touch. Um, that’s useful if you’re sewing in the dark, I suppose. Also, it makes you look really cool at sewing parties….

I learned this a million years ago from an amazing embroideress. She showed me three ways to thread a needle, and I am still trying to make the other two work. I swear to you, I saw the woman snap thread into a needle. And she did this thing, where she just laid a piece of thread over her thumb, ran the eye of a needle down it, and presto, threaded needle. I’ve been trying to master that for YEARS and I can’t. Master? Heck, I can’t even make it work. Sometimes I wonder if she maybe sold a little piece of her soul for that snapping trick. (Mostly in terms of wondering exactly how much, to whom, and how to get in touch with them…) I’ve been threading needles since I was old enough to hold them. That was my job when mom was sewing because mom and hand needles aren’t such great friends. It’s just crazy-cool when someone shows you three new ways to do something you thought had exactly one obvious solution….

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