Since needlework requires hours upon hours of quality time with a few tools, I’m always on the lookout for better and more convenient products. These are the latest that I can’t live without.
I’m so obsessed with 2-ply Appleton yarn that I redesigned my entire needlepoint collection to better show off their stunning color palette. The 180-year-old English brand is the gold standard of needlepoint wool — heirloom-quality, colorfast, and widely available. It’s a joy to work with.
Appleton Crewel-Weight Yarn - $2.50 for 40 yards
Since embroidery scissors are always going missing, I’ve long held that the main quality of a good pair is that they’re on-hand. That was before I used the Premax Ring Lock scissors. (Thanks for the stocking stuffer, Mom!) They’re razor sharp, super smooth, and are an absolute delight to use — balanced and comfortable. What’s more, I love them so much that I always know where they are :)
Gold Tapestry Needles
Stainless steel needles are great, but gold-plated needles are better. I love that they last longer and stand up to the grime of oils from your hands and wool yarn. In fact, I go through 3x more stainless steel needles per canvas than gold-plated needles.
John James Gold Tapestry Needles, Size 20 - $6 for 3
I have a bad habit of losing needles and scissors in couch cushions, so I’ve fallen in love with this magnetic wristband / pincushion. My tools are much easier to grab now!
Magnetic Wristband - $10.50 for 2
I find thimbles to be fussy, but I like wearing a cheapo rubber tip (like the kind used to sort paper) on my right index finger. It helps grip the needle and makes it easier to pull through during tough spots, like when you accidentally hit a knot or are working a basketweave stitch.
Swingline Rubber Finger Tips, Medium - $7 for 12
You don’t need a frame, but it helps keep your thread tension consistent and will reduce the strain of gripping the canvas in your non-dominant hand. Using a frame also makes blocking much easier when you get to the finishing phase.
Hoops: The best option for beginners and easy to use on-the-go. When I’m traveling, I set up my projects in a hoop frame. I prefer traditional wood frames, dressed in twill tape.
Hardwicke Manor Hoop, 5/16-in x 7-in - $10.25
Frames: This is what’s set up at my house, and while it’s usually occupied by embroidery projects, it’s also my favorite for needlepoint. I splurged and got floor stand, too! I’ve found that projects completed on this frame require very little blocking.