Monday, August 31, 2015

What Size Needle is in Your Sewing Machine Now?

          We are supposed to change our sewing machine needle after every project.  I'm sorry, but if I only stitch a hem and didn't nip a pin, I'm not throwing away that needle.  
           How do I keep up with the size of the needle in my machine?

                By looking at the picture above, can you tell which needle I have in my machine?   You see that 14 & 18 is missing, so it must be one of them.  Notice the clothes pin on the size 14 package?  That means the size 14 needle is in the machine.

               Now I've taken the 11 needle and put it in the machine.  The clothes pin is now on the package where the size 11 needle use to be.  I also need to get some more size 11 needles.
               I used to try to write the size on a piece of paper, but would lose the paper.  So, I tried taping the paper to the package.  It took time to get the tape.  Paper clip didn't work.  So the big clothes pin works fine and easy to see and find.  
            I suppose if you have a magnifying glass you could read the inscription on the needle.  I can't see it even with my strongest glasses.  I couldn't even get my good camera to focus in on the tiny lettering.
            I am embarrassed to say that I don't usually throw a needle away until the machine starts giving me problems such as skipping stitches or tangling or breaking threads.  I can also tell by the sound of the machine as it goes through the fabric and if I see the threads being pulled in the fabric.  Then, it's time to go.  I discard them in a marked pill bottle.

             All pins and needles, industrial or medical, should go in a marked closed container before being put in the trash for safety purposes, both to prevent injury and in the case of medical needles, such as insulin pins, to spread possible infections. 
Sharing at several Linky Parties.


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 Photoscape for downsizing & watermarking photo
PicMonkey creating collages used on this page


  1. I've tried several ways to keep track of my needles as I go. I really like yours. I keep a magnifying glass handy for checking the numbers on the needle itself, there was a time when my eyes were good enough to read them without help. I too keep needles longer then I should.

  2. I have to say I've never thought about keeping track of my needles and I too would wait until I had trouble, although I'm not sewing tons of things. I suppose I should take more care though.

    Thanks for sharing, over from too cute Tuesdau :)

  3. This is a great tip - I can't tell you how many times I've dumped needles because I was careless. You could also roll that up and place inside a Mini M&M candy tube. My daughter did this with her crochet needles, was pretty handy.

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

    1. That's a great tip Carole. Make sure it's clearly marked so a little person doesn't think it's still candy?

  4. Thank you for sharing and thank you so much for linking up with us over at the OMHHWW! Have a wonderful long weekend!!

  5. Many years ago I was able to purchase these round cases to hold my sewing machine and server needles. Singer made one, and you rotate the top to the pieshaped area that holds the needles. The one from Singer had the pie shaped holders labeled, but the others I bought were blank. I used a fine tip Sharpie to label those holders. To remind me what needle I have in the machines I put a flat toothpick in the holder I took the needle from. Before I do, I write the date on it with my trusty Sharpie. When I can't remember the last time I changed my needle, I just check.

    1. Thank-you for that great tip Melody. I remember those round dispensers.

  6. I never throw out needles until they cause problems, either, Joy.

  7. I use nail polish - a different colour for every size and type - and keep a master list. I put the colour on the end that goes into the shank.
    The nail polish idea works to identify keys as well.


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