Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tips & Techniques - Magnifiers

It's something that many of us have to deal with, and don't always like to admit...needing to use some sort of magnifier to be able to stitch our projects.

I grew up wearing glasses from the age of 6, just to be able to see/read ANYTHING, let alone doing my needlework.  There were times I needed a magnifier and many, many years ago there weren't a lot of options on what you could use and still hold your needlework.  I ended up going with the hands-free over your head magnifier like this:
I never personally cared for it.  I thought it was uncomfortable to wear and the stitches were soooo huge it was harder to stitch with it than without it, so I stopped using it (but still have it just in case I need it in the future).

You can also get the type of magnifiers that clip onto your project.  They come in different sizes and magnifier strengths.  Again, I personally don't care for these as I don't use a frame stand and hold my project in my hand, so I think it is difficult to handle as it adds some extra weight to the hoop/qsnap frame.

Well 9 years ago I was lucky enough to have Lasik surgery on my eyes.  I went from being nearsighted with a -7.75 prescription to being able to see 20/15 (yes, they corrected my eyes better than normal 20/20 vision!!).  As time is creeping up on me and I'm now in my fabulous 40's, my vision has started to slip a little on some of the fine details (as expected, but not enough to need a "touch up" on my surgery).  I have found the perfect magnifier for me is simple reading glasses or "cheaters" as a lot of people like to call them.

I've found a local discount store where I can get them for $.88/pair and I DO get them in all kinds of funky patterns and styles.  People do tend to look at me strangely in the store when I'm trying them on because instead of standing there with a book or magazine to get the right strength I'm standing with a piece of fabric in my hands, lol!  I have different strengths I use for the different count fabrics I use.  And I don't always use them.  If I'm stitching on a 14 or 16 count fabric I typically don't use them.

These three options are just a few of the many that are out there.  Most people have their favorite just as I do, but I figured I'd at least highlight a few of them for those that have problems seeing their fabric/stitches and have never considered using an aid that can help them continue on with their stitching for years to come.  :)


  1. How cute are those glasses! I only wear my glasses for distance, and take them off to read or stitch. But I might try one of these when I try to stitch on 32 ct! Thanks for the tip!

  2. No problem Debbie. Let me know how it works out for you if you try them.