April 29, 2013
Laying Tool Review and Giveaway!
Hi guys! Remember this lovely doodad I showed you last week? The folks at JR Crafter sent me one of their Best Laying Tools to try out and I'm ready with a full report for you!
First of all, if you've never used a laying tool, it takes a bit of time to get used to, and like any skill, you get better with practice.
I like that this tool is lightweight and easy to hold - it's the width and length of a pen, and quite pretty, as well.
The end is wicked sharp - here it is next to my needle, for comparison:
That said, even with my slightly clumsy paws and the smooth acrylic finish on my tool, I managed not to stab myself. I'd take Mary Corbet's advice and use a floor stand for embroidery, to leave both hands free. I did okay by resting my hoop on the edge of a table and just sort of finagling it.
I tried the laying tool on a section of Satin Stitch - in these photos I'm using 2 strands of embroidery floss. First I stitched without the laying tool, as I normally do - and you know what happens - sometimes it works fine and sometimes the threads get all twisty, separate-y, and just plain sad:
Laying tool to the rescue!
I realized that in the past, I was already using my needle unconsciously to do this - tugging out and straightening the twisted threads after I'd stitched them so that they'd lay flat. Tugging at threads after the fact is touch and go and many times I grumpily have to re-stitch it.
With the laying tool, I had none of those problems - you use it to hold the threads taut and straight while you're pulling them through, so there's no last-minute twisting, separating, or bumps. Yay! When I get better, I'd like to try it on stem stitch, another stitch that frustrates me at times.
This laying tool really is a pleasure to use - since it's the length and width of a pen, your hands already have a pretty good idea of how to handle it. When you're done using the tool, the top screws on nice and tight to keep you safe and the tip nice and sharp. If your satin or stem stitching makes you grumpy, I'd say it's definitely worth a try. I mentioned Mary Corbet's helpful post on laying tools before, but I'll plug it again because her photos and video tell you everything you need to know about how to use this lovely thing.
And now for what you've been waiting for huh - the giveaway! Not only is this a great-looking, easy-to-use tool, it comes in SO MANY lovely configurations. Well you know what? One of you lucky peeps will be getting the laying tool in the color combination of your dreams, thanks to the wonderful people at JR Crafter!
To win, check out all the beautiful colors and finishes on their website. To see what they look on the actual tool, click over to their Etsy store for some nice photographs. Leave a comment on this post with your favorite color, by 9 PM CST, Friday, May 3, when I will draw a random winner.
My color combo is "Pink Cloud," if you like mine. But, hey, maybe you're not a pink acrylic fan - to each his/her own - let's hear your favorites!