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KathyColorado Posted: Fri, Feb 17 2012 8:06 PM

When hand stitching of any kind,  I spend more time taking out knots and tangles in my thread than getting any sewing done.   Does anyone have any suggestions or tips?

Kathy

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Elizabeth replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 8:22 PM

I used to have this problem as well.  First thing is to make sure you thread is not to long.  I was told no more than 10inches.  I do not stick by that rule.  The other thing to do is make sure you let your thread unwind.  You can also try thread was as well.    Hope this helps

 Elizabeth

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gini replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 8:54 PM

kathy, some threads curl up more than others and as you get closer to the spool it tangles more.   you can use that stuff in the little blue box thread magic, maybe,  or  beeswax. these help.  a shorter thread helps.

gini in north idaho

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Jeanine replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 8:57 PM

I have the same problem.  It is frustrating but I don't hand stitch much.

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Kris replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 9:15 PM

Try different threads. I find some tangle more than others even when treated with beeswax or thread heaven. I use Presencia 60wt for hand piecing and appliqué. 

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gini replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 9:17 PM

you know, i get some tangling, too.  it used to bug me.  now i know,  it is just a fact of hand sewing, it happens.   i don't let it bother me too much any more.  when i get an impossible-to-fix knot, i cut the thread, start a few stitches back and continue on.  i decided if i was going to enjoy hand sewing i had to get over it.

gini in north idaho

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MNnancy replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 9:31 PM

KathyColorado:
I spend more time taking out knots and tangles in my thread than getting any sewing done

...and that is why I grew to dislike hand sewing.  I now put my bindings on by machine and do turned under applique by machine with invisible thread.  Gini is going to teach me needle-turn hand applique in April, so I hope she can help me learn to adopt her calm demeanor when the tangles come.

Shorter thread is the advice I've heard most often.  I tend to cut really long thread so I don't have to stop to rethread so often.

Good luck!


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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Kris replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 9:44 PM

Cutting thread longer than your forearm is bad for your elbows. It also tires your arm from having to reach too far.

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Nana replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 9:47 PM

Kathy

I have found that using Thread Heaven or beeswax really helps alot with the tangling and knotting problems.

Vinton, Virginia

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Oh man!  I thought there would be some new and improved tip that came along when I wasn't looking.  I'm curious as to whether or not to try the beeswax.

Nancy, I too tend to stay away from handsewing, although I really do enjoy it and want to also learn needleturn applique.  I find that it is very calming.....until the tangle gets in the way and then sh$%!    But Gini, you are right....I just need to get over it and enjoy the ride. 

Thanks to all for your ideas!

 

Kathy

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Thanks Nana...I'm going to give the wax a try!

Kathy

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Mimi replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 11:18 PM

gini:
now i know,  it is just a fact of hand sewing, it happens.

I agree Gini.  I love to hand sew.  I find it relaxing.  I use a little spit once in a while to settle things down and thread heaven if I can remember where I put it.

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gini replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 11:37 PM

Mimi:
and thread heaven if I can remember where I put it.

 which is the reason i had to learn to deal with it.  i can never fine the wax or blue box when i need it.

gini in north idaho

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Diana replied on Sat, Feb 18 2012 6:38 AM

I don't do a lot of hand sewing but love the way binding looks when it's done by hand.  I know that as you sew, you twist the thread.  I just see which way it's being twisted and every few stitches I untwist it so it doesn't tangle.  It really helps a lot and only takes a second or two.  Hope this helps.

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Pat M. replied on Sat, Feb 18 2012 9:18 AM

Thread has a "twist" to it.  I find that if I thread the needle while the thread is still on the spool (so I know which end is which), cut a lenght off thread (about 12" long), and then knot the end I just cut from the spool it helps.  As Diana suggested, if the thread wants to tangle just let the needle hang straight down and let the thread settle down.  I usually don't have problems.

Pat--"Keep Calm and Carry On"

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