How to Add Thread Mid-Project: Tips and Video

Aug 17, 2009

How to Add Thread Mid-Project

Though many beaders do it, I don’t like working with long thread. It tangles, it knots, it snags under the casters on my chair, or reels in my cat as she plays with the nest of excess at my feet.

To show you how easy it is to add thread, here’s another Doodlebeads video demonstrating how to end old thread and add new thread quickly and simply. Our September October issue of Step by Step Beads has several projects that would be more manageable with shorter thread lengths instead of yardage. To use a single piece of thread in both the Zigzag Zen cuff and the Cubes ‘n’ Dots cuff you would need a mile-long thread! So let’s learn to end old thread and add new thread.

My Top 5 Reasons for Shorter Threads

1. It’s faster. Each stitch should be a simple arm’s length. Hold your work directly in front of you, and reach out your stitching arm out. That’s an arm’s length.

2. It’s more efficient. Work with thread only an arm’s length from piece to reach, so each stitch can be completed in one smooth movement. String a bead, pull stitch snug. String, pull.

3. It strengthens the piece. Secure the extra passes of thread in specific areas that may bear more weight or connectors, for instance.

4. Patch, repair, and reinforce more easily with new threads than using one thread alone. If something breaks, the whole piece won’t fall apart. (And you’d have to use a new thread anyway, wouldn’t you?)

5. Always use a new thread to attach clasps or add extra embellishment. In the chance something goes awry, only the new thread is affected. Your core piece remains intact.

But you single-thread fans don’t fool me! I think the real reason you don’t want to add thread is you don’t like threading a needle. See if these needle-threading tips help.

4 Tips for Easy Needle Threading

Clean Cuts. Cut a clean thread end with the sharp scissors or snips. Flatten the end of the thread between thumb and forefinger to more easily slide through the eye of the needle.

Eye Size. Use the right size needle for the bead holes, and the right size thread for both beads and the needle.

Move the needle. Bring the needle eye to the thread, not the other way around: hold the thread between the thumb and forefinger of your nondominant hand so the thread is barely a poppy seed visible. Bring the eye of the needle to the thread and that thread will have no place to go but through that eye.

Bigger is Better. Magnifier glasses should be considered a tool, not a stigma, no matter how youthful you are. Enlarge that needle’s eye and presto, threading is a breeze. 

Start practicing these techniques today with a subscription to Step by Step Beads.  If you’re already a subscriber, be sure to join our Reader Advisory Panel to tell us how to deliver more of what you want to learn!


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Comments

Maria@160 wrote
on Aug 17, 2009 11:53 AM
I really love all you beads jewelry design, Wish i can collect or learn all the design you had, I want to apply a monthly subscription of your wonderful magazine, but i dont how, as i dont have any credit account I have only savings account.. Any body could help me? More Power to all of you..
beadinstyle wrote
on Aug 17, 2009 5:14 PM
I find this method is easy for flat beadweaving, but I think beginners of spiral stitches would rather use a longer thread than try to backtrack through their work to end and begin another thread. I have tried a method of tying old to new threads but it isn't secure enough. Any suggestions here?
Aryd'ellH wrote
on Aug 18, 2009 4:45 PM
ugh! all those knots DO show. why not use the method Carole Wilcox Wells has in her Beadweaving book- the weaver's knot- works with any thread including Fireline, stays in place, and you can cut the ends to within an eighth inch of the knot without worry. If you are using the smoke Fireline, and are worried that it might pull apart, tie a small single overhand knot near the end of each piece, then pull the weaver's knot down next to them. much faster than weaving. One of the reasons I always worked with long threads was because I HATE weaving in ends, and adding knots to that process, even half-hitches, is insult to injury as far as I am concerned. Do try the weaver's knot. I think you will love it!
onjewels wrote
on Aug 26, 2009 1:18 PM
Excellent advice, I have been a stubborn long threader, but might now have to change my ways and hopefully avoid lots of my current tangling frustrations.
HelenS@48 wrote
on Oct 15, 2009 3:11 PM
What do you do if you're using double fireline in RAW? Do you clip the new thread ends and the old thread ends?