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The Relevance of Time

Annie MillerThe other day, I was enjoying a quiet moment at home. My 8-year-old son walked by. I grabbed him, tall as he is, and wrapped my arms around him pulling him down on my lap just like when he was little.

"Son," I said, "you must stop growing up. I don't want you to get big and leave me!"

He smiled and looked back at me with the reply, "Don't worry, Mom. I still have 10 whole years before I turn 18."

Thinking of how swiftly the first eight have passed and realizing my time with him is half gone, I told him that was just not long enough!

"But, Mom," he answered incredulously, "that's a decade!"

I couldn't help but laugh.

the relevance of time | Fotolia/Marek

Photo: Fotolia/Marek

How To Thread A Needle And Knot Your Thread

Annie MillerThese skills are very basic to hand sewing and among the first learned when beginning to sew. When a few mothers in our church asked a woman with years of sewing experience to teach our girls some beginning basics, she graciously agreed. I looked forward to learning from her as well. Sure enough, she taught me a couple “tricks of the trade” that have been a tremendous help to me. I would like to share them with you.

STEP 1: How To Thread A Needle

Unravel the thread from the spool and cut to desired length. Take a wax candle or beeswax and press the end of your thread onto the wax and hold it there for a few seconds. This will allow your body heat to slightly soften the wax. Then drag the thread across the wax a few times. This will coat the thread, keeping it from splitting and making it easier to thread your needle.

Picture with Candle

Proceed to send the thread through the eye of the needle.

Thread Pulled Through Needle Eye

To give your thread double strength, pull the top end down to meet the bottom end until they are matching lengths.

Thread With Matching Length On Ends

STEP 2: How To Tie A Knot

This may seem complicated, but bear with me. Follow these instructions, practice a few times, and you will see how truly simple it is.

Hold your needle perpendicular to the floor. Take the two matching length ends and bring them up to cross the needle like a “T.” Wherever that thread is on the needle is where your knot will end up. You only need a little bit of thread sticking up over the needle.

Thread Across The Needle Like A

Thread Across The Needle Like A T In Hand

Now, take the thread that is hanging down and begin to wrap it around the needle point several times. The fewer times you wrap it the smaller the knot you will have. The more times you wrap it the larger your knot will be.

Single Thread Wrap

Several Thread Wraps

Point the needle up to the ceiling and pinch the wrapped threads between your thumb and finger. Proceed to slide the wrapped threads down the shaft of the needle. You may need to use your other thumb to push the needle up from the eye end to get started.

Picture With Thumb Pushing Up The Needle

Once it has raised enough, you can use your other hand to pull up on the needle while your pinched fingers are pulling the thread down. Continue to pull the thread down over the needle eye and down the thread until the knot has reached the bottom.

Picture With Knot Sliding Down Thread

Picture With Completed Knot

When I was young, I learned that you rolled the thread between your thumb and finger until you had aggravated it into a knot. Having sustained a thumb injury a few years ago (my family was at a batting cage and I just happened to somehow catch my thumb between the bat and the ball), this motion is strenuous on my thumb joint. So learning to knot the thread this way has been a huge help. I hope it will be an asset to your sewing skills as well!