Irksome

/ Monday, 14 March 2011 /
A few months ago I was talking to my buddy, Jennifer, and I said that I had discovered the most awesome gadget that had made my hand-sewing life a dream.  Of course I was talking about the Clover desktop needle-threader, which I bought in the summer.  It sits on the table and you plunk the needle in the little hole on top, eye first, and then press the lever shown here on the right.  Some magic occurs inside that little plastic, purple device, because when you take the needle out, there is a little loop of thread stuck through the eye, and you can just pull it through.  Not only that, but it has a thread cutter built into the side, which means you don't have to worry if the TSA folks will take your scissors away during airport security checks.

After she finished scoffing at me for being the last person in creation to find out about this, Jennifer agreed that it was a pretty fantastic notion.  But, she said, hers only worked about half the time.  I was sorry for her, because after months of use, mine worked perfectly all the time.  Until, one day, it didn't.  I can't explain what happened.  It just up and stopped being reliable.  I insert the needle, line up the thread, and press the level for all I'm worth, like a dang lab rat trying to release a piece of kibble!  I can press the lever 20 times, and on the 21st time, it will thread.  Or it might thread perfectly on the first try (although this is increasingly rare).  I bought another one when I was in Toronto.  It was an utter dud from the start.  Then, most recently, when I was cashing in the gift certificate I won from my LQS, I picked up a third one.  This time, I got a yellow one to change my luck - the first two were purple.  I was blissfully happy with it for about a week.  Then it started to fail.  Now I have two purple and one yellow Clover desktop threaders sitting on the table by my couch, and I can't rely on a single one of them.  What the heck is going on with these things?
I went online to see if I could find anyone else singing the blues, or perhaps someone had posted a tutorial about how to fix their *$&@^%$ Clover threader.  But no such luck.  I know there is a simple, low-tech answer to this problem: go back to the old-fashioned manual needle-threader where you stick the wiry bit through the eye of the needle to pull the thread through.  But I have been so seduced by the ease of the Clover when it works, that I'd love to find a fix.  Anyone?

15 comments:

{ Alecia } on: 14 March 2011 at 17:03 said...

Same problem. I've taken many of these back to Joann's after they begin to fail. It's just a faulty product. Disappointing, I know. :(

{ shannon } on: 14 March 2011 at 17:11 said...

my guess (after seeing one and passing on it) is that the little hook that slips through the eye to give you that loop when you remove the needle becomes bent and/or worn. that's why it works well for 1000 times, then one day you hit the lever for the kibble (grin) and nothing. any contraption that has metal hitting metal is not ment for a long term relationship.

sorry :P

{ LiahonaGirl } on: 14 March 2011 at 17:17 said...

I love this tool -- and thankfully mine has worked like a charm. I did manage to "hide" mine, however, and ended up buying another one since I couldn't find the original one no matter how hard I looked. So far, so good.

{ I am Just One Mom } on: 14 March 2011 at 17:39 said...

yikes. sure hope all our threaders are not jinxed now that we have read this post of woe...
actually, I am giggling (just a little bit) because I have felt the same way about another gadget that I once loved and now loathe.
set yourself free. throw away your miserable non threading threaders! Liberation I say! Liberation!

{ Jennifer } on: 14 March 2011 at 18:38 said...

i hope clover reads this post and gets a whiff of how crappy their needle threaders are.

haha.
i love my joke.

{ free indeed } on: 14 March 2011 at 18:54 said...

Sad to hear this news because I just BOUGHT one! It came in the mail on Sat. :( I hope it works for a long while. Why is everything disposable these days? Stuff made way back when lasted for generations! I hate to think they do it on purpose to sell more!

{ Michele } on: 14 March 2011 at 19:39 said...

I thought it was me. I always fall back on those old-timey needle threaders. Wish I would have started this hobby with younger eyes.

{ Karin } on: 14 March 2011 at 22:56 said...

how about those self-threading needles instead? I want to try one of those really bad, don't know how they'd work in quilting though........

{ Jenni } on: 14 March 2011 at 23:16 said...

I love my Threader, but also found it spotty in performance. I took a class from Becky Goldsmith of "Piece 'o Cake". She told the secret. The device has to be level to work. Mine is back to favorite device.
Hope it helps....

{ lobsterdesigns } on: 15 March 2011 at 07:45 said...

Mine works about half the time and has done since I bought it. I haven't used it much.

{ The Calico Cat } on: 15 March 2011 at 07:58 said...

Mine was never reliable. I now buy the "easy to thread" needles.

{ The Calico Cat } on: 15 March 2011 at 08:00 said...

FYI - I think that Karin & I are talking about the same type of needle.

{ thesewinggeek } on: 15 March 2011 at 08:29 said...

Have you tried writing Clover? Some companies make "good" when you complain.

{ Thelma } on: 15 March 2011 at 13:25 said...

I think sometimes the thread isn't in the right place, if my needle doesn't thread on the first "pump", I pull the thread down on each side of the gizmo and "pump" again. I've never had to "pump" more than once, and my threader is getting a ton of use these days. Also, do you use Clover needles, I thought those threaders were made for a certain Clover needle.

{ Stacey } on: 19 March 2011 at 20:15 said...

I use a different brand called "Escort II Needle Threader" its orange in colour, and made in Japan. I bought it after seeing Becky Goldsmith using one in a class I did with her. I have had it for about six months and it is still working well.

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