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?