Sunday, November 12, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching - Lighting

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! We invite you to settle in for some relaxation, visit our inspiring stitchers at the links below, and take some time to put a few stitches in one of your favourite projects.

Since the time change last weekend, I've been reminded that at some times of the year, most of my hand stitching is done in the dark. Which means that proper lighting is a very important consideration since I plan to be hand stitching my way through the cold, dark winter. I'm trying to learn how to knit on 4 needles and am having a terrible time reading the instructions and seeing the stitches. Just look at this mess! 
Oh dear... and there is a lot of counting involved! 

I enjoyed reading Teresa's blog post this week on the same topic of lighting (read it here) and found it interesting to see some of her lighting solutions. I'm on the lookout for one of the "Beam 'n Read" lamps that Teresa recommends. 

There are lamps beside every stitching spot in my house, but I also have a few extra lamps that have become my favourites, because one light is just not enough! I had a portable Ott light that I really liked, but the bulb burned out and I have yet to find a reasonably priced replacement bulb. 

Mostly I am using my favourite Ikea lamp .
The winter hand quilting project reappears!

Convenient features:
*the base is solid and heavy which makes it secure and not easily toppled.
*the goose neck is flexible and can be focused right on your stitching area.
*it gives a nice pool of perfect light to work in. 

Inconvenient features: 
*this is a plug in lamp, so you must be near an electrical outlet to use it
*you need to be sitting near a table to set the lamp on

I also like this portable lamp (with no identifiable brand name) that is sold in quilting stores around here. 
Convenient features:
*it charges itself from the computer and provides direct light right over my hand stitching.
*it folds completely flat, is lightweight and is a great take-along light source. 

Inconvenient features:
*it requires a flat surface to sit on and because it is lightweight, it's quite tippy. I usually use it when stitching at a table, and I can sometimes balance it on my lap. I have also been known to prop it up over my shoulder when sitting in waiting rooms with poor lighting, and have also set it on top of a stack of pillows in hotel rooms with terrible lighting.
*the charge doesn't last very long with maybe about 1/2 hour of light, which is not nearly long enough for my hand stitching needs!

And while you are thinking about your favourite lighting solutions, you can enjoy James Taylor singing with the Lowcountry Voices "Shine a little Light".

 If you have a lighting suggestion to share with us, we are all ears (to help our eyes)! We want to stitch all winter long!
Link up your blog post with your lighting ideas and/or share your suggestions in the comment section below.

    An InLinkz Link-up


Sarah said...

I'm knitting some socks on four needles at the moment! Tricky to start with but with some stitch markers to indicate the start much easier! I know what you mean about sewing in poor light, I use a strategically placed lamp pointing over my shoulder. Great video, they have amazing voices.

The Cozy Quilter said...

I want to learn to knit when I retire. I have a few friends who have offered to teach me how. Right now, I have no time for a new hobby. I have the same problem as you with lighting while I stitch. I have asked Santa for an Ott floor lamp that I can move to where I am stitching, especially in the winter. It will still need to be plugged in but it will be better than having all the lights in the room on while I sew. Good luck with the knitting.

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

Have you tried the magic loop instead of using four needles? I haven't tried it yet but hope to soon. There are some great videos about it on you tube. I agree lighting is essential and I figured out why my hand stitching in the evenings came to a stand still after my move. I really missed my adjustable clamp on lamp. I lost the clamp in the move. Boo Hoo! My hubby engineered a new base that I can now use but my end table is on my left sice now and at my old house it was on the right. I really find the light coming over my right shoulder is better than the other way around. I find the LED bulbs in a regular lamp give as much light as the old ott lamps do and are vastly cheaper. Good luck with your knitting!!!!

Kate said...

I have one of those little foldable lamps that goes in my sewing bag for trips. Mine runs on batteries and so far I've not had to change the batteries in it.

Karen in Breezy Point said...

I love my IKEA lamps too--can't beat the price! Lighting is always a struggle for me--seems like I am always looking for a good solution!

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

Just caught up on your posts, kathy. I love your scrappy pieces which look anything but scrappy to me. And would be so beautiful finished!
Thankfully Murphy, our black Lab, had her favourites to chew and the costliest casualties were 3 library books that I got charged $20 each to replace.
I love this lighting themed post. I have a floor Ikea much like your table one that has a strong beam; after 5 years still working well and as karen noted you can't beat the price... I think it cost about $15. My Floor model Ott lite is fantastic for the cross stitch...I love it.
Learning 4 or 3 needle knitting is on my to do list. Good Luck!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Same sort of issue here. I have an OTT light that I can use but need to be close to a plug. Not used to so much dark lately, either...hard to adjust to!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I do not have the Ikea lamp but I do have the Beam and Read and the other small one that you show that you can plug into your computer to charge - I had problems with both - the first can be solved by replaced the cord around the neck - mine made my neck itch horribly and the second the wiring went bad close to the base of the light almost immediately. I still have both of them but most times I do not need them as I have a nice lamp in the living room that I got years and years ago - it is an Ott lamp - I will need to try to remember to blog about it - it has been worth the money I spent about 20 years ago for it.

piecefulwendy said...

I have a floor lamp that helps me when I hand stitch. However, many of my friends use a headlamp. You can find them at reasonable prices, and they say they work really well. Hands free, the lamp doesn't get in your sight line, and the beam shines where you need it.

Jill said...

Stitching with good light is crucial for our vision health. Timely post. Currently, the Ikea lamp is my favorite. Reasonable price, comes with a long cord. I plan one buying one or two more. My experience with the Beam Read is that it is heavy on my neck. Due to its weight, it slides down and I always have to readjust. Have not tried the portable.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Thanks for the lighting info, and people's comments were interesting to read, too. I'll check out the Ikea lamp next time we're there!

marebear said...

Hi Kathy, Most of my blog is about paper piecing and sewing, but I am an avid knitter, too. So glad to see you had your double pointed needles all ready for a new project. What are you knitting? I am working on some awesome chunky mittens with heavenly soft cuddle lining.

Suzanne said...

I use the same IKEA light with my sewing machine. Next to the chair I sit in while sewing-watching TV, I use an old standing lamp I inherited from my Grandparents. It is tall and arches over the chair just perfect.

Dona said...

My favorite lamp is one my husband gave me when we were going to go camping. It sits on your head with a band and you can angle where the light goes.

Turid said...

A good lamp is a must, and I have a really fantastic one. Hope to show a picture of me stitching my La Passion next Sunday.

Deanna W said...

As soon as I saw that knitting, I thought something was up. Keep trying. It is definitely a practice makes perfect thing!

Miaismine said...

Hello there! I also use the protable OTT light. A Google search revealed a secret: I could find the bulb I needed at Home Depot for $4.97! Sure beats the $20+ price at other craft shops! Good luck!

Janet O. said...

I love OTT-Lites so much that I have 9 at my house, bought when sales and coupons make them affordable. These old eyes of mine tire easily if I don't have full spectrum light for stitching, reading, working the budget, etc. There is an OTT that is very similar to the IKEA lamp you show here, and I have one of those by my featherweight and one by my Pfaff. I have a large clamp-on OTT over my cutting table and one over my HQ Sweet 16. I have an OTT floor lamp by my stitching chair and one by my reading chair in my bedroom. There is an OTT light on the nightstand in the guest room, one at my desk, and one at my scrapbook table. Whoops, I guess I have 10 of them, because I have an old one that I used to use at my featherweight, until my most recent purchase of the one similar to the IKEA light. I prefer plug-ins so I am not having to replace batteries or recharge them, and I don't feel comfortable with the head lamps on.

gayle said...

I've got a clamp-on gooseneck lamp that plugs into my computer or into a USB charger that I can clamp onto my hoop or my desk or the arm of my chair. I don't know what I did without it!
I'm also a big fan of headlamps - inexpensive, reasonably comfortable to wear, and they're always pointed at whatever my eyes are looking at!

gayle said...

Oh, and hang in there with the knitting. The first few rows are always hard - like trying to knit with a porcupine - but after that you'll have smooth sailing!