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Select a category below to find answers to frequently asked questions.

    • What is the difference between the large and small rustic heart Thread Separators?
      • There is a weight difference between all three of the Thread Separators. The large heart is the heaviest of the three styles and works the best on yarns as it helps with the additional memory that yarns tend to have. It will also work on most of the flosses as well. The smaller heart thread separators are ideal for all types of embroidery flosses and threads, including the fine silks, linens, and even metallics! They do work on yarns as well, but are a bit slower to perform the separation. The tin dove thread separators are suitable for all embroidery threads, but are a bit too light weight to handle the yarns well.
    • Can I use my Thread Separator to make cording?
      • Yes, it works beautifully to create cording.
        1. Select your floss colors. Your minimum number of 6 strand flosses is 2. You can use as many as you want depending on your desired thickness of finished cording. (Note: multiple color flosses make really pretty cording!) Make sure that your strands are about 3 times longer than the desired finished length of cording you would like to have.
        2. Knot together each end of your selected strands. Tape one end to a table top.
        3. Hold the length of your strands out horizontally to the table top and begin twisting the strands together. Twist until the cording just starts to kink.
        4. Attach your Thread Separator to the MIDDLE of the twisted flosses.
        5. Bring the end you have been twisting from ( the one in your hand) up to the taped end, letting the Thread Separator pull the flosses straight down. The Separator will EVENLY and quickly twist your cording for you.
        6. Remove the Thread Separator from the cording. The cording will not untwist on you.
        7. Your cording is ready to go!!!! How easy was that?

    • Can I use my Thread Separator to separate delicate braids and knotted fibers such as Kreinek for needlepoint?
      • Yes, it helps immensely! Here's how… For twisted threads, the Puffin is placed at the bottom of the thread and left hanging in the air. At the top of the thread, separate out a single strand of the thread from the rest of the twisted threads, grasp the strand and slide the rest of the threads down towards the Puffin. When separating Kreinik braid, the "strand" is really just a blending filament and therefore it is somewhat fragile and susceptible to breakage. Your puffin will help immensely here.
    • How long of strands of floss or yarn can I separate with my Puffin?
      • You may separate any length of fiber with the thread separator! I have done threads of up to 5 feet quite easily. Be sure and view the video clip demonstrating this! It is absolutely perfect for use in punch needle, where we go through the embroidery floss so quickly!
    • How many strands can I separate at one time using my Thread Separator?
      • You may quickly and easily separate any number you like at one time. You may also repeatedly separate any number of the remaining fibers as desired; they will not tangle or knot.
    • Are your products lead free?
      • Yes, all of our lovely handmade artworks are fashioned with lead free solder.
    • Do your Magnets comply with 16 CFR Part 1240 Safety Standards?
      • To comply with 16 CFR Part 1240 - SAFETY STANDARD FOR MAGNET SETS:
        Our magnets are not intended for use with or as a magnet set. A magnet set is defined as any aggregation of separable magnetic objects that is a consumer product intended, marketed or commonly used as a manipulative or construction item for entertainment, such as puzzle working, sculpture building, mental stimulation, or stress relief.

    • How strong are the magnets on your Needle Minders and Scissor Sitters?
      • All of our Magnetic Puffin Products are made using super strong high quality Rare Earth Neodymium magnets. These magnets are strong enough to hold a small to medium size sewing scissor in place, even if you shake it around a bit! - Really.
    • What is the best way to separate the magnets on the Needle Nannies?
      • The easiest way to separate the two magnets is to simply slide them apart.
    • What is the best type of pencil to use on the Embroidery Thread Organizer?
      • It is best to use a soft number 2 pencil on this tool. Never use a pen!!
    • How do I use Puffin Counting Pins?
      • ADD LINK - LightBox?Click here to read a Review and How to Use Puffin Counting Pins newsletter by Amy Bunger of Amy's Golden Strand. (2 pages)
    • Do I really need to do a Swatch for my Gauge and why is it so critical?
      • Swatching to check your gauge against that outlined in your pattern is ABSOLUTELY mandatory!!!! If you do not know your exact gauge, you may well have a big surprise when the size of your garment is not what you thought it would be. One half of a stitch can add inches, yes inches! Here is the math (it's not that hard). EXAMPLE: If you are knitting a pattern that is to be 50 inches around at 6 stitches per inch: 50 x 6 = 300 stitches. IF you are ½ stitch off, for example 5.5 inches per inch instead of 6 per inch, your garment will be 55.5 inches instead of 50 inches. (300 stitches divided by 5.5 = 55.5).
    • Do I need to make a swatch for blankets, scarfs, etc?
      • It is best to make a swatch regardless of your project.
    • What size should my swatch be?
      • The larger your swatch, the more accurate your measurements. You should have at least 4 inches of stitches to count in both directions, so you should knit your swatch larger than a 4 x4 piece.
    • How do I measure my finished swatch?
      • Counting your stitches for your Knitting Gauge Swatch is the most important step in creating a beautiful garment! To find your knitting tension: simply place the Magnetic Ruler on your swatch, carefully lining up the 1 on the ruler with your first stitch (Left to Right). Place your magnets on the back of the piece to keep is secure. Once in place it will not move, so you can easily count and recount as you can be assured the ruler is always in place. Once you have secured your ruler, place a pin at EXACTLY the 1 mark on the ruler. Go to the 4 mark on the ruler and place the other pin. Always place it at the exact mark, even if it is a partial part of a stitch! Count your stitches, then recount them to be sure!!! Repeat this process going top to bottom to check your ROW Gauge as well.
    • What do I do if my gauge is off?
      • You will need to adjust your needle size accordingly. Too loose means you need smaller needles, too tight means you need a larger size needle. Not everyone knits with the same tension, so you have to determine if your tension matches that of the pattern design.
    • If my gauge is off, do I need another swatch?
      • Yes, consider it good practice for when you start your project!
    • How do I clean my Puffin Products?
      • Generally, all that may be required is to use a soft cloth to gently polish your products. They may also be cleaned with metal polishes that are appropriate for the metals you have on your particular design.
    • Who can use these products?
      • Our products are great for anyone who loves to do any of the wonderful Needlearts of Embroidery, Cross Stitch, Needlepoint, Punch Needle and Knitting. They are also great for those who Quilt or Sew. We have something for everyone and their particular passion. Our products are pretty and practical, after all everyone can use a little needle art bling!

    • What are the different types of in threads and flosses that I can use?
      • There a number of wonderful embroidery flosses available to use in your projects: threads made of fine linen or silk, cotton, and rayon. There are specialty metallics and even fuzzy threads! Typically found in 6 strands in a loosely twisted bundle are cotton, silk and rayon. Rayon has the most sheen. Linen embroidery floss rarer and is especially suited particular for making authentic period pieces. There are also wonderful over dyed products on the market. These require a bit of extra knowledge to get the effects you desire. A few basic hints for stitching with over dyed threads: When you stitch large areas with over dyed threads divide the area into small sections and stitch each section completely. This will group colors together rather than having the colors change in lines or diagonally. Think of stitching a group of blocks with a a single over dyed thread color. Stitch each block individually, rather than along a line of canvas threads, thus avoiding the diagonal effect. Additionally, when working with over dyes you may want to complete a color faster than the threads allow with standard stitching. To adjust this, stitch leaving extra thread on the back of the piece and consider burying a length of thread now and then, which will help you to get through a color run a bit faster. You can also cut several lengths and then rotate through. Be sure not to double an over dyed thread in your needle and make sure that when you separate your over dyed thread you put the same color ends together or you will mismatch the run of the color!
    • What types of fibers should I use?
      • There are a variety of fibers that are suitable for needlepoint. The choice of your fibers will provide various textures and looks to your needlepoint piece.

        Take care to be sure that your fibers are colorfast! You don't want your fibers to bleed and ruin your design. Materials commonly used are Tapestry yarns, 3 ply Persian Yarns, Perle cottons of various weights, 6 ply flosses and silk and metallic yarns. Do Not use Knitting Yarn!

    • What sizes of needlepoint canvases are there?
      • Needlepoint canvases come in a variety of sizes from 5 to 24 counts. The count is the number of mesh holes per inch. Popular sizes are 10, 12, &14. Sizes 16 and greater are fine and are referred to as Petit Point.
    • What types of needlepoint canvases are there?
      • You may find canvases that are blank, charted, printed or hand painted.
        • Blank canvas is available for use to create your own designs or follow a pattern created by another.
        • Charted canvases are done following a chart, much like cross stitch.
        • Printed canvases are done by machine or computer and you just follow the color and pattern of the design. This process allows for mass production of a design and the Kits one can purchase are an example of this type of canvas.
        • Painted canvases are hand painted and allow for more individual interpretation of the canvas. You can choose where to change colors at a given intersection and choose the types of threads and stitches to use.

    • What type of needles should I use for needlepoint?
      • To avoid splitting your threads and yarns, you should use tapestry needles. These needles have a rounded rather than sharp pointed tip. They come in various sizes to accommodate the various sizes of canvas. Be sure to use the appropriately sized needle for the canvas you are working.
    • What type and styles of Punch Needles are there?
    • What types of embroidery hoops are there, and which do I use?
      • There are many options available on the market today. You can still find the basic wooden or plastic hoops in a variety of diameters. These have less grip and your fabrics may lose some of their tightness and you will need to re-stretch and re-tighten occasionally. There are also several non -slip varieties that will keep your fabrics drum tight as well as a selection of great frames that snap together and also are super great for keeping your fabric or needlepoint canvas stretched tightly. Keeping your fabric stretched evenly and securely is very important. One should be sure and use the style that best fits the particular project. For example, always use a non-slip style hoop when doing a punch needle project as it is extremely important to have the fabric very taut when working this technique.
    • Why tape the canvas edges with masking tape?
      • The function is 2 fold, to prevent possible unraveling of a canvas, and to keep from catching your fibers on the edges as you work. Be sure and take the time to do this, you won't be sorry!
    • Do I need to use a frame?
      • The purpose of the frame is to minimize distortion of your canvas as you work it. Also work to keep your stitches at an even, not too tight tension. This will also help keep the canvas from distorting.
    • How do I get help with a specific problem or question?