The Embroiderer's Story


November 29th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Colleen asked how we like the daylight lamps with the attached magnifying arms; her mother-in-law is interested in getting one. I’d like to hear from the embroiderers – I can’t remember where we got the lamps, but I can look. I’m pretty sure we bought what Tricia recommended. Personally, I like the daylight part, but can’t get used to the magnifying lenses. They’re on a separate arm from the light and I haven’t been able to coordinate working with it. What does everyone else think? Any recommendations? I’ve seen a whole variety of lamps and magnifiers brought to the sessions. Some clip to the frame, some are travel daylight lamps (I think I’d like one of those, so it could move from one chair to the other in the living room plus easily go to classes.) one sat right on the taught linen and was a light in a 3-sided box so the light shone very directly where needed.

Thanks to Debbie for this picture. I’m asking Wendy if my first plaited braid is up to snuff – fortunately the answer was yes. Working that stitch is actually fun – you do get a rhythm after a while, the needle finds the path, and you come to the end of the length of thread much too quickly. From how reluctantly the goldworkers put their needles down in the evening, it seems you come to the end of the day too quickly too. Which is probably why the gold is getting accomplished so speedily.

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4 Responses to “Lamps”

  1. Robbin Douglas says:

    I guess I can give more info and an opinion. The lamps that Plimoth has are made by the Daylight Company and they are a combined maginfier and lamp. This means that the magnifier is attached (as you can see) to the same base as the lamp, and both lift out fairly easily from the base. The base is quite heavy, and if you lift anywhere other than the base you will pull the pieces apart.

    I like working with the lamps when I’m working at Plimoth — the light is great. I can usually get the magnifier where I want it. However, I would never choose this as a setup for at home. At home I have standing lamp (it’s an Ott light, but Daylight has comperable lamps). It has a magnifier arm that comes out or folds up when I want it and it’s longer than the ones on this lamp. Sometimes I like it, sometimes it still doesn’t reach where I want it.

    Daylight makes several portable magnifiers, and if your looking for a magnifier on its own, that’s what I’d look for. I have the mini one that is great to take to a class, and a more powerful, larger sized lens, longer armed one that easily clips to my floor stand or scroll frame — right now I have it clipped to the arm of my standing lamp next to the mounted magnifier, in fact! If you only go for one, that’s probably what I’d choose, but it’s heavier so it depends on where you work.

    I do like my portable lamps. I have 3 in my house. I got my first one before the standing lamp, and that is now by my bed. The second I bought for my husband to paint miniatures. The 3rd I bought when I took a class from Wendy in a cold dark classroom where I couldn’t stitch without a lamp and I’d forgotten mine. My husband somehow thinks this lamp is his, too, but it usually lives in a travel bag to go to classes or down to Plimoth.

    I guess I’d say look at where you (or your mother) might be working and see what suits you best. Both lamps and magnifiers can be found at chain stores like AC Moore and Joann’s and are often on sale. Except for the Daylight lamp I bought for that class (and a small portable one with a clamp) I’ve never paid full price for any of them. Often stores have the setup so that you can check them out and see what you like.


  2. Nicole Roussos says:

    I liked the lamps at Plimoth so much that I bought one to use at home. The only thing I don’t like is that at times, the magnifier arm could be longer, for me to keep a comfortable working position. I’d like a floor lamp; maybe next spring.

  3. Gail says:

    I have a floor lamp version of the Ott light, with a magnifier that attaches to the post. Love the light, and the magnifier itself, but I wish the magnifier did not have such a long piece where it slides to in/out to adjust the length. Even when made as short as possible, the magifier is toward the outer end of the lamp. Someday I may have to see if I can re-work it.

  4. Chris Moore says:

    I just wanted to mention that at the stitching session in February, we almost lost one of the panels we were stitching because the sun was coming through the magnifier and heated up the meallic thread. The stitcher was looking at what she was stitching and the warm spot was elsewhere on the panel, at the focal point of the sun, and the stitches might have gotten scorched. So, please be aware that you need to protect your work when working with a magnifyer in the sun.

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