Which needles do you use?
This is one of the first questions any new student, on my course or workshop asks, and so they should! It really is important to have the right needle for the job, and there's so much choice, so many different names... where to start? It's pretty easy really - for embroidery choose an Embroidery or Crewel needle. How is it different from a 'normal' needle? Well, the most important difference is the eye - it's longer and slimmer than your average needle, making it easier to thread embroidery floss or cotton. It's also slim and sharp, crucial for embroidery.
So do I have a favourite needle - I certainly do! It's a John James size 7. John James needles are excellent, and you can buy them in mixed pack sizes (really useful when you start as you may find that you struggle with the smaller eyes until you get really good at threading!) Also, needles bend - they really do, and they blunt. Some of this depends on how tight you hold the needle and what fabric you are using.
If you want to get 10% at John James (and they don't pay me to promote them, they are simply the best ones out there!) use JEMIMA10% at checkout.