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Laying Tools vs. Railroading

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Old February 9th 18, 04:16 AM posted to rec.crafts.textiles.needlework
Martha Beth Lewis
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Posts: 9
Default Laying Tools vs. Railroading

On Wednesday, September 18, 2002 at 11:24:09 AM UTC-5, Di Messina wrote:
Not sure what Martha Beth meant, but I remember it from a class I took
from her last year too. I do both. I railroad occasionally when I want to
pay special attention to a piece (I tend to keep the threads pretty
untwisted without railroading) and use a laying tool when I'm dealing with 3
or more strands of a fiber (usually floss) or a flat thread like Neon Rays.
I don't do both at the same time and don't use a laying tool for less than 3
strands. I'm not an especially picky stitcher, but seem to do OK, since I
win ribbons at both county and state fair. Others, I'm sure will have a
different opinion.


"Allison Orange" wrote in message
Hi, all,

I'd like to get some opinions on railroading vs. using a laying tool. I
have been railroading my projects for some time, and it does improve
coverage and keeps the plies aligned, however the one ply tends to twist

the other to untwist. Does this bother anyone else?!

After watching Shay Pendray, I thought I would try using a laying tool
instead of railroading. I am finding it kind of awkward, but I am going

persevere, since the plies lie side by side and there is no twisting.

Then I got out a notebook from a class I took by Martha Beth Lewis and she
says, "Using a laying tool is not a substitute for railroading." Any idea
of what that means?! Makes it seem like it is preferable to railroad or
that you should do both railroading and use a laying tool. Is that even
possible? And since a laying tool aligns the plies, why would you need to
railroad too?

Any clarification about this would be welcome(!) and I would also like to
know who railroads and who uses a laying tool.

Allie Orange
Tallahassee, FL

This is mb, checking in.

RR is normally for 2 strands of floss. Remember to let your needle dangle; after every st is not too often! Just bcs the twist has gone from the leg of that particular xst doesn't mean the twist is gone in the thread. In fact, I hasn't. It's just gone farther up the thread....just waiting to turn into a knot. Dangle that needle!

You can RR with three strands, but it's a pain in the you-know-where. Whenever I've stitched on 14- or 16-ct fabric (a.k.a 28- and 32-ct evenweave over two) with three strands, it always leads to an enhancement of my vocabulary. Ack!

A laying tool is used when you have a flat thread OR you are stitching with 3 or more plies in the needle. If you think RR is hard with 3 strands, try 6! (No, don't. Run for chocolate instead and pick up your laying tool on the way back to your stitching nest and THEN try 6.)
- Bring the thread to the front of the work.
- Lay the thread to the SW of the hole where you came up (I'm speaking to RH-ed stitchers).
- Take the tip of the laying tool and "comb thru" the strands, aligning them.
- Now "capture" the threads against the fabric with the laying tool, keeping the threads to the SW of the hole.
- Sink the needle and pull thru slowly. The thread will eventually tighten at the laying tool. When this happens, lift the laying tool with the LH and "follow" it up along the thread, keeping tension on the thread as you pull the needle thru to the back of the work.
mb (Go Gators!)


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