Cross-stitch, Quilting & Sewing

"I can use the telescopes to view my work, and still watch TV and interact with my family at the same time."

I have officially become middle-aged. I can still see to read just fine, but suddenly my arms just weren’t the right length where my stitching was concerned. My prescription is very strong as it is – now my up-close vision is iffy. What’s a serious stitcher to do?

In an effort to avoid going to using only 6-count Aida for my projects, I have tried all sorts of magnifiers. I am too fidgety for the ones that fit around the neck, but if I get in the zone, I can make them work. Free-standing magnifiers tend to give me motion-sickness, so while they offer a great view of my stitching, I can’t use them long term. I managed to make clip-on lenses work pretty well, but was frustrated with the fact that I had to hold my work at a single fixed point to see it.

Since I had so many problems with traditional methods, I leapt at the chance to test some CraftOptics telescopes recently. These magnifiers are unique in that they are attached to glasses fitted with lenses in my current prescription. So far, I feel as if all my problems have been solved!

The glasses are super comfy and rather geeky chic. I can use the telescopes to view my work, and still watch TV and interact with my family at the same time – I swear I can’t hear if I don’t have my glasses on!

There’s no problem with motion sickness, and when I flip up the telescopes, they stay put. And, there’s quite a range where I can see my project, so I don’t have to hold it in just one place. There are lots more features I am still discovering and I will offer a more formal review of this product as soon as I have a chance to test it out more.

Granted, the price means that this option is not an inexpensive one. But for hard-core stitchers who have “bad eyes” like me, it is a very practical one. If stitching is a major part of your life, as it is mine, they might just be worth it!

As I said, I will be offering a more formal review soon, so stay tuned, but I wanted to let you know that such options were out there, in case you are having problems like mine. (I have no connection with the company other than the fact that they sent me a pair of their CraftOptics Telescopes to test.)

The glasses are available in red (show here) and black (like the one’s I am testing). You may visit the CraftOptics website, fan them on Facebook, and/or follow @CraftOptics on Twitter to learn more.

- Connie Barwick