The other week I made it out to Sew, a new quilting/sewing/stitching/crafting shop in Dublin. It is a wonderful little shop with a very nice owner who will happily talk to you while you procrastinate leaving due to the pouring rain for probably a bit too long. You should visit it.
While you're there, you should really take a look at these:
I hadn't seen these John James needle packs before, but the colors and design drew me to them right away. I'm a sucker for a good needle, and the range includes a wide variety of packs, all designed to get you started, or just replenish your stocks of the needles you might need for different types of embroidery/stitching. I purchased the basic embroidery pack as I was starting off on my leather embroidery adventures and wanted to ensure I had freshly sharpened needles to make the task easier. I also picked up the ribbon embroidery needle pack as I've been meaning to delve into ribbon embroidery with a kit sitting at home waiting for me to pick it up. The selection of options seemed endless- quilting betweens, generic "craft" needles, tapestry, you name it.
The thing is, these are just lovely little packs. While I was waiting for a customer ahead of me to get served I watched as she chose to buy a pack of the less pretty, standard John James needles. I can't really fault her for selecting the basic, cheaper pack, but I do think she would have been better with one of these. She was a beginner and I doubt the standard pack of all one size needles would be what she really needed. These packs, by contrast, give a range in each- at least three needle sizes and several of each. For just a tiny bit more, you have a selection to work with.
Not only that, but the packaging tells you how to use your needles to best effect!
The needles feel like they're better quality than standard John James needles, but that could just be because I haven't bought new ones recently. They are absolutely lovely to stitch with. They glide in and out without a single hitch.
If you're looking to up your needle stocks, I would really recommend these.