Improving My Eyesight

Cross stitchers everywhere who are hitting age 50 or so are saying what I said?  How can you see those little holes??

I was a cross stitcher when our oldest three were little.  Then I moved to sewing..then to quilting and not I’m cross stitching again.

In the “old days” I stitched on aida cloth.  For those of you new to cross stitch, aida looks like this.  For aida, you make an “X” with thread from hole to hole.

Image result for aida cross stitch fabric I had young eyes and have absolutely no problems at all.  Nowadays….I prefer the look of linen and I have old eyes.  Linen looks more like this…

Image result for linen cross stitch fabric

Linen is harder.  To make the “x” you need to cross over two threads.  I wear progressive lens in my glasses and even with them, I feel it isn’t easy to see the right hole but I like linen enough more that I work to see those holes.

Then I bought this….Ott Floor Lamp with Magnifier and Clip.


I like it a lot and it has been great.  I do recommend the lamp.  The light is good and the magnifier works well too.

I’ve tried other lights, and for at home, this is my favorite.  I don’t always use the magnifier.  I can’t watch television as well if I use the magnifier.  So I’ve continued to look for something else and this is what I came up with…

I am wearing reader over my normal glasses and it’s the best thing I have done to date.  I wear +2.0 reading glasses over my regular glasses.    It’s perfect for me and I think I’ve finally found the perfect solution to fit my needs.


I stumbled upon it quite accidentally.  I was cleaning out Kramer’s night stand and I saw a pair of readers in the drawer.  I took them and put them in the thrift store donation box.  Then an hour or so later, I went back out and got them.

I had started second guessing donating them as I vaguely remembered going to a cross stitch shop years ago and seeing a shop owner wearing two pairs of glasses like this.  I pop the glasses on and gave them a try.  I’ve been using them ever since.

It’s awesome.  I can perfectly see television and perfectly see to stitch.  I’m in love.  I’m warning you that you might have to try a few pairs to get the right strength.  For me, it was the 2.0+ strength.

I still want my lamp…mostly for light but if I ever try stitching in miniature, one thread over one thread or if I stitch on a smaller count of fabric, I might need the mighty magnifier on the the lamp.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

17 thoughts on “Improving My Eyesight

  1. Amy

    Might be time for the dreaded bifocals. I’m not 50 yet, but soon. I’ve had bifocals for about 7 months now and I absolutely love them. I am near sighted and used to take off my glasses to thread my sewing machine. Now I can see without taking them off. It’s the best!! But if that works for you, go for it!! And I agree, a good light is a must!

  2. Debbie Burgess

    Jo, I talked with my optometrist about my need to see tiny honey bee eggs, and embroidery stitches, and that I needed readers over my glasses. She said, ” No problem!” She increased my magnification on the lower part of my progressive lenses by 2. So, whereas I tested that I needed a 2.25, she increased it to 2.75. PERFECT!!!! Remember that for your next visit to the eye dr. if you need to buy new lenses.

  3. Mary Ann Mettler

    Now that is amazing – just wish I had some reading glasses laying around here. I am willing to try – like threading a needle is kind of hard for me.

  4. Rosie Westerhold

    Why not get clip on magnifiers? That’s what I use. They attach to my glasses. You can get whatever strength you need.

  5. Lace Faerie

    I, too, wear progressives and I, too, wear a pair of my HH’s reading glasses. Only I use 2.75. He just shakes his head and says, ‘that looks pretty funny’. I guess I do, but I’d like to enjoy stitching more than looking fashionable! Hahahaha

  6. Donna

    I used to have an Ott light but no room for it in my RV. I stitch at the dinette where there seems to be ample light. However, I have been using my computer glasses to stitch at times – those holes in the Aida seem to be getting smaller ;-)
    Love and Prayers

  7. Paulette

    I have done the same thing in the past. I finally got transition lenses, but they still weren’t enough for really fine work. Some good suggestions in the comments for alternatives, like the magnifier glasses.

  8. Claudia

    I wear readers over my contacts for up close projects. The contacts are multifocal but still not good enough for close stuff. I actually see better using contacts rather than glasses.

  9. Beth T.

    I remember when I was doing cross-stitch, when I was in my twenties, and my mom would look at it and say, “Oh, how can you work on those tiny little holes?”–I was stitching on the smallest Aida then, I don’t remember how it’s sized. I felt the smugness of youth, “Oh, it’s not so hard.” Fast forward thirty years and I couldn’t do that now if my life depended on it, even with my progressive lenses! It was gracious of my mother not to call me on it and point out that my “talent” was likely attributable to youth…glad I kept some of those little Christmas ornaments I made, because I won’t ever be making them again. :)

  10. Linda V

    Whatever works! I have bifocals but still need to take my glasses off too see the fine stitches. So watching TV= glasses on, then off. On, then off.

  11. Roxanne

    When I saw the photo of you with the two pairs of glasses a lightbulb went on. I can’t wait to try this! I’ve talked to my ophthalmologist and she increased my magnification but not enough. I talked to a great lady where we buy our glasses and she had ideas but nothing as easy as this. What I do now is push my glasses down my nose, look at my stitching over the top of my glasses (no correction), then look at the TV by tilting my head back and looking down my nose through the glasses. Crazy huh?! My neck thanks you!

  12. ColleenM

    I do this sometimes when I wear my glasses instead of my contacts. I feel like a fool but it works. I just have to take them off when my kids are in the room or they might have me committed!!
    For Christmas last year I asked for a pair of cheaters from the dollar store and I’m so lucky my husband bought me 3 pairs:) One for the sewing machine, one next to my “sewing spot” on the couch and one for the bedroom!

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