It's no secret that, ahem, some of us have aging eyes. We may need to stitch on larger counts of fabric or canvas, or give up stitching altogether. And for the younger stitchers, it's not always easy stitching by the light of Netflix or in dimly lit rooms. You may have to limit what you can stitch to what's most visible. Well, here's a possible solution to these problems: the Beam N Read® from ASF Lighttware Solutions.
We met Bob from ASF at a needlework tradeshow as we were demonstrating stitching on silk gauze. "I have something to make that easier," he said—and we were interested, especially since Kreinik silk gauze comes in canvas counts as high as 90 holes per inch. As he showed us the Beam N Read, other vendors, needlework designers and shop owners passed by and said, "Oh I love that!" Those who had used the Beam N Read were 100% positive in their reviews.
We got one to try in a few stitching scenarios: stitching on black fabric, working on 40-count silk gauze, needlepointing in a hotel room, crocheting while watching Game of Thrones. The results, plain and simple: it worked. It really helped, and it wasn't cumbersome or in the way. It's good for reading too, so you can use it for more than stitching.
There are several Beam N Read® devices you can purchase, but the model we tested is the BNR LED 6-3. Hang it around your neck and adjust the strap to a comfortable length. With a choice of "bright" (3 LEDs) or "brighter" (6 LEDs), you have some control over the illumination. Set the switch to the desired light, then flip up the end to turn it on. There are three possible angles, so you can experiment or change the angle as you sit, move, or stitch.
The version we tested has two clip-on filters: red "for maintaining night vision" and orange "for softer light." We didn't test the filters, but they seem like a good idea, at least nice options to have. A Beam N Read® fan told us the filters are more relaxing to the eyes if reading or stitching in bed. "If you sew or read in bed at night, try the filters for a few days and then try no filter. You will be surprised at how much more relaxing the filtered light is when working or reading in bed. My wife reads in bed using the orange filter. I read in bed using the red filter as I find it even more relaxing," he said. The package also has a clip-on magnifier, which will help if you are stitching on silk gauze.
The Beam N Read® is available through needlework stores and online resources. You will need 4 AA batteries, and that stitching project you've always put aside because you can't see it well enough. Now, let your light shine.
Beam N Read® LED6 Deluxe Hands Free Light, ASF Lightware Solutions of Merrick, New York: