"When you look at Puffin & Company's Craft Strand Separators, you can almost hear the melodic tinkling of a wind chime as it dances in the summer breeze. There are more than 25 different designs hand-crafted in copper,nickel and brass. Most are developed around a heart and layered with a second motif ($14.95) - a butterfly, bee, cat, angel, moon, etc. The dove collection offers four additional choices ($9.95). But these are hardly wind chimes, and they aren't just rustic works of art; they're invaluable tools to help you separate strands of floss with no knots and no tangling. Visit puffinco.com to view all the separators and pick your favorite.
"I was lucky enough to get to review a new product from a new company Puffin and Company. Diane Zielinsky, the company owner, sent me a sample of her new craft strand separator. When I opened the package I was surprised to find a beautiful piece of handcrafted metal art with a clip on one end. The craft strand separator is made in the USA but the copper work is done in Thailand. Local artisans in a small village craft the copper pieces. Proceeds from the product are contributed to the health, education and welfare of the community where they are made.
So how does this cute little device work? After attaching the swivel clip to one end of floss or pliable fiber, I separated out the tops of the desired number of strands at the other end of the the floss, holding the number of strands I wanted to separate in one hand and the rest of the fiber in the other, I lifted both hands evenly until the Puffin (separator) is suspended. The weight of the Puffin and the swivel of the clip unwind the fiber. I then laid the Puffin down and released the clip and my bier was untwisted and ready to thread up.
The Puffin was the "brainchild" of Diane's engineer husband. After seeing how tangled the threads got when Diane just pulled a strand from the fiber, he engineered the swivel and weight to make the job easier. Diane and her husband are excited to offer a solution to an annoying problem that many needle crafters must deal with to achieve beautiful stitchery.
The craft strand separators are very reasonably priced from $10.95 to $14.75. Currently the Puffins are available in two different designs, hearts and kitties, but more are on the way. This little gadget is so beautifully and nicely made that you will want to keep them out on your work surface so you can enjoy looking at them as well as using them. They also make beautiful gifts for thethe stitcher on your list. For more information, sales or a list of retailers go to www.puffinco.com."
"Lift and Separate...It looks like a high-end roach clip, but my buddy, Toby Preston, turned me on to this efficient, attractive little tool after I complained about being wound head to toe in tangled, knotted DMC floss while trying to separate the strands for a quilting project. It's called the Craft Strand Separator. These neat tools easily separate strands of needlecraft threads and yarns. Just attach a length of floss to the clip, suspend the tool so it twirls, and it separates the threads. It works! There's an instructional video online. Craft strand Separator, $14.95"
PRODUCT REVIEW: PUFFIN & COMPANY
You may have heard about floss separators. I have and, in the past, I have not been impressed. But I love Puffin & Company. They are whimsical, beautifully made, and, best of all they work like a dream. The instructions for using it are on the heavy paper packaging, But they are easy. Cut your stitching length and clamp the Puffin's clip near one end of it. Let the weight of the Puffin rest on the floor or on your lap. Separate the strands at the other end and pull apart your hands. Let gravity (in the form of the Puffin) do the work. The strands separate beautifully without tangles or trouble. If you need the strands separated further, repeat with one of the separated sections.
It works like a dream, easily and quickly. I tried it with both floss and stranded silk and had no problems. I'm going to try it next with wool, which might be more challenging, but I'm sure the Puffin is up to it.
It's ornamental as well as useful, with real whimsy and charm put into the design. Mine is the smaller Rustic heart. It's 3.5" across, in rusted metal, and has stars and wires coming off an embossed gold, copper, and silver heart. There are nine other designs available in this size. In addition, there is a larger rustic heart (4.25") and the covey of doves.
On the website, you can see a video of how the Puffin works and order your tool. This is one of the best needlework tools I've seen in ages!