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- Article author: Jan Larson
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(ie: Please come to a quilt show and try these thimbles on!?)
There is no easy way to measure for a thimble. We can get close to figuring out the correct size, but the answer to the problem is TRY ON THE THIMBLE.
In other YouTube Videos, I explain the ‘shape problem’. We all have different shapes for the length of our fingers: Square, Round and Oval. This shape is easier to work out in an open nail thimble, than a closed top thimble.
Fingers can also be tapered from the knuckle to the end (Bicycle thimble), or blunt on the end (Planets thimble), or actually larger at the flesh pad at the end than the knuckle (Secret Butterfly thimble). Many thimbles are somewhere in the middle of these extremes. Most fingers will fit more than one of the styles.
If you are trying to purchase a thimble online, there is also the ‘Where should I measure?’ question… I usually ask for a measurement at the base of your fingernail and a measurement at the largest part of the knuckle. One of the difficult parts of these measurements (even if you get the 1/10th of a centimeter measured perfectly) is that your finger and mine will not have the same distance between the 2 spots that are measured. This interval is difficult to measure and report because the nail side of your finger may not have the same interval as the back or the sides…?
Another problem is the ‘Curvy or flat fingernail’ question. Why does this matter? Well, you can poke yourself in the space where your fingernail does not match your thimble ‘nail guard’. You can look at your thimble finger nail and assess whether your nail is fairly flat (Lily of the Valley Short thimble) or fairly curvy (Lily of the Valley tall thimble). The Thistles or Lily of the Valley with gem are both ergonomic thimbles… they have a nice curve toward the (curvy) nail, and enough space on the sides of the fingernail tip so that it will not pinch. Most of us have more than one nail shape on the same hand… My thimble finger is fairly flat, but my pinky finger is very curvy.
And then there is the ‘bumpy knuckle’ issue. Many of us have a bump on the knuckle of the thimble finger. Some from penmanship or athletics… some from arthritis… some bumpy fingers even have ‘thimble bumps’. I have designed thimbles for this issue because most of us have some sort of bumpy something somewhere. The shorter thimbles (Robin Nest, Chicken, Lily of the Valley short, Butterfly short & Turtle) stop at about the base of the fingernail… depending upon your finger-to-knuckle interval.
One last thing: Some of us have soft, squishy flesh on our fingertip, and some of us have firm, calloused flesh. This will affect the choices and the feel of the thimble on your finger.
When I meet you at a show, I will look at your finger and make my assessment of which of these ‘finger traits’ is the most important and I will show you thimbles that should work with your finger. TRY ON THE THIMBLE is still the best way to determine the best thimble for you.