I wondered if you knew the answer to this when I posted it! -- you are a wonder! You know soooo much! Anyway, I agree with you about the relative cost of the needle. AND, with the potential damage it can do to our very pricey machines, why would you even try to save on the needle? That isn't smart, IMHO.
You know, on the Schmetz needle case, there is a magnifying "spot" that is supposed to help us see the size stamped on the needle. I still can't read it, even with that!!
When I took the classes that were included with my Pfaff Creative machine, the guy teaching the classes said he divided the tomato horizontally (like the equator and the topics lines) and then labeled the sections "1-2 hrs", "3-5 hrs", & "6-7 hrs". When he used the needle he needed from the size part that was from the 6-7 hrs for about 1 hour, he discarded it. He also said he had 3 pincushions. I just cannot remember why!
Heh, heh, duh!
He also did what you did for the sizes. I couldn't remember how the labeling looked, and you provided that! Thanks so much! I appreciate it. This will help. I hope someone knows how to do the 3 pincushion thing.... it sounded really smart. WHY, oh WHY? don't we write these things down. I have all kinds of notes from those classes, but not that