I use my middle finger and Roxannes thimble. It took me quite awhile to get used to a thimble, I started with a leather one because it felt the most like wearing nothing, but they also eventually get holes in them. After getting used to the leather one, I was then able to switch to the skin colored pastic one with the open side. Roxannes is the best so far. I too have tried alot of things to protect my underhand. Hugos amazing tape has no "sticky" it only sticks to itself. I also tried "Aunt Beckys" the little metal thing, I never could get that to work. Jinny Beyer suggests T.J. quilting spoon, I was sceptical because of "Aunt Becky" not working. I didn't want to spend more money for something that wasn't going to work. I had my DH cut the handle off an old spoon, file down the sharp edge, and it worked!!!! I have always felt like I needed to feel the needle, but I could use the spoon, and I do get tiny even stitches. To use the spoon you must have some kind of hoop on a stand, a lap or floor stand. I don't see how you could hold the spoon and hold the hoop too. Hope some of this helps.