I use an embroidery needle with a large eye for the No. 5 pearle cotton floss. i wet the end and flatten it between my finger nails to thread the needle. I use a finger cot to help bring the needle through the fabric. Hope that helps. You don't want the eye too large.in other words..not a needle for crewel embroidery.
I use a leather thimble on my middle finger and a finger cot on my thumb .......it helps me pull the needle through a lot easier and it makes a faster go of it........for me anyway. Also, I pin a lot and don't use a hoop. It eliminates finger pain for me that way.
I wish I could find the pictures of what I did but they must be on the desktop in Va Beach. It turned out pretty.