My roommate assembles cable so she is my tool expert. She also suffers from arthritis in her hands. I noticed her using a pair of unique pliers to pick threads after we'd ripped out a large section of piecing. I was so impressed with their performance, she bought me a pair for Christmas. They will pick up a single stitch, or thread laying on a granite surface, or any tiny detail required like holding needles or pulling needles through thick fabric. They are spring loaded, so make quicker work of picking loose thread than fingers, with much less muscle fatigue. We found them at Home Depot but they only come in a set with a pair of cutters. Still, the set is only around $10. I have bought them for family members who can no longer do the pinched finger thing, one from arthritis, one from a stroke. I just had to share our find with the wonderful members of this board.