|A little spit, safely applied in more than one spot,|
Makes sewing machine threading a little quicker
Cutting the end of the thread at an angle, also helps make the tip go through better. It is less likely to split and separate into a bunch of ends.
Safety Tip! Make sure you take your foot off the foot pedal when you slide your wet fingers near that end of that needle! You don't want to make a mistake and start the needle going when you're in the middle of a delicate operation like this. We've all heard stories of sewists who made this awful mistake.
If you've got eyes like Daniel Boone, then no spit required!
Sewing Machine Needle Sizing description at about.com - http://sewing.about.com/od/sewingmachineindex/ig/Sewing-Machine-Needles/Needle-Sizes.--94.htm