At first, grasping the needle is difficult because it will have a tendency to want to jump around. What can oftentimes help is to get hold of the thread with the left-hand forceps at a point 2 to 3 cm away from the needle. Dangle the needle until it just comes to rest on the surface. This will then allow you to use the angulated needle holder to grab the needle easily.
Your needle is in a stable position if it is set up to 90 degrees to the axis of the tips of the forceps. You can make minor corrections by touching the needle with your left-hand forceps, or by partially relaxing your grip and nudging the needle tip against another firm object.
You should hold the needle just behind its midpoint (If you hold it too near the tip, it will point downward. If you hold it too near the thread end, it will point upward.).