Floor frame to the rescue

This post is by way of a ‘thank-you’ to several people and companies who’ve helped me out over the last few weeks.

If you’ve been following my stitchy ramblings, you’ll know that I’ve recently started needlepointing on a piece of linen scrim (scrim supplied by MacCulloch & Wallis – thank you).

 It was a bit of a shock to the system after all the hessian I’ve used over the early part of this year, but with a lovely texture that quickly had me hooked.

But… those tiny holes…

It’s not the number of them that’s the issue, it’s seeing them – they are sooooo small! In anything less than brilliant daylight, I’ve been struggling to stick the needle anywhere near its proper destination.

The problem is so much more difficult in the outer corners of the design, where not only am I trying to find the holes, but it’s impossible to keep the frame steady without growing an additional arm or two.

Arrrgh!

Then came the lovely Janet Granger to the rescue. You know how sometimes in Webland, there’s a sort of synchronicity – well, just as I was struggling in the dratted corner, I read this post from Janet ‘My trusty needlepoint floor stand...’

I’m not a natural with frames, but the last 12 months or so has seen me experimenting with a variety of different ones, but the idea of having a floor stand – well, that was revolutionary. It also brought on a touch of image consciousness. Am I the only needlepointaholic who has to deflect jokes about it being something medieval ladies did in the solar… a floor stand would surely do nothing to bring needlepoint into the 21st century.

But faced with the alternative of a twisted shoulder and impending blindness, what was I to do? I took Janet’s advice and bought a floor stand.

IT’S BRILLIANT! (thank-you Janet, – and a huge thank-you to Theresa at Stitchaholicswho somehow contrived to have the frame with me less than 24 hours after I ordered it – wow.)

Stitchmaster wooden floor stand – oh joy!

I didn’t order the light or magnifier – I thought I’d try the frame out for a few days first, to see if we’d be friends.

Having both hands free is liberating – who cares if I look as if I should wear a wimple.

But I still needed to shine light into those dark corners.

We had an old clip on lamp from IKEA that I thought would do the trick and it probably would have, if we hadn’t managed somewhere along the way, to lose the transformer it plugs into. The husband thought it would be quicker and cheaper to go and buy a new lamp, so off I went to IKEA…(I don’t normally need asking twice if there’s the prospect of a trip to IKEA)

And so, here it is – a little JANSJO lamp (thank-you IKEA – £10) – just the job. Bright, flexible and lightweight. They come in some fabulous colours, but I played safe with white. Beats candles I suppose.

Have you ever visited ruined castles or very old manor houses, with window seats set into the walls? Well, I know exactly who sat in them and what they were doing.

So far, I don’t think I need the magnifier – the light is good enough, but we’ll see.

And finally, this is what the scrim piece looks like at the beginning of this week. Happy stitching.

16 thoughts on “Floor frame to the rescue

  1. Glad you’re pleased with your frame! That’s a good clip-on light you’ve got for it, too. Who cares if you look Medieval when you’re stitching? At least with a floor frame, you won’t end up looking like the hunchback of Notre Dame (which is what I’d look like, if I didn’t have a frame to help me keep my shoulders loose while I’m stitching 🙂

  2. Very interesting post. Glad you have found a solution to your little difficulty. I have often pondered about getting a floor stand myself. My left hand and arm often get a bit tired holding my frame, especially the larger one. But, but, I am afraid that my dear wife would strenuously object to such a large item entering the house. We have little enough space as it is and I have a constant problem finding space for my boxes and hand frames as it is. Anyway, good luck with your new floor stand and the work in progress looks great,

    1. I know what you mean, it easily takes over all the space you have, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the frame, not nearly as intrusive as I thought it might be – and much more comfortable. (Although to be entirely honest, our sitting room is already home to two guitar stands and three music stands, I guess we’re accustomed to clutter).

      1. I have this ‘excuse’, too – my husband owns 14 musical instruments altogether, including four guitars and a banjo, so if he claims my sewing stuff takes up too much room, I can always respond with something suitable!!

  3. hurrah for floor frames, I love mine, but do be careful how you sit as well. I managed to almost slip a disc trying to finish a piece for my daughter’s 18th several years ago now!! I had to phone in sick and plead injury due to hardcore needlepoint – oddly, people seemed to find it funny!!

      1. I’ve found, too, that a slightly different way of sitting can make all the difference – I can easily get carried away and stretch just a bit too far across the frame, and then stay like that for ages, and not realise until I try to get up, that I’ve completely stiffened up. I saw in a book on the Alexander Technique once (a system of using the body so that you don’t put any undue pressure on any part of your skeleton), that they had photos of ‘correct postures’ for all kinds of jobs and hobbies, arranged alphabetically. I looked up needlepoint. For that hobby, it just said ‘Don’t do it’. How helpful!!

  4. I had just come to the conclusion that I wanted and needed the exact same set up as you and was in the process of looking for reviews, when I came upon your lovely blog and you made up my mind for me. I have just ordered a stitch master stand and snap frame. I will just have to wait patiently now for them to arrive. I want mine for small punch needle rugs. So thank you.

    1. Hello, delighted you found your way here, you’re very welcome. I don’t know how I managed without my stand now, it’s a permanent fixture wherever I am! I’m quite a wriggly worker, so I sometimes use it properly and sometimes I sort of lean half on the frame and half on me – but I’m sure you’ll experiment and find what suits you. I don’t know if it applies to your work, but I’ve also found some huge, giant clips that I substitute for the clips on the frame when the work gets too thick – it was a tip off from a lady who does rag rugging. Hope you’ll be enjoying your setup very soon.

      1. I’m glad someone else has been ‘converted’ to using the Stitchmaster floor stand – as you say in your original post, they are great frames – I certainly wouldn’t be without mine!

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