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Topic: What's your favorite type of hoop or frame?  (Read 2411 times)
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Phooka
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« on: March 01, 2009 11:13:59 AM »

As I spend more time embroidering (both cross-stitch and traditional,) I ger extraordinarily frustrated with my cheap hoops of both plastic and wood. It seems like I'm constantly retightening my fabric and hoop! I've been considering the more expensive options, but wanted some feedback before making a purchase.

What's your favorite style to use? Does it change with the style of needlework?
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MrXStitch
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009 12:06:24 PM »

I think it's different strokes for different folks, however if I'm doing on of my bigger projects, I use a proper stitching frame affair, which can be clipped onto my handy dandy floor-standing frame:


The good thing about this type of frame is that it keeps the tension, but you don't get the dreaded hoop marks.

However I do love stitching things in little four inch hoops and keeping them as the frames!

I made the decision to invest in the floor standing frame a while back, but I'm glad I did as it means I have both hands free for stitching and I can clip the pattern and other bits to the frame as well.
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Phooka
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009 12:11:39 PM »

I wish I could use a floor-standing frame. However, I do most of my stitching at the gaming center I run (it keeps me sane) so I need something a little more portable. Maybe once we move to a bigger home!
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009 03:09:22 PM »

I only use Q-Snaps now. They do not leave lines on your fabric and fit in the hand just right. They are wonderful!
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RheaH
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009 08:17:50 PM »

The hoop that I love the most is actually supposed to be a decorative one for framing. The smaller hoop is plastic and the outer one is rubber with a wood-like finish on it. It grabs the fabric pretty well.

In general I prefer the spring variety as opposed to the screw ones, I find they keep the fabric tighter.
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2009 11:20:08 AM »

It depends on the situation.

For home, I have a larger wooden frame that tightens the fabric RIDICULOUSLY tight (can't remember the name).  It's not a split-rail set since those tend to loosen where the clamps hold the rails down (where the round rails sit in the holes).  Wow, how ineloquent.  However, this was VERY expensive as compared to the $4 hoops or even Q-snaps.
The problem with wooden frames is that generally they are bulky and heavy, even for the small projects I usually do.  If I'm doing a small project and depending on the place, I can take it with me (I put it in a pillow case to keep it clean).  But for larger projects, unless I am sitting at home, it's a waste of time to take them anywhere; also, I usually need to take a large needlework stand so I don't get major wrist strain.  And it's hard to get the fabric in straight.  I can't find these on my craft store website (I think they are E-Z stitch), but it looks like the newer ones are Handi-Clamps and appears to be fairly reasonably priced at $50 for a set of several interchangeable sizes.

I also have Q-snaps, but for me unless the fabric is almost the same size as the frame, it's kind of annoying to have to pull the fabric out of the way.  It's also hard for me to get the fabric straight.  On the upside, they do hold your fabric pretty tight and are fairly portable.  If I would submit to putting my fabric in the "right" way (in which I would be stitching in the frame "hill" instead the "valley," reverse of how most people stitch, I might be able to remedy this; but alas, I have run into the side of a frame one too many times).

My favorite portable option is the more expensive Susan Bates locking hoops.  They seem to last a long time, don't splinter like wooden ones, and are comfortable to use in the hand.  Not to mention they fit in a smaller/thinner bag, like a laptop bag, pretty easily!  I do get tired of having to re-tighten the fabric, but for me it's usually just a matter of loosening the screw, tugging, and tightening.  I avoid permanent hoop marks by taking the fabric out while not working and then they come out with some wet-blocking or washing.  I want to try the new Clover hoops too; they look nifty but at $12 each are a bit on the pricey side.

So I guess for you, I would recommend trying a more expensive hoop if you are using the wooden ones, and if you have already tried hoops, then definitely try investing in Q-snaps.
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2009 03:24:49 PM »

Back in the days of our great-grannies they made a metal hoop with a tension spring on the outside ring, and the inside ring had a cork lining that gripped the fabric like a vise! I had my Mom's and Grandma's...they were wonderful!

I had to retire mine last year as they were leaving rust stains and corrosion marks on my fabric.  I'm using the plastic rings and I hate that you have to re-tighten them all the time.  I've used wood but didn't like it.

Thanks for the kudos on the Q-snaps...I've looked at them but hadn't heard from anyone that liked them, as I seem to be the last hand-embroiderer in my county!  Will pick a couple up this week and give 'em a try.
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dottyral
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009 04:11:41 AM »

I have a wooden lap hoop that I love.  It leaves both hands free and holds the fabric nicely.

For portability and small projects, I use the plastic hoops with the lip.  They're probably the Susan Bates hoops mentioned above.  They function much better than the wooden ones.

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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2009 05:33:45 AM »

I think I'm going to look into getting some of those Q-snap things, they look pretty neat.
I was recently given a book of crewel embroidery and the author had made a padded frame which she pinned her work on...a cool idea, but for someone like myself with the patience of a gnat, not so much I think.

But this is my fave hoop design evar ! I have no idea where I got it, but I'm thinking a thrift store. I have never seen one like it since.
I find my hand doesn't cramp up 'coz it's nice and wide, around an inch, and it's got a big jeebus clamp on it! That is where I tend to hold my hoop. I have never had anything loosen in this or had to re-adjust it. I wish I had other sizes, this one is 8".
                   
                             

Has anyone else come across one like this?
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2009 11:16:14 AM »

I think I'm going to look into getting some of those Q-snap things, they look pretty neat.
I was recently given a book of crewel embroidery and the author had made a padded frame which she pinned her work on...a cool idea, but for someone like myself with the patience of a gnat, not so much I think.

But this is my fave hoop design evar ! I have no idea where I got it, but I'm thinking a thrift store. I have never seen one like it since.
I find my hand doesn't cramp up 'coz it's nice and wide, around an inch, and it's got a big jeebus clamp on it! That is where I tend to hold my hoop. I have never had anything loosen in this or had to re-adjust it. I wish I had other sizes, this one is 8".
                   
                             

Has anyone else come across one like this?

I've seen those at Michaels, but usually only in the large sizes.  I've never used one, since most of my projects are small.

I almost always use the small wooden embroidery hoops because that's how I frame my x-stitch.  I usually use a pair of pliers to get the frame really tight.  My husband bought me one of those lap stands (like the one MrXStitch has), but I've only used it for one project.  It worked pretty well at keeping the tension tight and I ended up learning how to cross stitch with both hands (bringing the needle up with my right hand and bringing it back down with my left).

Oh, and those rubber-y frames someone mentioned upthread are great as well! 
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009 12:54:57 PM by kittykill - Reason: quoted image » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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