When you’re stitching or designing, it’s very important that your stitching nook is comfortable (so you can settle down for a good long time without getting cramped or stiff) and has all the necessary equipment right there (so you don’t have to keep getting up to find things). Some things are the same whether you stitch or design: comfy chair, cup of tea. Then for stitching add a stitching stand, a hoop or frame, scissors, needles, chart and all the necessary threads. For designing, substitute paper, pencils and graphic pens, rubber, lap tray, cat…
Always helpful, our Lexi. She does assist me with my stitching too, patiently worming her way onto my lap and underneath the frame. It’s not too inconvenient except when I need to flip the frame to finish off at the back of the work.
And talking of frames, I’ve been using the Millenium frame a bit more, getting on with Orpheus *virtuous glow*. It is really good, keeping the tension beautifully when I pull for all I’m worth to open up the eyelets. There is really only one disadvantage: it wobbles. The Lowery stand clamps it on the left only, and the Millennium is a big and fairly heavy frame (relatively light for its size and solidity, but still quite a bit heavier than any other frame I’ve used), so it vibrates whenever I pull the thread through unless I steady it at the same time, which is not always possible. I did consider Needle Needs’ matching Aristo lap stand (check out the video review by Nicola Parkman) but although it does offer room for a cat (very important) I’m not sure a frame resting on my lap would be very steady. And even if the Aristo is absolutely ideal, it won’t be mine any time soon, being quite a major purchase. So what to do in the meantime? This is where it comes in very handy to have a husband who is an engineer. He likes solving problems. He thinks laterally. He came up with this:
It worked, let’s be clear about that. No more wobble. But, well, it’s a tray shoved down the side of the chair. Surely we can do better! A bit of wooden shelf, nicely sanded and varnished, with the top carefully jigsawed into a series of sloping steps, would be lovely – but far too complicated to make. So we dug out two ancient tubs of Lego, and I set to building a narrow wall with a stepped top. It looked very colourful, and it didn’t work at all. It wasn’t flexible enough, so it just buckled and fell apart. What we needed was something you can build with which has a bit of give in it. Enter the old Meccano set. Some experimenting later we had an upright prop with a foot that slides under the chair cushion and a small ledge to balance the bottom right-hand corner of the Millennium frame on. It may not be the most elegant solution, but it works, it’s easy to use, it’s adjustable, it’s a lot cheaper than the Aristo, and it has the Lexi seal of approval. I’m happy.