Some weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to try out the Aristo lap stand at Needle Needs’ workshop. I liked the idea of the lap stand, but was worried about the wobble that was noticeable in the video demonstrating it. It’s quite an understandable wobble – a lap, after all, is not a flat and solid surface. But would it drive me up the wall when working with it, or would I hardly feel it was there after a while? Quite an important question when you’re considering a piece of equipment that isn’t exactly cheap. Don’t get me wrong, Needle Needs’ workmanship is worth every penny, but not if this extremely well-made stand would end up just, well, standing, somewhere in a dusty corner. (Yes, there are dusty corners in our house. Sorry. Housework just isn’t one of my hobbies.)
As we would be in the vicinity while travelling from an auction to my parents-in-law, I’d therefore arranged to drop in at the workshop and have a try. They promised they’d have one there for me, not to take away, unfortunately, as they were all spoken for, but I was welcome to have a careful go at using it with my own Millennium frame. So far, so good. Except for one slight snag – I have a sawdust allergy. A workshop full of wood-turning and wood-sanding and other woodworking activities is not the ideal place for me. Mr John Crane (I think it was he) very kindly brought the lap stand out to where I was, and having admired the beautiful smooth wood and lovely lines we looked about for a place to sit. There wasn’t one. So in the end I tried out the Aristo sitting sideways in our car, which actually worked out quite well – after all, if I could work with it comfortably in that position, my usual easy stitching chair should pose no problems whatsoever!
Well, what can I say? It worked. It worked very well. So I asked whether, if I ordered one now, I could come and pick it up early next year when we had another auction-plus-parent-visit. Of course, he said. Or you could have this one.
I think I may have looked practically half-witted as I stared at him in amazement. I’d been told very specifically that I would not be able to take one home. But he explained that they had discovered a knot in the wood of this one, and so they weren’t going to send it out. The knot, let me explain, is a purely cosmetic flaw, if you can even call it that. It has absolutely no effect whatsoever on how well the stand works, and personally I think it gives the whole thing a bit of extra character. So when he said I could take it with me, at a bit of a discount, what did I do?
Actually, I still hemmed and hawed a bit. Incredible, isn’t it? Then my husband decided to step in and buy the thing for me as a Christmas/birthday/anniversary present. And so five minutes later we drove off with an Aristo lap stand on the back seat, and a ridiculous grin on my face. And I used the stand while at my in-laws’, and I’ve used it at home, and it’s lovely, and I am terribly pleased with it.
But as I was using it the other day, I had a thought. The lap stand needs to be as level as possible, so that it doesn’t work very well when you’re sitting in very low or very high chairs. This obviously limits its use a little – what if your favourite chair happens to put your lap at an angle? Well, what about having a little bean bag attached to the bottom? You know the sort I mean, they come attached to lap trays so that your soup doesn’t slosh about when you’re having dinner in front of the telly. If the Aristo came with one of those, ideally as a detachable accessory, wouldn’t that just make it perfect? Perhaps I should suggest it to Needle Needs…
P.S. While we were at the workshop, I was also given an opportunity to see the prototype of the redesigned Necessaire floor stand. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures, and he asked me not to mention particulars as it is not on their own website yet, but he showed us various improvements and further plans and all I could think was, “Great, now I’ll need to get one of those as well!” . No, not really, as I have my Lowery and I Do Not Need two floor stands. If I keep telling myself that often enough, eventually I’ll believe it. Perhaps.