When my father gave me my first hooking pattern and wool, (in the 70’s) I was heavily involved in crewel work. As a result, my initial hooking was done on an embroidery floor frame. The stand for this lovely little frame came to a sad end, and all that remains is the hoop part. It opens with a small brass screw, and would never accommodate hooking in the hoop itself.
When I took up hooking a second time, I had some lessons with Helen Wells, and she provided me with this box. I think her husband made them. The rug is secured with the clamps (I always used 12 to keep it taut). It served me well until a couple of years ago, when It finally gave up the ghost. ( the nails in the posts would no longer stay secure, and the plywood edges were regularly giving me slivers)
Most people here use hoops (at least at the meetings) but I always found it was difficult to manage a hoop. I was accustomed to having my hands free with the box, and couldn’t comfortably …hold the hoop, …hold a strip underneath,… and the hook on top…three actions…two hands….didn’t work for me.
Some people at Sunshine rughookers, use ‘sit-on’ hoops, which I have always admired ( the hoop has a small extension and then a board section to slip under your hip….sorry no picture). But I hook at home while sitting in a tub chair, which supports my back, and the arms of the chair extend too far out for this style of hoop.
At the time I was trying to decide about my next frame, I visited a wonderful little shop in Coldwater, called “The Purple Sock”. If you’re ever in the area, it’s definitely worth stopping by. The owner is primarily a knitter and spinner, and loves tea. She has a get together each week for people to drop by, do their craft, have tea and chat. A number of hookers attend this event, and as a result, she now carries hooking supplies in addition to all her fabulous wools etc. It was there that I purchased a viable replacement for my box. I’m sure there is a proper name for this, but I have no idea what it is. There is a large, and a small hoop, and extensions so that it will stand. These can easily be removed, leaving just the hoops. The very best part of this device is that there is a ridge and slot in each hoop, which locks the backing in place, keeping it from slipping. The plastic hoops spread quite well to accommodate hooking when that is necessary, and I purchased a long bolt, which you can see on the larger hoop, which allows the hoop to spread even wider. The annoying part for me, is that, not having a solid base, it is always slipping over my knees. I partially solved that problem, by putting a towel in the hoop which I’m not using, so there is a solid ‘bottom’. A bit of a nuisance, but it works not too badly.
I feel as if I ‘truly’ became a hooker last spring, when I purchased my K Creations floor and lap frame duo. I love, love, love it! I purchased it on EBay (the only time I have bid on an item there) and felt I got it for a good price….although the shipping to Canada was quite expensive. I thought I would get a lot of use out of the lap section, but in fact I’ve only used it a few times. (My lap has shrunk with age!) The floor frame however is a dream. The gripper strips hold securely, it tilts and tips and turns every which way. and slips up close to me when I’m working.
It did however extract its pound of flesh initially…or more accurately…its pint of blood. Those gripper strips were out to get me. When a problem arises….run to your big sister for help!! (at least that’s what I always seem to do).
I bought some fleese at the fabric shop, and my sister helped me (actually she did most of it) make a cover for the gripper strips. I seldom use the cover when I’m actually hooking, but I hook in our bedroom, and when I stumble into it in the dark, I no longer come away scraped and bleeding! (also makes for painless transportation too!) My floor frame is one of my most prized hooking possessions.