My Frame History

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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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