My trusty needlepoint floor frame, and the saga of the chartholder

I have had my needlepoint floor frame for about ten years now, I think. I used to stitch by just rolling the fabric up in my left hand, and stitching with my right, without using a frame at all. But my chiropractor warned me that if I kept on like that, with the amount of stitching that I do, I wouldn’t be able to stitch at all in a few years, as my left shoulder would seize up completely. I was already getting back pain and headaches  :0(

My tapestry frame. The rust-coloured bag holds the flex for the lamp when I’m not using it, and the green bag hanging on the left of the frame is to cover the magnifying lens when I’m not using it, so that I don’t set the house on fire!

So, I invested in this StitchMaster wooden floor frame – this is it, proudly standing in my conservatory. It cost about £35 at the time. I found it useful from the start. For one thing, I could stitch quicker, as I could use both hands at once!

I bought the Daylight bulb attachment with removable 2.25 magnifying lens almost immediately, as I love to do miniature needlepoint. That’s what I sell in my doll’s house embroidery kit business, so I do a lot of stitching on 32 and 40 count silk gauze fabric, and it’s a lot more comfortable to do with a suitable magnifier. The one for this frame is good, as it is right there attached to the lamp, so I always have good light and magnification at the same time. The lens is rimless, which is more restful on the eyes.

A rectangular frame sits on the lugs of the arms

By moving the arms closer together, a hoop can be supported in the same way

The frame can take hoops, rotating frames (both of which just rest on the dowels at the end of the ‘arms’), and, with the help of my husband and his woodworking shed, my stand has a special attachment that slots over the dowels so that I can clip my silk gauze in its card mount onto the frame, too.

This custom-made wooden bar has holes at each end so that it sits on the dowels, and a notch in the centre so that a card mount for silk gauze can be held securely

Recently, I decided to get the other attachment that goes with this model – the chartholder clamp.  Before that, I’d used a bulldog clip to attach my charts to the arms of the floor frame, but I decided I’d like the ‘proper job’. However, once I started searching online, I realised that almost all websites were mysteriously ‘out of stock’ of the attachment. I found a couple of sites that said they had them – until I tried to order from them, and then I was told that, actually, they didn’t have them in stock at all. So, I looked on the manufacturer’s website, and, sure enough, the chartholder and lamp attachment had both been discontinued – because the frame seems to be on its way out, too.

What a shame! It’s a wonderful product, and does just what you need it to. The floor frame itself is very adjustable for all kinds of needlework frames, as they just rest on the ‘arms’. It doesn’t slowly collapse, like several other makes of floor frame tend to, as it has a nifty ‘wedge’ that supports the main upright piece. The wingnuts stay tight – there’s even a wooden block that comes with it, to help you tighten the wingnuts without hurting your hand.

So, why should it be on its way out? Well, because there’s a shiny new METAL floor frame that’s been introduced to replace it. It’s called the new StitchSmart metal stand – the blurb about it on the website starts with the words ‘Wooden stands are over’. Oh dear, I do hope not. Apart from anything else, this shiny new metal one costs £80, with the chartholder and lamp/magnifier accessory pack (only available as a set, now) costing an additional £90. It all seems to be getting a bit expensive, and ‘modern’ for the sake of it …..

Anyway, back to my search for the chartholder attachment for my nasty, old-fashioned, wooden StitchMaster frame –

I looked on Ebay (always a good place to look for discontinued things), and found someone selling one for £4.99. So I bought it, got it within 3 days, and have been using it ever since. Lovely.

My frame with all its attachments in place, ready for a nice long session of stitching!

So, if you fancy getting a very good floor frame to help with your stitching, I wouldn’t leave it too long, as even needlework accessories seem to be getting a bit trendy!

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NEW miniature needlework stand kits, for the embroiderer in your doll’s house!

If you love embroidery, then surely the lady dolls in your doll’s house do as well! I’ve just launched kits for these  needlework stands, to be stitched on 40 count silk gauze using tent stitch (like half cross stitch). Components for the finely turned mahogany frame are included in the kit.

There are several ‘picture designs’, for various styles and eras in your doll’s house in the range. There are also several ‘work in progress’ designs for what would be ‘3-D’ items in real life. So, the embroiderer in your doll’s house can now be seen to be working on a project such as a pair of slippers, a handbag or a doorstop!

Three ‘work in progress’ designs, available as kits to be stitched on 40 count silk gauze (doorstop, slippers and handbag designs)

Each needlework stand kit contains a piece of 40 count silk gauze, Anchor stranded cotton threads, the mahogany frame pieces, a colour block chart (the design is not printed on the fabric), detailed instructions and a suitable needle. The stand measures two and three eighths of an inch wide by three and three quarters high (6cm by 9cm) when finished. An optional Mahogany Wax Finishing Pack is also available, so that you can wax polish the stand if you wish.

If you are a beginner to mini-stitching and are unsure as to whether you would be able to make one of these needlework stands, then have a look at the free online tutorial section of my website first. It guides you through every stage of stitching and finishing the needlework stand, with detailed photos to show you exactly what you need to do. You’ll see just how easy they are to make!

Even if you don’t own a doll’s house, these cute needlework stands make lovely ornaments, or gifts for stitching friends.

The kits are available from here on my website.

Each needlework stand kit costs £19.95. The optional Mahogany Wax Finishing Pack is £5.95. P&P is £1 per order if placed by post, or p&p FREE worldwide if ordered via the website. I take VISA, Mastercard and Paypal (online only), or you can make your Sterling cheque payable to Janet Granger, and post it to me at:

Janet Granger Designs, Rose Cottage, Leek Road, Waterhouses, Staffordshire, ST10 3JS England

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