asoiaf edit: 

↳ the martell children + the sand snakes: modern au

arianne, quentyn, trystane 

obara, nymeria, tyene, and sarella

Cross Stitch 101 - Hoooops

When enjoying a browse I occasionally come across cross stitch posts where it looks like the stitcher is not getting the best out of their hoop. Sometimes it seems like the fabric is being held quite loosely. A hoop can be crucial for helping a beginner find the right tension for their stitching. Here’s how to correctly fit your fabric in a standard embroidery hoop. I’ve used a piece of evenweave linen in this demo as it’s more easy to see through than Aida, but the principle is exactly the same each time, regardless of fabric or hoop.

This is my very favourite hoop. It has a screw fastener with a large nut that you can do up tight enough by hand. The surface on the inside of the rings where they touch is slightly rough, which also helps with the grip.

Firstly, place the inner ring on a flat, sturdy surface. Don’t use your lap or the sofa! If the inner ring has a lip, place it uppermost facing you. This one does.

Position your fabric over the inner hoop.

Open up the fastener on the outer hoop as far as it will go (but before the nut falls off and rolls away!). Press the outer hoop down on the inner hoop, sandwiching the fabric in between.

Now you can pick the hoop up and immediately start to tighten the nut. Don’t start pulling the fabric tight yet. Feel and ensure that the outer hoop is sitting underneath the lip of the inner hoop. Guide it in place with your fingers as you turn the nut.

When the fastener is about three-quarters of the way done up, start to pull the fabric tight across the hoop around the sides. If you have an evenweave or lighter fabric, check that the weave of the fabric is sitting straight, and adjust accordingly. Now do the nut up as tight as it will go. Viola! One inviting surface to be stitched on.

I use the above hoop for all everyday stitching. It is a practical hoop rather than a display one. Here’s a tip – get into the habit of regularly cleaning your (plastic) hoops with ordinary soapy water. I simply use a cloth with the fresh dish water when I do the washing up. Your hands will eventually make any hoop grubby the same way as with a needle. Give your hoop a wipe before each project and your works will stay clean as well.

Decorative Hoops

Here’s a couple of different hoops that can be used to display finished pieces as well as be re-used for different projects.

This one is a Fexi-hoop. The rubbery outer ring has a wood effect finish and can come in different colours as well. Most usefully they have a hanging thingy already attached. These hoops can be tricky to position when stiff and new, but as they hold the fabric very very tightly they can be perfect for beginners.

This last hoop is also a screw top fastening hoop, although much prettier with its modern sanded wood finish. You insert your fabric and use as shown above. The nut has a slot for a flat head screwdriver. When you’ve finished your work and are ready to display it, you tighten this nut up with a screwdriver thus closing tight the little gap at the top of the outer ring.

One last tip! When using a hoop with a fastener at the top it feels natural to have it at 12 o'clock. Instead, have it at 10 o'clock if you’re right-handed or at 2 o'clock if you’re left handed. This way, your thread is much less likely to get tangled in it when you’re stitching as you’ll be pulling your thread through and away from that point above your other hand.

Happy Stitching everyone!

新潟砂丘の風紋 風による砂粒の移動でできるベッドフォームの一種 地形の非対称三角形の断面の急傾斜のほうが風下側なので これを作った風は右上から左下に吹いた 枯草の茎がほぼ風向きと並行にならんでいることに大注目→「粒子配列」が流れの向きに対応することを示す

Note the nearly uniform alignment of grass rods  that is normal to the crest orientation of the ripple bedform. This indicates that particle alignment under unidirectional flows depends heavily on the flow direction. On a modern sand dune, Niigata, Japan