at Alexandra Palace was
on this weekend, and as every year, a must for me. This year I went with my friend Jo - she's the one who has only this year started to cross stitch - and finished more than I have in the in past 5 years LOL, she's become a true addict.
As always, Ally Pally was very busy. We found that there were not a lot of stalls dedicated to cross stitch. I've realised that trend for quite a few years, and I think Jo might have expected something different. I don't mind so much, as I still enjoy looking at the other stuff like knitting, etc. The 'ususal suspects' as every year were there of course, like Black Sheep, Choices, Michael Powell - sorry if I can't mention you all individually - and for me, my money has always disappeared by the end of the day, no matter how many or few stalls there are LOL. Jo got herself 2 Heaven and Earth KITS (yes, they come in kit form by Colray Crafts). Unbelievable, as a beginner, she gets into the Heaven and Earth stuff! I only got small stuff like needles, magnets and.......
Well, I have been toying with the idea of a new floor stand for a while. I had not so good experience with the Opus floor stand - it was never stable enough, too 'top-heavy' (I had to keep my feet firmly on the legs of the stand so it would not topple over), and the annoying turning over of the frame to secure threads etc was such a nightmare. I had the 'Needle Needs' frame recommended to me by another stitcher on a Yahoo-group. Well, it's not cheap... I payed £160 for the floor stand and 2 frames. But I was really fed up with other, inferiour stuff, and while I not always believe 'expensive is better' I have made that experience with some cross stich equipment, e.g. my daylight lamp. Since spending money on a good quality product - hey presto, no more problems. Anyway, back to the frame. I set it up straight away when we came back. This was straight forward, despite me really not being good on putting things together. I could tell straight away that the quality of the wood is excellent. The fabrib is held very taut, and as the frame lies on 2 arms and is not screwed in, it is straight forward to turn your stitching over. I had a bit of a problem rolling the fabric onto the top rollers of the frame if it is several layers of aida - I couldn't secure it in the slot provided, could only do it with no more than 1 layers, so the rest of the aido was sort of hanging loose, which was not a problem. the fabric in the frame was still extremely taught, the best I've ever had I have to say. The only complain, apart from the price tag, is that it could go up a bit higher for my taste, as my 'stitching corner armchair' is quite high, and even in the hightest position I feel that I have to bend down a bit. But again, not a major problem, it would just take a bit of getting used to. All in all, I am very satisfied with my new equipment. Oh, and as it was my birthday last week, I gave DH Nafees a little nudge, and voila - this is my birthday present.