Thursday, September 29, 2011

Arrival of the StitchMate

I started thinking about buying a floor stand about 2, maybe 3 years ago.  I remember the StitchMate being one of the top items in my Google search.  I looked at it, I studied the page, and then moved on to looking at other stands.  At the time I wasn't really sure exactly what I wanted, so it was fine to delay.  From time to time, threads about a floorstand would pop up on the 123 message board, and I would study those intensely too.

Fast forward to August, my stitching projects are slowly growing in size and stitching with a hoop is not always easy with tons of fabric flopping around, I've sold the house and have a little bit of money left over from the proceeds, and another thread appears on the message board about floor stands.  One gal mentioned that she loved her StitchMate, and I was back to serious research.  The funny thing about that last thread was that the general consensus was that the Lowry floor stand was the way to go.  Completely different from my conclusion.

This is what I wanted: Wood, furniture quality, no baste type scroll rods, adjustable with a taller stitch heighth, easy to get in and out of my chair, and minimal sag.  This time around I Googled with a passion.  Looking for any and all reviews.  I read threads on cross stitch forums I didn't know existed. I found more pictures of the floor stands in use.  I read the good, the bad, the ugly on all floor stands.  I made my decision.

Anyway, pictures.  It's what you really want to see, right?

Opening up the box.  Everything packed neatly and securely.

Lining up all the goodies in preparation for assembly.  I ordered an additional set of scroll rods and spreader bars to what is included with an initial purchase. (Both sets of spreader bars are pictured, but only one set of rods.  And I ordered the smallest size of spreader bars.)

Putting together the leg assembly. (Bonus shot of my toes!)

Here I've attached the support column to the leg assembly and fastened it all down with the knob you see at the base of the column.  (There are two of them, one is hidden behind the support column.) There are some nice washers on the bottom of the knobs so they don't scrape up the finish of the base.

In the above picture I've set the support column as high as it goes.  I was playing with that before I set about putting the StitchMate together.  And assembly was really easy.  Diagrams and instructions were included.

Here I've added the rotating cross bar to the support column.

Next up, the attachment of the pattern holder and the optional scissor/floss tray.  The pattern holder is the block that is running horizontally above the crossbar.  It has a small recess for needles, or pens, or what not in it.  There is also a groove to slide a Loran magnetic board into to (one was sent out along with the stand), I haven't put it in the slot in this picture.  The scissor tray is the piece at the bottom with the recess in it.

Then came the fun of moving the furniture around in this little guest bedroom that I've made into my craft room.  I ended up putting the chair in front of the book cases for now.  I know this can't be the final arrangement, but I was excited to try the thing out!  All my flosses are in the bottom drawer of that dresser, that I can't open very far now because the chair is in the way!

With the stitching swung out for easy access to to the chair, and the magnetic board placed in it's slot.

And with the stitching swung in to stitch.  Pretend like I'm sitting in the chair...  And yes, I put Halloween Rules on upside down on purpose... I'm working on the green lawn around Visit a Haunted House, and it was easier for counting to start at the bottom and work my way up... (I do a lot of upside down stitching.  Don't you?)

I don't how to describe this... but there is a spring set around the screw that holds the scroll frame clamp to the headblock. With a little adjustment on the tension via a wooden knob, you can set it so that you can stitch easily, and then flip the frame around to see the back of your piece WITHOUT ADJUSTING A THING!!! I love that so much! I have a lap frame and always adjusting the knob to turn over to the back and then set it up to stitch annoyed me.

I think this is going to work out  just fine.  Just as soon as I get used to two handed stitching and my left arm stops complaining about being used so much.  The weekend is coming up and I plan to keep myself planted right in that chair as much as possible!

Hugs and Stitches,


Cathy Pavlovich said...

All right. That's awesome. Keep us posted on how you like stitching on it over time. Something for me to think about......

Aurelia Eglantine said...

I can't thank you enough for this wonderful review! I'm considering a floor stand myself (not anytime soon, but I'd like to find one I can aspire to, lol) and this is one of the best stand reviews I've ever read. Most are all text, or only pictures (and I can't tell a thingamajig from a whatsitcalled!), and you've combined the two perfectly. After reading this, the StitchMate is definitely something I'll look into :)

socialsue said...

Where would u put the magnifier and Ott-lamp if needed? I need both and have been thinking of getting one like yours as well.