Last week, we looked at the Millenium embroidery frame up close. The review generated heaps of questions which I’ll try to answer for you. It’s also a good time to follow up a bit on my impressions of the frame, since I’ve been using it steadily for the past two weeks now.
Probably the most frequent question I’ve received about the frame is whether or not it can satisfactorily be used with the Needlework System 4 stand. I didn’t go into great detail about this in the initial review, though I did touch on it. The frame can work with the NS4 stand & frame clamp, but it won’t work the same way the stand works with regular stretcher-bar frames. I don’t know how the q-snap set-up works on the NS4 stand, and whether or not it will hold the round sides of the Millenium frame, as I don’t have the q-snap attachment for the NS4 stand. The frame clamp does grip the top roller, but the clamp is made to close on a flat frame, not a round frame, so unless you rest the bottom roller on your lap or somewhere, the frame will slowly “roll” downwards. Still, I’ve used it this way, and it does work.
But I found a better solution with the NS4. The sides of the rollers on the Millenium frame are square. In the photo above, you can see that I’ve clamped the top roller on its left side, where the roller is squared off. The NS4 frame clamp holds onto this squared area very nicely. In fact, if the frame I were using were a little narrower (I’m using 20″ rollers), clamping onto the corner like this would probably be sufficient to hold the frame in place.
I think it helps that I have the “extension” bar for the NS4 frame clamp, which you can see in the extreme left of this photo. This makes getting the right angle on the clamp really easy.
I prop the lower right corner of the frame on the edge of my work table, to give it support. It works just fine. The difficulty would be for those who don’t stitch next to a table. Would the NS4 stand be ideal if you’re sitting on the sofa? I think it could work, with a little fiddling. But whether or not it would be ideal is another question.
I think it’s worth fiddling or rigging something, to get the stand you use to support the frame, frankly. I’ve been using the frame now for two weeks quite intensely, and my opinion of it hasn’t changed. Well – let’s say it just keeps going up in my estimation. It works so well, and it is so easy to set up. It’s worth the time figuring out how to make it work with your stand.
Or – if you don’t have a stand already – you could always invest in the Necessaire floor stand, which is made for the frame. I haven’t tried it yet, but I intend to – and I’ll let you know how it works when I do.
Other Questions About the Millenium Frame
Does it keep tension from side to side?
Yes, it does. I’m not sure how to drive this point home. It’s very difficult to capture tension in a photo. Up to the edge of the fabric, the fabric is practically hard as a board. And there’s no distortion in it, either, which can often happen from a hasty set up job on stretcher bars that aren’t pinned straight or on a slate frame that isn’t laced uniformly or sewn straight on the top rollers. It’s even tension, all the way across.
Can you use it in your lap?
Needle Needs makes a lap stand, called the Aristo. You can take a look at it to see how it compares to the lap stand you already use. I don’t use a lap stand, so I’m not quite sure how all the lap stands out there work. But if you can rest your frame on your lap stand, you should be able to use the Millenium frame with it. I’d say don’t quote me, though, because I don’t know what lap stand you use. Again, it’s worth fiddling to get your present stand to accommodate the frame.
Can the frame rest easily on your lap and be held in your hand?
Yes, of course, but the comfort of this type of situation fluctuates, depending on the size of the frame. For the larger Millenium frames, I think a stand of some sort would be essential, unless you are used to sitting up to a table and resting the top of your frame on the edge of your table. Incidentally, I do this all the time, and this stitching position works fine with the Millenium frame.
Is the frame heavy?
No. It’s no heavier than dealing with a pair of good stretcher bars or a slate frame of similar size.
Is it easy to square up the fabric in the frame?
Yes. Putting in the fabric “squared up” – on the grain – is easier on this frame than on any frame I’ve ever used. You just line up the grain of your fabric with the edge of your table, over the top of the roller, and use the little card to push the fabric into the groove – just like John demonstrates in the Millenium frame video, which you can see on the home page of the Needle Needs website. It really is that easy. If you need to adjust the fabric, it’s just a matter of tapping the inserted dowel to loosen the fabric and making the adjustment.
Can you frame up two layers or more of fabric?
You can frame up two layers. I don’t think it’ll handle three, unless they are very fine layers of fabric. But it takes two just fine.
Are you limited to the type of fabric that you use with the frame?
No, I don’t think so. It seems to be suitable for any normal type of fabric that you’d stitch on. It probably wouldn’t take carpet felt – but would you really want to stitch on carpet felt?
Where can we order these in the States?
We can’t. They have to be ordered from Needle Needs. To my knowledge, there is no distributor in the States. It’s not that difficult to order from the UK, and the price, whether distributed here or bought from there, would end up being the same, more or less, anyway. The only drawback is the wait. Without spending an exorbitant amount for shipping, you will probably have to wait about 2 weeks for the frame to arrive, or slightly more. But remember – Good Things Come to Those Who Wait!
Will it work with needlepoint canvas?
How much will US customs charge on delivery?
They won’t. If you’re concerned about customs, give your local customs office a call and ask them specifically.
Do the dowels stretch all the way across the width of the frame?
Yes. This is what achieves the tension across the width of the fabric.
So that about covers the questions that have come up. If you’ve e-mailed me with questions about the frame, I will try to get to your e-mail and answer it personally, if your question isn’t covered here. I’m a bit snowed in with e-mail these days, so if you do have something pressing that you really want an answer on, feel free to nudge me with another e-mail!
I’m open to any other questions you might have about the frame. Feel free to leave them below or to drop me a line!