Needle Needs, the company that produces the Millenium frame, also makes a floor stand that accommodates the Millenium frame well. It’s called the Necessaire floor stand.
The Necessaire is made entirely of wood, with the exception of the hardware and knobs used to assemble and adjust the parts of the stand.
The stand pairs up perfectly with Millenium frames. The “holding” concept of the stand is simple – two vertical arms that can be adjusted out to 18″ extend from the top of the frame rest, and at the end of each arm is a peg. The Millenium frame rests on the two arms, and the pegs keep it in place. To get to the back of your frame, you just pick it up and turn it over.
The central column of the Necessaire stand “telescopes” – that is, it can be raised and lowered vertically. It does not tilt forward. When working in a regular chair (for example, a kitchen chair), the stand is telescoped up all the way. When sitting on a sofa, the stand can be adjusted much lower. In order for the frame to be comfortably situated in a stitching position (tilted), the very top of the stand is where the adjustments are made.
There is an adjustable head at the top of the central column of the stand, to which a little toggle mechanism is attached, and this mechanism provides support for three tilting positions for the frame. By adjusting the tilt of the frame rest, you can achieve a comfortable stitching situation regardless of whether you’re sitting on a sofa or in a high back chair.
Wherever adjustments need to be made on the stand, these adjustments are achieved by loosening or tightening these plastic knobs. They’re pretty easy to handle, though I think a little small. Stitchers with arthritic hands may find them troublesome.
This is the “toggle” mechanism. This little wedge of wood fits into one of the three grooves to provide support for the tilt of the frame rest. The tilt is also held by tightening up a knob; the wooden wedge holds the tilt position in place and provides support for the weight of the frame, keeping the knob from loosening. It’s a clever contraption!
The stand comes unassembled, with all the hardware for assembling. And just to demonstrate attention to detail, under the head of the stand, there’s a little leather loop attached, into which fits the Allen wrench that is used for assembling the stand. That’s so you don’t lose the Allen wrench. Since I am perpetually prone to losing such things, I appreciate this little addition!
The stand is very well made – all the edges are beveled, the wood is perfectly smooth, all the parts fit together exactly as they should and once they are together, they hold well.
Lots of well-thought-out details here! For example, on the frame rest, there is, cut across it, a smart slanted groove that holds patterns or charts for easy viewing, and there are little hooks for the side of the frame rest, in case you want to hang any tools or threads within reaching distance. Another example, the arms on the frame rest are adjustable in two positions, so that the frame rest can accommodate the largest (18″) side stretchers for the Millenium frame.
The stand is easy to assemble.
The Necessaire does its job well – it holds the Millenium frame very comfortably for stitching. I have to say, I have enjoyed using it immensely! In addition to holding the Millenium frame, it also holds stretcher bars easily, as long as they are no more than 18″ high (they can be much wider than 18″, but the sides can be more than 18″). It also holds larger hoops easily, even if you’re working on something like a big tablecloth. You can bring the side bars of the frame rest in towards each other and rest about 8″ or larger hoops on them. It also holds small and medium-small slate frames. If you never use a slate frame larger than 18″ high, this could solve your “trestle dilemma” (if you’ve been looking for trestles). But if you typically use larger slate frames, and if the frames have any real weight to them, then this won’t work for you. But for smaller slate frames, it works great.
The price. Yes, this is a “pro”! Most floor stands are pretty darned expensive. Those of you who have purchased, for example, the Needlework System 4 stand know what I mean. It’s anywhere from $275 – $300 (or more) for the basic working parts of that floor stand. The Lowery floor stand runs $310+. K’s Creations stainless steel stand starts at $290, but if you want the more stable feet available, you’ll pay a minimum of $320 for it.
So the Necessaire clocks in pretty inexpensively, at (right now) about US$142.80 (£109.56). Even with shipping to the US, it’s still less expensive than the more popular floor stands here in the US. As far as quality goes, it stands up to all of them.
Update, 2016 One con worth mentioning is the delivery time for orders from Needle Needs. When I received mine, the company was sending orders promptly and they were keeping up quite well with business. Since then, they’ve had a hard time keeping up with business, and orders – especially international orders – are very slowly fulfilled. I’ve heard from many readers who have waited a year or longer to receive their frames or stands. So bear that in mind if you decide to order products from Needle Needs.
Other than that, cons are few!
I think the knobs are a little small and would be difficult for someone with arthritic hands to operate them. If you don’t have this problem, then you don’t have anything to worry about. If you do, though, you might keep this in mind. You don’t have to adjust the knobs often, though, so if you have your Luvy around who can do it for you, or a stitching companion, then the problem is minimized.
You are limited to frames that are 18″ high. If you’re using the Millenium frames and can roll your work, then this isn’t a problem. If you’re working larger goldwork projects or things that can’t be rolled, if the sides are longer than 18″, this stand won’t work.
Some folks might find the lack of forward tilt on the central column of the stand a put-off. The stand only adjusts vertically in height, and the tilt of the frame depends on the tilt of the top mechanism onto which the frame rest is attached. So there is no “forward tilt” of the whole stand itself. I did test the Necessaire at the sofa, though, and it works fine. You just have to pull the stand a little closer in, lower the vertical column, and tilt the head into whatever comfortable position you want. The stand does not work at a recliner. Since I do all my stitching in a straight back chair (boring, I know!), I don’t have a problem with the lack of forward tilt, and frankly, I appreciate the simplicity of the stand without all the extra tilting areas and so forth. To me, the simpler the better, as extra movement on a floor stand just means extra places to adjust every time you use it, and extra places and hardware that can get worn over time.
So that’s the Necessaire floor stand from Needle Needs in the UK. I like it a lot. I’m using it comfortably. It makes me Happy! If you’re looking for a stand – and especially if you’re using Millenium frames, stretcher bars, or small or medium-small slate frames, check into the Necessaire. It might be just right for you!