What About Frames?
Frequently, I get questions about what frames to use with the Oxford Punch Needles. Although I have have limited personal experience with all the frames that are out there, I am willing to share with you my thoughts.
If you are a beginner and are overwhelmed with the wide range of frame styles and their expense, I want you to know what worked for me in the first year I was a punching. I was taught at a little yarn shoppe here. The lady that instructed us had several hand made SIMPLE frames that I am guessing her husband had made. They were flat and she had us use several of those heavy duty office clips to hold and tighten our monks-cloth. We used that in class. So, I went thrifting and found a large flat picture frame. For the next many, many months that is what I used and it worked great! If you have a handy husband or son, have him make you a simple flat frame. OR, hit the thrift stores and see what you can find. I have bought the office clips at Staples and Office Depot. (See photo below.)This gives you time to find out if punch needle is something you will really be interested in as well as really taking your time to find and purchase a frame that YOU like.
My husband did buy me a frame- and it is a very simple one. (Photo above.) It is a lap frame- NOTHING FANCY but it is what I like. I enjoy having the hand clearance it provides as I use it for rug hooking as well. (I use it with my Cameo projects, too!) ******
I do have a large floor frame. You would be surprised at how much I do NOT use it. Why? I just like working on the couch or armchair and that floor frame I have does not allow me to do that.
A bit about gripper strips and protecting your work-
I have never had a problem with any of my work ripping out as I hook or punch on my frame. I once used someone else's frame and was shocked at the gripping power it had. I did NOT like that! I suspect that either those grippers were faulty in that they ripped everything out or that mine are well used enough that they handle fibers very gently. But that is definitely something you want to consider when you begin working on your new frame. Have a box of Press-N-Seal handy. Press-N-Seal is nice to lay between your finished work and the grippers to prevent the loops coming out. I DO use this when I do faces since they (to me) are worth really taking every precaution against loops being pulled out.
I would love to know about your frames and add them into this information for new punchers/hookers. Please include where you purchased your frame and what you like about it. I would love to pass on your experience!