Silk Road Needle Arts
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Using a Frame or "In the Hand"--
Many accomplished stitchers never use a frame, so to a certain extent, it can be a matter of choice. We recommend that beginning stitchers use a frame until they become more accomplished; some people claim that they stitch faster when they can scoop the needle and not go in and out through the canvas in two motions.
In general, we have found that the sewing method places more wear and tear on the yarn. It is "pinched" as it goes through the canvas and is more likely to pill and become thin. Once you get the "hand" of needlepoint on a frame, especially if it is supported, you will probably find that you stitching is just as fast as the sewing method.
Also, if you are using the sewing method, you are constantly bending and bunching the canvas, breaking down the sizing and making it quite limp.
Rules are rules, so you will need to decide what works best for you.