Hello! While cruising the crafts section of a local thrift store several weeks ago, I came across various sizes of embroidery hoops, all of which had some sort of mesh-like material inserted in them. Hadn't encountered this type of material before, but it appears to be made of very thin wood strips. I assumed it was meant for counted cross-stitch.
That craft seemed to have fallen out of favor in recent years. But my friend Ms. Kayak Chickee told me that counted cross-stitch seems to be making a comeback, with updated patterns and colors. She'd purchased some British magazines devoted to the craft and there were some great projects in them.
Knowing of her interest in cross-stitch, I bought one meshed hoop for her and one for me. I forget what I gave her, but my purchase was an oval hoop with a design area that measures about 9"x5 1/2".
Wasn't sure what to stitch within the hoop, but when Ms. Kayak Chickee suggested doing a word, I though that was a great idea.
First, I had to find a counted cross-stitch alphabet to use. I could have probably found one online if I needed to, but then I spotted a 1986 Leisure Arts leaflet, The Alphabet Book, at a thrift store - perfect! Several fonts were included, so I knew I would find one I liked.
Next, had to pick a word to stitch on the mesh. Peace? Love? Smile? Decisions, decisions. But before I settled on a word, our decorative plaque that said "Welcome Friends" fell off its hanger outside the entrance to our house and broke - another victim of our severe winter (the suede cord from which the plaque had hung must have deteriorated without my noticing it).
So, why not stitch the word "Welcome"? But alas, that word proved too long for the fonts that would have been the proper scale (there are smaller fonts in the leaflet, but they would have stitched up too small to look right).
Switched to the shorter "Hello" and I was on my way with the lowercase version of the Stencil font. The project was easily completed, using all six strands from a skein of embroidery floss in variegated blues:
I will bring the hoop inside for the winter, but as it's going to hang outside for now, I put a dab of waterproof glue on all thread ends to keep them in place. That was the only finishing I needed to do, so overall this was a very easy project.
I really like how this turned out and now I kind of wish I'd gotten the other meshed hoops that I'd left behind at that thrift store - but Ms. Kayak Chickee went there and bought the rest!
Oh well, I still have The Alphabet Book in case I want to stitch up words on anything else.
Edit: upon doing some online research, I think that the mesh in the hoops is something called "radio weave cane" and is normally used in chair caning. Not sure if it was often used in embroidery though.