I've always done my Hardanger in the hand (tried a hoop and didn't like it), but after following an embroidery blog for a while, I'm starting to wonder whether an embroidery frame would be helpful.  What do you use?

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I always use a hoop because it helps me keep a consistent tension. I have tried different sizes of hoops. I find that, for me, a small hoop about 5 inches in diameter works best. That way the fingers of my left hand can reach the center of the work.

The hoop doesn't damage the finished part of the cutwork or stretch it out of shape?  Have you ever tried a "square round" hoop?

Some embroiderers wrap the hoop in a strip of cloth. And that prevents damage to the stitching. The hoop is especially usefull when you are making kloster blocks or doing surface stitching, or buttonholing on the outer edge. Once all that is done, then the cutting. Once the cutting is done you can work in the hand to avoide dislodging the lace stitches.

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