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It’s a little ironic that my hoop embroideries are un-hooped until they’re washed, starched and ready to stretch.

Hoops by Misericordia

See hoops by Misericordia

I know that technically a hoop should make for more even stitches and all that, but it always sees to get in my way (not to mention that it takes up so much more room in my bag). Even when I’m doing pretty long satin stitches I seem to have the tension (at least in that small corner of my life) pretty well under control.

Silent Night by Misericordia 2012

See Silent Night by Misericordia

But I really like the way that the embroideries look stretched over hoops. The drum-like top, the little gathers running under the backing like pleats on pointe shoes.

There’s always a moment, about one third of the way around, when I fear that it will all pucker and sag and pull everything really tight, but by the time I’ve made it around the hoop I always have to rebalance everything to keep the thread from snapping.

Every. single. time.