It depends upon how familiar you are with the chain stitch. If you are a beginner with this stitch, it's much easier to work in a hoop, because you can rotate the hoop to keep making the stitch in the same direction. In other words, if you work from top to bottom, you can just hold the hoop in that orientation. If you are working a curve, you can turn the hoop so that you are still working top to bottom. Does that make sense?
When I work chain stitch on framed fabric, I use the stab method rather than the sewing method. Bring the needle up. Hold the thread with your thumb and start putting the needle through the fabric. From underneath, grab the needle and pull it through, making sure to hold the loop of thread on the surface. Then put the needle up and inside that loop. Two steps. In the sewing method, you put the needle through the fabric (down and back up) in one motion.
I use a hoop because you can move them - but some people like them some don't. I find they don't strain my hands so much too.
My advice is to choose one that is not to big for your hands and not to leave your work in them over night. So they do not mark the stitching.
For stitches where you need to scoop rather than stab slacken the hoop off slightly.
I prefer stitching on felt as it doesn't distort much so no hoop needed. But when necessary I use a small wooden hoop with a screw to tighten rather than a plastic one as the fabric doesn't need to be pulled tight into it and so surrounding stitches aren't damaged.
Thank you JoWynn thats why i cant do it in a hoop because im using the sewing method and i have a go with the stab method and yes it does make sense......will this be that same with lots of stitching do you know?
It is more difficult to do chain stitching in a frame however if you use the stab method of stitching is is much easier. If you have seen my stumpwork violets which I put up today , the leaves are sll chain stitch and it was done in a frame
Jennie, I can see by your pics you are an experienced embroiderer,but it is still hard when we try something different. I have always used a hoop for most stitches and in the case of chain stitch I would also loosen the tension on this. Maybe you are more comfortable with a frame, try the same thing, or loosen the pull of the fabric in the frame. I am sure with practice you will have success and I look forward to seeing what it is you make.
Jenny I think it is just what you get used to. I learned with a frame, and now find it hard not to use one. I push the fabric up with the middle fingers of my left hand from the back , This creates a little mound. I think that is the way to describe it. Hope you can understand what I mean. I just had to work one as it is something that happens without thinking . I guess this loosens the tension as Sharon recommended. i must be doing the scoop method as well.
my suggestion is to do as you feel most comfortable!
Some stitches are easier to do with a frame, and using it helps you to keep an even tension... But if it's uncomfortable to use, to the point that embroidery becomes annoying instead of being a pleasure, do without it!
Some people make wonderful embroideries even without using a frame... And if you are satisfied with your results without a frame, don't bother with it only because you feel you "should" use it...
I think you might try using it, but if after a couple of weeks you don't see any good result and it's only a bother, just go back to what you've always done...