Step 5: Stretching the canvas
Start by unlocking the embroidery hoop, unwinding the little bolt at the top of the hoop to loosen the frame. I use a wooden frame, but plastic is just fine too. Now remove the springy hoop from the solid hoop. Sit the solid hoop down on a flat surface like a table and place the cross stitch canvas over it so that has an even drape all the way around.* Now take the springy hoop and press it over the canvas like a wood and canvas sandwich. Press it down so that the two hoops are aligned and then tighten the bolt on the top of the springy frame.
* Don't worry about the hoop being round and the canvas being square. The hoop is just to give the fabric enough tension so that the sewing holds its shape.