It really is pretty hard, isn’t it?! The first thing we discovered is that it definitely does NOT work with just any fabric. I ended up buying this burlap specifically for this project because the kit (which contained a book, patterns, a hoop, a punch tool and adjuster, and a threader, but no thread or fabric) said burlap was one of the kinds of fabric that worked well with it.
Also, the book in my kit said you didn’t have to separate out your embroidery floss and could just use all six strands together, but that book was a LYING LIAR THAT LIES, because with all six strands the thread would get caught in the needle and wouldn’t flow smoothly, so it just kept popping back out of the fabric. I ended up using three strands at a time and it worked MUCH better.
The next thing I figured out is that you really have to be careful to just BARELY pull the punch tool out of the fabric before pushing it back in again in the next spot; any slack on the back of the fabric can also mess things up.
I think next I just need to get used to spacing, and like, the order/direction I go with the needle to get the colors filled in enough without pushing already completed loops out further and getting those long wonky loops.