Hardanger

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I have been learning this new (to me) craft that I learned about recently.  Apparently it’s another old craft, like tatting, that is becoming popular again.  I really like the way it looks and it is so relaxing to do.  I remember watching my mom do some sort of needlework when I was little.  I don’t remember exactly what she was doing but I think it was some sort of embroidery.  I remember she was making flowers and I just know that it really made her happy.  I remember how pleased she was when she got something to come out right.  She would show me what she did and point out how one stitch was better than the others but at the time I was too young to appreciate what she was showing me.  Now I understand.

I found this website that has hardanger lessons and started with lesson one.  When I bought the supplies I just grabbed two colors that I thought would go together – one ball of size 8 pearl cotton in dark red and one small bunch of size 5 in variegated shades of orange.  At the time I envisioned the boarder being dark red and the inside work in the orange but I didn’t take the size of the thread into consideration.  When I sat down to follow the pattern I realized the border was made with the size 5 thread, which was the orange, and the inside work was done with the finer size 8 thread which was the dark red.  So, I was frustrated trying to cover the white threads of the fabric with the dark red!  Now I see why they used white!

Anyway, lesson learned.  I really enjoyed the lesson even though I had to do the entire project without an embroidery hoop.  I bought two sizes and they were both too big.  Now I have several sizes of hoops and that wont be a problem again.  The Kloster blocks were simple since they are just done in satin stitch but I had a hard time with the square filet’s so I was glad I had gone to the library and grabbed what books I could find on hardanger.  My favorite book to refer to was “The complete illustrated stitch encyclopedia” published by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.”….  It showed clear pictures of each step.  This book is great and I’m going to get my own copy!  It shows many types of needlework and clearly explains how to do them.  It as fun to look at as a new glossy catalog.  I added a buttonhole border to my design that I learned about from this book.  Another great book is “The anchor Book of Hardanger emboidery” by Sue Whiting.

The cutting was a bit nerve-wracking and I was really glad I thought to buy the little embroidery scissors!  It was really neat to see how the lose threads pulled out to form the grid of stitches and open spaces.    This is where I figured out that each thread is actually two smaller threads.   I found the “needle-weaving” of just the 4 threads (which means 4 pairs of threads) going one direction easy to do but I had a hard time covering the intersecting blocks with threads going both vertically and horizontally completely with thread and making it look like the needle-woven sections.  Of course this wouldn’t have been so difficult if I wasn’t trying to cover white with dark red!  My square filet’s are far from perfect but you can’t really see them very well in the picture.  I think I just need practice to get better at those.  I would have never figured out how to do that stitch without that book!  I really enjoyed this lesson though.  I really wish I could show both my grandmothers and my mom!  I guess they have to look on from heaven.

Hardanger Lesson 1

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