Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hardanger Embroidery

 I thought I would show a quick (but picture heavy) overview on Hardanger embroidery.

I taught myself Hardanger about 10 years ago (like all my work - I am no expert, this is just how I do it).
It is a very simple form of counted embroidery that requires few supplies.

This is the Hardanger project I am currently working on.
It needs an even weave fabric (for this one I am using 22 count Hardanger fabric, but there are many different ones available, with different thread counts, but not Aida cloth - you can't pull the threads out), pearl cotton (I am using #5 and #8 for this count of fabric), tapestry needle, very fine, small, sharp scissors, and I like to use an embroidery hoop. All the supplies should be available at the local box craft store (they are here), but better supplies can be found at a good embroidery store (my favourite is Nordic Needle).

Here is a little taste - the links are to the free guide at Nordic Needle (they specialize in Hardanger). Here is their Hardanger 101 link.

The embroidery starts by stitching Kloster Blocks (satin stitch) - 5 stitches over 4 threads (Hardanger fabric has two threads together that count as one).

I start the embroidery off by leaving a long tail,

this is the back

and catching it under the Kloster blocks on the back of the piece.

The groups of stitches are at right angles to one another or separated by 4 threads, and all the blocks line up across from each other. This is very important when you cut the fabric threads. To end the thread just weave the end under the Kloster blocks in the back.

Cutting the fabric is the hardest (scariest) part of Hardanger. I use really sharp, fine, embroidery scissors (I only use them for this). I make sure that the tip of the scissors is poking out at the last fabric thread I need to cut, and that the scissors are close to the stitches before I cut the threads. If you accidentally cut the wrong thread, a new thread can be removed from the edge of the fabric and woven back into the fabric to replace the cut one.

Once all the fabric is cut beside the Kloster blocks,

the fabric threads are taken out,

and the needle weaving starts.

I used picots and dove's eyes. Here is a video for the dove's eye. This piece can't be cut out because it doesn't have the tailored button hole stitch around the edge to finish it off.

This little piece could be made into a little ornament/scissor fob like this one. If you add the tailored button hole stitch around, it makes a nice Christmas ornament (I have a few, but they are put away now).

Here is the pattern for the above piece, from a workshop I taught a few years ago.

There are all kinds of free patterns on the Nordic Needle website (there is even a Romanian Point Lace one).
The Victoria Sampler has some wonderful free patterns too - lots with cross stitch and other types of embroidery.

Next are some pieces that I have made.

My first piece from an old Anna Magazine.
The magazine is the top one here (the same one my first piece of Romanian Point Lace comes from).

My second piece.
This one is a free pattern at Nordic Needle. 
This one is 22" square.
I tried variegated thread for the first time.
These are the same pattern with different counts of fabric.
Another free pattern at Nordic Needle.
This one is 37" long.
This is the first one I designed.
The second one I designed.
I designed the cross stitch to match my dishes.
This is the one I am working on.
It will be 30"x19".
I just have the filling stitches to add.

There are some really good Hardager books - I can recommend the Janice Love ones.

The next two pieces aren't Hardanger,

This is a little bag made with linen.
The back.
The needle weaving section reminded me of a garden fence,
so I added a rabbit button - like Peter Rabbit.
but other types of drawn/pulled thread work (I am not sure of the real name),

This is on 28 count linen
 this one is Schwalm embroidery (from an old EAC correspondence course).

A close-up.
 The same design is on both ends of the piece.

Whew! Maybe not so quick!
Now, if any one is interested in learning more about Hardanger, I have a few beginner Hardanger books and patterns I don't need - if you are interested leave me a comment on this post. If more than one person asks I will draw a name on Tuesday May 1st, 2012.

I'll include a pattern and kit from the workshop I taught too, to get you started. I'll ship any where in the world.

 Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

The draw has been made and Fiesta was the winner. Thanks to everyone who entered!
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