In the spirit of the Hardanger piece I'm working on now, I present the very first Hardanger design I ever stitched.
Design: a runner made from doubling the bellpull design from Cross 'N Patch's Charity Sampler booklet
Designer: Emie Bishop
Technique: Hardanger and cross stitch
Ground fabric: 32ct evenweave (jobelan, maybe?)
Threads: pearl cotton and floss
Stitches used: cross stitch, kloster blocks, buttonhole, lacy edge, bullions, dove's eyes, spider webs, other filling stitches
Stitching timeframe: Finished in 1996. I'm guessing I worked on and off on this for a year, given that I was in college at the time.
This was my first Hardanger piece, as I mentioned above. It is a prime example of the attitude of "It's just string." Or it could have been simple ignorance. Take your pick.
- I didn’t think it was a big deal to essentially stitch the bellpull (which consisted of two of the diamond repeats and the heart at the bottom) twice.
- I didn't know lacy edge and bullions were supposed to be difficult.
- I do recall vigilantly checking the alignment of my kloster blocks before cutting any threads, but I don't really remember any anxiety about cutting the threads once I knew everything lined up.
In hindsight, it’s easy to see that I should have practiced bullion knots on a doodle cloth before putting them on the real piece. In this picture, you can see the little squares made up of bullion knots on the right, where I started, and those on the left, where I finished after going all the way around the piece. There is a very distinct difference in tension!
I don’t really recall having much difficulty with the lacy edge, but to this day, I haven’t used this stitch on any other piece.
Here’s a close up of one of the ends of the design.
I should find a place to display this rather than keeping it in my cedar chest. Maybe a high shelf where little fingers can’t reach.