Monday, 16 March 2015

Hardanger - Don't Fear the Squissors!

It might come as a surprise to you, but I actually hate starting new stitching projects.  Don't get me wrong, I like picking a pattern, kitting it up, cutting fabric and the eventual stitching of it - but I hate staring at that blank piece of fabric all ready to stitch on in the frame.  I start to doubt myself: is the fabric the right way around, is my starting point really 3 inches in from the edge/in the exact centre of the fabric, are my thread choices the right ones?  I hate those initial first stitches and it's why I dither over new starts.  I've had two projects buzzing around my brain so I just decided to start them on the same day and get the worst over with!  One was Box of Delights and the other was A Confetti of Hardanger by Bee's Needleworks.

I've had Confetti of Hardanger in my stash since 2012, when it was offered as a group SAL as part of the Stitch Specialists Yahoo Group, a group run by the designer of this chart, Abi Gurden.  I've wanted to stitch this chart since then, but actually waiting this long proved fortuitous as the perles I've chosen to use for it didn't exist then, but they do now!  The perles I'm using are hand dyed by Jodyri Designs and Michelle is one of the few dyers I know to hand dye matching perles in #5, #8 and #12.  I'll be using Jodyri's beautiful Alaskan Beauty perles for this one, along with possibly some complimentary DMC solid perles and white, the mainstay of Hardanger stitched on 25ct white lugana:

Confetti of Hardanger Materials
The pdf chart comes with very detailed instructions for each of the 14 parts, so even if Hardanger is new to you, everything you need to know is included.  There are a few filling stitches in this one that are new to me, so I'm looking forward to adding them to my list!
Here is Part 1, Klosters and Extended Klosters stitched in #5 perle in Alaskan Beauty:
Confetti of Hardanger - Part 1
Here is Part 2, Cable Stitch and Doubled Back Stitch stitched in #8 white perle:
Confetti of Hardanger Part 2
White on white is a bit hard to see so here are a few close-ups, Cable Stitch:
Confetti of Hardanger - Cable Stitch
And Doubled Back Stitch, which was the first time I'd ever worked a stitch from the reverse of the fabric!

Confetti of Hardanger - Doubled Back Stitch
The hardcore Hardanger (aka cutting) doesn't begin until Part 6, so I still have a few parts to go before squissor fear sets in!
I've also had my stash for the month arrive, my monthly thread and fabric from Jodyri Designs as well as a fantastic book, The A-Z of Whitework:
March Stash
I've never been a fan of generic stitch dictionaries, I much prefer books on specific techniques and the stitches and facts relevant to them individually.  I was so pleased when I discovered that the A-Z series was being reprinted again as Search Press had bought the rights to them.  I didn't want to pay up to four times the price for an OOP copy!  They are a brilliant series of books and I think, along with the RSN guides, tell you everything you need to know about individual embroidery techniques.  Mary Corbet has fantastic reviews of these titles on her blog, so no need for me to go into detail.  I've got the A-Z of Goldwork on order too, which hopefully should be arriving in May.
Last but not least, it's about time I got on with my Operation Threadporn projects after two new starts, so here are my proposed thread choices for my projects, the finishes to be revealed at the end of the month, (yet more Wildflowers, Mo's Silks and Silk Mill silk):
Happy Stitching!


  1. Those Jodyri flosses are divine! Have never tried them. The fabric looks gorgeous also.

  2. I love your choice of floss. I saw Mary Corbet's review of the A-Z series. I already own the RSN book on Whitework and was wondering if it is worth getting this one as well.

  3. Looks fantastic. I love the white on white. I don't think I've heard very much on Silk Mill silks. Are they in your silks video?

    1. Sorry Katrina, for some reason I can't reply to your comment directly - but yes, Silk Mill silks are in my silk video, they are the first ones I show I think.

  4. Beautiful Hardanger, love the colors you have chosen

  5. Your Hardanger is looking absolutely gorgeous, I love your thread choices

  6. Gorgeous hardanger,beautiful colour choices and awesome March stash.

  7. That hardanger piece is amazing -- can't wait to see it when you're finished!

  8. Love your thread choices. I get the Jodyri Threads every month too and have used quite a few.
    I got booted out of that Yahoo group! Actually I didn't, I resigned my membership out of principle in support of a friend who got booted out but frankly it was only a matter of time!

  9. Alaskan Beauty lives up to its name - I think I chose that one as my favourite Jodyri for your giveaway and it does not disappoint. Full disclosure: I didn't know what squissors were and hadn't looked it up until I read this post, what a dork I am.

  10. It's nice to see your choices on this one. My CofH has been languishing as well, but I won't get back to it this year. I'll look forward to seeing how yours comes together though, it's a beautiful start!

  11. I know what you mean when writing about starting a new project. This feeling acompanies me as well, well, often, and sometimes it even doesn't leave me. Like right now with my current project, I still am in doubt about the fabric colour I chose but I don't want to start over because I'm way too far into it already.

    Alaskan Beauty is a real beauty, what a wonderful thread colour. And your Hardanger project is already looking fantastic.


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