Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hardanger, Threads, and Upcoming Projects

"Hardanger?  What in the world is Hardanger?"  I get this question quite a bit whenever I mention it.

Per Wikipedia, "Hardanger embroidery is a form of embroidery traditionally worked with white thread on white even-weave cloth, using counted thread and drawn-thread work techniques.... The traditional style of Hardanger work is very geometrical in form and based on several basic shapes such as squares, rectangles, triangles, diamonds, hearts, zig-zags and crosses. The combination and placement of these elements allow an unlimited number of beautiful patterns of all sizes to be created."

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, "Well, that's fine and dandy Raquel, but what in the world does it look like based on that description?".  I thought you might ask something similar so I've included a few pictures of Hardanger work for you in this post.  Two are more traditional with white threads on white fabric and two are a more modern take on this fabulous embroidery type.  These photos were selected at random from a general Google search for Hardanger Embroidery and I do not own the rights to any of the images.  There are many, many more finished patterns out there for you to browse at your leisure.  You can literally spend hours looking at the array of beautiful pieces out there!

"Why I am bringing this up?", you may ask.  Over the past couple of weeks, I have been re-learning the various stitches involved with Hardanger.  I taught myself the basics of Hardanger several years ago and made a couple of small pieces using this technique.  I drifted away from it, moving more toward cross-stitch pieces and other crafts.  Recently, I decided to give it another try as a friend of mine is getting married in May.  I wanted to do something special to mark this joyous occasion and thought that Hardanger was just the thing.  I sorted through my books and found a simple but elegant pattern that I hope she will enjoy.  This piece will be framed and I'll add the names and wedding date on it as well.  I decided to use white fabric with white and variegated aqua blue threads as her bridesmaids' dresses will be in a similar shade of blue.  I hope she enjoys it!  I'll be sure to post a photo or two of it when it's completed.

This leads me to the purpose of my post. (Finally, right?)  I have found that while working on this small wedding design that I have really missed this craft.  I am pleased to announce that I will soon begin working on several small Hardanger pieces for the Calico Craft Designs Etsy Shop!  I have started the design phase of these upcoming projects and have begun gathering my materials.  I found a lovely lady from Canada who hand-dyes a variety of embroidery threads.  She sells through the Colour Complements Etsy Shop.  I have already ordered a couple of different threads and cannot wait until they arrive to start using them in my designs!  I'll definitely post a photo once I get them.

I hope that you will check back often to see the new designs as they unfold.  Happy crafting!

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