Thursday, February 26, 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Edelweiss stitch

More progress on the doily-that-started-as-an-ornament:

Progress on the hardanger doily.

I've gotten to the fun part, and have been using my scissors! Yay!

You might notice that the configuration of the sides changed a little since the first picture I posted of this project. The spaces that used to have three small squares clustered together had the interior walls taken out, and are now the single inverted V-shaped spaces on either side, with woven bars, dove's eyes, and picots to echo the center openwork.  The larger side spaces balance out the multiple small "motif frames" better, I think, and go better with the large center space.

I'm not entirely sold on the clusters of three floating eyelets near the satin stitch motifs, so that's why I only did one side.  If I decide they're too busy I can take them out later, since they're just a pulled thread stitch with no cutting involved. When everything else is done, I'll compare the two sides and either stitch the rest or take out the ones that are there.

You might also notice that one of the motif frames has been filled, with an edelweiss stitch.  This is my favorite filler stitch, and I think that all the frames will be filled with edelweiss.  Maybe.  Maybe just the top and bottom rows.  Or maybe it will be more of a sampler look, with every frame different.  But edelweiss are just so pretty.

I haven't fully decided yet.  This project is obviously evolving as I go along.

The edelweiss stitch starts with cutting out all except the two middle threads from each side of the square frame.

Edelweiss stitch beginning

Then you needleweave in diagonal support bars, and work a whipped spider web (the round center of the flower) for about half the open space.  Then finish it off into the flower shape by working partial Greek crosses (the slanty bits) for the petal tips.

Edelweiss stitch

I haven't forgotten about the curtains (Anne!), but I want to finish this piece first.  :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

That little thrill I get when I'm browsing Pinterest for hardanger ideas, and I come across a photo of one of my pieces that someone else has pinned... that never gets old.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A completed AND finished hardanger piece!

I finished off the hardanger from the end of January by inserting it into the lid of a box.

Finished hardanger box

I mounted the embroidery by lacing it and a piece of burgundy lining fabric around a thin layer of quilt batting and piece of foamcore (which came with the box).

Hardanger and lining fabric mounted by lacing.

The lining and hardanger were each laced separately, and the corners folded and sewn flat.

Finished hardanger box

The box is handmade (but not by me!), and I'm very happy with the quality.  It has a magnetic catch, is well constructed and finished, and is lined with burgundy velvet.  The embroidery is held in place in the lid with a pressure-fit backing board.

Finished hardanger box

I am very pleased with this project.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Are you tired of hardanger yet? I'm not.

Here's another ornament topper.  It's made from the same piece of 28 count Monaco fabric I've been using all along, and some more threads from the depths of my stash.  These are Caron Watercolors (thicker thread for the kloster blocks) and Wildflowers (thinner thread for the needleweaving), both in the colorway "Pebbles".

I bought this thread when I was living in North Carolina, so it's at least 14 years old.  Actually, I may have bought these at the same time I bought my little Tres Claveles scissors.  I know I got them both from the same great little needlework shop in Raleigh, The Lazy Daizy, which I think is now closed.

another hardanger ornament

This ornament was the inaugural run of my new Dovo Hardanger scissors.  They worked beautifully.

After I finished that, I had to start another something while I continue to ponder the curtain design.

(Aside: I need to just start the curtains, already, because I have become paralyzed by indecision on what design to use.  I do not need to make a masterpiece of The Best Curtains Ever In All Of Space And Time.  They just need to be functional curtains with a pretty hardanger edging.)

Anyway, I was going to make another quick little ornament topper, just for something fast to do so I could use my new scissors again.  Scissors scissors happy happy joy!

I made a square motif in the top left corner of a piece of fabric- I planned to run a border of cable stitch and eyelets, cut (with new scissors!), stitch a single eidelweiss in the center of the square, and be done.

Then I looked at the rest of the fabric piece and thought that maybe it would be a shame to cut up this nice-sized piece of material.  It was just the right size for a medium doily, and it's almost the last bit of the piece of Monaco.

So my quick quest to use my new scissors turned into this:

hardanger doily

If I can make this up as I go along, why am I so paralyzed about starting my curtains??!

I started this last Saturday morning, so that's about a week's worth of intermittent stitching. And I haven't gotten to use my new scissors again.  Pout.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


So... I have a birthday coming up. And since I am currently obsessed with hardanger, and happened to pop over to the Nordic Needle website to "just browse around", I had to get myself a birthday present.

I got another pair of scissors... Dovo 3.5" Hardanger Scissors.  They're right in between my other two pairs, size-wise.

3 Claveles 2.75", Dovo 3.5" Hardanger, Dovo 4" Embroidery

I know, I know.  Another pair of scissors was not necessary.  But you GUYS. These scissors are amazing.

3 Claveles 2.75", Dovo 3.5" Hardanger, Dovo 4" Embroidery

I can't even describe how great these are.  I know I said that about the other pair of Dovos I just got, and they still totally are, but really... these are extra-special.

Here's a comparison of the tips. Tres Claveles on the left, Dovo Hardanger in the middle, and Dovo 4" regular on the right.

3 Claveles, Dovo 3.5" Hardanger, Dovo 4" Embroidery

The two Dovo scissors have blades with the same width and taper when viewed from the front, and they are both noticeably narrower than the Tres Claveles scissors.

However, do you see that horizontal line or ridge about halfway up the blade on the hardanger scissors? That's where the tips have been made even thinner for added maneuverability into the tiny holes between fabric threads.

Here's the side view.  See?

Dovo 3.5" Hardanger, Dovo 4" Embroidery

It doesn't seem like much of a thing, but it really does make a difference.

  • The tiny Tres Claveles pair are great at getting in tight spots and snipping a single thread at a time. 
  • The Dovo 4" Embroidery scissors have longer narrower blades, are great at cutting groups of threads in one snip, and excel at cutting the excess fabric away from the outside of the buttonhole stitches around the edges of a piece.  The longer blades mean fewer snips. 
  • The Dovo 3.5" Hardanger scissors have very thin, slightly shorter blades with more leverage, and are superb at cutting groups of threads in one snip for interior cutwork.

Really, that's all just spin to justify owning three pairs of really good scissors.

I like them all, I will use them all, and they make me happy.  The Dovo 4" will be my general embroidery scissors, for snipping thread tails and cutting around the outside of buttonhole stitches on hardanger pieces, with the Tres Claveles perhaps called into service for the tight interior corners in the stair-step buttonhole edges.  The Dovo Hardanger scissors will be reserved exclusively for interior cutwork.

So I now have a perhaps excessive number of scissors.  I am fully stocked and done acquiring these little gems.

But we loves them, my Precious, yessss.....

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Here are the hardanger curtains in their embryonic state.  Two yards of 32-count Belfast linen (36"x55" each), 10 balls of #8 pearl cotton, and 5 balls of #12 pearl cotton.  I don't really know how much thread I will need, but this is the basic #B5200 white thread and doesn't have a dye lot that needs to match.  If I need more (unlikely?) then it's readily available, and any leftovers will certainly be used on other projects.

There's so much potential in this little pile of supplies.

Embryonic hardanger curtains.

I did a little charting today to work on the design, and zigzagged around the edges of the linen to prevent fraying.

Zigzagging the edges to prevent fraying while I embroider.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Here's another little hardanger ornament topper:

Little pretty.

These are divided wrapped bars, instead of woven bars, and I have always liked this look.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

My contribution to the 10th Annual Blogger's (Silent) Poetry Reading for St. Bridget's Day.


The Lake Isle of Innisfree
William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.