Last month whilst I was on holiday I started a Hardanger & Drawn Thread Sampler designed by Jane Greenoff. I have to confess that since returning home at the end of January I haven’t even had it out of the packet! Today, after spending several hours on the computer (albeit sorting out the holiday photograph album!) I decided it was time to get it out again.
I’d not tried drawn thread embroidery (or hardanger) before I bought this kit, it’s a beautiful sampler and I love the colours, but I would still hold by my argument in my last blog that the instructions presume a level of knowledge, it is not a kit I would recommend for a complete novice.
Today, over on Kathy’s Quilts, it’s slow stitching Sunday, I’ve certainly done my bit of slow stitching today… Drawn thread embroidery consists of removing threads on evenweave linen, then embroidering knots over the remaining threads. It took me a while to understand the instructions, but basically threads are cut and removed in pairs, at opposite ends of the area being worked, the thread removed from one end is then rewoven into the gap left from the other thread…mmm, it took me a while to get it too! For this band on the sampler I had to remove 4 pairs of weft threads, leaving the warp threads behind. Hem stitch is used to edge the band, which also has the effect of pairing the threads.
The band I was working on was ‘hemstitch with coral knots’. The diagram hadn’t printed very well so it took me a while to work out that the first row of knots would tie the warp threads in clusters of three pairs, whereas the second row of coral knots made a decorative wave pattern.
The next band on the sampler epitomised my issues with the instructions; ‘Buttonhole bars in purple and green’ There are six shades of purple and three shades of green in this kit, so precisely which shade am I meant to use! Initially I thought it would be the same shades as the cross-stitch in that band, however looking at the image it looks a lot darker…so I guessed! There are also no instructions on how to do a buttonhole bar, ok so I know how to do one, but I’m sure that many people don’t!
I’ve just got a hardanger heart left to work now, so hopefully I’ll finish it this week. Then I’ve just got to decide whether to frame it as it is or to stitch a folded hem to finish the edges first. I’d like to think I’ll master the folded hem, but realistically I’ve not been enamoured with this style of embroidery (you can’t like everything!) so I will probably be glad just to complete the sampler and frame it.
It is the ideal kit to try out this style of embroidery, short bands of different stitches to make a very pretty sampler. I have enjoyed stitching this sampler and I’m really pleased with it, the colours are lovely and it’s been good experience, just not quite so relaxing as I anticipated!