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Hardanger Tips - Stitches

Hardanger Stitches

         Satin stitch.  The Satin Stitch is the basic stitch that makes up the majority of a Hardanger project.  This one simple stitch can be repeated over and over in several rows to create numerous shapes.  The satin stitch is a straight line stitch.  I prefer to start my first stitch on a  Hardanger piece with a waste knot.  The waste knot will eventually be cut off, that is why is is called a "waste knot".  The waste knot will be on the front side of your project.  This is just to anchor your floss until you have a chance to stitch over the tail in the back to secure it down permanently.   A satin stitch is worked by poking your needle with your knotted  floss from the top down into your fabric.  The knot will be on the top of your fabric.  Begin your first satin stitch to the left of the knot a few holes away diagonally.  You will come up through the back of the fabric in hole one, make a straight line down through hole two.  Back up right next to hole one, through hole three, and another straight line down through hole four.... and so on and so on until you finish your shape.  In the mean time, you are stitching over the tail you created with your waste knot on the back of the piece to anchor you floss.  Once you have anchored your floss, you can snip off the waste knot.   The back of your work should be almost exactly like the front of your work.  Be sure to check often by flipping over your work and inspecting the back.

Waste Knot example:



     Kloster block stitch.  The Kloster Block stitch makes up the frame work of most Hardanger pieces.  A Kloster block is done with the satin stitch.  Normally, Kloster Blocks are rows of 5 stitches, each one stitched over 4 threads on your fabric.  While doing Kloster Blocks you can either use the sewing method or the stabbing method.  It just depends on what you are comfortable with.  The stab method is like cross stitch where you stick your needle into the fabric and pull it through the other side.  The sewing method you insert your needle in one hole and bring it back up through another hole  in one motion, rather than two in the stab method.  You can also do variation of the Kloster Block, making your stitches graduated or increasing the number.

Kloster Block example: 



     Buttonhole Edge stitch (below).   The buttonhole stitch edge is a common and decorative way to finish the edges of your project. It is a more modern stitch.   You can use either a number 5 of number 8 thread (depending on the count of your fabric).  The buttonholes stitches correspond to the kloser blocks.  You make 5 buttonhole stitches directly across from your 5 stitches in your kloster block.  You make a buttonhole stitch by counting 4 holes in your fabric and putting your needle down through that hole, counting 4 holes in your fabric in the correct direction and up through that hole.  When you come up through that hole, you allow you floss to go behind your needle and pull your thread through the fabric.  Pull up from that final hole to secure your buttonhole stitch down flat to your fabric.  Make 5 stitches this way that are  even with your kloster blocks and then turn the corner.  Corners are a little tricky, but with practice, they will be easy to complete.



     Cable Stitch (below).  The cable stitch is a decorative stitch used often on Hardanger pieces.  It is a very simple stitch.  Cable stitches are generally worked with either a size 8 or 5 thread.  To start your cable stitch, bring your needle up from the back side and you will make what is basically a half cross stitch.  Count up two threads and over two thread and go down through the fabric to create a half stitch (ex./).  You continue to make half stitches in a line to create a cable stitch.  You can also do two cable stitches side by side or more. 



     Eyelet Stitch (below).  The eyelet stitch is also a very common decorative stitched used in Hardanger projects.  It is normally worked in the center of 4 kloster blocks, but doesn't have to be.  Start by bringing your needle up in the same hole as your finished kloster block, count two thread to the center and go down in that hole.  Follow by bringing your needle up in the next stitch in your kloster block and back down through the center hole.   You will basically be working in a circle. 



     Dove's Eye Stitch  (below).  The dove's eye is a lacy filling stitch used frequently in Hardanger.  It is simple to learn and very decorative.  It can either be worked in the center of completed kloster blocks or as part of the needle weaving of a square, as pictured below.