Sunday, 2 May 2010

Blogs about Crafts

I've been checking out a lot of blogs, lately, now that I have my own. There are so many blogs out there, especially ones about crafting. I used to spend a lot of time with crafts.
My craft of choice, when I do craft, is stitching...I just haven't done it for a long time. When I spent more time stitching, I meandered into different types of this handiwork. I learned hardanger, a stitchery style that involves creating blocks of stitches for a strong base and then cutting out certain threads, with tiny scissors, and using a finer thread to weave and stitch on the remaining threads.
Hardanger is named after the Hardanger region of the western part of Norway.
I taught myself how to stitch Hardanger, from a book. Over time, as I got better at it, I began designing my own pieces and teaching classes for beginners.
The thing I like the best about Hardanger is the creativity that I get to explore, when I am able to choose the stitches I am going to use, to fill in the spaces left behind.
Traditional Hardanger uses white thread on white cloth. The cloth is of a thicker variety...about 20 threads per inch. The thread for stitching is usually Pearle Cotton...about size 5 and sometimes 8. This stitching was used to decorate traditional wear.
Nowadays, Hardanger is done on a wide variety of fabrics, with all sorts of types of threads. The small picture above was stitched on 40 count linen, with a single strand of silk thread. It was very fine. I don't know if my eyes will ever let me do such fine work again. The entire piece now hangs in our living room. At least I can remember the time when I was able to accomplish such a feat! This piece is only 2 x
7 inches. If I had used the fabric that was suggested, in the traditional style, it would have been about 5 x 15 inches.
Over the years I've created a number of Hardanger pieces. Some are lacy confections that sit on tables and in china cabinets, but those aren't really all that desired by many, so when I do stitch, I stick to pieces that could be framed in cards or for hanging.
Perhaps I'll pull out the silk threads and the linen again some time soon.

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