Sunday, 18 October 2009

Wrapping bars

This stitch in hardanger can only be done after you have cut away the fabric. You should have fabric left open with only one direction of thread - this is the fabric that needs wrapping to prevent it from fraying away.

The chart diagrams usually show wrapping as small lines close together like this:

After attaching your thread (and it's usually a size smaller than your kloster block thread) you should bring your needle up through the centre of the fabric. The stitch is worked in a figure of eight;

up the centre, down the outside, up the centre again, down the opposite outside.

These photos show each needle movement, (I have no idea why the second photo is on its side, sorry).
There is no specific amount of wrapping but you should make sure the stitches sit close together and that you do pull quite tightly. This is the completed square.

If you are practicing on your square of large fabric I suggest you use the large size thread, but remember to use a smaller size on your bookmarks.
Happy stitching

Sunday, 6 September 2009


On the chart the places to cut are shown as blank areas. You will need to cut the edges of this area and pull through the loose threads. There are many methods to do this; these are just two. You will need sharp scissors and if you are going to do more hardanger I would recommend special hardanger scissors which have a slightly curved blade on the tip.

If this is the first time you have done any cutting practice on the sample square first. All the photos are worked on the sample square.

Method 1.

You will be cutting from the back of your work. This is because when you cut the thread you are lifting it slightly from you work and if you cut from the front it can leave more ends standing proud.

Turning your work over check which square needs cutting (remember on the reverse you will not always have the five threads in your kloster blocks). Cut the base fabric threads around the area. It should look like this from the front:

Repeat this for all the areas needed.
Pull all the small threads out that run across the three sides of the small squares you have cut; then pullthe longer threads which will run right across your work and will reveal any onner blank squares. You may finds it easier to do this with tweezers.

Method 2.

You will be cutting from the front with this method. Firstly cut across the inner side of the square you want blank (that's the side with no kloster block). The scissors show where the hole has been cut. Using a needle release the fabric thread right back to your stitching. Cut down the centre of the remains fabric threads and pull them all back to the kloster blocks. This photo shows all the threads pulled back.
Pull the thread high between the kloster blocks, some will need pulling up on the front of your work, some down on the back. This can be all the fabric threads in one strand or can be split,the sample fabric is split two up two down.

Cut each strand as close as you can to the kloster thread, revealing your blank square.

Repeat this for all the blank squares, but with this method any centre square will not be revealed.

Pull through the longer threads that have cut ends on the open sides of your blank squares. This will then reveal your inner holes.
If anyone coming to Nuneaton and would like help with the cutting using either method please let me know.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Blanket Stitch

The Blanket (outer edge) stitching needs completing before any cutting or speciality stitches are worked.The cutting around the edge of the bookmark is done once the bookmark is complete.

Blanket Stitch looks like continuous Kloster Blocks but with an outer edge, and is stitched using the same size thread. Use the small piece of 14ct to practise before starting the bookmark.If your stitching is a stitch over or under in width, your bookmark will fall apart when you cut the edge. The outer corner can be quite tricky to keep on line so it may help to practise first.

Blanket stitch is best worked clockwise as the corded edge lies more evenly; the chart instructions highlight where to begin stitching.

To begin come up the hole before your first stitch, shown above as a diamond. Go down the inner (open) side (1) of the next stitch and up the outer edge (2).Your thread must wrap round the needle to make the corded edge. Continue by going down at (3).

To form an outer corner, blanket stitch as normal but use the same inner hole (A), changing direction after 5 stitches. You can check the corner is correct as the new direction should have the same thickness of stitch (over 4 holes).

To perform an inner corner, blanket stitch as normal and use the outer hole (A) again for the edge of the new turned stitch. You need to come up to the left of your thread to form the wrapped edge.

Cast on and off the same way as for kloster blocks. To finish a thread, loop over the outer edge of the last stitch and go back down the same outer hole; cast off. To begin a new thread come up the same outer hole but to the left of the stitch, your thread will then wrap over when you begin stitching.
This is how your blanket stitch and corners should look. The lower stitching (two colour) shows how the start a new thread.

This is how your stitching should look on the reverse. You can use the back to check you have not gone off line at the outer corner - this can easily happen as the stitching is close together.

Happy stitching.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Kloster Blocks

This tutorial is for stitchers who have not done any kloster blocks before. These blocks of stitches form the basis of Hardanger Embroidery.

Use a small square of 14ct aida to practise; 4" x 4" is ideal. You will need to use Perle 5# (this is slightly too big for 14ct but will clearly show you how to form the stitches).

Use this chart to make a small diamond of kloster blocks

and this diagram to show you how to stitch. You will work clockwise round the diamond.
You need to keep your stitching in blocks being careful not to have diagonal stitches across the back when turning a corner or to come up the adjacent hole instead of the opposite side of the block.

This is how your stitching should look from the front.

and this is the correct back.
To cast on and off pass your thread under two stitches then back over one, repeat until you feel it is secure.

You should have 5 stitches per block on the front. You can have 3, 4 or 6 stitches on the back - do not worry this is correct so long as you have blocks and no diagonal or adjacent stitches.

This back is incorrect, there should be no diagonal at the top and the bottom left block has adjacent stitches which will come undone when cut.

Good luck with your kloster blocks.