Tenerife Lace

I have been to Tenerife for holidays many times, and have always admired Tenerife Lace in the craft shops.   I mentioned in my post on November 17th that some of the work in these shops looks like Hardanger.   Hung on the wall is a large piece of fabric which shows how it is done.   The threads are cut first!   So it is drawn thread work.  For someone who was numerically challenged with Kloster Blocks, this was  revelation.   I went back to the shops the last time I was there, and bought this piece so I could look at it  and maybe do something similar for gifts or fundraisers.   I’m not sure about the blue tassel.  I may take it off, and possibly replace it with a white one, or none at all.  A bookmark doesn’t need any extra thickness.  This will be my bookmark for when I am reading embroidery books.

I really enjoyed the meeting at Huddersfield Embroiderers’ Guild this week.  We had  a fuddle and I must say the spread was impressive.   Of course,  I ate more tha I should have, but that is normal at this time of year for most of us.  So I  am trying to walk a bit more and have even done some aerobics to trry not to gain too much weight over the ‘Festive Season’.

I had a look at the library, and found a book on Tenerife Lace.  There doesn’t seem to be much about the drawn thread work,  more about weaving  motifs, typically circular , but some square.  Larger ones could be mounted and framed, or used as a decoration for clothes or useable items.

Our speaker in the afternoonwas Claire Tinsley, who runs ‘Hannah’s Room’.  Quilts are not my thing, but I enjoyed looking at and hearing about all the lovely quilts she brought to show us.  One of these days, when I have a really good design idea, I may get round to doing one myself.

December 16, 2011. Tags: , , , . Drawn thread, Embroidery, Hardanger. Leave a comment.

Hardanger Filling Stitches

I’ve been trying more filling stitches, and woven bars with picots.  I’ve decided that Hardanger Embroidery is not really my thing, but having given it a try, I have a small project in mind, as a present for Christmas .

The piece I have done so far is a piece of fabric cut to size so that it can go with my other stitch samples, and another piece of fabric has been cut so that I can do the sampler from the Anchor Book of Hardanger Embroidery.  I am not proposing to photograph the work done so far, as it is not ‘pretty’.  It was not planned out, and some of the stitching is definitely that of a learner!

In the meantime…..

Progress has been made on the design front.   I have prepared the wherewithal on which to embroider my peacock.  I have ironed very fine layers of dyed silk hanky onto a piece of cotton, and basted a piece of shimmery gold organza over it.  The effect is sumptuous.  It took a whole afternoon of messing around to get it right.

When my husband saw one of the paisley designs,  he took an instant liking to it, and said it would make a nice cushion cover.  He rarely comments on designs and embroidery!  So I have found two pieces of silk dupion, to consider which will be best to use.  The design is still in it’s infancy, but I am sure it will be greatly influenced by Hazel Everett’s book.

I have also been looking at some Tenerife embroidery.  At first sight it looked like Hardanger,  but the large mounted piece which shows how it is done has the threads cut out first!  It seems to have the thread wound in and out of the spaces.  I will have to go to look at it again,  work out how it is done, and write another post about it.

November 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Embroidery, Hardanger. Leave a comment.

Books Part 2 – Stitches

I have a number of books which deal with stitches, and most of them have ideas or projects for using those stitches.   The one which is the exception is the first embroidery book I bought,  about 40 years ago,  when I went to London with my friend to buy my bridesmaid outfit for her wedding.   We found time to pop into the Needlewoman Shop in Regent Streeet.   The price on it 10p!   It is called 100 Embroidery Stitches, and at the bottom of the cover it says Anchor Embroidery Stitches.  It was published by Coats in 1967.   I wonder if this was the fore-runner of the other books I have in this post?

I have various Anchor books, and I think I acquired all of them on eBay.   My justification for having so many embroidery (and other craft)  books is that some of them were gifts,  and others were bought for less than their original value.   I do sell one or two from time to time (which creates funds to buy more).

Here is the list:

The Anchor Book of

Counted Thread Embroidery Stitches

Ribbon Embroidery

Hardanger Embroidery

The New Anchor Book of

Canvaswork Stitches and Patterns

Crewel Stitches and Patterns

Freestyle embroidery Stitches

Pulled thread Embroidery Stitches

I would recommend any of the above for their clarity,  excellent illustrations, and the range of patterns and designs .   The full price for them now is £7.99.

The last one today is one of my favourites,  The Embroiderer’s Handbook.   It is  Country Bumpkin book,  and if I had to recommend just one book for someone starting with embroidery, this would be it.   I love the glossy feel of the pages, and the way the book is scattered with examples how the stiches can be used, and little hints and tips.   It is well woth £16.99 of anyone’s money!

October 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , . crewel, Embroidery, Hardanger, ribbon embroidery, Silk Paper. Leave a comment.

Re Progress with Hardanger

To say progress is slow is an understatement of the facts.  At first I really struggled,  and I was just doing some Kloster Blocks.   What could be simpler?   It depends how good you are at counting threads to stitch over.   I spent a lot of time undoing the stitches which were wrong.

So I decided to stitch some motifs.  I still struggled because the sheen of the perle thread sometimes makes it look as if stitches at right angles to each other are not the same length, when they are.   Stars and ships emerged, and things were looking a bit better

Then I decided to try four sided stitch,  and that was not quite so bad.

So I got really  brave, and decided cut out some threads to do some woven bars – quite therapeutic.

Next was a bit of Cable stitch and Double Running stitch.

Having done those,  I was ready for some filling stitches.  Dove’s Eye, Twisted Bars, Spider’s Web  and Circular Filling stitch followed.  I really enjoyed doing these.

There are still more filling stitches to try,  which means going back to the Kloster Blocks again.

In the Anchor Book of Hardanger Embroidery there is a small sampler of stitches  (Hemstitch and Variations)  which would be good to try.


This is two small buts,  followed by a really big one.

I have been in design mode in between the Hardanger stitching, playing with paisley designs,  and another design with a peacock.  These may end up in the same project.  I have also resurrected a large piece of wool felt which has more wool embellished onto it.  This may end up being the background fabric, but on the other hand it might well be something completely different!

I have also been trying to get the garden ‘put to bed’  for the winter, and now is the best time to do it.   So I go out there and work away until my back tells me it has had enough.

Now for the big BUT.

I feel as if I am confessing to something really awful – my new book arrived a couple of hours ago.

It is Goldwork Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration by Hazel Everett.  I have had a quick look through, and I have to agree with Mary Corbet.  When she reviewed it,  (NeedlenThread.com  26th September)  she said,  “You Need this book”.  That was what made me decide to buy it rather than get it from the library.   I did seriously need it.

I don’t think there will be much stitching for a day or two.

October 24, 2011. Tags: , , , . Embroidery, Goldwork, Hardanger. Leave a comment.

What Hardanger?

The Hardanger just has not happened.  After a couple of days of generally putting it off,  I decided to make a scarf with some very fine ( about 1-ply) wool which I bought when Texere has  clearance sale a few weeks ago.   There are eight small balls, each weighing about 8 grams.  I tried three different knitting stitches, and each was pulled out.

Crochet scarf

So I went to my Vogue Dictionary of Crochet Stitches, to find something lacy.  I have included the crochet hook in the photo so you can see how fine it is.
 And this piece was pulled out,and started again with one less repeat of the pattern and a larger hook. because the scarf would not have been long enough.  So I am doing this and will get back to embroidery when it is finished. 
In the meantime, there was an interesting post about Hardanger on enbrouderie.com.  The beautiful piece is an advanced sampler from coffeebeansdailies.blogspot.com.  I have left the post notification in my email inbox, so that I am reminded to get on with the Hardanger . 
If you have an interest in Hardanger, do visit both these websites to see what I have been looking at!
Can anyone tell me why my font changes after I insert a photo, and either how to stop it, or how to change it back? – Thanks!

September 27, 2011. Tags: , . Crochet, Embroidery, Hardanger. Leave a comment.

More goldwork finished

You may have been wondering why I have not posted anything lately.  It is because I have been so busy with my goldwork.   I have really got hooked.

Yesterday it was the exhibition of work which our branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild holds every two years, and I really wanted to get it finished and framed. We had a great day and raised money for our local hospice.









At the beginning of the week was our monthly meeting, and we had our annual competition.  This was my entry.










The prize was won by a stunning picture of a lady, done in black cross stitch, from an old photo.  It could probably be described as blackwork.  If I had remembered to take my camera with me yesterday I would have been able to show you.

The last two evenings have been spent finishing some Christmas cards for a Christmas Fair at the beginning of  December.  Now I think I will finally get round to learning some Hardanger stitches.  I have rooted out some fabric, and my book, so I have no more excuses.

September 18, 2011. Tags: , , , . Embroidery, Goldwork, Hardanger. Leave a comment.

Stuck in the Doldrums

Now that I am back from the holiday, and the washing is done, the fridge filled, and most things are back to ‘normal’, I am finding it difficult to get back to embroidery.  The problem is that I don’t know where to start! 

I have spent some time trying to source the materials to make a hardanger table runner – not so easy.  It uses a 25 count evenweave, and a half metre would really be skimping.  When I finally found one place that could supply fabric in the intended shade, threads and a pair of hardanger scissors, and totted up the total, I was a little shocked.  Almost £50!

If I try to use a fabric of a different count, it might be cheaper, but I would have to adjust the pattern, because the size will be wrong.  Obviously there could be extra problems here.  Then I realised that, as I have never attempted Hardanger before, it might be an idea to try a small project first.  Think of the consequences of snipping out the wrong threads.

So I went upstairs to root out all my evenweave fabric, and I do have some of the same count.  The piece I have selected will do two mats, and these involve using most of the stitches used in the runner.

Over the next day or two I will prepare the fabric, and decide on what colours of thread I will use.  I will also obtain a pair of hardanger scissors, so that I can do the job properly.  But before I do that I will probably get out a small piece of Hardanger fabric (Oslo) and go through the Anchor Book of Hardanger Embroidery, trying out all the stitches.

In case you were wondering about the unfinished projects – I will probably finish another , and post some photos. And then I will probably do a post about the holiday project.

But (is anyone surprised?), I also have another project I need to add to my list.

Does anyone have useful tips for Hardanger?

June 22, 2011. Tags: , , . Embroidery, Hardanger. Leave a comment.