Today I took a very informative and practical class at Hedgehog Stitchery on a type of Norwegian embroidery called Hardanger. It had always looked difficult and scary because you have to cut holes into the piece. However, under the capable tutelage of Joanne (Jo) Gatenby, a Canadian stitchery designer and proprietor of X's and Oh's, an online cross-stitch shop, the seven of us learned the four basic types of stitches and were on our way. In the morning we practiced the kloster block, buttonhole stitch, woven bars and eyelets. It is neither 'hard' nor was I ever in 'danger'.
After supper, I couldn't wait to get to my stitching and in about 4 hours (including ripping out mistakes, looking for a beading needle and thread, feeding the cat, watching Alabama beat LSU in overtime, etc.) I made this Christmas ornament:
It measures about 3 1/2 inches across.
And here's a closeup of the bottom part.
It's 22 count fabric, which means there are 22 threads to the inch. It's pretty fiddly stuff but on this special fabric called hardanger cloth it's pretty easy to see the holes.
The stitch around the edges is the buttonhole stitch and tomorrow when I'm not so tired, I will cut away all the fabric around the outside. The blocks that are 5 stitches wide are the kloster blocks and are the foundation of hardanger. The red stars are the eyelets. The red portions between the open squares are called woven bars and the red threads in the open squares are called dove eyes.
The pictures are crappy - bad lighting. The fabric and threads are actually white. Better pictures will follow.
I met some very nice ladies today and was invited to join the local stitchery guild which meets the third Wednesdays of the month. If I remember, I'll go on the 19th.