I cut the threads and got most of the bars wrapped last night.
Only 6 more bars to wrap, then on to the dove's eyes.
I do plan to assemble the test piece (on white fabric) first before tackling the good piece. I have all the required materials.
So far it's been pretty fun. I'm pleased to have a Hardanger project than can be useful as the many doily, table runner, and table cloth patterns aren't really things I'd ever use in my home.