I’ve heard a lot of times that many don’t try Hardanger, because they find it too difficult to handle. They love it, but because it looks very complicated, they are afraid. I’ve to admit, Hardanger can be challenging and intricate with stitches, but it can also be done very easily. You can produce the most beautiful pieces with only a handful of basic stitches, nice threads and a simple linen.
Carol Leather is doing wonderful, easy to work designs. She provides a basic Hardanger Class and a beginner’s guide on her site. You can also find a free Hardanger Design with full instructions on the website of Caron Collections. It is a beautiful little design and easy to work. You’ll be surprised what you can produce if you try.
Have you ever tried Hardanger in colour instead the traditional cream on cream or white on white colours? You’ll be surprised what you can achieve with subtle shaded threads and different materials. You can change nearly every design into something different by exchanging the traditional colours against something you like. Check out Enchanting Threads for classic examples for the use of colours. Dinky Dyes produces wonderful high quality Perles (only available invariegated) in 3 different thicknesses and silks in beautiful variegated and single colours. Check their website and be carried away by the beautiful colours.
I also found that adding beads, metallic threads and crystals to Hardanger pictures or samplers are a fantastic addition. Janet Davies from JMD Designs in New Zealand has created some lovely designs. They are colourful and some contain beads as well. Her little snowy owl embroidered in a beautiful subtle shaded thread with beading is just adorable.