NEWBIE’S HARDANGER -- It’s not so very hard
pic caption: this is the back of a doiley i made called Flame of the Forest (renamed from a Nordic Needle pattern). It's useful to remember that the back of any hardanger piece is supposed to be as close and neat as possible as the front.
Part 1: What you need
Fabric. Hardanger is most often used on 22-count fabric (sometimes called Oslo), as well as various even weaves and linens. Thus, popular counts are as follows: 22, 25, 28 and 32.
Threads. Perle cotton is most often used. Perle no. 5 (whether DMC/Anchor or other brands) comes in a skein, while Perle no 8 or 12 comes in a ball.
The general rule is, the larger the number, the thinner the thread.
Needles. Usually used with tapestry needles, size 24 (generally for kloster blocks and blanket stitches, esp if you use Perle no. 5) and Size 26 (usually for needle weaving)
Scissors. A sharp slim-ended pair is best for cutting so you can slip it between the threads and snip them carefully. Hardanger scissors have a curve to them, but you can use any fine embroidery scissors.
Part 2: Kloster wha-???
These are made from satin stitches. A block of them in fives, are called kloster blocks. When you make these, there should be (in theory) three holes or four threads between where your needle goes up or down.
You only stitch them in one direction. Don’t try to save extra thread -- If your stitches go from down to up, that’s the way it always needs to be within that rung, or it will be a costly lesson in time and effort when you cut!
You can also make satin stitches to make floral patterns (like that Caron website thingy we're going to SAL)
Another rule is, your backs (unlike HAED backs) have to be as neat as possible, and closest thing to a mirror image with the front because a lot of pieces end up as doilies,etc
Here's how I did a mini sampler of a kloster block. We'll eventually turn it into a woven bar.
We start out making three kloster blocks. 3 of em, before we move horizontally.
Up next: Cutting and weaving