Haunted Hardanger by Michelle Ink Designs

A Project A Day – Counted embroidery work is my main hobby and I have a huge stitching stash. Some of these projects are huge and take years to stitch, and while others are quick projects, I often spend months without stitching at all. So while I have hundreds in my stash, only a half-dozen ever see attention any given year.  To address this imbalance in 2012 I will each day write about one project languishing in my stash.

Haunted Hardanger by Michelle Ink Designs

Copyright Michelle D Arsenault 2006, Distributed by Sitting Pretty Presents

Michelle Ink Designs Sitting Pretty Presents

Haunted Hardanger by Michelle Ink Designs

Chart: Chart does not break design in logical places nor is there any indication or overlap so its difficult in places to find where the chart sections line up.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitches, satin stitch, kloster blocks, needleweaving, cornered doves eyes, woven bars, straight stitches and lazy daisies.

Materials: Thread Gatherer silks, Gloriana silks, Gentle Art cottons, ThreadworX cottons, Kreinik metallics and includes three metal charms. Stitched on Picture This Plus 32ct “Tarnish” Linen.

Designer’s Notes: “By special request, a haunted house to go with another piece of mine – All Things Halloween. I was told I have an eclectic use of hardanger in my designs and being as I had a hardanger witch – I was to build her a house! So here it is – ghost, owl and my witch’s broom to boot!”

Why I was attracted to this design: I love “Gothic” designs.  A good haunted house is always sure to attract my interest.  I’ve also been interested for years in expanding my repertoire into hardanger but I’m not interested in doilies – so this seemed the perfect answer!  Again I’ve lusted after this one for years but only acquired it into the stash recently.

So why haven’t I stitched it?  Like Love Potion #9, I finally acquired this chart as part of the Needle Delights closing down sale bargains in November 2011.  I have some of the threads in my stash, but not all, nor do I have the fabric for this one.  The main old-up for this chart is the chart and instructions.  I could scrape together the money for the rest of the materials when necessary but I’ve been reluctant as I feel the Hardanger instructions are written for an experienced hardanger stitcher.  The written instructions are sketchy, many of the diagrams are completely unlabeled. This was not written for a nervous first-timer.  No this chart will be buried into the stash until I stitch a few other Hardanger designs and gain a familiarity with the styles and concepts.  Thankfully I have a series of instructions written by my friend Mariann to work through and at least one design by the lovely Abi Gurden who is a fantastic teacher.  Once I’ve worked through those, I should feel confident enough to come back to this.

Where can you buy it? This can be bought via your LNS or directly from Stitching Pretty Presents for $18US.

Discussion questions: Am I being chicken?  Should I just finish kitting this up and stitch up the cross stitch section and then ask for help?  Or am I making the sensible decision in leaving it for later?  It’s not as if I have a dearth of other projects waiting for their turn to be stitched that would be easier to do … Has anyone stitched this?  Thoughts? Comments?

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13 Responses to Haunted Hardanger by Michelle Ink Designs

  1. rocalisa says:

    The Hardanger looks fairly basic (says this non-expert in Hardanger, but I have done some). It’s mostly just needlewrapping so that you can cut out those big window spaces, then the smaller spaces don’t look like their fill stitches are too awful. It’s not so much the stitching that’s scary when it comes to Hardanger – it’s the cutting! This one looks to have scary cutting, but so long as it’s done carefully and logically (ie look at where the stitches are wrapped and check you ended off anywhere you going to cut the fabric) it isn’t as horrible as it seems.

    I don’t know if that ended up helpful or scary, but I meant well.

    Hmm, while I’m struggling to stitch, maybe I could do a little Hardanger? I have an only partly begun one that’s been sitting around for ages. (I have so many things that have been sitting around for ages. Sorry, feeling at bit sorry for myself as I got out Defender of the Kingdom today and could barely manage 10 or 20 stitches before having to stop. Sigh.)

    • Mel says:

      Kerry, You have every right to feel a little down (HUGS) !!!! More Hugs!!!!!

      Maybe some Hardanger might be a good change of pace for you? What would you lose by trying? Depends on what school holiday activities your little Master has planned for today no doubt 🙂

      • rocalisa says:

        Happily, the little Master in question has just discovered Star Wars novelisations. I’ve been bidding up a storm on the local online auction site to try to get the ones he’s missing. That way he’s got six to get through, which should give me some peace.

        Dave put on the sports channels for me, so I do have the option of lying on the sofa and watching cricket and tennis, but I get so ansty. I want to do something with my hands. So I may dig out that Hardanger and give it a try. Or not. We’ll see what happens.

  2. Sue Trescott says:

    Have you stitched Abi’s Little Lace Hardanger? I bought some Victoria Samplers with hardanger in them,but when I looked at the charts I was somewhat lost! However I’ve nearly finished Little Lace (Abi’s instructions are great) and I don’t feel daunted at trying the samplers now. I’ve put one in my Crazy JC so I will get to it. Maybe a thought for you, and if you use 20 count fabric it might be easier for your poor head! Lets hope the gynae can help xxx
    Hugs from France
    Sue T

    • Mel says:

      Sue, Abi’s Little Lace Hardanger was the exact piece I was alluding to. I started it once upon a time but got stuck somehow. I found the Perle 8 too bulky for the 25ct fabric I was using. You have a great idea – maybe I should raid mum’s stash of 20ct. She’s at work today {rubs hands and plots evil thoughts}

  3. Nancy Jones says:

    Mel, is it the pain that’s getting in the way of your stitching? Is it more therapeutic to write? Nothing wrong with it at all because I enjoy your writing! Maybe you should just sit down and write a book. Not that this isn’t a good step to that, but maybe something different, a new twist, will hold you till you get to the gyney. I’m so in hopes he/she will have some experience in any hormonal causes of migraine or will be inclined to research any cases of such. I’m sure you have thoroughly researched it yourself.

    How is your health system in Australia? If we don’t have health insurance here, we either do without health care (like my daughter and family) or we can own nothing to qualify for help, and it’s getting harder for some to get doctors to treat them. It’s a real problem here. I know you’re unable to work. Is there any financial help for those who are disabled? Because you ARE. Bless your heart! I wish there was some way to help you!

    • Mel says:

      Nancy, It’s not the pain directly, it’s the secondary effects. When the migraines are bad I lose my fine eyesight – my ability to focus. So I can stitch away but when the pain calms down to a dull roar I can see that my tension was all over the place, my stitches were everywhere, I ws stitching by feel, not by sight.

      Also when the pain is bad I find it difficult to think so I can’t read sentence or follow a new direction. In those cases I find I can write down my own thoughts easier than I can follow someone else’s train of thought or instruction. It’s not obvious to someone in another timezone, but all of my blog posts are written by lunchtime. As a combination of the pain and the drugs I’m on, I lose my vocabulary as the day go on and the frustration levels rise as I hunt for words and names of objects so I know not to bother after I stop for lunch each day. Only a few close friends even ring me on the phone after that timer and they are patient and used to long pauses as I grope for words.

      Also as a supervisor and manager at work for so many years, writing reports are second nature to me, so the Porject-A-Day and Book Reviews are easy for me to write because they are reports. I can do those in my sleep. Making a long piece of work interesting like a book would be too dificult for me – if I wrote a book on my health it would come out like a technical report, because that’s how I write. It takes me a lot of effort to inject the human element into my writing. Hence why there’s very very little creative writing here. I’m primarily a technical writer 🙂

      So long story, short version: I’m playing to my strengths in an effort to keep communicating with people as best I can and not sink into the black hole of depression again.

  4. Lana says:

    Hey, Mel! Hardanger doilies aren’t just for sitting on tables. You can also frame them or make them up into things like pillows.

    • Mel says:

      Oh I’m sure you can Lana! Just having lots of Grandma’s doilies handed down through the family, I didn’t want to compete; I wanted to make something different. Sorry I didn’t make that clear. My grandmother died when I was 4 so I never got the chance to learn from her but she was a superb embroiderer. She also taught me to count by playing cards 🙂

      • Lana says:

        I can understand that. It sounds like your grandmother was a nifty lady. I like her choice of method for teaching you to count. 🙂

  5. Sisu says:

    Mel, since Hardnager works up fairly fast, I would just use a scrap piece of fabric and give one of the windows a try by itself. That way you can experiment as you learn and no risk to a nearly complete project. But personally, I would hold off on this until you get a couple simple kloster block and wrapped bars done to get the feel of it. The length of the wrapped bars in those windows can make them look very uneven if you haven’t had a bit of practice with tension of hardanger.

    • Mel says:

      Oh I thinkk wrapped bars are out of my league – especially with her sketchy diagrams. I’ll put this one away until I get familiar with the techniques. Most of these I have never attempted yet.

  6. Susan Simko says:

    Check out Nordic Needle for some of their Hardanger instructions. I refer to them a lot when stitching hardanger. In fact, I have several of them printed out and laying on the couch beside me as I stitch the birth sampler, My Child’s Heart, for my new granddaughter. 🙂

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