Tag: hardanger

SAL July 16

It’s already SAL time again! Our group of stitching enthusiasts work at our own pace, on our own pieces. We use our three week check in to help us stay on task, and keep progressing on our individual pieces. We live all over the world, and welcome new folks. If you would like to join, contact Avis, is the communications lead for the group.

I am reproducing a copy of a hardanger piece my grandmother stitched as a teen/ young woman in Norway. The original is over 100 years old, and in wonderful shape. I am planning to enter this piece in the Nordic Needle contest next spring, if they will accept it. (I didn’t design the piece, so they may decline it, but I’m hoping they will accept it in my Grandmother’s name.) I entered a piece for the experience last year, and of course I didn’t make the finals, but I recently learned that I will receive a copy of the winner’s patterns, which is even better!ūüėć

Enough on the back story….

Here is where I was:

Here’s where I am now! Yes, I actually worked on this in the car on the way home from our recent camping trip, though I waited until we got to town and could make sure my hands were CLEAN!

I am closing in on the second round; it is going much faster than I expected, and best of all no major ripping!! Last time so many asked bout the original, I’m including a photo here.

I encourage to visit the rest of our group, and see all the amazing things that people are working on.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina,
Susan, Helen, Margaret, Cindy, Steph, Linda, Catherine,  Mary Margaret, Timothy

SAL Update – June 25

Welcome to the Stitch Along hosted by Avis and company! We are an eclectic group of stitchers that work on individual projects and use the SAL as a way to keep our momentum, and encourage each other. I love this group! We live all around the world, so check back throughout the day to see what everyone has been working on!

My current project is to recreate my Grandmother’s hardanger piece, created between 1895 and 1905, when she was a teen/young lady living near Mo i Rana, Norway. It measures 25 inches square, and I expect I’ll be working on it for a long time.

Last update, I had barely started, so no photo…(imagine a white cloth)

I have made some progress. I did not bring it during our recent trek to California, because I have learned the hard way, that stitching hardanger in the car is NOT a good idea! It doesn’t look like a lot of stitches, because that first square requires a lot of checking, counting and following of threads across the gap, to make certain the threads will match. I was pretty excited when I came around the final corner, and was on the money!

So, here’s my progress!


Check out what everyone else has been working on with these links.

MargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherineWendyMary MargaretTimothy

Cleaning out the Drawer…

And what did I find? Several pieces of needlework that were languishing in the drawer because they were in need of a frame or something so they could be displayed or used.  I decided that my afternoon would be devoted to emptying this drawer of at least a few items!

The first two were framed and ready to go, it was their larger partner that had hit a snag; it was an odd size, and I couldn’t see my way clear to have a frame custom built, knowing that I could never match the smaller two.

I pulled out a frame I had picked up at the thrift store, and took some bits of paint, giving it a somewhat gilded appearance. It doesn’t match the others in style, and it will require a mat, so I don’t think an exact match of frame color will be necessary. While it was drying, I used some leftover batting and got the cross stitch ready to mount. Fortunately I had a mat that was close to the right size, allowing me to test the width of the borders. I found the dark rose color from my threads, and once the frame was dry I measured it for the mat. A visit to Hobby Lobby to have my mat cut, and I have a trio of flowers to hang, probably in the living room.

I also found a piece of hardanger that I had DSCN0728completed and never hung, probably because I lacked a frame and a mat. I decided the best alternative was to turn it into a pillow. While perusing my fabric stash, I remembered I had some left over canvas from my messenger bag project, so I used that for the hardanger backing. I found a piece of faux duiponi in the fabric stash, so cut out pieces for the back from that. I had stuffing downstairs, sent by my MIL to make stuffed animals with (never did), so I put it to use as well. The resulting pillow looks great in the chair I reupholstered several Christmases ago.

Finally, I took one of the “knot head” pieces I stitched years ago and constructed a round pillow from it, utilizing fabric once used for covering the sofa pillows during the holidays. It was always too dark, so I traded for a cream and gold fabric last year. Even though it is a holy berry print, it is so dark you really have to look, and being on the back, why not! The stuffing filled that pillow as well, with plenty left over for whatever project I try next! DSCN0729

I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself, making some of my languishing projects into something that can be out and used instead of laying in storage! Even better, the only thing I bought was the mat (with a 40% off coupon). A well spent afternoon. ūüėÉ

Nordic Needle Contest

One of my long time goals has been to participate in the Nordic Needle Hardanger Contest. I finally completed a piece last year, then forgot to do the paperwork, so this year I am determined! All it takes is a little time on my part. I have no illusions of making the pattern book, mind you, but I want to participate. This store is a huge reason that people across the country know about this form of stitchery, and I love the idea of being a part of that legacy. dscn0575

So, I have pulled out my piece and taken the required photographs and completed the entry form. I will print the best photo and send it off. My piece is very traditional in size and shape, with a variety of stitches in the diamonds and some edelweiss flowers done in the very center.



Hardanger Bookmark

I love hardanger and I hate hardanger. I love looking at it, and I love stitching it when I finally make it all the way around the piece and have correctly counted my threads. I hate it when I am ripping, and there is usually  quite a bit of that if I am out of practice! Right now, I am definitely rusty, so over Christmas I stitched up a little bookmark for my “Book Anaconda,” or Girl #2. She reads constantly, and is one of the few college students I have ever met that is reading outside of her classes.

This was a fun opportunity to try some variegated perle cotton. I am generally a traditionalist, sticking to white on white or maybe a light colored cloth with white or ecru thread, so this was an eye opener for me. I got the thread during the Hancocks close out, so there was just the one skein, so I didn’t want anything very big. The colors are some of Girl#2’s favorites, so it was a perfect experiment.

I used a scrap left over from Girl#1’s delft sampler, so had to adjust things a bit. Because of that the shape is a little odd, but it will certainly mark the page.

I made it up as I went, so the symmetry isn’t great, but it was a great way to practice. I definitely needed it, there was quite a bit of ripping at one point, so I’m hoping I got some of that out of the way before my next big project. Stay tuned, it will be epic!

My Bestemor


That would translate to grandma in English! Josephine Marie Pederson was born in Wisconsin, but her family moved back to Norway when she was nine months old. She lived on a farm near Mo, up in Nordland, right on the Arctic Circle. She immigrated to the U.S. when she was 25, eventually married my Grandpa Gustav Jacobson, and had nine children, of which my mom was #8; the first to speak English before Norwegian.

I never met my Grandma, she passed away when my mom was 25. She was born in 1883, and died in 1950. I have pictures of a small woman with a strong jaw and glasses…knitting. Evidently, she read books while she knitted, and didn’t even look up to count stitches. She was very fast; she probably had to be with nine kids to keep in socks and mittens! My mom said she did beautiful handwork, though most of it had been finished before she was married.

When my bachelor uncle died, the aunties emptied the old farmstead and divided up any items that my Grandma had made, and my mom drew the lot for the pile with the hardanger in it. This peice, pictured above, is over 100 years old, and is stunning! Since receiving it from my mother, it has mostly lived in my cedar chest, coming out for special occasions. There is a corner that needs repaired, so I don’t use it often. My hope is to recreate the pattern and make a twin for my sister.

While I never met my Grandma, I did have a spectacular opportunity to experience my Norske heritage as an International 4-H Youth Exchange Representative right after college. During those six months I absorbed as much handwork as I could, learning how to knit, crochet, sew hardanger, craft a bund, and prepare lefse, flatbrod, blotkake and even speak Norwegian–badly.

My Nordland bunad, shown above,  has a linen blouse, a dress made from a heavy, coarse wool, with an apron and shawl made from cotton and linen. The collar and cuffs have white work that mimics the pattern on the skirt. The sewing construction included square cut sleeves with a square godet in the underarm and a pleating technique that is very measured, To gather in fullness at the shoulders and cuffs of the blouse and the waistband of the skirt. My mother helped me by embroidering the leaves on the skirt. Though her arthritic fingers hampered her once fine abilities, it is the only sample I have of her stitching, so I treasure it all the same.

While in Norway, I learned that roots really do run deep…my second cousin picked me out of a crowd of 100 at camp, because I looked like a Jacobson. Even more surprising, my host families thought I’d learned Nowegian at home, because my accent was from Nordland! Crazy stuff!! I will be forever grateful to my host moms who made sure I learned the important cultural things they thought my grandma would have deemed important to pass on. That included baking, which you can enjoy through my host mom Aud’s blog.

Those modern ladies ensured that I would be able to pass on my Grandma Jacobson’s heritage to my daughters. Ironically, my eldest attended St. Olaf College, a small liberal arts school in Minnesota founded by Norwegian farmers who didn’t speak English, and my youngest has a dear friend at her college that is Norwegian! And so it goes…