Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Step 1- Hardanger

Lesson 1
So, several months ago, I was reading Susan Elliott's blog Plays With Needles, that mentioned something about being a Master Needle Artist, or maybe it was Master Stitcher.  I'll never find her exact reference without reading her every word.  Again.  Anyways, she spoke about needle artistry like you could get a degree in it or something.  I was like, hold the damn phone!  What?!  This was a super exciting thought to me.
Lesson 2

I know not many people would get excited about this.  I told Rich if I'd known that was an option, I'd have my doctorate by now!  Dr. Heather Maureen Mantz, Master Stitcher.  I can see it now!     I have NEVER known what I wanted to be when I grew up.  This is it folks.  These are my ambitions.  Obviously, I'm not in any position to pay for stitching school.  Or, know where to go to do that. Does it even exist?  But, I decided I could master stitching on my own.

My first step would be Hardanger.  So, I Googled how to Hardanger.  I found the Needle Tips and Techniques Website.  She's got some wonderful little tutorials.  I admit, I needed YouTube for backup but, I managed.

Lesson 3
The thing with Hardanger is, you've got to focus and keep count.  Not my strong point, as you know.  I stitched and restitched lesson 1 a number of times.  When you go to cut threads, if you've miscounted by one, you're screwed.

I thought I was doing pretty great by lesson 3 but then I cut my thread while I was cutting around the outside of my bookmark.  Dag nabit!  However, I did not care enough at that point to start over.  Just using it as a teaching moment, says the home schooling mom...
I thought lesson 4 turned out well.

Now, I've got a few questions I need  answered.  When do you decide you know how to do a technique?  To say I've mastered Hardanger, I probably need several years of experience.  At the very least, a large project.  Right?

Second question, what the heck do I do with these tiny little squares?  I'm never going to use a Hardanger bookmark.  Pincushions?  Ornaments?  Crazy quilt block?  I just don't know.  This is why I give so much away.  I make, and I make, and I make, with no actual point other than to make something pretty.

So, today is my first day of lay off.  I only work 8 hours a week for the next 6 weeks.  Oh, how I LOVE this time of year!  Today will be a day of organizing and list making.  My first list will be techniques to become a master stitcher.  What's required before I can become a know-it-all stitcher?

1.  cross-stitch ✔️    Many years of projects
2.  embroidery✔️     Many years of projects
3.  Hardanger✔️       Dipped my toes in
4.  red work✔️         Made a Christmas quilt
5.  black work
6.  gold work
7.  Sashiko
8.  Brazilian embroidery
9.  Tatting
10.  white work
11.  Needle Point
12.  Crewel

What am I missing?  Does 4, 5, 6, and 10 really count or are they just subdivisions of 2?  Although, Plays With Needles is doing some amazing work in gold that looks nothing like your average embroidery project.  Tatting may not qualify for this list.  But, it's on my list of things to learn.  I just need to get my hands on one of those little do-dads and I'll be off to the races!  I've also been able to check crazy quilting off my list in the past 6 months.  Which, theoretically, could be used with all the techniques listed...

So there you have it.  Prepare to hear a lot from me over the next few weeks!

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