Ask Roz: How should you start your thread on a Hardanger piece?

Roz I’ve just come back from time spent with my daughter in Canberra (being thoroughly spoilt) and found several newsletters from you. I have been intrigued with the Hardanger question and answer section. My question is – I’ve been asked by a friend to teach her Hardanger. When I first started I was told that to start off I should knot my thread and then move to the beginning – later threading the beginning thread under my stitches. Then a Dutch friend told me I should make a small back stitch under the first Kloster block and hide it with my stitches. I don’t want to teach the wrong method to my friend. I’ve searched all my books but no where can I find any instructions on “How to start”. Any suggestions?

With regard to your suggestion regarding fray stop – may I emphasize that the fray stop should not go over the stitches. I used it on an early piece and with time the edges of my article have gone “yellow.”

Thanks for making my Mondays so enjoyable with your newsletters.

Regards from Australia – Joan Luck

Roz Answers:

Thank you for your email Joan. I would suggest one of two ways.

  1. The "waste knot" is not a bad idea when first beginning Hardanger. Insert the needle an inch and a half away from your starting point a little bit in from the edge of the fabric. After a few blocks have been stitched, cut off the knot, re-thread the needle with the end, and run it behind the finished blocks on the back of the work.

  2. When a person is more familiar with Hardanger and comfortable with the stitches, what I do is to hold the tail of the thread on the back in the directions your stitches will go and stitch over it for 5-6 blocks. I’ve just eliminated the need to later cut the knot and re-thread it and run it through the back of the stitched blocks.

I hope this helps. Thank you so much for writing.

If you have a Hardanger question, just ask Roz!

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