A book review – Early Style Hardanger by Yvette Stanton

Very few of us become proficient at a craft by instinct. If we wish to learn we need to find out as much as we can about the materials we need; the tools to use and the correct way to use them. Needlework is not just a question of a needle and some thread, but of which needle and what kind of thread, and how to use them once chosen. There are a multitude of stitches and techniques to discover and master.


I am a self taught needleworker and through Yvette’s earlier books I have become competent in Hardanger,  whitework and drawn thread work. I have come to appreciate the simple elegance of white on white. When there is no colour to distract, the pattern and texture formed by the stitching really comes to the fore.

I have been eagerly awaiting delivery of Yvette Stanton’s new book “Early Style Hardanger” since its publication was announced, and I have not been disappointed. This is a must have book for a needleworker’s library.


Normally I dip into books but I have been totally enthralled from the 1st to the 160th page, all of which are packed with over 1500 colour photos and diagrams.

There is so much to enjoy including a fascinating section on the history of hardanger. I found the chapter comparing the early style Hardanger and the modern day version particularly interesting. Early-style Hardanger is quite distinct from contemporary Hardanger. This historical style of embroidery has traditionally been used on the women’s clothing in the Hardangerfjord region, and was designed to emulate needle-made lace of the 1600s and 1700s.


The Projects chapter has 10 gorgeous projects that tempt. The small projects make wonderful learning pieces culminating in a traditional apron. The projects have well written finishing instructions and the pattern sheets come in a separate pack at the back on the book.


The section on “Stitches and Techniques”  opens with “where to start” which explains how to read a chart, the stitching order and how to find the starting point, all important basics that can often be overlooked.

Yvette guides the reader through this comprehensive section with right and left handed step by step stitch and technique instructions that are extremely clear and easy to follow supplemented by well drawn out illustrations.

Early Style Hardanger is now one of my “go-to” stitch reference books and can be found on my “special shelf” within arm’s reach of my stitching station.

The book is now available through needlework stores, and direct from  YVETTE.


Yvette Stanton is the publisher and designer behind Vetty Creations. Yvette is a highly respected tutor accredited by the Embroiderers Guild of NSW, and teaches embroidery classes, specialising in whitework at shops and guild groups around Australia.

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