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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Two books divided by four centuries

 

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“The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608” is one of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s greatest treasures. Aside from “Shakespeare’s First Folio”, it is the only book in the collection to have had an entire exhibition devoted to it, in 2004.

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Its five hundred and ninety-four oversized pages depict life in Shakespeare’s England in all of its brilliant complexities – from the mythical to the mundane, the poetical to the practical, the religious to the secular.

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Thomas Trevelyon, the compiler, was a skilled scribe and pattern-maker who had access to a stunning variety of English and European woodcuts, engravings, broadsides, almanacs and emblem books which he transformed from small monochrome images into large and colourful feasts for the eyes.

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Ostensibly created for the entertainment, education and edification of his friends and family, Trevelyon’s miscellany is a lifetime achievement that continues to delight and mystify modern audiences, with its familiar scenes of domesticity and husbandry intertwined with epic Protestant and political epitomes: accounts of the rulers of England and the Gunpowder Plot, descriptions of local fairs, the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge and astronomy according to Ptolemy, illustrations of the nine muses and the seven deadly sins, of Old Testament history and household proverbs and whimsical flowers, alphabets and embroidery patterns.

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This massive volume provides an exciting and unparalleled snapshot of the passions, concerns and everyday interests of a highly talented London commoner.

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It is a monumental work that was intended to be both studied and enjoyed, its pages turned and savoured.

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If you would like to study  Thomas Trevelyon’s 1608 Miscellany, Folger Shakespeare museum has made it AVAILABLE online. Embroidery patterns seem to start on page 9 although many of the images throughout the book would lend themselves to motifs.

 

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Most needleworkers will have heard of Yvette Stanton who is a highly respected needlework teacher and author of needlework books. Many will have her books in their library and will be delighted to hear that Yvette’s eighth book, and her second on Hardanger embroidery will be released in June 2016.

Early-style or traditional Hardanger embroidery is different from much of the Hardanger that is being worked today and the book will:-

  • Distinguish what makes early-style Hardanger different from contemporary Hardanger.
  • Help you to understand how to correctly and accurately work the stitches and techniques of this traditional-style embroidery.
  • Provides both left- and right-handed instructions are included.
  • Learn to avoid problems, and have the self-assurance to fix any mistakes you make.
  • Will give you the confidence to use your new skills to create ten attractive early-style Hardanger embroidery projects.

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For more information and to pre-order your copy click HERE. As soon as we have our copy we will be back with a detailed review and a project from the book.

 

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We will never share your details.