Welcome to my blog about Home Arts Needlecraft Magazine! I "discovered" this publication about 2 years ago and fell in love with it to the extent that I had to start collecting issues as I ran across them. The magazine began publication with its September, 1909 premier issue, and continued through March, 1941. It has been interesting to follow the changes through the 30 plus years the magazine was published. It is a great source for needlework, fashion, recipes and short stories. Through my journey of sharing my issues online, I hope to discover a pattern of what was popular in different forms of needlecraft over the 3 decades. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I am (so far!) enjoying posting articles and projects from the issues. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Table-Runner in Hardanger Embroidery by Mrs. Stella Venard

(January, 1912, page 5)
This very handsome and artistic piece of work brings in the innovation of color – most attractive when one considers the use for which it is intended, a scarf or runner for the library or living-room table.  Three shades of one color are employed, light, medium and dark; and this color may accord with the other fittings of the room, thus entering harmoniously into the general scheme or tone.  For the model pink was sued; but green, wood-brown, delft-blue, or any desired color may be selected instead.
The scarf, too, may be of any length required, the border being carried along each side from one end to the other.  The piece illustrated is forty inches in length and twenty-five inches wide, and the foundation is of heavy-threaded scrim, eighteen threads to the inch, cream-color or unbleached.  For weaving the bars and for the lace-stitches No. 25 linen thread was used, and for the embroidery rope-linen or an equally heavy mercerized embroidery-cotton or rope silk; the latter would, of course, be especially handsome.
As has been suggested, it is wiser to at least outline an article of this kind on “the whole cloth,” before cutting to the required dimensions.  If cut, the edges should be carefully overcast to prevent raveling, and a sufficient allowance be made so that there will be enough material for working the complete pattern.  There can be nothing more vexing or disheartening than to find, when nearing the end or side, that there are lacking a few threads for the last stitches; and this is very apt to happen unless one is sure of the weave not alone of her own goods but of the fabric on which the work she is copying was done.  Hence at least one inch extra should be allowed, and it is better not to cut the goods at first, as suggested.
Commencing just halfway across the end of your scarf, and using the medium color, make a block of five stitches over four threads.  Directions for these blocks have been so many times given that it seems needless to repeat them.  Simply bring your needle up through a hole between threads, carry it over four threads, and put it down through a hole in direct line with the first.  Make four more stitches in the same way, side by side.  The middle stitch of the first block – which is worked horizontally – will come exactly in the middle of the scarf-end, with two stitches at each side; make a second block at right angles to this, the first stitch coming in the same hole with last stitch of preceding block.  *Then make another horizontal block at right angles to the last, again a vertical block, repeat from * and make a horizontal block.  This gives you five blocks to the depth of point.  Work downward or toward the edge, and the fourth following block will be like the first made.  Continue in this way to the sixth point, which is continued – with fourteen blocks in all – across the corner.  Then continue the outlining along the side, and entirely around the piece.  Start the first block, if your goods are cut, eight or ten threads from the edge.
Count up twenty threads from the first block, leaving space for three open squares between, and make a block exactly like the first.  Make four more blocks up, following the line of the first row, then toward the edge again; after the last horizontal block miss thirteen threads and work forty stitches, or – without counting – to a point where, after missing four threads, you will work a block corresponding to the first block of this row.  Then proceed with the regular outlining for two points beyond the corner, where the long block is again put in.  The illustration of the scarf, with the detail, will give you a perfect idea of how the work is done.
Above the second row of outlining, a row of perpendicular blocks, each consisting of nine stitches, is put in, one over each block of the outlining.  Four threads above the upper of these blocks runs a straight row of outlining-stitches, taken side by side, and extending entirely along the border, save where the corner or end pattern comes to the edge.  This line is also in the light shade.  Each of the plain, pointed spaces thus formed is filled with twisted bars of the dark shade, extending from the center of space to the corner of each long block, and twisting back to the point of departure (see detail).
At each side of the central point, in second row of outlining one point is omitted and the same between third and fourth points up from the corner; that is, the space which would have been occupied by the fourth point, had the work been continued regularly is filled by blocks consisting of seven, nine, eleven and more stitches, these blocks being separated by four threads, and the larger spaces marked off in tiny squares by single stitches taken across and up and down from the corners of blocks.  Explicit instructions and counting of stitches would be confusing rather than helpful, when the design can be so readily copied brim the engraving.
The irregular openings or drawn spaces at corners and center of scarf-end are buttonholed, using the light shade, the filling (of long blocks and lattice-stitch) being done with the medium shade.  The center opening starts just over the first point made.  Buttonhole up sixteen stitches each side, taking each stitch over four threads, then work to right and left as indicated.  It is a good plan to run in a thread, outlining these open sections accurately before doing the buttonholing.  The upper edge of the central opening is in block-stitch, followed by a row of points, each taken over two threads, then over three, four and five, again over four, three and two.  These points are in the light shade, and are continued along the straight border.  Connecting with this row of points, at each  end, is a block of thirty stitches; above this, missing five threads at the further end, is another long block, then another and another; then a line of stitches commences in the same way and extends the length of the border, at the sides, and across the top of the central opening.  This work is done in the medium shade.  The buttonholing of the edge is done with the dark shade, and is done in regular points, not following the block-stitches of the outlining as is so frequently the case.  It is a very wise plan to first trace the points with needle and thread, and if they can be stitched son the machine, before buttonholing – the stitching following the tracing-thread – all the better because stronger.  One great complaint regarding Hardanger work is that unless very carefully done it is extremely apt to pull out, even with the most gentle handling.
The cutting and drawing of thread in this class of needlecraft has also been explicitly described.  One should always cut along the edge of a block or block-stitches, pressing the latter back with the thumb0nail and cutting carefully.  The stitches when released fall over the edge of the space.  Leave the four threads at side of stitches, these forming the bars  The spaces between the first and second rows of outlining blocks are separated by single bars, the weaving being done by passing the needle under two threads and over two, back and forth.  The double bars of the inner openwork are woven in the same manner, taking two threads to a bar and weaving over one thread, under one, back and forth, until smoothly and evenly filled.  The lace-stitch is the simple but effective “festoon-stitch” familiar to all who do even a very little decorative stitchery, and clearly shown by the detail: Fasten in at the middle of a bar, take a loop across the corner of space to middle of next bar, bringing the needle out at the back in order to twist the loop, and repeat until the space is surrounded and a tiny square of thread is made in the center.
A very handsome square to match the scarf is made by bringing the ends together, or shortening the sides as required to produce the square.  The plain border, omitting the irregular blockwork pattern at the ends, is attractive for many purposes.
A great many workers like to wash and press the material, after putting in the kloster- or block-stitches, before cutting and drawing the threads for weaving bars and filling-stitches.  In using colors, one should be careful that they are as fadeless as possible to procure.  A needle with blunt point, which will not catch into and divide the threads of the fabric, is invariably chosen, and the scissors for cutting should be very sharp.

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