Eyelets are a fun part of hardanger embroidery. Like the name implies, it is a small hole made in the fabric, but it is not cut or punched. The threads of the fabric are pulled.
On 22 count fabric, size 8 Perle cotton is used for eyelets. This is a finer thread than the size 5 that is used for the Kloster blocks and blanket stitch. I am using a contrasting colour so it is easy to see.
The eyelets are made in the squares between the Kloster blocks and blanket stitch. Bring the thread to the front in a hole right beside the corner hole. The end of the thread can be woven into the backs of the stitches already made.
Take a stitch into the centre hole. Give the stitch a gentle tug.
Continue working around the square, taking stitches into the same centre hole. As you gently tug each stitch, a hole is made in the middle.
This is the back of a finished eyelet. When you get back to the corner, weave the end of the thread around to the next spot. Do not carry threads across the back because they might show up in the open work.
Notice that they eyelets are only made in the squares that have the ends of the Kloster blocks, not the sides, so it’s every other square. Continue around the diamond making eyelets.
This is how they would be shown on a hardanger chart.
The next step is one of the things that is definitive of hardanger. Some of the threads are cut and removed from the fabric. For this you will need sharp pointed scissors. Embroidery scissors usually work fine. Read all the directions before you try it!
Along the ends of the Kloster blocks inside the diamond, cut the four threads right at the edge of the block. This is nerve wracking the first couple of times you do it, because you have done so much stitching work already and this has the possibility to be catastrophic. Take a deep breath, and for sure – check twice and cut once.
The most important thing to remember is that you only cut four threads. If your Kloster blocks have a mistake like an extra or missed stitch, you have to take it out because this step requires that they line up.
The second most important thing is to take care to only cut the threads by the end of the Kloster block, not the sides. You should clearly see the end of two stitches as you cut the thread between them. Some cutting mistakes are fixable, but if you cut at the sides, that would be very difficult. If you are unsure, double check with the eyelets. The cutting on the same vertical and horizontal lines as the eyelets. If they are offset, there is a mistake in one of them.
Once you have cut the ends of the threads, gently pull them out, using a needle to help if necessary.
They should easily pull out as the cut ends should line up.
When all the threads are removed, you will have a grid of holes in the fabric.
This diagram shows where the cutting should be. Refer to it often to avoid mistakes.
The next lesson will show what to do with all those big holes in the fabric, which I think is the most fun part.
Happy hardangering! (Yes, it’s a made up word)