Hardanger Heart

 Designed and Stitched by Gail Sirna

Hardanger Heart

Hardanger Heart by Gail Sirna

Material List:

  • 8” X 8” piece of Hardanger fabric
  • Perle Cotton #5 (to match fabric)
  • Perle Cotton #8 (to match fabric)
  • 1 skein Empress Art Silk – color of choice for flower.
  • You may choose any thread to make this flower
  • 2 skein Nova – color of choice for tendrils. You may choose any thread to make the tendrils.

Hardanger is composed of Kloster Blocks and Needlewoven Bars. The Kloster Block is a series of five satin (or Gobelin) stitches worked over 4 fabric threads. At the top of the heart on one side you will see two Kloster Blocks worked in a row. Notice that four fabric threads are left unstitched in between them.

More often a Kloster will lie at a right angle to the preceding Kloster. Notice that the first stitch of the new Kloster shares a fabric hole with the last stitch of the old Kloster. Notice also that all stitches are taken from the inside of the shape toward the outside of the shape.


Thread up with one strand of Perle Cotton #5. Use a tapestry needle that is comfortable in size for you. Place a waste knot off to the left. When finished with the stitching, weave the tail into the stitching without passing it under a hole or cut area.

Refer to the chart and begin the Kloster blocks with the top centermost Kloster. Work the five sttches of the first block. Then go to the next block which is to the upper right of the centermost Kloster. Continue to work the Klosters around the outer edge of the heart. It will be necessary to follow the chart exactly as even one stitch out of place will make it impossible to work the Hardanger Needleweaving. As with all counted thread work, you will not meet up with your original stitch if the counting is incorrect. When you are secure with the system you may work the inner row of Klosters in the upper right hand corner.


When the motif in the upper right hand area is totally enclosed you may cut away the unnecessary threads. You will need good, sharp, pointed scissors. First, examine your work. You will notice that some stitches lie parallel to the fabric threads; some lie perpendicular. You will cut only those fabric threads that are perpendicular to the Kloster Blocks. The places to cut are indicated on the following chart. When you cut be sure that you cut only the four fabric threads that are enclosed by the stitches of the Kloster blocks. To ensure this, bring the tip of the scissors up so that you can see that there are only four canvas threads on the scissors blade. Then make your cut.


When you have cut the fabric at all the places indicated on the chart you may withdraw the fabric threads. Flick them out with the needle, or you may use tweezers to gently pull them out.

Needleweaving: When all cutting and withdrawing is completed you may begin the needleweaving. Thread up with the #8 perle cotton. Secure the tail in several Kloster Blocks. Begin the needleweaving by going down in the middle of the four fabric threads left exposed. Weave back and forth in a figure “8” fashion halfway across the bar.


Picots: At this point you will make a picot. A picot is a small knot on the bar for decorative purposes. Take your stitch as to weave, but don’t pull it tight. Then come through it from behind, pull it firm and hold it in place with your fingers while you begin the next stitch. You will need to put another picot on the other side of the woven bar at this point. When both picots are in place continue needleweaving to the end of the bar. Work until the woven bar is full and firm – about 16 – 20 stitches on a side. Then proceed to the next bar. It will be easiest to go from woven bar to woven bar in a stair-step fashion, working from upper right to lower left,


Flower: The flower is worked in Empress Art Silk, full strand. Work a series of Long Legged French Knots around a square – 2 threads on a side. This will form the center. The Long Legged French knots should be of varying lengths and form a somewhat circular flower.


Tendrils are worked in beige Nova. Use the Coral Knot Stitch diagrammed below.


Center: The center of the flower is worked in a Smyrna Cross Stitch.


Flower detail


Wraps detail