With the right supplies Hardanger is easy. Although the elapsed time since I started was longer than I wanted, the actual stitching didn't take too long.
Hardanger the wrong way involves the wrong supplies. In my case it was 28 count linen with pearl cotton 5 and 8 from a kit. With my own 28 count linen and pearl cotton 8 and 12 it went smoother.
The results: I am not frustrated and the only thing in my trash can is snippets of thread and the cut-away linen.