HNW - SILK BLACKWORK (long)

Sue Clemenger mooncat at in-tch.com
Tue Aug 15 19:00:59 PDT 2000


Welcome, fellow blackworker and SCAer! As members of my Barony and
Kingdom can attest (and heck, even my coworkers these days), I am
constantly working away with linen and thread. Most of my pieces have
been in black, although I've expanded some into red and blue and gold
over the last decade.
I really can't offer much in the way of advice on fabrics, as I was
lucky enough to find parts of two bolts of evenweave handkerchief linen
@ 70% off (some freak "red white and blue" 4th of July sale) at our
(now-defunct) local House of Fabrics over 10 years ago.  I will be a
majorly sorry piece of work when I finally run out, so I use it very,
very sparingly.
As for thread, I've been using a stranded needlepoint silk from Crystal
Palace yarns (sorry, no address) pretty consistently, if only because I
bought so much of it! It comes in a nice range of colors, and runs about
10 bucks for a 40-yd skein (think it's 40!).  It's a twisted silk,
rather than a flat silk, and a single thread is slightly heavier/thicker
than ordinary sewing thread, which is really hand for fine detail. 
Actually, come to think of it, it looks a bit like DMC floss (only
slightly more fragile).
If I can offer any advice in general, I'd recommend that you start
small....My very first project was the Queen Jane sleeves--*sigh*--two
yards of it...Just Holbein stitch, I thought, can't be too hard if I
graph it out....Hah! Took me 6 months to do both sleeves (each is 36"
across), going at about 20 stitches to the inch.  They turned out pretty
spiff, but I was pretty burned out afterwards (although that didn't
last, thank goodness!)  I guess I didn't learn from it, though! <g> as
my current project is a striped Italian chemise--the sleeves are 4 ft.
long (for poofing), and the body about that long (fabric conservation
coming in here).  The pattern is a rather complicated later-16th century
spikey thing taken from an extant pattern.  I'm almost done with the
last stripe on the second sleeve, and I anticipate at least another year
of work on the body pieces.  It oughta make an _amazing_ A&S entry when
I'm done! <g>
--Maire
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