AnnaMarie wolfsong at
Tue Aug 15 20:04:03 PDT 2000

I can attest to Mairi's prowess (she does this blackwork on about 57 count
linen folks, and she's very, very good) and expand on the silk thread thing.

Her silk thread is Soie Cristale which is currently sold by Caron Collection
under the name... Soie Cristale!  They do have black.  I personally have
also used Rainbow Gallery Black Silk thread to good effect.  I believe Lynn
Skinner also has a great sourse for Black Silk Thread out of England, she
gave us info at one time or another but I can't put my hands on it right

Lydia at Wyndham Needleworks has silk threads as does Lois at Elegant
Stitch. Both shops are online.

Wolfe Song
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sue Clemenger" <mooncat at>
To: <H-Needlework at>
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2000 8:00 PM
Subject: Re: HNW - SILK BLACKWORK (long)

> 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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