HNW - Re: starting blackwork

Frank Thallas hardcorps at
Thu Aug 17 15:12:10 PDT 2000

  Sounds like you're off to a running (ooh, pun not intended!) start!
Ianthe's book is a great resource, and if you go through the bibliography
and find all those books, you'll get lots more ideas!  When you've got a
grasp of
the style, have a stab at developing your own original patterns - it's
easier than you might think, and a great way
to while away a winter evening....
    Remember to that you don't have to do everything in
double running - bits like lined collars and cuffs, other things for which
the back will not be on display, can be
easily done in backstitch, which I find tends to hold up better to wear and
washing.  And you might like to branch out into the "freehand" styles - the
scrolling flowers and vines outlined in chain or buttonhole or so on, filled
counted patterns or seed stitches for shading - a whole
cool world of interesting patterns, and you never have to worry about
whether your embroidery thread will match!

    obsessive-compulsive blackwork addict.....

> Well, I just started blackwork (Holbein/double running stitch), and what I
> found is to start with the EASIEST pattern possible - it looks good and
> you feel so much better about yourself!
> I picked up the book "The New Carolingian Modelbook" by Ianthe d'Averoigne
> and picked out the easiest single line patterns to do collar and cuffs on
> and my husband's shirts and a biggens cap for myself. I would suggest an
> to count fabric like linen to start with - the cotton that the shirts were
> made with (over a year ago) wasn't the greatest for counting on, so I kind
> fudged so that it looked right. Someone also suggested to me to draw out
> pattern before stitching so you can see where you need to turn off and
> "offshoot" parts of the line. (i.e. a flower off of a stem)
> Thanks to the idea of a waste knot - I've used them in quilting, but never
> thought about using it with embroidery! I can't wait to learn more by
> in the background and listening in to all of you!
> By the way, are there archives for this list anywhere?
> **********************
> Rebecca Schmitt
> aka Mistress Agnes Cabot, wife of Master Peter Cabot, cod merchant of
> So many books, so little time
> schmitt100 at
> **********************
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