Front of Piece
Back of Piece
I finished my Blackwork practice piece – the back is not as good as it should be, but having said that it could have been worse.
I do like doing this – thinking about the stitching path, but it does require a bit of concentration and so, therefore, no good when I want something easy and relaxing to do while watching television.
My current plan is that my next piece will be in blackwork. I just need to come up with a design. I ordered Becky Hogg’s blackwork book, but it has gone astray in the post (another one is being sent). I do have a few books I could look at …
Little Houses Progress
I went to the Perth Writers Festival on the weekend and one thing really stuck with me – it is OK to get started on something and then decided it is not really working and to start something else.
I was at a session called New York Dames and Natasha Lester (author of A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald) said she was 85 000 words into her third novel and decided to write a different novel.
I have this thing about finishing what I started, but what really happens is that I finish nothing – I procrastinate on the thing I should be finishing and won’t start anything new.
However, Natasha has inspired me to pack in the Little House (for now at least) and to work on blackwork.
I have always been fascinated by the idea of blackwork – particularly the more pictorial versions …
Dodo is from the Royal School of Needlework and Fish from needlenthread.com
but even the samplers appeal to me…
I have done a bit with my machine…
But never anything by hand. So when it was suggested at my embroidery class I was eager to give it a go.
The tricky bit for me is thinking about the path the stitches should follow before starting (I believe the aim is to have the back similar to the front because you don’t want shadows appearing on the front).
I have done a practice stitch out of my sampler.
Here is the finished version …
My sewing machine had a bit of a moment at one point – the bobbin and top threads got all tangled, there was a horrible noise and it ground to a halt, however, I am happy with the final results. I think more stabilisation and a nicer fabric and it will be fine.
We have been away at Rottnest. Miss P went on camp and we decided to go too. It is such a relaxing place to go – no cars, nothing to do but read books and knit. I’ve made progress on Miss P’s cardigan (the yarn is Jo Sharp Desert Aran Cotton).
Sunrise over the salt lake
Sunset from our cottage
On the way to the look out
Salt Lake – a different one
Progress on Miss P’s Cardigan
Blackwork Sampler in Progress
I like grids, lines and crosses and I have always loved the look of Blackwork – I love how something so simple can be effective.
I have been inspired by this book to make my own blackwork sampler (using machine embroidery). I didn’t want to copy that one exactly, so I have used different fills. There are a number of blackwork resources on the web (simply search for blackwork embroidery). I found this one, which lead me to this page on 16th Century fill in patterns.
This is still quite experimental – I think it might end up being too small and the jump threads might test my sanity.
I’m using the Cross Stitch module of Embird, which is super easy to use and it comes with some built in blackwork fills (but I have decided to make my own).
I am wondering what kind of stabiliser I need? There are a lot of stitches and I suspect I need a sturdy stabiliser to stop it puckering.
I subscribe to theÂ Inspirations magazine and in issue 52 they had this blackwork butterfly by Tanja Berlin.
I like it and I would like to try to replicate it with machine embroidery (my hand embroidery is hopeless …).
Here’s part of a wing that I’ve been working on in Thred.
It still needs a bit of work and it will be quite a drawn out process (not as long as doing it by hand though)
And another wing …
I’ve also changed the angle of the fill slightly.