Thursday, November 28, 2013
Exploring Blackwork (in Green)
Have you enjoyed our explorations during our month of 'Single Colour Embroidery'? I sure have and I think me and my &Stitches colleagues are not done with the theme yet (so much more to explore) so it may just return at some point in the next year!
I thoroughly enjoyed my personal exploration of Blackwork patterns using just green floss. I started out with drawing the 2 inch squares (find our templates here) on a 14 count Aida. If you haven't tried Blackwork before (or other forms of counted embroidery) I can recommend starting on a low count even weave fabric to get a feel for what I would call the 'rythm' of the pattern. Especially the slightly more complicated patterns, like the diamond and the bird-that-also-looks-like-wheat patterns pictured above, required all my attention when I started them. Towards the end I began to understand the patterns and was stitching them without checking the examples in the books.
On the square in the top right corner I tried a 'ombre' effect. Not entirely successful and I also think this particular Blackwork pattern wasn't great for the scale I was working on. Next (top left) I tried shading by diminishing the number of threads and when I was down to one thread I let the pattern 'dissolve'. After that (bottom left) I wanted to do something more complex and tackled a pretty diamond pattern with variegated floss. I was very pleased with the result although I made some minor mistakes. The last square was filled with a repeating isolated design and that worked out quite well I think.
For inspiration and patterns I used books by Becky Hogg ('Blackwork'), Elizabeth Geddes & Moyra McNeill ('Blackwork Embroidery') and Kim Brody Salazars ('Ensamplario Atlantio- a free downloadable PDF).
I have seen some fabulous blackwork pieces (in different colours) pop up in our Flickr group lately and we'll be sure to highlight those on the blog soon! Be sure to share your black, pink, orange or other coloured work in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!