I started to take a beginning blackwork class at my local SCA meeting a couple of weeks back. Why beginning? Well, even though I’ve dabbled with it a little, I still consider myself a beginner. Besides, it’s always good to get a refresher in basic techniques, you never know, you might learn something new, some new technique that makes it easier to work on a project.
I did learn something new too at this class: a better way of starting and ending my threads. It’s still going to take some practice to make it perfect, as one of the ideas of blackwork embroidery is no knots. And I’m horrible at not using knots when I don’t have a good way to secure the thread. This should be workable though.
After doing some practice stitches, and looking through a library of patterns that the instructor had, choosing one, and tracing out the pattern ourselves on graph paper, we were told what our homework was: go find patterns that we found interesting, but not to complicated (I fail on that part, I like complex patterns, probably a little too much), and copy them down on graph paper. Next time we were to meet, we’d begin on our project, a 14”x14” sampler made up of our own patterns that will become a pillow.
Well, I haven’t been able to make it back for various reasons, so I decided to take the idea and just run with it. We were to be given the pieces needed for the project – thread, needle, the aida cloth, and instructions on how to turn it all into a pillow. As well as technical and design help for piecing the patterns together. I have the needle, some thread (can easily pick up a few more skeins), and now I have a selection of patterns that I’ve diligently traced out on my 1/4” graph paper. All that’s needed, for the moment is some aida cloth to work up the designs, and then a pillow form.
I need to invest in 5 or 6 squares to an inch graph paper… Oh, or maybe the super tiny 8 or even 10 squares per inch! Uhm, yeah, you may have noticed a trend here, I like TINY graph paper! It makes working up patterns and designs so much easier.
I’d attach some images of the patterns I’ve been working up, but I’m not liking the quality of pictures my phone takes currently. Need to find the cable for my camera, and then I’ll be able to take better, more consistent, pictures to show my wonderful inked line drawings. As I work on this project, I’ll make periodic updates to show how it’s progressing.