It was wonderful to recently re-open email contact with someone I like very much. Mandy has a delightful blog in which she shares all of her needlework passions..making fabric, free motion embroidery , knitting, and counted thread work.We met on a now defunct group and she once sent me a card with a small bit of blackwork on it.Beautiful! At that time counted work of any kind was way out of my league, especially on small count fabrics..actually out of my league is a euphemism for, couldn;t do it at all. Couldn”t see the holes,couldn”t focus, and since i was working, the time involved to learn how to do a good job was beyond what i had.Which isn;t to say that i didn;t love seeing it, and yearned to do it..and do still love seeing it.About two years ago i felt finally able to tackle it. Got some of the Skinner Sistersoff the shelf, took out a ball of Presencia perle cotton in a pretty variegated colorway and started on the Aida 14 that i had. I could see the holes!

The colorway that i used doesn;t seem to be available anymore and the ball is all used up….but Finca perle Cotton is a jy to use. It also comes in 16 weight which i love. At $1.75 a ball, for the 12 weight, thisis surely one of the cheapest sources around.

Once finished with the two pieces using the Skinner Sisters chart, i got out more 14 count aida and some regular floss and just decided to do some fill patterns in a sort of band sampler format.

Here are a bunch of links to various blackwork sites, and also to a wonderful blackwork group on Yahoo.

First, one of my all time favorite blogs to read,Mary Corbett’s. .This will take you to her free blackwork pattern, but while you are there, take a good look around. It’s an amazing blog, full of information, both in video tutorials about stithes, and in still images of how she goes about the stitching she does.She also has a great archive of free vector images suitable for all kinds of embroidery.

Next up, are the Blackwork Archiveswhich houses an wonderful variety of designs and fill patterns. Lots of information as well on the history and uses of blackwork. You could get lost there.

No post would be complete without a Wikipedia reference , and here it is.How can you not love Wikipedia?

While there are many many more blogs and websites, this is one i found just recently and wanted to share. Fiona’s blogis one i will be visiting again for a fuller look!

Here are the pieces:
First up, from the Skinner Sisters, Spaniche Splendor. It is a page from Peter Quentel’s 1527 Modelbuch. The whole sampler is not here. There is a band at the bottom that is not done.

Next up is a very small name tag, the design is mine. Of course no designs are truly original as they are usually made of bits and pieces from all over the place.

The last is the band sampler. The overall placement is mine, many of the patterns are fill patterns from various books, and one of them(the dense multicolored one) got it’s inspiration from Wessex sttichery.