Friday, July 22, 2011

Back to the Beginning

So I've been tooling along, talking about blackwork and sharing my patterns, thinking everything is hunky dory.  Suddenly it hits me. I never explained what blackwork was.  Yeah, there are a thousand sites that tell the story of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII, and Holbein. And yeah, there are some really great tutorials out there with wonderful diagrams.  Why should I reinvent the wheel?

I'm not, really.  I'm just consolidating information, making it easier for you when you come to visit.  And besides, I have these nifty pictures I took and they shouldn't just take up space on my hard drive.

So here it is. The Basics of Blackwork.

Work the stitch in passes, or journeys.
On the first journey, work the even-numbered stitches: 1,3, 5 etc.

On the return journey, work the 'in between' odd-numbered stitches: 6,4,2 etc.

You will end up where you started.

Side trips are worked as their own little journey.

Work the element in one direction, turn around...

...and join back to the main path

Voila!  In the traditional sense, blackwork looks the same on the back as it does on the front,
though modern blackwork may or may not hold to that tradition.  


  1. Wonderful post, Jeanne. This is the most clear and concise tutorial I've ever seen :)

  2. Thanks, Aurelia. I'm glad you like it. :-)

  3. Great post - I am sharing about it over at Craft Gossip on Sept. 5 -

  4. Lovely, concise tutorial... but you've got your odd and even numbers mixed up. :)


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