Friday, July 18, 2008

Stitch With Me!

In my July 16th posting, I talked about all the geometric patterns that are appearing in decorating magazines. Well, looking at all those geometrics got me itching to start stitching some blackwork patterns based on those geometrics. I've been so focused on my other designs this year, that I haven't done any blackwork in quite a while and I miss it. So.....

Here's what I've come up with:

I've decided to whip up a little BLACKWORK MYSTERY SAMPLER for those of you who might like to give blackwork a try. Here's what I'm going to do: I'll post the graphs on my website:, under the FREE PATTERNS page. Go there and print out the graphs. You might want to print out this blog page as well. [Aside: the graphs posted on my website are the best I can manage. If you need the graphs to be larger, please take them to a copy shop and get them enlarged.]

This little BLACKWORK MYSTERY SAMPLER will be stitched in THREE PARTS. Each part will add another layer to the design. The photo above shows PART ONE completed. (If you go back to my previous blog posting, you can pick out some of the geometric patterns I've used...)I will post PART 1 now, and in a week or so I'll post PART 2, followed in a few more weeks with the final PART 3.

And here is the materials list, if you're interested in stitching along:

DESIGN COUNT: 120 threads by 120 threads

on 24/25 ct. Lugana: 5" x 5"
on 22 ct. Hardanger: 5.5" x 5.5"
on 18 ct. aida: 6.5" x 6.5"
on 16 ct. aida: 7.5" x 7.5"
on 14 ct. aida: 8.5" x 8.5"

(I recommend a light-colored fabric, such as white, ivory, ecru... but if you really want to be creative, you could try it on a dark fabric, using very light threads - it's up to you!)

THREADS: You can stitch the whole design (all three parts) in one color if you wish. Or...
You can stitch each part in a different color/type of thread, like this:
- PART 1 in a dark solid color (or a dark-to-medium variegated color)
- PART 2 in a medium-to-light accent solid color
- PART 3 in a metallic accent that matches your solid accent color

The type of thread you choose will depend on which count of fabric you use. The finer the fabric count, the finer thread weight you'll need. I'm working on 22 ct. white Hardanger, with just ONE PLY of a 6-ply cotton floss (shown above) that I've dyed myself in a variegated blue/green/purple colorway. You can see when it's stitched, there's a very subtle color change thruout the overall design.

You can also use silk thread, as well as a single-ply cotton such as Bravo! or Wildflowers - in solid or variegated colors. The different thread thicknesses are shown in the photo on the right. On the right is variegated cotton floss; on the left is a Bravo! or Wildflowers weight (see how a single ply is slightly heavier than one ply of the floss?) One way to test the colors is to lay ONE PLY of whichever thread you're considering against the fabric. You can then see how fine it will look, as well as how much of the coloring will show up. Darker colors will show up better and the lines will look crisper; lighter colors will be muted and create a paler, watercolory effect. The photo below shows how the two threads look when they are stitched.

Are you interested?

[For those who might be interested: Stitchers - YES, you have my permission to teach this project in your guild groups - but please give me copyright credit for this design. And NO, this pattern is NOT for resale in any form. I will not be kitting it up or selling it in pattern form. This pattern is just for us all to blogstitch - to have fun experimenting and playing with. Okay?]


Margaret said...

Oh man, Laura! I already have too much to do and now you are enticing me with other neat stuff. Blackwork is another of my weaknesses.


martha said...

I am so excited Laura,of course I have no business starting something new, but, when did that ever stop me. Thanks for sharing.

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Ooooo! I love a mystery! I'm not stitching along (too many commitments with deadlines) but I'll be watching and cheering everyone on. Even bystanders want to learn more about blackwork....

Jane, waving from Chilly Hollow

NCPat said...

I just set my mystery aside to stitch another promised piece! Sorry I can't stitch along, but I will be watching! Great idea!

Coni said...

OK! I'm in! Off to the studio to get the materials ready.....woo hoo! I just LOVE learning something new!

lewmew said...

I was just thinking about setting up a rotation as I have so many things I want to finish right now and what do you do? Add another HAVE TO piece to it! I'll probably use an overdye - I did a Tam's creation piece in WDW Bethelem and it is stunning.


Sophos said...

hum .... très en retard !
Dommage, j'aurais aimé participer !!!