Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Rise And Shine!
I was rotating some of my stitchery stuff on the walls around the house and decided to bring this old blackwork ROOSTER WEATHERVANE out to enjoy for awhile.
One of the great things about blackwork is you don't usually need much in the way of thread. This large project (apprx. 10" by 10") used just one skein of DMC floss, one skein of a rust-colored Kreinik Blending Filament and one skein of #5 pearl cotton (for the couched outline). Here's the rooster head up-close so you can see the subtle sparkle in the stitch patterns:
And while I love blackwork, I have a hard time finding just the right images to use to showcase the different blackwork stitch patterns. I think blackwork requires large chunks of space to fill - to show off the dazzling patternwork. I think you need to see the repeats of each pattern to get a really good look at all the different stitch patterns. So I try to think of things that have lots of big areas to fill. I remember I had fun choosing the rooster's different patterns and trying to find ones that suggested feathers. This photo of the rooster's body shows how well the different patterns look against each other:
The way I learned to do blackwork (from class lessons at a now-vanished stitching store in the Bay Area) was to DRAW the line drawing on the fabric (taping your drawing and fabric up on a window, then using a water-soluable pen that would be erased at the end) and then just start stitching the geometric repeats in each section. You only had to refer to a graph when you started stitching each pattern. After you had the pattern started on your fabric, you didn't need the graphs anymore, so you could stitch freely from then on.
I stitched this design many years ago, and now when I look at it I think it would sure look terrific stitched with a variegated thread of rusty browns. How antiquey THAT would look!