Monday, 9 March 2009

Not Blackwork...

I really hate it when people say something like, "I am putting blackwork on the smock I am making!" Reason being that the term itself is so vague. Are they talking about using black thread to cover a drawn design on linen, or are they talking about counted thread work that is done in black thread? Usually most folks mean counted thread done in black, creating primarily geometric patterns using double running stitch (Holbien) or back stitch. So, there is a group of die hard blackwork enthusiasts who stolidly embroider in black silk to recreate these designs that were so popular during the 16th century. The only problem is that there is a plethora of evidence now available to show that not all of this work was done in black, and in fact it can be stunningly beautiful in other shades as well. It is best to keep it to one or two shades because it can take on a rather carnival air if too many hues are introduced to the design, and we all know that the average 16th century person was cautioned against too much gaiety in their life.

Anyway, Arilyn (my 8 year old daughter) has come up with an idea for a bookmark to make for her big sister's birthday She wants to use two different heraldic frogs, employing double running stitch and some of my cherished gylt silke twist to work the stitches. The green, of course. She asked me if that would be bad, because she was not using black silk, and I told her that of course it would be just perfect in green. And gold, don't forget the gold. So now that it is carefully graphed out, she is set to begin her work on it this evening. I will post photos soon.

Emma worked with frogs during her undergraduate years before going onto medical school, and for whatever reason now everyone gives her frogs of some sort everytime there is a gift occasion. Kind of like how everybody gives me bee stuff I guess.

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