The Blackwork Paradigm

Got two groovy things through the post today. One was a home cinema system which has massively improved the sound from the tv in the lounge. The multi-region DVD player plays all kind of stuff, including files from USB sticks, and Alissa and I watched half a dozen episodes of Series 3 of Project Runway back to back. I really enjoyed the sound that was coming from all corners of the room, rather than the bad noise coming from the tv at full whack.

(Project Runway is one of mine and Alissa’s guilty secrets. We get together to watch such highbrow programming as America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway and Top Design. Anyway, moving on!)

The other thing that came through the post was “Blackwork” by Lesley Barnett.
Having seen some really interesting blackwork at the show this weekend, I was curious about it, and this book seems to be a good introduction. I’ve had a little look at it and I really want to try it. But I’m a little bit nervous. Stitching little crosses is time consuming, but in my mind it’s very safe – it’s stitching by numbers. Doing anything else is moving out of my safety zone. But I am willing to try new things.

I was also inspired by this post on the Backstitch blog – I was blown away by the ball and the way blackwork can be used for creating depth. It’s a great piece of work.
And then while browsing for blackwork pics on Flickr, I found the awesome blue blackwork heart by Alexcateye that I’ve posted at the top. Superb!!

I’m getting the train to London tomorrow so I might use it to read the Blackwork book and get my head around it. It’s a paradigm shift, that’s for sure…

Mr X

Mr X

Director at Mr X Stitch
The Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery.
Mr X


The kingpin of contemporary cross-stitch and embroidery -
RT @womensart1: US illustrator and textile artist Angela Pilgrim, Afro Puff ll, 2015, print. #womensart - 2 years ago
Mr X
Mr X

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3 thoughts on “The Blackwork Paradigm

  • Thanks for the kind words and link! And don’t be afraid to try blackwork. I’m sure you’ve done loads of backstitch with your cross stitch so start out making the designs that way. After you’re comfortable you can tackle double-running stitch.
    I have the same book you just purchased and I love it.

  • Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    My best advice for doing blackwork is to make up your own designs and stitches. I sketch with thread until I have something I like. If I had to follow a book or stitch dictionary, I’d go mad.

    I was actually afraid when I posted my heart that people wouldn’t like it because there is not historical accuracy in it. I say go crazy.

  • Thanks to both of you for your comments.
    When I have made some progress in my blackwork adventures I shall come and check in with you to see how I’m doing. 🙂

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