I’ve written a 16-page booklet on Blackwork Embroidery for those interested in learning how to do it. The booklet introduces blackwork, offers a brief history, illustrates the two main stitches (double running, or Holbien, and backstitch), and offers hands-on practice in four phases of increasing difficulty with a pattern based on a period design. Included are photos, stitch diagrams, and color-coded patterns. This is the same booklet I handed out during my Blackwork Embroidery class at 12th Night in the Canton of Ealdnordwuda, with a few minor updates based on questions asked during class. The booklet is current available as a PDF file, and I will put it online as a web-based booklet in the future as well.
The booklet is completely free, though please note that I am retaining the copyright. The only thing I ask in return is that if you do any of the hands-on activities, and are pleased with your progress, please send me a photo! Any and all feedback is welcome, as are questions!
By the way, my Blackwork Embroidery class was a success! The tiny classroom I was in had only 10 chairs, but 13 people showed up and were willing to crowd around the table to learn about blackwork! Everyone managed to complete phases 1 and 2 in the short time we were there (everyone!) and several people started phase 3. I was so happy to see everyone embroidering and making progress. I used a pegboard painted white and black yarn to show how blackwork stitches work on a larger scale, and that seemed to help everyone. I am just hoping someone finishes the project and sends me a photo. In fact, I am going to issue a challenge — anyone who takes one of my blackwork classes (as I will definitely be doing more) and completes their project gets a little reward from me. Just show me your completed blackwork at a future event/class to redeem your reward!