Creating Needlepoint Blackwork
Needlepoint Blackwork is so lovely. The open structure of the needlepoint canvas reinforces the delicacy of the Blackwork embroidery.
Blackwork typically is found in charts which look like this:
where the lines are often across the grid marks. These are easy to use on fabric like Aida where the blocks of fabric are the insides of the grid squares. It’s just like connecting the dots.
But what do you do with needlepoint canvas, when you are used to having the grid squares be the holes of the canvas?
If the same Blackwork fill was done as a needlepoint pattern, it would look like this:
In Blackwork needlepoint, it’s important not to have threads running across the open areas on the back of the fabric. This is even more important when you are doing Blackwork.
One way to do this is by using Double Running Stitch when possible, a technique which completes a pattern in two passes, so that threads only travel along the lines of the pattern.
I’m a disaster at figuring this out, so I’ve developed my own method of stitching blackwork so that the thread doesn’t show. I figure out how the lines move, generally in a connected way and then stitch along those lines, often using Backstitch.
For example, in this Chicken Wire Blackwork Fill, I stitched the pattern in vertical lines, a diagonal stitch followed by a straight stitch.
Using these tips, you’ll find doing Needlepoint Blackwork a breeze.