2012: The Year of the Blog

It’s been too long!  Jeff and I made it to Mississippi where he promptly had to undergo unplanned surgery, then six weeks plus of recuperation.  Then the Holidays.  But it’s a new year and with it comes fresh comittment.  I declare this the Year of the Blog–for me anyway!

I have four blogs.  That’s too many.  But each is important to me for different reasons so I can’t give any of them up.  I will remain comitted to a post a day, but the posts will rotate between four blogs:  The Shop Sampler, Relatively Ryan, Sight Sniffing, and, of course, Blackwork Lessons.

News on The Mystery Blackwork Sampler—I have picked patterns for the blackwork squares.  I have tentatively picked out a needlepoint stitch for the inner border as well as some patterns for the needlepoint squares.  I decided to add another color to the black silk.    I’ll pull it out and share that with you Thursday when my daily post returns to Blackwork Lessons.  Until then think about a second color you might add to your Mystery Blackwork Sampler.

Write and tell me what color background you are using and what your second color will be!  Tomorrow I’ll be posting at The Shop Sampler.

New Page Added–Links to Free Patterns

My organizing continues.  I’ve finally pulled out an old system I used for writing papers in college and found a use for my old rolodex.  I’ve divided the rolodex into the chapters that I expect the book, Blackwork Lessons, to have.  I’ve put my notes on the rolodex cards and have filed them under the appropriate chapter headings.  It feels soooooo good to be organized and using a system that works for me and is very familiar.  And I’m making good use of my rolodex that hasn’t seen the light of day for over ten years.  I just couldn’t seem to throw it away, too much waste of paper.

And as I’ve jumped into this even more wholeheartedly, I started to set aside the links I have for free patterns online.  You will find the page on the right of this page under the heading “Chapters in Blackwork Lessons.”  As I come across more, I’ll add them and put up a quick note that the page is updated.

I hope you like this addition and hope you will write and tell me which patterns you like and which links you like!  Actually, any feedback at all is most welcome.  Let’s talk Blackwork!  Ask me some questions even!

My Homework

My research continues in the realm of Islamic Art and Architecture.  It is becoming quite a large project and I think I need to reorganize and outline what I hope to accomplish on the blog versus the book idea I have.  It would be helpful if any readers could comment on what they would like to know about–actually stitching blackwork, where to find free patterns, how to design blackwork, or any other questions?

For now, I intend to focus on the history.  After a little bit more reading (actually a lot as I have a number of books on geometry in art that I’m still waiting on) I will finalize “Lesson One” and move onto “Lesson Two” which will look at materials and stitches common in blackwork.  Everyone seems to have their own idea and I will summarize those findings in “Lesson Two.”  The next Lesson will be a brief look at the geometry of the stitches so you might be able to develop your own patterns, however simple.  The fourth Lesson will be starting the journey of creating your own blackwork sampler, using simple stitches and building upon them to learn in an organic way the concept of blackwork shading.

I am also continuing to sort and organize my digital resources and filing them on the Blackwork Lessons Yahoo Group that you are more than welcome to join.  Plus adding links and pages here to share some stuff with the world at large.

So, that’s the plan.  Would love to hear any suggestions you might have!