This little project is a marriage of my love of blackwork and my love of samplers. Anyone who has been following The Shop Sampler blog will know that I have been playing with samplers and stitch practice for this year through the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge at PIn Tangle and with the support of the Stitchin’ Fingers community. I have also joined the Yahoo group The Sampler Life. (As if I didn’t already have enough internet reading to do!) It is also a good group that is supportive and very creative as well as opening up even more of the international stitching world.
I mentioned in my last post that I am an avid fan of the Antique Pattern Library and have joined that Yahoo group, too. It’s the best way to keep up with what’s new at the Library. Also an international community of stitchers, I’m expecting that anyone needing help with translations can find someone there.
So, here’s the deal.
- I have struggled with what thread I want to use for my Mystery Sampler project. I’ve looked at and bought a sample of every black thread out there. I have read about different people’s preferences.
- I have been playing with different (colored) threads in my TAST projects and it is very clear how certain threads work for one desired effect and some threads will not work in the same situation. Like twisted thread works well for Double Twisted Chain, but stranded thread just looks messy in that stitch.
- It is clear—Thread matters!
- Samplers are the tried and true method of testing patterns! Hence birth of a new sampler!
Oh boy! You would think you could just pick up your fabric and start stitching. WRONG!
Well, maybe a little right. But I want this sampler to be useful, to be a really good reference, like the Encyclopedia Britannica of blackwork thread usage. Or Wikipedia entry of blackwork thread usage for those of you who are younger than Baby Boomers!
So what features should be incorporated into this sampler for it to be eternally useful?
- The threads should be identified clearly in the sample or there should be a legend that will never be separated from the sampler.
- The threads should be used as fully as they would in any worked piece. In other words, if the thread is a stranded one, then strand usage should be incorporated to the piece.
- The sampler should answer any question a person might have about the thread as used in any type of work.
- The threads sampler should show very clearly the differences between the various thread samples.
And another thing—
- How does ground affect the thread usage? How can I work this into the sampler? Certain fabrics tend to “eat up” the pattern. Like Aida 14 or Fiddlers Cloth just don’t show silks off at all, in my opinion the fabric is too heavy and overpowers the delicate strength of the silk. [Are there fabric/thread combinations that you simply would never use?]
- How does the thread work with colored threads in the case I want to get into the latest thing in blackwork—Colored Monochrome? I don’t know about you, but I have experienced how different colored threads behave differently than the exact same thread in another color. Because the dye has an effect on the fiber. I have found reds can sometimes be rather knotty to work with. [How about you? What thread colors have you had weird experiences with?]
- [Can you think of other questions that should be considered in planning this sampler?]