“Could you show me how to do that? A sort of blackwork for beginners lesson?” I asked my school friend, as an intricate black and gold frog was appearing from nowhere on her fabric.
Then she turned the work over to fasten off her thread, and I could hardly believe my eyes. There was another frog on the reverse! When I tried to embroider, I ended up with a tangled forest on the back of my work, but her back side was as neat as the front.
We spent a few lunchtimes together, with her trying to show me how to do blackwork embroidery. All too soon it was the summer break and our lessons had to stop before I had mastered the technique.
I must have been the only child that year, who couldn't wait to get back to school. Only to find Julie had moved to a new one!
I turned to my grandmother, who had taught me basic embroidery stitches. But she had never tackled blackwork.
I asked my needlework teacher if I could do embroidery in class. She insisted that I make the same skirt that everyone else was stitching. Sigh!
Have you ever wanted to learn something new, but not had anyone around that could help? It is so frustrating, isn't it? To have your heart set on learning a skill, but no way of finding a mentor to help fulfill that dream?
So I taught myself blackwork for beginners. The stitches aren't difficult, but making the intricate patterns reversible was another matter!
Sheer perseverance and hard work paid off, and I conquered the simplest patterns.
But that wasn't enough for me. And I guess it wouldn't be for you?
I wanted to devise a way to make the most intricate patterns easy for you to stitch. I wanted to introduce YOU to the wonderful world of blackwork.
I charted some blackwork for beginners projects and started teaching people just like you. I taught at women's groups, local needlework stores and even major stitching shows.
I met some wonderful editors at the shows, who commissioned projects for their needlework magazines.
Blackwork was becoming popular, and I couldn't have been happier.
But I could only travel so far. There was only one of me, and I could only be in one place at a time. Then along came the Internet. A worldwide audience. Wow! Now I could teach you wherever you live.
One show, at the NEC in Birmingham, sticks in my memory. I spotted a tall young man, with a shorter lady, standing off to one side. I invited them to join the class I was holding.
"Oh, you have already taught me how to do blackwork," he replied. Racking my brain to place him, I just couldn't. No, I had definitely not had such a distinctive lad in any of my classes. Did I mention that he was TALL, well over 6 foot?
He laughed at my confusion and explained. It turned out he had completed all my blackwork for beginners Internet classes. But he wanted more from me. ..
"When are you going to write a book?"
I hadn't considered writing a book before that meeting in Birmingham.
But it had sown the seed. My mind was racing.
My patterns, which I had been refining every time a question came up in class, would work in a book format. I could include my methods for making those patterns easy to follow.
Of course I didn't stop there.
I wanted the book to lead you through the basics and then on to more advanced techniques. I wanted you to feel that I was there with you, holding your hand as you progressed.
So what is in the book, Blackwork For Beginners?
But the best bit is you don't have to wait by your mailbox for your copy of Blackwork for Beginners to arrive. You can download it and get started straight away.
But stop! Check out what others have said about the book.
How Carol describes the minutest detail, you just know that she has "been there, made that mistake". You feel as if you are reading comments from a friend instead of a teaching manual.
Jean Hilton, Lord Robartes Regiment - The Sealed Knot
Jean, above, was one of the first people I taught how to stitch blackwork. She was the leader of a women's craft group that met about 15 miles from my home.
I was so nervous that night!
I must have done something right though, as they asked me back many times for more advanced lessons.
After designing cross stitch patterns, I was looking for something new. Something that was easy to stitch for young and old, and I designed my first blackwork pattern. It was not what i expected. It did not look the way I wanted, and I had no idea what I was doing wrong.
Then I saw this book, Blackwork for Beginners, and bought it. For this small price, it was worth trying it.
Now I understand why my patterns were not the way I wanted, and it was so easy to change them in a better design. I can add some gold in my designs now, and this book inspired me for many more patterns.
Carol, thank you for this outstanding book. -
Anita, The Netherlands
I, like many other people, learned Blackwork the hard way by trial and error.
I have been a cross stitcher for approximately 20 years and a friend bought me a kit of what she thought was a cross stitch design. Wrong, it was blackwork. Oh dear, what on earth is that, looked at it and put it away for a couple of years! Later I brought the project out again and by trial and error taught myself blackwork.
If only Carol's book, Blackwork for Beginners, had been around then.
It is so full of good hints and suggestions. It is ideal for the beginner, from the very earliest stages to the more experienced stitcher. Carol's explanations and charts explain how to follow the pattern while giving you useful suggestions.
Also, for the more experienced the book helps you to understand how to "fill in" the patterns, once again with well-presented charts and explanations.
So for the perfect present for someone this Christmas, buy them Carol's book or buy it for yourself if you are already a blackwork stitcher. Even if you have been stitching for some time, Carol has packed this book with useful and interesting information that you won't want to miss. -
Margaret Lackie (Majorca)
Carol's blackwork book is excellent!
The visual aspects of this book make it so easy to know what she is talking about. Also, if you want to design blackwork, this book takes the guesswork out of it. I can tell my book will get a lot of use as a reference.
In Christ, Gail J. - (San Bernardino, Calif. USA)
No-Questions-Asked Guarantee: If for any reason you don't find this book helpful, just email me within 8 weeks from your date of purchase - and I'll issue you a 100% refund immediately. You have 8 full weeks to read, practice, and to stitch the projects. If you're not completely satisfied, just ask for (and receive) a 100% refund.
So don't put off learning blackwork any longer. Click on the button below and you will soon enjoy this stunning form of needlework yourself.
Oh wait! I missed the most exciting part out! The price.
The book will only cost you £9.95.
Please note that if you are in the UK or EU then VAT may be added at checkout.
Have you read this book? Would you like to write a review to help other people decide if it will help them learn how to stitch blackwork?
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Only $15 to buy, Invaluable when you have it...
After designing cross stitch patterns I was looking for something new. Something that was easy to stitch for young and old and I did design my first blackwork …
Best blackwork book
I like many other people learned Blackwork the hard way by trial and error. I have been a cross stitcher for approximately 20 years and a friend bought …