Blackwork Princess by Dragon Dreams 

Blackwork Princess by Dragon Dreams

Copyright Jennifer L. Aikman-Smith, Dragon Dreams, 2005.

Blackwork Princess by Dragon Dreams

Chart: This Dragon Dreams chart is printed on a folded A3 cardboard sheet. This is a great improvement over the earlier grey/green charts. The chart is printed over the inside double spread including across the fold. The blackwork lines are shown large and dark and seem easy to follow. There is a separate close-up chart for the Princess’s lips. The chart also provides some history of blackwork as well as some ideas on how to change the colour palette of the design.

Stitches: Pattern uses Blackwork.

Materials: Kreinik Black Silk Bella. Stitched on Zweigart 25ct “White” Lugana.

Designer’s Notes: Once upon a time, a talented designer named Linn Skinner created a magnificent resource for stitchers called “100 Blackwork Charts” after painstakingly researching traditional Blackwork filling patterns from 16th and 17th Century needlework in the museums of England and giving new names to them. These patterns inspired me to take traditional blackwork in a new direction and make fantasy designs where you drew with your BACKSTICH! I call it ILLUSTRATIVE Blackwork and hope you will enjoy this third design using the technique. It really is much easier than you could ever imagine and just as addictive as making those little Xs … so watch out!!! The model shown on the front is stitched in all one colour, but you will find plenty of ideas on how to customise this piece inside. Rummage through your stash of extra fibres and have some FUN!

Why I was attracted to this design: Jennifer’s enthusiasm just sings through that description above – I love a designer who is so passionate about her work and believes in what she does! I love blackwork and blackwork used in a modern way – Jennifer epitomizes this with these designs.  She uses blackwork the way an artist uses pencil lines!

So why haven’t I stitched it? Partially because it has always felt just a little blocky to me. The lines around jaw, the breast and the bricks in the top of the wall could easily be smoothed out with the use f diagonal stitches, but for some reason Jennifer didn’t use these.  I’ve been tempted to smooth out these lines myself, but I’m too hesitant to make that radical a change. Also I do want to stitch this in threads called for, as I haven’t had a chance to use Kreinik Silk Bella yet and I can’t pass up an opportunity to play with a new thread!  Especially a silk!  So I’m afraid I can’t progress any further on this, until I obtain two spools of the silk Bella.  Or that’s what I’ve always told myself.

Where can you buy it? Although Dragon Dreams does not sell direct to the public, this design is in print and can be bought or ordered at any LNS or ONS for around $10US.

Discussion questions:  This blogger shows the design stitched and framed,  and the blockiness seems much less pronounced. What do you think?  Am I being too critical of the design?


25 Mar 2012 – Partially kitted