For the past few days I’ve been working only on my blackwork piece. Usually I try to alternate projects on the site so you get read about something different every day, but I’m just so excited to get the blackwork bits all finished and move on to the gold, that this is all I’ve been doing!
Yesterday I was moving along nicely stitching the final filling (from the RSN Essential Stitch Guide Blackwork) and discovered a small blackwork math miracle. I say miracle because it was totally unplanned and I do NOT know how it worked out so perfectly – but I’m glad it did!
Look at the lacy pattern below that fills the large flower shape in the middle of the piece. You can see it’s made up of two different shapes: one shape that’s like a plus sign or cross with four equal sections and one shape that’s long and narrow with two sections that are longer and two that are shorter.
When I started stitching, I chose to begin at the top of the flower shape where two of the curved petals join. I began the filling by aligning the tip of the long, narrow shape with the point where two of the curved lines of the petals join. Why did I choose to do it that way? It seemed the most straightforward place to begin, simple as that.
But yesterday, when I put the piece down to get one of the many cups of apple tea I’ve been drinking lately (with honey – delicious!) I noticed an amazing thing had happened. Look at the photo below – can you see what I”m talking about? The arrows should help…
By some wonderful coincidence (or miracle!) the filling is lining up perfectly with the places where the petals come together every 45 degrees. Imagine the flower as a clock face: the pattern is lining up at 12:00, 3:00 and 6:00. It will line up at 9:00 as well. At each of those points, the long narrow shape emerges. This means that the count of the fabric, the number of stitches in the filling pattern and the placement of the design on the fabric all line up. I didn’t plan it this way! It’s a bit spooky! Maybe someone who has a better understanding of math, pattern and blackwork will be able to explain, but I can’t. To me, it’s a little miracle.
And now, on to more mundane things…I looked forever for a filling for the little leaves. Each leaf will be edged in gold passing thread and the vein in the center will also be gold so the filling needed to be pretty unobtrusive. I finally decided on this simple straight line pattern and it’s perfect. The direction of the stitch changes for the center leaf but other than that it’s as simple as could be.
If you have any insight about this minor stitching miracle, please leave a comment!