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4.7 out of 5 stars
38
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover-spiral|Change
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on 1 April 2011
I was disappointed in this book, having enjoyed blackwork for a number of years I thought an essential guide from the RSN would be something really worth having. However, there are only 37 diaper patterns in this book and I already have a bigger collection garnered from other authors, the requirements list is, to me, far too complex and off putting for anyone looking to start this fascinating embroidery and there are better books than this if you are a beginner. If you want to progress to designing, then the sections on design and shading are probably useful but much of it can be found elsewhere. It says it is an 'Essential Stitch Guide' so no projects of course, but with so few stitch patterns (the basis of blackwork)it really isn't very essential either. Do I buy the other Essential Guides due to be publiched? On the evidence of this one the answer is 'No'.
As an afterthought - in the history it is stated that this technique was popularised during the reign of Henry VIII and is generally thoguht to have been introduced by Catherine of Aragon (1509-1533). Most embroidery historians I have read accept that she popularised it but think it is mentioned much earlier in Chaucers Canterbury Tales (late 14th century). Important if you want accuracy.
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Another great book in the Essential Stitch Guide series from Search Press. This book follows a similar format to the Crewelwork book, an introduction to the history of Blackwork along with details of the materials & equipment needed and how to set up.

You are then guided through the different stitches, again with well written instructions and clear photos to aid you. The book then takes you through some of the many patterns used in blackwork to give texture to your designs. It also provides photographic examples of when such patterns could be used.

You are also shown how to break up the patterns easing the colour from black to white to really add another dimension to your work. As with the previous book this book is spiral bound and is small enough to be carried around.

This review originally appear on The Sewing Directory
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on 20 November 2010
Love this book! Easy to follow and understand. It helps me to develop patterns and creates more beautiful examples of contemporary embroidery. Also it is very good for traditional blackwork embroidery. From this book I finally understand shading method.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 17 November 2010
Part of a Royal School of Needlework series, this book teaches the basic blackwork stitches with detailed photographs showing step by step procedures. It gives examples of the patterns and of finished work. There are also a few ideas for developing your work. This book provides a comprehensive guide to blackwork. This review first appeared on Karen Platt's book review website.
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on 8 June 2015
This is spiral bound and provides asome interesting projects with embroidery stitches and patterns for filling....if you ever need a change from the embroidery sewing machine... good explanations for introducing shading and tone.
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on 15 December 2010
I belong to the Irish Countrywomens Association and we are always interested in Crafts. This book has inspired the imagination greatly and I hope to tackle some of the projects after Christmas.
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on 29 August 2013
This book has 4 and a half star reviews but I was quite disappointed with it comparing it with the other RSN Essential Stitch Guides that I have seen which take you through step by step. I have struggled with Blackwork and was hoping that this would actually take me through how to compose the patterns and how to do the basic formation of each element of the patterns which for me sadly it failed to do. The search continues.
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on 15 August 2011
Bought for my wife. A hardback spiral bound. Informative, well illustrated and excellent text, well written for the blackwork enthusiast.
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on 14 January 2014
i love the layout of the book. it teaches you what you need to know regarding stitches. I also love how they teach you shading techniques ,there are no patterns to some of the work shown in the book or any patterns for projects. good book to have.
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on 9 July 2013
From the description I had expected the book to contain design patterns for specific projects. Instead it is full of stitch patterns with advice on what they are suitable for eg architecture, natural forms. Initially I was going to return it but i took time to look at it carefully and realised it had much more flexibility as you could use the stitches in any design of your own encouraging creativity.
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