Given Chris Laning’s confirmation of our independently devised charting method, and my own impatience to get started, I’ve decided that using GIMP in the multi-layer mode is the way to meet my graphing challenge. That means one layer for background grid, one for pattern, and a “mask” layer of little white donuts around each grid point to separate the solid pattern lines into stitch units. Thanks also to Ariel who had a very innovative suggestion about using MetaPost, but the complexity of some of the patterns I will be doing will quickly exceed the practicality of her solution.

To practice up for these more complex designs I decided to regraph the collection of 72 blackwork fillings I published back in 1978, plus some more from my own notebooks that didn’t make it into that booklet. These are the fillings I used in the blackwork underskirt I stitched back in 1976-1977.

underskirt.jpg underskirt-det.jpg

Not being able to resist a doodle-capable medium, I’ve done up a few more, too. I’ve got about 100 of these fillings now graphed out in neat little squares and ready to share, but I’ve not decided on the most efficient sharing method. I’m leaning to composing them into pages, and sharing the pages one by one, so that they can be seen before they’re downloaded. An alternative would be making a new PDF booklet and post that. In either case, my intent is to publish them here for free download under my own copyright, rather than try to sell the thing.

Here are two samples to whet your appetite. Any feedback? Suggestions?


And special thanks again to Chris, who has asked that I spread the word among both SCA and non-SCA stitchers about a valuable embroidery resource. The SCA’s West Kingdom’s Needleworkers’ Guild maintains a very useful on-line library of articles on historical stitching – all from the hands-on perspective. You can find it here. I guarantee hours of fascinating reading and inspiration!

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One response

  1. I think you’ve nailed it. The examples look very good. : )

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