Thanks for landing here on String-or-Nothing.  Long time readers know what I’ve got in my pocketses – usually something to knit or stitch.

Some of you may know me from other venues, most notably, as a web resident since the dawn of the Internet age, participating in BBSs, Genie After Dark, then email lists, early Usenet forums, the larval KnitList and other knitting/stitching related discussion groups.  Or you  may know me as Countess Ianthé d’Averoigne, OL, OR in the Society for Creative Anachronism; in which I am also an artifact of the distant past.   You might have even come across my books of embroidery patterns, or my published knitting designs.  Or perhaps you stumbled across me in a professional capacity. I was a proposal manager and writer specializing in engineering and high tech products and research – especially for small, emerging companies; but that was my day job. 

I am abetted in my ventures by my family, including the offspring, Elder and Younger (both knitters and full-blooming nerds); and by the husband (aka, The Resident Male) – without whose support and encouragement I’d be stitching in a back room somewhere without the fun of sharing.

Right now the family is back together in the US after an extended stint living the Expat Life, accompanying The Resident Male on his posting in Pune, Maharashtra, India.  There everything is new, strange, and perfumed with cumin.

Opinions in these posts are my own.  Feel free to disagree, but I reserve the right to remove offensive or confrontational content.

All written content on this website is copyright 2004-2023 by Kim Brody Salazar.  Unattributed photos are my own; others have been reproduced with permission, or are accompanied by in text citations.  If you wish to reproduce content from this site, please contact me:

kbsalazar [at] gmail [dot] com

36 responses

  1. Hi Kim — I downloaded the Blackwork book in the 4 pieces. I have an app that allows me to take multiple PDF documents and ‘bind’ them into one. Here is a link to that utility: http://code.google.com/p/pdfbinder/. I was able to bind together other PDF Documents, but not the 4 Blackwork pieces. I even deleted them from my drive and did it again. Is there something that is prohibiting me from combining them into one book?

    1. Pat – I used Acrobat Professional to make a standard issue PDF of the document. However I limited editing rights on the four pieces because I’ve had problems before with people taking my material, putting a new cover on it and passing it off as their own. I’m afraid limiting editing rights also limits the permissions that the pdfbinder utility relies on for document reassembly I apologize to you and to others who have legitimate reason to want to stitch the doc back together, but are inconvenienced by this precaution. -K.

      1. Thanx for letting me know. All the binding does is concatenate the documents into one file. I would have thought you could do this without being subject to editing.

        I love the book and understand your desire to protect it. Thank you for sharing.

        BTW, your 1st book is selling for $218 on Amazon right now.

        Pat Kamperschroer

        1. I know! I wish I had authors’ copies beyond my now tattered #001 from the first numbered printing. Some people have asked how to get a hold of a copy of The New Carolingian Modelbook. The answer is, aside from the used market where it is going for quite a premium, I haven’t a clue.

          Sadly all I can report is that the publishers absconded shortly after publication. I have no idea where they went, and have had no replies from them to any queries since 1996. I received only about a year of royalties on the first 100 or so copies, in spite of the fact that the book went through two printings with an estimated total run of 3,000. New copies continue to trickle onto the market even today (they’re sold as used but mint). The new-copy seller has rebuffed myattempts to find the ultimate source.

          Moral of the story – don’t enter into publication contracts without a literary agent, and if the company has a name like “Outlaw Press” there’s probably a reason.


  2. Thank you for your generous offer.
    Only through experience do we truly learn.
    But when one’s trust is shattered it is surely a bitter pill to take.

    Just remember Outlaws do get caught.
    All the best

  3. Hi – the link to the chart with the vintage and modern needle sizes seems to be broken. I even tried the wayback machine, and did find it there, but just as a blank chart. I heard it was a great resource and was hoping to take a look. Thanks for all the great information.

    1. Thanks! EVERYTHING broke when we ported the site from a leased server to WordPress. I’m retrieving, reposting and correcting as I can. I’ll move this one to the top of the priority list. -k.

  4. Thanks for you generosity. There are not that many resources out there that have such a wealth of patterns to think about. I am a beginner with blackwork and am trying to put some of the patterns into my own designs. Haven’t done much so far.

    1. Happy to help, Mary! The more tools and tinkertoys we all have, the richer will be the final creations. I’d love to see what you eventually come up with. Enjoy! -K.

  5. I enjoyed your articles graphing knitting patterns 1-4 so much. Have you taken them down? Are they still available?

    1. Thanks, Laura! Apologies for the inconvenience. When we ported the entire 8+ year run of posts to the new server, many things broke, and I’m still sorting them out.

      The graphing tutorial series is still available, although the link locations have changed. You can find the entire 8-part series (including the original four posts) here: https://string-or-nothing.com/category/reference-shelf/tutorials/graphing-knitting-patterns/

      You can also get to it via the sidebar to the right, it’s indexed under “Reference Shelf.” Eventually, I’ll add quick hop tags to the tab at the top of the page for all of the tutorial series I’ve posted.

      Thanks for your patience, and for bringing this to my attention. -Kim

      1. Myrna A.I. Stahman, dba Rocking Chair Press | Reply


        Laura Talla forwarded to me the information that you are doing “a modern redaction and adaptation of a Duchrow pattern.”

        I would love to talk with you about Christine Duchrow. I am working on a book that is based upon Duchrow designs. I keep hitting a brick wall in my attempt to obtain information about Duchrow’s life. I have also made some interesting discoveries.

        You can either e-mail or call.

        Looking forward to hearing from you,

        1. Answered privately.

  6. thanks so much for the link! and thanks even more for publishing these wonderful articles. they helped me back up to speed with charting as well as confirming what i made up about how to chart uneven stitch counts. just charted Barbara Walker’s “Bell Lace” (vol 2, p 291.) It was challenging to me to decide where to put no stitch spaces to best represent the pattern visually and also to group stitches to make knitting and memorizing easiest. Maybe they are one in the same?

    1. Agree! The dreaded “no-stitch” boxes are useful both for making the charted pattern congruent with the appearance of the final product, and for visually offsetting or grouping stitches into units that are more easy to parse out or memorize. I’m working on a large chart right now, a modern redaction and adaptation of a Duchrow pattern for an upcoming offering here. These no-stitch boxes and their placement are key to the whole venture.

  7. Hi Kim,
    I read your post with great interest, and downloaded the zip file. Unfortunately, I seem to be missing something or not doing something right. The zip file contains two files, blank_page.xcf and solid.xcf. but when i opened the solid gimp file, i found 4 layers (donuts, dots, grkl mask, and pattern), but none of the beautiful patterns discussed in your online gimp/needlepoint tutorial. i must be doing something wrong, but i am not sure what. at any rate, i’m very pleased i came across your blog, as i’m in the middle of publishing a series of my own on needlepoint and gimp. would you be okay if i made use of some of your patterns in a future post, should it seem to fit with what i’m doing in the series? please email when you have a moment to let me know how to access your patterns via gimp. my email is erin at needlepoint land dot com. best, erin mcgrath ps i would also be interested in your thoughts re the add-on you mentioned, if you’ve tested it out. thanks again.

    1. The files are in support of the tutorial. They are intended for people to use as a short-cut to creating their own material. I do not issue finished patterns in GIMP format. But if you go over to the Books tab, above you’ll find my book of blackwork fillings, for free.

      I am currently working on a sequel to TNCM, that will contain almost all of the fancy patterns that I’ve used on the various samplers pictured on my site, plus a lot more. That one will be a paid publication, which (with luck) I hope to have all finished and issued by the end of the winter, early spring 2014.

  8. I am so excited to learn that you are working on a TNCM 2! I purchased that book the year it came out and have loved it ever since. Can’t wait to see what the second one holds.

    Your work inspired me to explore counted work. Thank you for your work and generosity!!!

  9. I am knitting the motley strip blanket but can’t understand how to attach the second strip to the first. Please can anyone help

    1. The second strip is knit on to the first, attached at the same time it is being produced. Every strip is applied this way, eliminating the need to seam them together.

      When you get to the end of the first strip, you can either continue on with the yarn you are using, or pick another ball of yarn and begin with that. Remember – you have just ended off a strip. If you are continuing on with the same ball of yarn, stop casting off when you have only one loop left. If you are beginning a new ball of yarn, finish the cast-off row, then pull one loop of your new yarn up (aka picking up) in the final stitch of your cast off row.

      Now – either way – you have one stitch on the needle. Cast on another eleven. I recommend half hitch cast-on, or knitting on, but not the long-tail cast-on. You can use it, but it’s harder to finagle from a picked-up loop.

      Once you have twelve stitches total on your needle, you are ready to work back towards the knitted strip you previously finished. Look at your strip and determine which way it slants. Does it slant left-to-right (a zig), or right-to-left (a zag)? Follow the instructions in the pattern, accordingly.

      Click to access motley.pdf

      In general, you will knit back towards the established work, pick up a loop in the selvedge edge of the row that presents itself, then passing the stitch just before the picked up one over the new stitch. This preserves stitch count and attaches the new knitting to the old. The only difference between zig and zag segments is the placement of the increase, so that the new knitting is congruent with the slant of the established work.

      Hope this helps. K.

  10. Hello ! My name is Maria Davou and I am the author for knitting and crochet books in the Greek language. I would like to help you include the greek knitting and crochet terms in your international glossary

    1. Hi Maria! I am VERY interested in posting Greek additions to this list. Unfortunately I am very busy with work right now, so I won’t be able to get back to you on this for at least a week. I will however be in touch! Thank you. -k.

  11. Hello! Thank you for your repply. Whenever you are ready, please notify me . Thank you!

  12. Hello Kim! This is Maria Davou from Greece again. Are you still so busy? Please give me an idea with your time schedule. Should I start preparing the Greek knitting and crochet terms for your international glossary ?

  13. Hello, I am new to Blackwork. I was always into Medieval history, but now I am just finding out you can learn how to do Medieval Embroidery. I know there is two ways to do Blackwork. One way on where the areas on places may be seen on garment, and the other way where no one can see inside the Garment. Can you tell me where I can learn on how to do both? I have just found your blog and I have been quickly glancing over it and I see you use a program on your computer. Can you tell what it is and what it does? I am glad I found your blog. Thank you! Sandra

    1. Hi Sandra,
      There are many ways to do blackwork, and many styles lumped together under that name. Some are double sided – worked so that the front and back of the piece are almost exactly identical. Some are one-sided, with clear differences on the back and front. and others are presentable on both sides, but with slightly different appearances.

      To complicate matters – some of the styles lumped under the term “blackwork” are linear – they produce long strips of designs, suitable for cuffs, collars and hems. Others are “all over” and are used for cushions, curtains, even underwear. And some are “fill in” (aka, inhabited) – in which fancy fillings (some counted, some not) are used to fill in heavier outlines, as if the stitcher was “coloring” using thread and patterns in a coloring book.

      And just to make life even more difficult, not all of what we call blackwork was done in black, or even in monochrome.

      If you are looking for directions on working the linear double sided styles using double running stitch, look here on this site under “tutorials.” Now that’s just one subset of all available possibilities. You could also work those same designs in back stitch, using a different stitching logic. (Eventually I’ll get around to writing that up, too.)

      As for programs, if you mean using computer programs to design or transcribe blackwork patterns, I use several, none of which however are commercial programs specifically designed for stitchers. But if you want to learn to use GIMP or MS Visio to draft stitching designs, my tutorials section has write-ups on those skills, too.

      Welcome aboard, and happy stitching. -kbs

  14. Sandra Popek | Reply

    Thank you for your time and help! I am glad I joined!


  15. Hello, I found your site in the last few years, and the life that we spend on other things even if they are a passion, we put them to sleep for a while. I just found your address and I’m thrilled just to tell you my admiration for your work and all the research you made to get here today. Thank you, thank you very much. I love your work.
    Have a very good day. Sylvie

  16. Hello, I am hooked on afghans. I made many in my 74 years. I have a photo and a chart, about a 50 years old one from a magazine. But I do not have the complete instruction for the filler strips. Made with Bear brand and Fleisher yarns. Name is Heritage Afgan No. 3280. I wish I can put on the photo, it is absolutely beautiful. The main strips are black with wild flowers, poppies, daisies, blubells, etc… I wonder if anyone has the complete instruction.
    Thank you, Karolina Szabo

    1. The full pattern is available on-line here: http://www.freevintagecrochet.com/free-afghan-patterns/bernhard45/heritage-afghan-pattern

      The embroidery charts cited in the pattern are available on the pattern page, click on “embroidery and Arrangement Charts” appearing just below the crochet hook size info. The directions for the filler strips are in prose on the text page linked above.

  17. Hello! You do lovely work!
    I am hoping to use your Morgan’s Mountain Laurel Crib Counterpane. There’s nothing in the pdf, as far as I can tell, to say how much wool is used per panel. How many skeins/meters/yards did you end up using?

    1. Hmm. It was 20 years ago (the baby in the photo is now a college sophomore) so the best I can say is that I got about 2.5 motifs out of each skein of Cotton Classic. I probably used about 18-20 skeins total.

  18. I work at a needlework shop and recently fell hook line and sinker for 16th century counted thread embroidery– a customer told me about your blog and I’ve probably read your embroidery section twice over in the last week? I’m working on doing some of my own charting from period examples–particularly the V&A T.14-1931– and there don’t seem to be too many of us doing that, so it was amazing to find this as a resource. You’ve also inspired me to try voided work as well. Thanks so much for doing what you do!

    1. I know I have been promising it for way too long, but my new book is coming soon. I will announce uncle it here first. Stay tuned for more stitching fun. (I love being a bad influence.) 🙂

    2. Thanks! I am always happy to be a bad influence. :). Please feel free to send pix of your work. And T2CM (which I promise I am still working to release) will be especially fun for you. Over 200 designs, some from that sampler, but more from other artifacts. All sourced.

  19. Hi, Kim. I’ve run across this site so many times over the past years. Each time I discover you again, it’s like finding treasure. Thank you so much for sharing all of your research and stitching with us. I’m a huge fan!

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