The Blackwork Fish is turning out to be a super-fun project! I wasn’t sure if I’d grow weary of the black threads, but they’re such nice silk embroidery threads to work with that I really don’t envision tiring of the threads. I was also afraid that thinking up filling stitches and patterns would become tedious, but so far, it’s been grand! I pretty much just do what comes to mind, and it seems to be working out fairly well! So here’s a fish update!
To take you back to the beginning of this project, the Blackwork Fish is a spin-off of a doodled design. Instead of using pen and ink on paper, I’m using eight different weights of black silk thread on white 40-count linen. I already wrote a little bit about the pack of silk threads I’m using – it’s called the Ebony Collection from Leon Conrad Designs. If you’re looking for this silk pack, you can order it through Mimi’s Attic. I don’t know if they stock it, but they can get it for you.
Incidentally, the silks are all Pipers Silks, and you can probably mix and match the various weights available of black silk from Pipers and end up with pretty much the same variety of thread weights. The Pipers Silks website has recently undergone a transformation, so ordering from there is a bit easier than it used to be!
Now – onto the fish!
This is the next to the last section on the base of the fish – to the left of the pectoral fin. The close up on this rather stiff and gridded area is to demonstrate the difference in weights of thread. I backstitched the darker boxes, and then “filled” each of them with a straight stitch in one of the finest weights in the thread pack. It’s tiny stuff! (This is where a #12 embroidery needle comes in handy!)
The scallops on the right side of the photo are worked in stem stitch. The base of each scallop has an extra line of stem stitch worked there, to darken it up a bit.
The fan shape in the corner is a combination of cable chain stitch, straight stitch, fly stitch, and running stitch.
I added a few more valleys and hills using buttonhole stitch and chain stitch, and threw in a half-wheels in daisy stitch, too. The very top area is a series of straight stitches, alternating long and short.
I moved back to the middle section under the pectoral fin and started filling with a series of chain stitch hills, filled up with backstitch, cross stitch, buttonhole stitch, and straight stitches.
This is a close-up on the area around the pectoral fin. I wanted a bit of “shading” in there, to give the fin a bit of a lift off the body of the fish.
So I just went through and added some tiny straight stitches under the lower edge of the fin.
Here’s the fish to this point. I’m not finished with the area just to the left of the top of the pectoral fin. I still need to finish filling the top area there, to darken it up a bit. I want a stronger contrast between the body of the fish at this point and the fin.
So there’s the update on this fellow. I’ve made a little more progress on him since I took these photos, so I’ll be sharing those with you shortly!
If you’re interested in following this whole series of posts on this project, here are the related links: