In the meantime though, I got this book out of the library a fortnight ago. Actually, I used to own this one and it wasn't really long before I remembered why I'd sold it on through the Amazon Marketplace arrangement.
It's an OK book for what it offers, but I don't really think it deserves the title of 'Beginner's Guide to' and I can't help feeling that most of the contents aren't really blackwork as I think of it. The cover tells you most of what you need to know about the contents as the focus is on outline-type patterns and not really areas of a picture or pattern comprising different filling stitches.
To be fair there are four pages of sample filling stitches, (here is one of them), but there are far more pages of outlines, borders and so on. In the instruction section, there's plenty of information on threads, needles and suitable fabrics, but the only actual stitching tutorial is for the three outline stitching methods that I posted about two weeks ago. As the book focuses on those, I can see the reason for their inclusion, but there doesn't seem to be a word on how to work filling patterns.
Where I think the book does do well is that it gives you an idea of how to go about designing your own repeat patterns, which could be outlines or, preferably (IMHO) for fillings. Here is that section, which I think could be quite useful and I may have a go at one day.
Anyway, I was glad I could borrow the book (and was even more glad that a couple of the Lonely Planet guides I wanted to look at more than you can in the book shop were also available!!!), but unless you're really interested in a sort of blackwork meets doodle stitching sort of style, it's probably not for you.
Next up for me is to make a start on Sir's anniversary card using some of the heart designs from this magazine article.
What about you? Anything to report, Needlequesters?
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2014