I have finally attempted blackwork, successfully. I have had the fabric ready for a while but hadn't taken the first stitch. After stitching for just a short while, I am hooked!
With cross stitch you see exactly what you are doing and the stitches look correct right away. With blackwork, the stitches don't look right until you have finished two passes. It is a challenge to stitch the first pass and keep track of where you are. I found that if I concentrated too much on the stitches I actually had a harder time keeping on track. But, there is a rythm, so if you just go with the rythm, and not what the stitch looks like, it all falls into place. The return route is fast and easy because you see are basically following the same path, but backwards.
This is a fast stitching method, that has amazing potential. In just the few minutes after taking this photo I had the return path of the outside edge stitched (see the "dotted line" vs. the solid line on the left, it is now all a solid line).
The next step is to put some flowers in the centre and then I am looking for something that will look nice in the corners.
To finish this piece off I think I will trim and then fray the edges.
I used Carol Leather's Blackwork Instructions. It was an excellent introduction to blackwork.