There are lots of Blackwork books out there, but not too many that have the unbeatable combination of lovely patterns and free. This new book on Blackwork, ENSAMPLARIO ATLANTIO (Atlantic Sampler), is by Kim Brody Salazar and features Blackwork fillings.
Kim is making the book available free for download in four parts on her blog, String or Nothing. It has over 220 fillings and they are lovely.
If you page through the books you may be confused by the charts, they do not have the familiar lines we see in grid paper. Instead there are dots. This makes the stitches, which are drawn as stitches very easy to see. It also means that stitch sizes are all relative. If you want a bigger pattern, one stitch could be over three threads instead of two, the chart will still look the same.
To stitch from these kind of charts decide on the length of your stitches before doing anything else. In needlepoint, this is usually two threads (because straight stitches over one thread are unstable. Knowing this you can consider the patterns and see how big they are. by finding a repeat and counting.
Once you have found your pattern you can begin to stitch.
I’m planning on using some of these as the backgrounds on the ornaments I’m stitching this year.