I have a book on blackwork, by Lesley Barnett (title is Blackwork). It has some amazing designs in it. But none of the simpler patterns suitable for a beginner appealed to me. Then I struck lucky and found the pattern for this blackwork stitcher, in a charity shop for £2. At that price and this design how could I resist. Now in general I am not a fan of back stitch and often contemplate if a design really needs it after I finish the cross stitches. Invariably it does however, I find them a bit of a chore, necessary but not enjoyable.
So I expected that this would be slow going on the same basis as after all blackwork is lots and lots of back stitching. Quite the opposite, to my surprise it was quick, interesting and relaxing. The only niggly bit was adding the goldwork to the dress and then just carrying the thread over at the back (oh Lesley Barnet does a book on that as well titled, yip you guessed it Goldwork).
So now I am on the look out for another blackwork pattern with an appealing subject.
Oh, I almost forgot, this design is Blackwork Stitcher by X-Calibre Designs. They do a Lacemaker as well so perhaps....