The (kinda sorta) black work biscornu

This week I’ve begun another biscornu. This one is ever so (not) creatively called “Red Monochrome Biscornu and Scissor Fob” by the designer (with a long-winded name)  Marie-Ann Rétholet-Mélin. The poor dear is plagued by excessive hyphenation, too.

Funny things and jokes aside, this pattern is a fine example of what you can do with modern black work and some cross stitches. I’m having lots of fun with it. Here’s my progress on the biscornu:


It’s just a lot of geometric shapes combined to create an overall complex-looking design. Oddly, the title of the pattern has “monochrome” in it but the thread is actually a DMC multi-shade. Also, it combines cross stitches with back stitches, a sort of “modern black work” in the sense that it is not possible to do the old-fashioned black work here, with all running stitches. It isn’t necessary, either, considering that only one side will show.

I did not follow the instructions exactly as the pattern indicates, and neither should you if you decide to buy this and stitch on it. In particular, I’m referring to how the designer says to use two strands for back stitches and three strands for cross stitches. No. Nonononono. It’s perfectly fine, and economical with the thread, to use two strands for everything. The added bonus for having all stitches the same thickness is that cross stitches and back stitches can be done simultaneously without having to worry about ruining the backstitching later, just like you’re ideally supposed to do (or try to do) when you’re black working.

I’m glad I got this pattern, too, because it makes me think of doodling. In the future, if I happen to doodle something really cool, I’m going to chart it into black work, I think. I could just imagine someone coming up with this pattern here inspired by a doodle, can’t you?


17 thoughts on “The (kinda sorta) black work biscornu

  1. Maia February 8, 2018 / 2:20 am

    Biscornus bit you again! 🙂 I think in honor of her hyperphenation (Not a word? Is now!), you should rename this “Red-Monochrome Biscornu and Scissor-Fob.” This looks like it’s going to be really sharp when it’s finished.

    And while I was joking about the heart, it turns out this actually *is* called redwork. There’s also whitework, which I’ll bet is beautiful, but I couldn’t manage it any more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tonymarkp February 8, 2018 / 1:55 pm

      I wonder if there is a special type of “work” for every color imaginable. Maybe we could do some “coffeebrownwork” or some “christmaspinetreegreenwork.” I love this new word “hyperphenation.” It fits splendidly. Thanks for checking out my redwork. It’s like blackwork, but in red.


      • Maia February 8, 2018 / 10:13 pm

        Those are the only three I’ve seen used, but I say why not make more in the good German tradition of word formation — stack those descriptors on! Lavenderbutnotquitelilacwithasize24tapestryneedlework!

        Liked by 1 person

      • tonymarkp February 8, 2018 / 11:12 pm

        That one there you just invented could be just called “Yuppiework” LOL. Sounds like a word from American Psycho.


      • Maia February 8, 2018 / 11:15 pm

        Don’t you have to be simultaneously day trading and spending $8 for a bottle of water for it to be yuppiework?

        Liked by 1 person

      • tonymarkp February 8, 2018 / 11:17 pm

        I think at this point you have to be dead. The yuppies lived briefly. The question remains if it was the cocaine or the overdoing the exercise, or both.


      • Maia February 8, 2018 / 11:24 pm

        “I think I’ll snort this pound of coke, put on my Members Only jacket, and jog.” Yeah, I’d vote for both. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • tonymarkp February 8, 2018 / 11:25 pm

        Maybe it was the Members Only jacket! Or the French Toast jacket, which sinisterly replaced the members only (sinisterly isn’t a word, but it really is, all adjectives can be made into adverbs).


      • Maia February 8, 2018 / 11:50 pm

        My spellcheck accepts sinisterly, so you win! (Thinking back to a co-worker who I was unable to convince that his changing the computer’s spellchecker to accept Febuary didn’t make it right. 🙂 )

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate February 8, 2018 / 3:18 am

    Very nice! I’m with you, I would use two strands throughout, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. claire93 February 8, 2018 / 10:18 am

    Looking good, Tony! I agree that 3 threads would have been too much. Personally I would probably have used 1 for the blackwork bits and 2 for the cross stitch. You’ll find many blackwork charts suggest varying numbers of threads, to give the finished piece more texture, I think.
    And in case you hadn’t noticed . . . there’s a link on my blog (in the the blog roll part) to Blackwork Journey where you can download lots of FREE blackwork charts ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    • tonymarkp February 8, 2018 / 1:50 pm

      I wish I had looked at your blogroll before! Maia, another blogger and stitcher, has actually begun working on the “Save the Stitches” sampler and it is absolutely beautiful. So of course, yesterday, I started browsing through the charts at Blackwork Journey! Indeed, three strands is too many, as can be seen from the photo in the pattern. The Aida looks overweighted. For this pattern I decided not to use two strands for cross stitches and one for blackwork because the pattern is too confusing that way. The chart actually specifies three strands (a cross stitch) in the middle of back stitches. Then, there are so many isolated cross stitches, too many to justify using different thicknesses. I went with one uniform thickness throughout to save myself a headache. It looks just fine that way, too, I do say so myself!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • tonymarkp February 8, 2018 / 10:59 am

      Thanks! Your design is really unique!


  4. brennacrocheter February 8, 2018 / 7:20 pm

    You really have the cross stitching bug! I think you should definitely chart your next doodle!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tonymarkp February 8, 2018 / 11:14 pm

    Not really, it isn’t a bug, it is just another thing I do along with the knitting and crochet, now! I don’t think I should ever chart anything I draw. Unless you want me to unleash sore eyes on the entire universe!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s