Agi, I stitched this on 32ct Belfast antique white linen.
I tackled the design by doing all of the cross stitch first, so that the Celtic knots were all done and I was sure the layout was correct. Then I tackled the blackwork. This also meant I was able to start and finish most of the blackwork threads in the cross-stitching.
Once you get your eye in, starting the small designs becomes easier, and, of course, you will be doing all of them at least 4 times, so practice does make perfect. I used quite a combination of back stitch, running stitch and Holbein stitch (also known as double running stitch) on this piece to avoid taking any threads behind empty white fabric.
WARNING: keep an eye peeled for two eccentricities in the blackwork designs:
1. some designs start as a 'half' stitch
2. some of the blackwork designs do not follow the obvious line: sometimes you will take a thread over two threads and up four... (for instance)
Really study the designs before you start one!
was a great friend of mind for a bit with this design...