God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Monday, August 19, 2013

August IHSW Report, Part II

As I explained in my previous post ... August IHSW Report, Part I ... I am doing my IHSW report in two parts this month.  You may have wondered why two parts.  Well, I just think this third project I chose to stitch this weekend needed a post of its own.

Let me start off by saying how much I like primitive designs.  I enjoy several different stitching styles but primitive is at the top of the list.  I enjoy stitching like our grandmothers or great grandmothers may have stitched when they were little girls.  I love having the feel of the past around me.  I think it was, for the most part, a better time.

Stitching primitives, however, is sometimes difficult for me.  I am an OCD perfectionist.  I sometimes have a hard time looking at a chart created by a primitive designer who works hard to give us projects that have the look of old stitched pieces.  I discovered that oftentimes a primitive designer will purposely chart a design off center.  This nearly put me in a mental institution the first time I encountered it.  This particular design I am referring to was kind of in 3 parts.  It had a house in the center with some primitive designs around it.  I had completed all the stitching above the house & then began working on the roof of the house.  This is when I noticed that the house was not only off center but the designer had an extra line of bricks on one side!  I froze.  What in the world?  I removed the stitching I had completed on the house at that point & then sat down with the chart in front of me, measuring it & shifting things around so that everything was evenly centered.  It was a large pinkeep project & I remember thinking afterward that I needed to learn to go with the flow of these things.  I told myself that imperfection is what primitives are all about, but let me tell you, it has been a difficult journey for me.

Another thing that has been difficult for me at times on the primitive stitching front is a designer's color choices.  I have stressed over a designer's color choices many times.  I have shared with you before that I have absolutely no color sense whatsoever.  None. I can sit & look at piles of fabric, floss, color swatches, you name it, with a blank stare. All of you who can so easily swap out a designer's suggested color of floss &/or linen for some other choice have my awe-filled admiration.  If I have any pleasing color combinations in my home or clothing, it's no thanks to me.

I understand that sometimes a designer will choose a color or colors in an attempt, I imagine, to make the finished project look worn & faded.  I remember the first time I realized this.  I was stitching a design with 2 sheep on it.  One of the sheep was white. The other sheep was dark gray ... or so it seemed in the model photo.  I don't recall the DMC number suggested for the dark gray sheep, but it had a heavy green cast to it.  I can probably pinpoint this experience as the beginning of my need for anxiety medication. What was the designer thinking?  Was this sheep rolling around in a grassy field all day long?  Was she nauseated after unsuspectingly eating some bad clover in the field?  Was she envying some other sheep?  I just couldn't ... & still can't ... figure out what in the world that designer was aiming for!

Then there is a designer who created a particular snowman design.  I love snowmen. I really looked forward to stitching the design.  The snowman was a large part of it. He was wearing a black hat & a green scarf. I decided to use the WDW/GAST floss which the designer suggested rather than the DMC alternates.  We have probably all noticed the little disclaimer that designers often add when they suggest hand-dyed or over-dyed floss.  It reads something like "This project will not look the same as model if alternates are used."  I wanted this project to have the exact colors as the model photo so I went with the WDWs & GASTs.  All was going well until I started stitching the snowman who by this time I had named Frosty.  Some of you may remember my adventures stitching Frosty.  If you want to weed through my old postings about this project, it begins with my post on January 4, 2012, & continues off & on until the Celebration Cyber Party Invitation issued on February 8.  There are a lot of non-related postings during that time period but the creation of Frosty is chronicled within them.  To sum it up briefly, when stitching this project, I stitched the white floss last as this is what I had been taught to do when I first became interested in cross stitching.  There were areas of Frosty's body, however, that had some green shading. I blamed the green floss used for his scarf. Surely it must have been shedding little tinges of green onto the white floss.  What other explanation was there?  I may have even gone so far as to remove the scarf & stitch with the white first ... I really can't remember ... but for whatever reason, this hand-dyed/over-dyed white floss had some green shading to it.  Surely when the designer saw the finished model she must have noticed that her Frosty looked a little unwell?  I can't imagine that it was just this one skein of this particular brand of white floss that I had purchased that had this green shading in it.  If nothing else, stitching Frosty was & always will be a memorable experience.

Hmmm ... I know there was a particular reason I was writing this post.  Now what was it?  Oh yes, I wanted to show you what I chose to stitch for my third IHSW project & it's progress.  This is a Stacy Nash design which she has named Christmas Goose Pinkeep.  I would like to suggest a name change though.

Frankenstein's Monster's Daughter
Feeds the Geese Pinkeep
Just take a look at that girl's face!  She is green!  Why Stacy, why?  Anyone?  What is it with these green sheep, green snowmen, green goose girls?  The suggested DMC color for Beulah's skin (I've named her Beulah) is 611- Drab Brown.  I don't see any brown.  I see green.  Avocado green.

Incidentally, Beulah has green skin on Stacy's model photo which I hadn't noticed before deciding to stitch it, so apparently it's not a case of old DMC 611 verses new DMC 611. Stacy just wants her to be green for whatever reason.      

I showed Beulah's completed face, neck, & chest area to John when I finished stitching it last night.  He not only immediately noticed the green color of her skin but he brought out another interesting point about this design.  One of the reasons I am stitching it is because I love old English Christmas carols.  Christmas is Coming is one of my favorites.  John took one look at the design & asked ... 

"Why does it say 'the goose is getting fat' but it's showing two geese?  You should change it so that it reads 'the geese are getting fat' or instead just stitch one goose so what it's saying there makes sense."

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!  I think I'll just venture on & chalk this up to another memorable experience.

Thus ends Part II of my August IHSW report. Aren't you sorry you came along for the ride : )  


Vickie said...

hahahaha! John, John, John! I suppose you are correct sir. Perhaps this point is not helping our dear Shirlee out though?! So, yes, if Brian pointed that out to me, it would make me a little nuts too. I have run into the greenish thing once in a while too. Even with my beloved DMC. Just have John help you pick a nice shade for Beulah and unstitch her face and neck. Deep breaths. And maybe drop a goose?

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Morning Shirlee!
I too love to stitch the primitive designs and often wonder why they picked a certain color ~ when clearly it doesn't look right. But I just go with the flow.
Any way you are a hoot and I truly enjoy reading your posts.
Happy Stitchin'
Prim Blessings

Sarah in Stitches said...

Hahahahaha! That's hilarious. I think I would go with just changing the words so it says "the geese are getting fat" - that way you still get to stitch both geese! And definitely change the girl's face if you don't want her to be green. :P I change floss colors all the time with no shame!

Julie said...

Not sure I could stick with the green face. Clever John, that's just the sort of comment my hubby would have made when I showed it him finished!!

Linda said...

Great new start Shirlee. I have a husband comment to share on my stitching on my blog tomorrow. (My hubbys name is also John) Maybe its a John thing. lol


Marcy said...

:) great post!! I don't usually notice those kinds of things -- maybe because I'm constantly changing colors. lol -- now I probably will . . . hmmm, not sure that's a good thing.

Catherine said...

This post had me rolling! You know, it's funny that a designer would even say to use the called for colors for he same look when using overdyed threads ~ we all know how differ one dye lot can be from another. Did your husband have any idea the effect it would have on you to point that out!?!

Peggy Lee said...

I've run in to the "primitive colors" dilemma too. Sometimes I have the foresight to change it up before I stitch and sometimes I don't think of it and later wish I had.

Minnie said...

Your post is hilarious and my suggestion is to change the skin color (I do all the time) and the words to show two geese. I think maybe the designers are trying to keep you on your toes.

Anne said...

Lol! I loved reading your post Shirlee as I feel I have the same tendencies to freak when something isn't quite right...and yeah, what about that green sick colour? She does look like Frankenstein's daughter! I tend to be quite the perfectionist when it comes to stitching, sewing, crocheting, whatever to the point when I can't complete a project because I made an error. It's sends me over the deep end. I'm really trying hard to go with the flow and think I'm now at that point of squinting my eyes while looking at my projects, therefore I don't really "see" the errors :D

marly said...

Since the majority of my floss is old, I can see a big difference in some color families compared to new skeins. The 611-613 is one, and the 640's is another. The older 640 series is taupe, almost a pinkish cast, the new stuff has a greenish tinge. The same with the 610 series. When I was doing the pears, I always bought new floss because my old stuff was sometimes way off. But I have no explanation for the others!

Simply Victoria said...

Poor Beulah does look a little green around the gills! So glad that you are feeling better and blogging lots of humor again. You were missed!

Krista said...

So funny! It really is amazing how these colors change over time. One thing we used to be able to count on was DMC colors being what they are, it is a different world now, lol!

Jan Gartlan said...

He he... what fun

Marilyn said...

That sounds all too familiar.
One thing leads to another, right?
You cahnge 1 color, then another,etc.

Mii Stitch said...

YOu could change the wording on the design: Halloween is coming... it will fit nicely with the green colours :D

Chris said...


cucki said...


Lee said...

LOL! Loved this post!

Dawn said...

thank you for the laugh, I truly needed it.

Kaisievic said...

You make me laugh, Shirlee, I have stitched the little goose girl and I love her primitive colour! I would just go with the flow.
Have you announced the winner of the Travelling Pattern yet? I couldn't see a post about it.

Pam in IL said...

I change the colors on alot of the pieces I stitch too. I'm sure it will look awesome when you're finished.

thegreytail said...

Shirlee, you're adorable, you know that.
if for whatever reason you want colour suggestions just ask your stitching friends. we love to help.
as for the wicked witch's face, Beulah, why not trying GAST Sweet Petunia or a lighter pink, WDW Chablis?
and the goose/geese thing: I have my own theory. one goose (the one closer to Beulah) is still thin, the other one is getting fat - so the saying could stay like it is. ;)
hugs and happy xxx,

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Shirlee I love you because -

a. you make me laugh
b. you refer to the green girl as Frankenstein's Monster's daughter. My OCD makes me scream when people call the monster Frankenstein. HE WAS THE DOCTOR!!!! The poor monster didn't even get a name, just Monster.

I also level up things so they are even on both sides.