Friday, April 20, 2012

Color Bind?

Forgive me for using such a common pun but I just couldn't come up with another title for this post :)

Anywhoo . . .

I
seem to collect thread. It's not intentional, at least no more intentional than simply and uncontrollably being drawn to something that you love. Forgive me for using such a common pun but I just couldn't come up with another title for this post :)Of course I collect more than I should. I will "temporarily" misplace a thread, being absolutely convinced that it is the only color that will work for my project, I hastily order it. Usually, by the time the replacement thread arrives in the post, I've already located the original thread and dismissed it as not being quite right for that project. So now I have two. When I shop at my LNS I go there with the sole purpose of selecting linens, because I have more than enough thread. Of course, I use the thread there to guide the color selection of the linens and then when I find a combination I absolutely love I convince myself that I don't already own whatever skeins I've chosen so I have no choice but to buy them along with the linen. So again I end up with two skeins of the same color and in some particularly embarrassing cases, three skeins.

Having multiple skeins of the same color has led me to a bit of a problem this morning (yes, too much thread can be a problem).

I adore hand-dyed threads, especially Gentle Arts. To each his own, but for me the color and shading cannot be matched by commercially dyed threads and I rarely stitch with anything else. Anyone who has stitched with hand-dyed threads knows that there are differences between dye lots. Usually these differences are very subtle.

Two skeins of Gentle Arts Old Hickory. One I ordered online and one I purchased at my LNS, scant months apart. The skein on the left is just slightly darker and more brown than the skein on the right. A set such as this is wonderful for shading or for making a part of a sampler appear stained with age. At least that's what I would do. The difference is barely noticeable, as my husband couldn't see any difference at all. Do you see a difference?

Two skeins of Gentle Arts Harvest Basket. Similar method of acquisition of as with the Old Hickory thread. The skein on the right is certainly more yellow whereas the one of the left just appears brown (at least to me). More than a subtle difference but certainly nothing to get all worked up over, right?

Finally, two skeins of Gentle Arts Walnut. To be honest, these were most likely purchased years apart but when I purchased the most recent one from my LNS there were skeins there of both shades. Even my husband noticed the difference between these two skeins. The skein on the right was bought specifically because it was such a different color than what I remembered it being.

This post does have a point to it, I promise. I'm beginning work on a few samplers and I have chosen one of each of these skeins to use, two on the same project. Obviously thread suggestions are just that . . . suggestions . . . but do you ever purchase a pattern intent on achieving the same look as in the model? Does it bother you when you go to purchase the threads or gather them from your stash and realize that one or a few or none of them look as they do in the photo? I would hate for anyone to be disappointed after purchasing one of my patterns and was hoping all of you could give me your input into this little color conundrum I seem to have created for myself.

xoxo

Jennie Lynn

14 comments:

~*Shar*~ said...

Your not alone hun; this has happened to me a few times; I don't get enough of a colour and then order it from an on-line shop and when it gets here it's totally a different shade. So now when it calls for 2 or more skeins I just order what is called for just to be sure it hopefully comes from the same dye lot...lol

Hugs, Shar

Terri said...

What a timely post! I was thinking of doing the same thing.

I recently (better) organized my overdyeds and found several duplicates. I cannot state they were purchased anywhere near the same time, or at the same place, but it was fascinating to me to see how different the skeins were from one another. A couple of them were way off (one blue, one green, same "color").

As to how I feel about it? Most of the fibers I own are used in samplers, usually reproductions.
Since that's the case, I'm not too worried about it since I'm usually stitching them on a fabric that has a vintage look to it as well. You (I) sort of expect the variance when you're stitching something like that so if I need to use the colors I have in my stash, and the skeins are different, I just make sure to use them in different areas of the sampler so they don't "clash."

primjillie said...

I don't really have an answer for you, but I wanted to chime in that I love threads too! I have so many and really need to organize them. I tend to pick up a project and go buy threads because it's too much trouble to look through what I have. I hate to use my over-dyed threads because I love them! Crazy.....

Jill Palumbo

Edgar said...

When I stitch, and find a huge colouor difference in skeins called for (I also have multiple of many colours I like) I usually go with what suits the piece... You can not ever expect the same results when there are so many variables when using something so great a hand dyed floss. MTC

edgar

sandi s said...

I know what you mean. I bought one skein of GA thread and half way through the project had to order another one and they were not even close so with a little ingenuity I made it work. I usually use the same colors as the charts but I know due to the photography and the dyed threads it is not always the same. I don't mind changing some colors if I don't like a color that is used also.

Nan ~ Threadwork Primitives said...

It can't be helped, but it does kind of bother me when a color is so off and I want the piece to look like the model. Usually, I can find another color in my stash that is very close to the picture and that satisfies me. I think everyone knows that there are dye lot differences and would not be disappointed in any way with your designs.
Nan

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

I'm so quilty for buying skeins that I already have enough of.
Sometimes it bothers me when the colors don't look anything like the picture ~ but I usually will look for one that looks simular.
Prim Blessings
Robin

moosecraft said...

Thank you for this post.... I knew that with hand dyed anything there would be differences in dye lots.... but two of your samples are rediculously different... by whole colors, not just a shade or two. This would explain why I have purchased kits for samplers... only to wonder why the designer suggested a color thread that matches the linen background exactly... yet, that element shows a clear contrast to the background in the picture....

Mouse said...

well I can defo see differences in the threads and having just finished a piece where I used two different dye lots and had to wiggle about abit with the pattern I am happy with the results PHEW ... I do get patterns that say wow I like what they have used but more often than not have to choose something different as I haven't got the threads yet ..lol ... if doing a large pattern which calls for more than one skein of hand dyed I will buy all at the same time and put with said pattern so I know it will be uniform :) love mouse xxxxx

JillMN said...

Alot of times I have converted overdyed flosses to DMC for these very same reasons. The are never the same as the model and huge variances in dye lots. If I do choose to use overdyes, I will only use it in the bigger areas of stitches...not for some 4-stitch flowers or something. And, since I am trying to stitch from my stash, I will use whatever I have that is close. Also, I have started dyeing my own and will be using them more.

christmas wishes said...

I can definitely relate. I also love over-dyed threads! It is helpful to be organized. I keep my threads organized by brand, each in it's own drawer and then arrange alphabetically and tie together with twist ties. This is very helpful when it comes time to pull threads for a project. Most of the time this prevents double buying as well.

Susan At Glen Oaks Primitives said...

I don't think this is a problem that the designer creates. What do you do when the dye lots are so different, like with yours? I don't know what the answer to this is. I leave this to wiser stitching minds than mine!
Hugs,
Susan

Charlene ♥ SC said...

When purchasing overdyed, I usually pull all they have in stock off the rings to select the one I like best - or if more than one is called for to get the closest matches. That is what is SO wonderful about having a LNS - feel the texture and see the color of the linen, and spread the colors across to get the overall impression! As to your question, I would say have the DMC colors listed so that one can choose the OD to closest match that if they want to duplicate your sample.

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

yes, It can make me crazy to. I just try to get creative with it and blend the colors if I run into that problem then it looks like it was supposed to be that way. I guess make do.