Sunday, May 29, 2011

Frustration on a Sunday Afternoon

This past week I started a new program for myself and for members of my Shining Needle Society Class. Last Sunday I looked ahead at the week to be and I set up some stitching goals for myself.

Happily I kept to my goals all week long. I even started a new design and spent several days consumed by it, but in the end, sadly it didn't work and I just tossed it.

I don't mind the time I spent on it -- it is a part of any creative work. I got myself backed into a place I couldn't deal with. The part I mind is, I've been there a dozen times before and I forget about it.

It all has to do with Zweigart and the colors of congress cloth.

I find Zweigart congress cloth colors too strong and too true to their colors. Even the ecru (I always forget the real name of the color), the light blue and the gray. The ecru is too yellow for my tastes, the light blue is so light blue and the gray to my eye is more like a middle gray.

I would prefer a series of grounds with 'barely there' colors, with just enough color to take the Scream out of Screaming White. I have wished for this as long as I have used congress cloth which is a long long time.

Last year I rejoiced when Zweigart announced 4 new congress cloth colors and I ordered them sight unseen. Then they arrived on my doorstep. All four were strong strong colors. Couldn't just one of them be a soft barely-there ground? I'm not asking for all four, just one. Ahh, my soul for an antique white (a genuine antique white), or a pale (I do mean pale) gray or probably what would be my favorite choice: a barely-there gray blue. Or how about a barely there gray green. Actually the color doesn't matter, just an almost-neutral color to take the Scream out of Screaming White.

I live with Screaming White. I have adjusted my whole career to Screaming White: I use pale colors so that the contrast keeps the Scream at bay.

From time to time I forget and I start a design calling for strong colors, and that's what I did last week.

I got part way into it, liked very much what I had done, then I started choosing more colors and stopped cold. The Screaming White was screaming overtime. Knowing the lessons from the past I simply bundled it all up and tossed it -- and wished for the umpteenth time for a barely there color.

The frustration leads me to write about it every once in a while and the frustration is looming large this afternoon. Very large. So I am writing about it on my blog. Writing about it makes me feel better, I guess. Gets it off my chest.

So now I've written about it again.

Back to the drawing board. Hmmm, let's see what design of mine will harmonize with the soft colors necessary to keep the scream in white down to a dull roar. The wish list tabled for yet another year or two.

Gay Ann


Elmsley Rose said...

Hi Gay Ann,

Thankyou for your comments on the Zweigart Congress Linen.

It's the 'level' (quality) of linen I'd be interested in, but an ecru that is too dark? Not good - like you say, you want a 'washed' colour in a ground for many historical projects.
Screaming white just makes it all look so *new* even if it does provide great contrast to the colour.

Gay Ann Rogers said...

I just found your comment -- thank you for writing!

I am so glad I wrote this post because several ideas have come to light. Hopefully one will work and I will have a beautiful ground to work on.

Congress cloth isn't linen, it's cotton and it is much like needlepoint canvas; it is just finer than most needlepoint canvases and would I ever love it if it were available in some of the beautiful colors that linen comes in.

We'll see!
Gay Ann

Beth said...

Thank you SO much - I thought I was the only person alive that didn't want the canvas to outshine the work. I'm trying to find a non-white canvas substitute for the old french blue (and would love to go even paler). I'm sure that you are aware of the overdyed congress cloth, but I just found a listing for it online. I don't think that they have anything that will work for me, but "maybe" one or two are pale enough for you? I bet not, but thought it was an interesting group of canvas. Some of them are eye opening. Oh my....

Good luck and maybe if we all complain, they will finally do something.