Hello stitching friends,
We have a pattern award to announce: Lady with Fan - Gustav Klimt, shown at right. Chalida, Northridge, California, was the first to suggest this picture, and we have sent her a complimentary copy!
You are probably familiar with the basics of mixing paints to achieve different colors. If you mix blue paint with yellow, you get green. If you mix red with blue, you get purple. Adding white paint to any color makes it paler; adding black makes it darker. This is such a common phenomenon that you have probably never questioned it, and yet at a molecular level, the paint hasn't changed color -- it is still a mixture of red and blue. But because the molecules are so small and close together, your brain interprets the signal it receives from your eye as being purple. This is called spatial summation.
Spatial summation occurs any time two different-colored objects are too small and close together to be told apart, and the objects can be much larger than molecules. It depends on how far away from your eye they are.
Televisions, computer printouts in color, pictures in magazines, and older computer monitors all take advantage of this optical trick. We also rely on it when we blend floss colors. When we select the colors that predominate in a painting to create a cross stitch pattern, many of those colors may be a long way from matching any floss color. But by blending colors, using two different floss colors together, we can come close to most colors. Even when the two colors we blend are a strange combination, when you just step back from your work, your eye and brain magically turn them into the intended intermediate color.
A word to the wise, though -- in order to get the intermediate color we intended, both threads need to show equally. That's why it's important to keep your floss untwisted.