Oooh, no, not at all. What, moi?
It’s colour again. I thought I’d made – finally – an original choice for my first serious spinning on my new wheel. There wasn’t any black involved; purple did not feature. OK, I’d managed to blend something similar a couple of weeks ago, but that included black. This doesn’t. It’s vibrant, it’s cheerful, it’s something I’ve not been anywhere near before or, come to that, seen in nature.
(Ignore the state of the yarn on the half-finished bobbin, by the way – me and the wheel just had words.)
Last year I went to Shetland. It was wonderful and I took about 5,000,000 photographs. I was looking through them the other day (work? pah) and I nearly fell off my chair. No, I’d definitely not seen that combination of colours in nature, no sirree.
This is at St Ninian’s Isle:
It may look Caribbean, but it wasn’t the warmest place with turquoise sea and silver sand I’ve ever been. About the best, though. But who needs the Caribbean when you can have the little beach at Hoswick?
After all, this has kittiwakes. And a knitwear factory. And an amazing independent designer. Ahem.
And the same colour combination persisted throughout our stay, as soon as the sun came out and the mist lifted. Here is the astonishing sea at Meal (near the place I snapped the Shetland sheep on the blog header, by the way). There was a porpoise here. Plus the usual debris of island life – fish boxes, a rubber glove, old bits of rope. Who cares?
There’s no doubt about it.
I’ve been spinning Shetland, unawares.
It all made me wonder about colour preferences, and just how deeply they are entrenched even, and probably especially, in those of us who consider ourselves creative. I’ve always been partial to green and liked black – I was desperate for a black party dress (with long sleeves, if you please) when I was about six, but my mother put her foot down and placated her Mini Morticia with one made in a flower pattern that included black. I never, ever went through a pink phase and though the long-sleeved party dress did involve some pink, the effect was mitigated with black and grey and a white background. But the blue / turquoise / green combo is a new one on me. I know it staggered me in Shetland; I must have been unconsciously storing it up for later use.
And then I was working up at the top of my garden on a sunny day recently. We cleared a load of rubbish and had the giant Bonfire of Doom – we don’t waste fine weather here in Snowdonia – and I suddenly had a new view (for about five seconds, until the heap for the Even Bigger Bonfire of Doom builds up).
There it is again. OK, the blues were more emphatic in Shetland (though we can beat them on the greens – it’s all down to west-coast wetness), but this is a general effect. Particularly bright sun on a combination of sea and greenery – it’s everywhere. Once you start spotting it, you realise that it is all over the place, and then that you don’t even really need the sea, either. Or, come to that, the relatively clear sky; interesting light effects can produce something similar. So this colour combination can’t be a recent, Shetland-acquired tendency; it must go much further back.
Don’t care, I like it.
Evidently. Because I bought this shawl while I was in Shetland, from Neilanell at Hoswick:
Wonder why I chose those colours? I can’t think…
So how many of us, I wonder, are really aware of our colour influences – rather, that is, than our colour preferences? And where do they come from, how far back do they go? I was essentially brought up in the country, so it’s not surprising that I’m drawn to the combination of green and blue, of leaves against the sky, of grass running down to a blue sea. Would it be different if I’d spent all my childhood in a city? Would the colour of the stone of the Palais de Luxembourg have had the same effect? Hang on, maybe that’s why I was happy with the muted shades of my party dress… or perhaps that is more down to the usual grey colour of the North Sea.
Whatever, for the moment I’m happy to be spinning Shetland, knitterly (and all-sorts-of-other-thingserly) paradise. Maybe next year…
Now I must go and talk to my wheel again, firmly this time. I’m getting there.