One of the best things about doing these monthly colourway sets is that they take me back to what first captivated me about colour, way back in the early days of the blog, before I ever thought of dyeing yarn: analysing the colourways of a natural phenomenon and using them to create a charted design. The practice contains an element of what intrigues me in the work of artists like Andy Goldsworthy - a sense of collaboration with nature, taking "found" hues from my surroundings and reassembling them into something personally expressive.
The days of late have been dark with downpour and drizzle - hardly what one hopes for at this time of year in a mountain resort. The light is dim, the snow is rutted and dirty, and it is easy to feel that all the colour has gone out of the world.
The woods are defined primarily by the bare skeletons of trees, slick with damp and waiting patiently for the ice at their feet to thaw. But it turns out (as it always does), that when you look closely and mindfully at your surroundings, there is beauty and diversity... and colour.
Having finally taken the financial plunge with Adobe, I've been playing about with Photoshop's mosaic effects:
These muted grey-blue-purples and pink-tinged browns became the first colourway: Winterbark Purples.
Brown is, of course, what immediately comes to mind when thinking of bark, but there is such diversity and possibility:
Everything from dark chocolate to terracotta, ruddy hues and nearly-greys.
There may be no leafy greens about at the moment, but one can always count on the damp to provide a rich palette of mold and decay:
These muted shades contain hints of every green from turquoise to emerald to olive.
Lichen, in its various forms, provides a brighter contrast in the dark woods - a subtle grey-green with wee splashes of sunshine:
The fifth colourway, I freely admit, was not found in the forest. I wanted to express not just the muted subtleties of this grey season, but also the hope and passion that are celebrated in February: the imminence of spring, the fierceness of Brigid, the romance of Valentine's, and the flaming crimson that is synonymous with Chinese New Year's.
The February colourways are presently available in Summit Sock, but more yarn bases will be forthcoming, and once Rob has a chance to do up a set of Quintets, I'll get on with pulling the colourwork out of my brain and onto the needles.
(Full details of this week's update, which included restocks of Beary Surprise, may be found, as always, in the newsletter.)