The Cornish Garden yarn Part Four: the colour palette

Sue Blacker's picture
4 September, 2019 - 16:43 | Sue Blacker

Choosing colours is pretty important!  All our customers tell us they go for the colour first.  So we have tried to both inspire and reassure – we have the comfortable familiar shades which everyone buys regularly – the favourite blue, the natural fawny grey and a deeper brown-mushroom grey.  Then of course we need some brights!  So we have pink, yellow and green – not just any pink, yellow and green and certainly not the ones used for ice-creams or icing cakes!  We have a deep bright raspberry pink, a rich ferny bright green and a strong orange-gold yellow.

Why?

Well, part of this is always determined by the base colour of the yarn – and we could have used paler shades over the natural, but we also felt, particularly for the 3-ply weight, that the option to do some colour work, or at least stripes, should be available – so this needs brighter and deeper colours.  Also the paler shades do have a slight tendency to resemble each other too much, so we then usually add a couple of “pop” shades, as with the Lyonesse and Tamar palettes for instance.  For the Cornish Garden this is not an option as the palette has to be limited since we are only making a limited quantity as a one-off special celebration blend.

And also we have had a wonderful year for flowers in Cornwall, so the inspiration was on the doorstep and on the way to and from work.  We are reminded of the saying that various things can keep a person happy for an hour, a day, a week, even a month but to be happy for a year or more you need a garden, even if only contained on a window sill.

I love the Cornish hedges and they have been spectacular this year.  Early in the spring we start with Snowdrops, then Primroses, then some Daffodils and Buttercups, along with Dandelions.  Then we find we are into the pale Star of Bethlehem and Cow Parsley, along with the pinks of Ragged Robin, Red Campion, Herb Robert and the glorious Foxgloves.  Meanwhile whole banks of Bluebells have come and gone in May, to be followed by equally splendid Ragwort, Crocosmia and Willowherb in August.  Cornwall also manages to have Fuchsia, Lilac, Honeysuckle, wild Roses and Hydrangea all growing wild in the hedgerows, along of course with loads of brambles, some Old Man’s Beard and the Rhododendrons which line quite a lot of our railway tracks.

So we took inspiration from the flowers and also the magnificent Cornish gardens open for visits across the county.  We are delighted that our requests to some of these gardens to name the shades in their honour were well received and each will be featured in turn in the coming days.

We are also pleased that all of our colours go well together and we hope you will be inspired to mix them every way, not just sticking to A. A. Milne’s Doctor’s prescription of “chrysanthemums yellow and white” or his poor patient Dormouse’s preference for “geraniums red and delphiniums blue”.

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