Today we meet the rich toasty tones of Horseback Brown.
So close in colour to the rich deep roast of my morning coffee…
…or the thick canvas tunic I’ve taken to wearing with such joy every day. The winter 2023 uniform for Felix.
It’s the greenish brown of leaves and leaf mould; of seaweed and peat bogs; of chocolate and coffee; of molasses and stout.
The colour of dark tannins in the water. This brown gives me a kind of life, a kind of thrill.
It makes me want to dig my hands into mud and smell that good clean smell.
The darkest wooden parts of my most well-used spoons, and a smudge of darkness in a special spoon made from the heartwood of our walnut tree in Reading are the colour of Horseback brown.
I see Horseback brown in the darkened tips of teasels…
…and in certain mossy patches, seen in Devon on damp summery walks taken there in 2021.
On cold wintry days in Reading, where the sun hangs hard and low in the sky, I remember finding the world rich and restorative with Horseback brown. There can seem to be a lot less colour around in the UK in winter, but if you tune into the pleasures of the browns, there are caramel mocha bulrush wet leaf feather brown rainbows to be savoured.
In the blue waters of the lake at the Reading University Gardens, you’ll find Horseback brown branches reflected there like gleaming precious metals, shimmering on the surface.
…And on some beaches in Shetland, you’ll find the blue sky gleaming on the sand beside long strands of Horseback brown seaweed.
I know it’s Horseback brown and not Sheepback brown… but doesn’t the colour also remind you of this handsome fellow? Spotted at the Shetland ram sale up at the marts, in 2015.
Not just sheep, but also sheep bells; this one from Dartmoor, held in the collection of the Museum of English Rural Life.
Horseback brown strikes me as such an emphatic colour. Of metal and wood, of earth and leaves, of seaweed and coffee.
For me it is warmth in winter, cosy pockets and strong wood.
Where does Horseback brown take you?
These posts coincide with the KDD & Co. Colour Compass advent calendars. Each day, throughout December I’ll be opening my calendar beside you, and exploring the yarn shade that is revealed for that day. Read more about these posts here, and prepare for a few weeks of polychromatic fun as we discover the shades together and revel in their suggestive associations and creative possibilities together! Even if you don’t have a calendar, I hope you’ll love exploring colours with me, and thinking about each shade as it appears, and how it is connected with the everyday colours of your life.