6. Eyebright

Eyebright yarn on a weathered green blue surface

Hello, Eyebright! Named after the tiny silver-white flower, that’s said – in folklore – to be able to improve our eyesight, and freshen up what we see, this ball of yarn has led me to explore our new garden and the plants and things therein with a new sense of appreciation.

curry bush and Eyebright yarn

This mercurial light, silvery-blue-green colour almost matches the foliage of a curry bush that’s planted in the front garden.

curry bush leaves and Eyebright yarn

curry bush leaves and Eyebright yarn

The faded painted garden table also seems to speak quite closely to this shade…

Eyebright yarn on a weathered green blue surface

…which draws me closer in, to find and examine the knots and the dark spots – the place where colour is concentrated and weathered, on an old shed.

Eyebright yarn on a weathered green blue shed; a knot of wood holds a concentration of colour that really speaks to the shade

Eyebright yarn on a weathered green blue shed; a knot of wood holds a concentration of colour that really speaks to the shade

Eyebright yarn on a weathered green blue shed; a knot of wood holds a concentration of colour that really speaks to the shade

The things you notice, when you didn’t realise you were looking. A knot of wood, more lovely than you might ever have imagined.

Knot of wood that is perfect shade match for Eyebright

A shed whose colour you had not registered becoming sharply defined and appreciated, through the work of looking.

Eyebright coloured shed

A plastic statue of rabbits with one ear missing suddenly becoming the perfect, shade-matched bearers of a special ball of yarn.

Rabbit statue with matching yarn

Eyebright yarn on a weathered green blue shed; a knot of wood holds a concentration of colour that really speaks to the shade

Eyebright yarn on a weathered green blue shed; a knot of wood holds a concentration of colour that really speaks to the shade

The colour, too, of an outside office that’s currently just a storage space, but also a site for future garden dreams.

Eyebright yarn and matching garden shed

Eyebright yarn and matching garden shed

There’s something interesting, too, in how many of my books about Shetland feature, in their covers, a reference to this misty, silvery blue green shade. Like Ardlui, it speaks to a certain mood of light and water and sea – something these publications have conveyed about Shetland, in their covers.

Shetland books that match with Eyebright

Shetland books that match with Eyebright

I’ve seen that light, that water, there…

Eyebright sea at St. Ninian's in Shetland

Eyebright sea

…and in 2015 I found some gorgeously beardy lichens in Bressay that remind me of Eyebright, too.

Lichens in Shetland, the shade of Eyebright

Lichens in Shetland, the shade of Eyebright

Playing with Eyebright has given me so much. A deepened appreciation for the decorative tastes of our home’s former owners. Thoughts of special beaches, lichen-furred stones, the silver blue greens of curry bushes – rosemary and eucalyptus, too. Something to do with enchantment, plants and light.

What has your ball of Eyebright shown to 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.

11 thoughts on “6. Eyebright

  1. Takes me back to my late parents house I’m the South of France and the traditional colour window frames and shutters on their ancient stone village house in the northern gard were painted. And how the whole blend into the landscape

  2. So grateful that you are giving me a new way looking at some of these colours. I’m now seeing much more clearly the mix of colours and their complexity. Choosing and matching colours is going to be much more fun that it was.

    1. Hurrah, this is my aim! To show it’s fun, and that spending time looking at the colours can really help us appreciate them!

  3. Your photo essays are so beautiful and inspiring!
    I’m completely blanketed in snow at the moment, which makes finding colours outside a bit difficult. Eyebright was really fitting as a colour today though, woke up to temperatures 18 below zero and magical bluish frost formations everywhere.

    (I think the lichens are Sea ivory – https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1799)

    1. So happy you’re enjoying this series! I can totally imagine there being tons of Eyebright to be found in a snowy landscape. Thanks so very much for pointing me in the direction of sea ivory – what a lovely name! It’s always wonderful to learn more about these things and that website is a treasure trove I hadn’t seen before – thank you for sharing.

  4. Funnily enough, I had glanced from the window earlier and noticed our curry plant as an ‘almost match’. A recent replacement – one of our old cats adored the curry bush. She was often curry-scented.
    Loving these posts! The bunnies are great.

    1. So glad you like the bunnies and that you’re enjoying these posts! Hurrah for curry bushes and their feline buddies. I love the thought of your cat coming in all smelling of this plant.

    1. What a perfect description. I guess if you think about it like paint, it’s like taking green (the field) and layering it with a shiny white (the frost) and then the blue coming in as the sky is reflected in the ice crystals. After your lovely description I can see all of that in my little ball!

    1. So happy you are enjoying them – aren’t the bunnies wonderful? What’s lovely is that before I went out in the garden with my little ball of Eyebright, I hadn’t really noticed them. A colour focus is so helpful for bringing the background noise of the world closely to attention.

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