9. Outsea

The Aegean sea

Hello Outsea!

A ball of Outsea beside a turquoise coloured beach hut

As we move through blues and greens, it becomes increasingly clear that the sea is a totally unfixed, undefinable and ever-changing colour, whose various hues and faces never fail to capture our chromatic interest. Thanks to Joanna for sharing a lovely essay in the KDD&Co. Ravelry group, apposite to this theme and to today’s colour: What colour is water by Samantha Clark.

And yet for all its mutability and ever-changing nature, sometimes the colour of the sea is cemented in our memories as something very particular.

As I unwrap Outsea and encounter its fuzzy green blue, soft turquoise, silver-haloed, orange and green-nepped colours, I think immediately and very specifically of The Aegean Sea; of swimming there last summer on our holidays…

Aegean sea

Aegean sea blue

…and taking many, many photos in efforts to capture something of the magic of this colour.

Today the buoys in the water remind of the neps in this yarn.

The Aegean sea with buoys

Closer to home, where the sea is cooler, there are many beach-huts in blues, greens and turquoise dotted by the shore.
It is quite amazing how long one can spend with balls of wool in similar colours, not finding an exactly perfect match! Yet the pleasure is in the looking.

Outsea and turquoise beach hut

The noticing.

Outsea and beachhut

The measuring of distance between one soft oceanic turquoise and another – how similar, how different, how near, how far.

How the light changes how things look, anyway.

Outsea hanging on the door of a turquoise beach hut

The splendid delight when you espy one shade and think “it’s a perfect match!” only to learn that a different, adjacent piece of painted beach cafe furniture is in fact the closer colour.

Outsea and beach furniture

Outsea and beach furniture

Outsea and beach furniture

Inside I find there is a little bit of Outsea on one of my bookshelves.

Outsea and matchy books

No surprise one of the best matches is with a book about the sea! It was originally greener, but a little sun-bleaching has exposed a colour that is similar to today’s soft blue turquoise.

Collins guide to the sea shore, with Outsea sun-stained edges

Similarly, a favourite pair of tights that’s been lightened here and there by the sun, and whose seams have been a little stained by washing in not-similar colours, has the same warmth and complexity as the yarn – much better and more interesting than when they were box-fresh new. Sometimes, don’t you just love the patina of use, and life??? These tights are not old or faded or tired – they have simply transitioned from being turquoise to Outsea.

old tights and Outsea

old tights and Outsea

When we Honeymooned in Japan, I seem to have collected several precious textile things that are close in colour to Outsea.

Tenugi in turquoise with doves, matching Outsea

Two beautiful Tenugui – one with doves, one with monkeys.

Tenugui with monkeys in shades of Outsea

There’s a spotted headscarf, too.

Spotted headscarf in colours of Outsea

Althea McNish print featuring turquoise

Outsea brings to memory the turquoise greens of this beautiful printed fabric design by British textile designer and artist, Althea McNish; yet it also reminds me of this print by her – which is a softer sort of blue.

Althea McNish postcard and Outsea

Althea McNish postcard and Outsea

A favourite book by Japanese author Natsu Miyashita – The Forest of Wool and Steel – has a cover that is almost Outsea, here and there. It’s a gorgeous book that uses the journey of a piano tuner learning to tune pianos as a metaphor for many aspects of life.

The Forest of Wool and Steel - a book cover that is the colour of Outsea

When I think about a piano tuner, testing a string and searching in its sound for the perfect resonance – the moment when the string is exactly tuned to the correct pitch – I think about us with our balls of yarn, searching in the world for that moment when our colour rings true and “resonates” with its chromatic friends.

Outsea and beach furniture

What has made your ball of Outsea sing, today?

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.

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