Today’s colour is Tarbet. Let’s play another intriguing game of MATCH THE YARN BALL TO THE BEACH HUT, SHALL WE?! This was the closest match that I could find…
My first association with Tarbet is of an idea of denim – but it’s not just any old denim colour. Going to my collection of denim scraps, saved for patching, I find that not a single one of them is the denim of my imagination: the deeply saturated, more than navy, touch of green, pleasingly rich, vibrant colour of TARBET.
I’m talking about Tarbet jeans like the ones Muriel wears (with her mostly Tarbet Balmaha sweater) here.
Maybe I’m thinking of the rich deep blues of this wonderful Wiltshire smock, said to have been made between 1882 and 1885, and held in the collection of the Museum of English Rural Life.
In my mending stash, this box of thread and indigo-dyed fabric is close to the colour.
And I’ve a box in the shape of a button that is also near to Tarbet.
I’ve also got plenty of records of water that looked very Tarbet-y on certain days, in certain lights. In Portland, off Weymouth…
…in the grounds (or rather, in the waters) of Reading University…
…and in the seas that swirl around the UK’s most Northern point – Unst, in Shetland.
Such a rich blue. A blue that comes out at you. The kind of blue you only see in the water when the sky is vivid and sun-filled. The kind of blue you find in good strong working clothes that were dyed deeply with indigo.
Tarbet has drawn me into a rich search for specificity when speaking about a particular shade; even when I narrow things down to “denim blue”, the idea is too broad. It’s so lovely to pinpoint an exact one from amongst infinite shades – to point to the colour I really mean; The North Atlantic on that day, when the light was just so. My ceramic button box. That beach hut. My friend Muriel’s good jeans. That scrap of fabric. That beach hut in the low winter sun.
Where, specifically, in an infinite range of blues, does Tarbet 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.