16. Cranachan

Cranachan red beach hut detail and Cranachan yarn

Cranachan is a Scottish dessert in which “sweet summer raspberries are folded into cream flavoured with honey, whisky and toasted oatmeal” (recipe here). As I wander with this – today’s colour – in hand, I think about Cranachan (the dessert) and the mixture of the white cream and the bright lurid juice of the raspberries.

At what point is there sufficient white cream in the mix to turn the red juice pink?

old boat that is the colour of Cranachan

Related: when does the bright red paint on the hull of a boat become so bleached by sunlight that we may say it’s colour is now “Cranachan”?

Ball of Cranachan and faded paint on boat

Ball of Cranachan and faded paint on boat

I had always thought of Cranachan as being a really lovely berry bright pink… but wandering around it, I find that what reads as bright pink can also be faded red.

Faded boat hull

Can you see Cranachan in the faded reds of this lovely old boat with its once bright red hull?

Cranachan on faded life-ring

Or here in the fugitive reds of this life-ring stand on the beach?

There’s a Cranachan story on the beach as well… a stone once daubed with Cranachan-coloured paint, as the accents were being added to a pale purple hut.

Cranachan paint on stone on beach

Purple and Cranachan coloured beach hut

Cranachan and purple beach hut

A Graffiti artist has also made use of this light red/deep pink shade…

Cranachan and graffiti

Cranachan yarn on old fishing gear box and another red painted stone

…and I find its echoes on a faded once-red fishing crate, and on another stone that has inexplicably been painted with this shade.

Cranachan can be found on my Toasty Cosy mitts; the design is by Jeanette Sloan and appears in Warm Hands along with Buckthorn. I love these textured mitts, which play with the colours pink and orange – how they clash and blend – in a way that I recognise as being very much Jeanette’s wheelhouse. In a life-ring stand that is both orange and red and faded by the sun, the colours are a bold and unexpected burst of brightness.

Toasty cosy mitts and Cranachan in the back of a life ring

Toasty cosy mitts and Cranachan in the back of a life ring

Toasty cosy mitts and Cranachan in the back of a life ring

At what point does red become orange, at what point does red become pink? This is the sort of fun stuff we can explore with Cranachan in hand!

Cranachan on huge sheet of floral orange and pink wrapping paper

One way I like to play with colour is to occasionally splurge on an amazing sheet or two of lovely wrapping paper. I save every scrap of it for my SPECIAL COLLAGE PAPERS box, and the pleasure had in wrapping the present and sharing the joy of colour with the recipient is one of life’s great joys. This orange pink red floral sheet is the perfect playground for my ball of Cranachan!

Cranachan on huge sheet of floral orange and pink wrapping paper

Cranachan on huge sheet of floral orange and pink wrapping paper

Cranachan on huge sheet of floral orange and pink wrapping paper

Cranachan can seem at first glance a very hot and saturated colour, but when you put it beside, say, this bit of velvet, you can see its comparitive softness and complexity. Partly to do with the mohair and the neps, that blur this shade into something gentle and ambivalent.

Cranachan on bright velvet

Between a much softer pink (left) and this very bright one (right), Cranachan kind of splits the difference, at least to my eyes.

Cranachan between a very soft pink velvet (left) and a very saturated red hot one (right)

Many experiences with Cranachan remind me of looking at flowers – at the intense colours of flowers. But all the photos I can find of real flowers are much redder than Cranachan’s soft raspberry/cream composition…the only flower that seems a good match is this vintage velvet one.

Cranachan and vintage velvet flower

I’m surprised to find that some silky material (composition unknown) that I chucked into the washing machine with an orange dye now has a selvedge that is very Cranachan – what does that say about this colour, and its many undertones?

Cranachan with a silky bit of fabric with selvedge of orangey pink

What a bundle of delight this colour proves to be. A gateway into games with pinks, reds and oranges; a way to discover bright seams of delicious colour in even the most faded and unprepossessing places. A colour that will enthusiastically rise up to join the brightest brights, but that will also empathise with sea-worn reds and celebrate the places where the world has turned them pink.

Cranachan-painted stone on beach and ball of Cranachan yarn

What fun have you had with Cranachan today?

Faded boat hull that is the colour of Cranachan

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.

5 thoughts on “16. Cranachan

  1. Off the cuff, I would think this would be a hard color to find in nature. But not for the color sleuth!
    I have a collection of all the Milarrochy colors in a basket near my couch. I had to look and see if this was a new color after I read through your comments and comparisons in your environment. New eyes, I think.

    1. Honestly, each ball of yarn is just as much of a surprise to me as it is to you! I had always thought of this colour as a sassy pink – it was amazing to find it in the cracks of old boat paint! Every time I do this, I am surprised by how much more there is to see… and how different the colour is from my preconceptions an assumptions. Each ball and outing is an invitation to wonder.

  2. My breakfast yogurt was cranachan this morning. Swirls of cherry and raspberry puree – even little nepps from the oatmeal! Golly, it’s a beautiful color!

  3. Today’s photos are fantastic! I think I’d be hard pressed to find so much Cranachan in my surroundings. But I am pleased to report that it matches nicely with my morning coffee mug today. Nice coincidence, as I picked out the mug before I opened my advent offering.

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