24. Snapdragon

Snapdragon beside rosehip of same hue

Today’s colour – the last and final in this Advent series – is Snapdragon. I do not have a photo of this flower to hand, but this vibrant and saturated red really speaks to this beautiful tulip that I photographed in one of my favourite places in Reading: the University gardens.

Tulip in Snapdragon

Tulip in Snapdragon

I have such a strong memory of taking this photo, of trying to apprehend the very redness of the red.

And that is what Snapdragon reminds me of!

Snapdragon in Hawthorn tree with berries

A Hawthorn tree, laden with berries, lurid in the dirge grey light of winter, seems to me a marvellous match for this colour.

Snapdragon in Hawthorn tree with berries

Ah, the redness of the reds!

Snapdragon in Hawthorn tree with berries

Snapdragon in Hawthorn tree with berries

Snapdragon in Hawthorn tree with berries

Snapdragon speaks, too, to the red rusted pillars and fixtures bordering the carpark at the beach.

Snapdragon and rusty red paint

Snapdragon with rusty red metal pillar

Snapdragon and rusty red painted pillar

A cheery postie running in and out of the post office with sacks of festive mail greets me with a grin and the observation that “that’s different”! when I am espied stuffing my ball of Snapdragon in the post box in order to capture the proximity of its colour to that of the yarn.

Snapdragon postbox with yarn in the spot where you're meant to put the letters

Such an emphatic red! As you’ll know by now if you’ve followed the series, the salty air and the wind coming off the sea have a bleaching effect on colours. I love finding things all along the beach that were once the colour of Snapdragon, but that have weathered to a lighter, more laid back shade of red.

BEWARE WINCH CABLE - with a rogue W in the background where an applied letter has protected the original paint from the bleaching effects of the weather

The sea has taken the colour of this once-bright warning sign down a notch, but not in the one spot where once there was a letter W, protecting a letter-shaped swatch of the original Snapdragon colour…

BEWARE WINCH CABLE - weathered red sign

More lovely red on red action can be found on this van, where vinyl lettering has provided the protection for layers of Snapdragon to live on, beneath a slightly more weathered version of the colour…

Red van with red on red fading and bleaching action

…while the opposite thing has happened across the way from where the red van was parked. One beach hut in a set of colour-coded muted reds has had some graffiti, which has been overpainted with a different (and more Snapdragon-y) shade of red!

pale red and bright red paint in action

But there’s nothing accidental about the emphatic reds that adorn a structure near the sea, sprayed on with certainty and vim, in vibrant shades of Snapdragon.

Snapdragon graffiti

Snapdragon graffiti

Snapdragon graffiti

Snapdragon graffiti

And spanking-new safety barriers placed around who-knows-what-Southern-Water-sewage-management-horrors are magnificently Snapdragon-y in their bright, bold call to attention.

Safety barriers and Snapdragon

In the treasured Venice 2011 holiday photos folder, I find memorable reds that put me in mind of Snapdragon.

For example, this magnificent blown glass balloon…

Blown glass balloon photographed in Venice in 2011 and the colour of Snapdragon

…and this charming glass underwater scene, made by one of the many glass artists of that gorgeous, glittering city.

Red underwater scene made entirely of glass

A trip to Whitstable some years ago also yielded some gorgeous Snapdragon memories; a bright red boat that puts me in mind of this shade…

Bright red boat pictured in Whitstable

…and lovely seaside signage and candy-striped beach huts.

UPPER DECK blue and cream sign, and rich bright red - shade of Snapdragon

candy-striped beach-huts in Whitstable

Back in the here and now in St. Leonards Gardens, I find Snapdragon in the rosehips…

Rosehips in St Leonards Gardens

…in the vibrant reds of an exciting vintage sports car that’s parked nearby…

Sports car in shades of Snapdragon

…and, of course, on the door of an especially bright beach hut.

Snapdragon and beach hut

Snapdragon and beach hut

What has Snapdragon resonated with, near you?

With the last of our Advent Calendar doors now opened, I want to say a huge thank you for joining me on this adventure!

THANK YOU KDD&Co. for inviting me to explore everyday colour here on the KNITSONIK blog, in conjunction with your beautiful Colour Compass Advent Calendar. Also, MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS on today’s publication of the magnificent Colour Compass eBook!

colour compass eBook title page - colourful letters surrounded by 24 balls of yarn, each in a different shade

This book is just so good, and so well thought-through. It provides a fantastic framework for playing with LOTS OF LITTLE BALLS OF YARN and having something gorgeous to wear at the end. With inviting patterns that will instantly give you the urge to cast-on, helpful examples of different colourways for each project, and enabling sections such as MAKE FRIENDS WITH COLOUR, it’s the perfect end to this Advent for those of us who knit. Books like this – with multiple examples of projects, supportive explanations, wonderful patterns and outstanding photography – represent an enormous amount of work. I hope you are all really proud of making something that is going to bring so much joy to so many knitters, and give purpose to so many balls of yarn. I know I’ll be reading my copy later on today and wondering what to make with my yarn!

It’s brought me untold joy to see so many of you sharing and exploring colours together in a spirit of wonder, play and curiosity over on the KDD&Co. Ravelry forum, and I’ve loved reading your comments there and here on my blog, and hearing about how you have experienced this journey through Everyday Colour.

I hope you have a wonderful festive break in coming days, with time to celebrate the little joyful everyday things in your world.

I’m taking a short break for the festive season, but working on these posts has reminded me of many of the foundational practices that enrich my own work with colour. I’ll be putting something exciting together in the New Year designed to share that work with you; stay tuned and please be subscribed to this blog and also to my newsletter to not miss announcements when things start happening again round here in 2024!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me,

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 “24. Snapdragon

  1. Thank you Felix, it was a daily treat to see your photos and read your posts, very inspiring. Warm regards, and best wishes for the New Year.

  2. Dear Felix, I have enjoyed your colour exploration posts so much; they quickly became one of my daily highlights throughout December. Although I didn’t have the Advent Calendar, they stimulated me to ponder equivalent comparisons in my own environment…….particularly with the shades of Milarrochy Tweed that I am familiar with.
    I love that there is now a set of written reference points to help us choose the colourways…….
    Perhaps all 24 of these posts could be collated in to a Milarrochy ebook for ease of use?
    Thank you, and have a lovely Christmas. Tamsinxx

  3. Felix, I have loved this series of posts so much! Having just read the last one, I plan to go back to the beginning and read them all again. And then, when I take a walk, I imagine that all the colours will twinkle and pop at me. I wish you a lovely holiday filled with colour!

  4. Thanks Felix, I have SO enjoyed all your daily posts and beautiful photography. It’s been wonderful to slow down and take a closer look at all the unexpected places where colour lurks and no one shows us better how to do it. Wishing you a very peaceful and colourful holiday

  5. It has been a delight to read your thoughts on each color. I didn’t get the Advent box, but reading your thoughts each day has been part of my Advent. Thank you.

  6. Thank you so much for these posts. They have kept me going over the last few days while I’ve been in bed recovering from Covid and being able to open my own little parcels.

  7. Adding my thanks — your daily photos have been incredible! Today’s are no exception. What a glorious festive red. Thank you thank you thank you for all your work on this project!

  8. Dear Felix, thank you so much for your daily posts. I truly believe, that’s how new yarn should always be presented. Each post was a highlight in this dark and wet advent season. Needless to say, that I was also telling myself off for not buying the advent calendar. Can’t wait to buy the full range of yarn and start knitting. Merry Christmas.

  9. Felix, thank you so much for this wonderful colour adventure. Every day I was waiting for noon to read about the “new” colour especially those which are not in my “like-spectrum” as for example chingle. Without your pictures or words I would have dismissed that colour but with more intense and open looking I now really find it very useful and versatile.
    Thank you and Kate (plus team) for the most perfect wool and colour advent calendar.
    I wish you and your loved ones a joyful festive break and will stay tuned for new things to come in 2024.

  10. Thank you Felix, this exploration with your yarny advent calendar has been so engaging. Seeing the colours of the yarn through your words and pictures has been a real seasonal treat. Have a wonderful Christmas in your new home, Claire xx

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