Monday, December 26, 2011

I Like Red

Color is such a wonderful mysterious thing.  We speculate around the dinner table about the possibility that other colors exist, but we can't see them.  And because we can't see them they are unimagineable.  Would our brains even be able to recognize a new color?  Could we learn to?  Does the color spectrum really show *all* the colors?  What could a new color be like?

Ken read a book last year about cochineal, the rare little bugs it comes from, how difficult it is to produce, etc.  The Perfect Red.  I haven't read it yet, although I plan to.  This year a book came out about indigo, called (surprisingly enough) "Indigo".  It's written like a travel memoir.  The author's personal history and background establish a connection with the history of indigo.  She develops a fascination with indigo, its use, and its ties to the spiritual life of people who produce it.  So she sets off to find out more about it in Africa.  I've already zipped through nearly half the book.  It's been a good read so far, although not as detailed as I expected.

My sister has another book about color that she's going to let me borrow.  Evidently it's about a whole range of colors, like vermillion, etc, and where they come from.

I don't know if it's related to the cold weather and shorter days, but this winter I've really developed an attraction for the color red.  I'm not into just any old red though.  It's got to be at the cooler end of the spectrum, and really saturated.  I like variations too - like this Madelinetosh yarn I found recently, called "Tart".

 In October I started crocheting a scarf for my mother, for Christmas, out of a beautiful red yarn I found.  The color name was "Chili Pepper".  It took months to finish, so for hours and hours over two and a half months I was staring at this wonderful deep red colored yarn in my hands.  I think it sank into my brain, because over these last few months my eye is much more attracted to red things over anything else.  We now have a new red fleece blanket, red and white flannel sheets.  I also have red slippers, and at least three new red sweaters or tops.  I saw some red patterned socks in Target the other day.  It was hard to resist getting them, but I did.  It may seem like it, but this isn't about the things themselves.  There's something about the color that my eyes just like resting on.  That red blanket feels warmer to me because it's red.  I feel better in red.  Not sure why.

I'm guessing as the days lengthen I'll be looking for good indigo blues.  Real indigo isn't commonly used as a commercial blue dye now days.  I know you can still get it, but probably not at your local fabric or clothing store.  So I'm not sure if I'll find anything in real indigo blue.  But it will be interesting to look.

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