Thinking about a simple, portable knitting project I could start straightaway, I remembered a bag of mini-skeins stashed away for just such a thing. Lovely 25-gram skeins in a gradient of pinks, from a deep rose to the palest of petal pinks.
It’s too early in the year to find the darker shades of pink in gardens and parks. This is the season of the paler pinks. Most trees are still bare around here, but many ornamental cherries around our village are in full bloom. Very romantic with their frothy cloud of blossoms.
From close up the flowers look almost white, while the buds are a lovely shade of pink.
And then there are the magnolias. Oh, so utterly beautiful. There are all kinds of fancy varieties around, including pure white ones, but for me the most beautiful magnolias of all, are the ‘ordinary’ ones with the pink-and-white flowers. From a distance the general impression is pale pink.
But from close up – Oh la la, what a beautiful magnolia!
Well, back to the yarn of the mini-skeins. That’s what started all this talk about shades of pink, after all. It is John Arbon’s Knit By Numbers yarn, organically farmed 4-ply Merino. Each of the colours of this yarn is available in 6 shades, from dark to light, and there are over 100 shades in total.
The interesting thing about this yarn is that it is not dyed in these shades, but blended. Coloured top is blended with increasing percentages of white wool to make lighter and lighter shades.
Taking the palest of my mini-skeins as an example, it is just as with looking at the blossoming trees. The general impression is pale pink, but looking more closely you can see the marled effect: there is pink, white and even some grey in it.
John Arbon Textiles is a small-scale spinning mill using refurbished old machinery, located close to Exmoor in North Devon. Apart from yarns, they also produce tops for spinning. And once a year, they publish their informative and funny Annual.
It is filled with information about their yarns and tops, patterns, stories, cartoons and puzzles.
I always feel slightly uncomfortable talking about yarn brands, shops etc. It’s as if I’ve been hired to promote them, which I’m not. I just want to share information that may be of interest to other knitters and spinners. Several years ago, we spent a summer holiday in Devon and camped close to John Arbon Textiles without knowing they were there! I wish someone had shared the information with me so I could have visited them.
Fortunately there is always the internet. I’ll give you a link to their website at the end of this post. But before you zap away from my blog, I’ll quickly show you what I’m going to knit from the pink mini-skeins. A pink version of Morbihan, a shawl I first designed for a different yarn in a gradient of blues. This is the original.
The pattern can be found here on Ravelry. I’ll show you what it looks like in pink when I’ve made some progress. Finally, as promised, here is the link to the John Arbon Textiles website.
Enjoy your weekend!
4 thoughts on “Cherry Blossom and Magnolia”
I keep coming back to look at this…I do love that gradation! I’ve queued the pattern on Rav…my knitting has been kind of bogged down lately, I have too many things on the needles and too many of those have, ahem, issues that need to be addressed (like the sweater on which my gauge went from 14/4″ to 17/4″. I kept thinking it seemed a bit…huge. bah!
That’s too bad about your knitting being in a slump. I know what it’s like and have times like these, too. Maybe start something new to cheer you up, and deal with the problematic projects one by one?
Yes, thanks, it will be fine. Once I get a day to myself in which no one thinks they need me, I will get some of it sorted. I keep socks on the needles all the time so if all I get is five minutes, I can still knit a little without too much kerfuffle. I also have a cardigan on sleeve island so it is handy too.
Can’t wait to see your pink Morbihan!
Ah, that’s good to hear. Hope you can find a day with lots of UKT (Uninterrupted Knitting Time) soon. Meanwhile socks are great.
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