Saturday, 13 August 2011

Shades of blue

It is good to be back.

My mother's garden in Kent is a beautiful place to be.  It is overflowing with flowers both vibrant in colour and splendid in form.  When walking alongside the raised flowerbeds you can almost hear the blooms jostling for attention; 'come look at me', they each chime!

In amongst this undiluted fun of colour and shape I was seeking out during my stay a flower to match this shade of Duck Egg Blue:

It was not an easy task to find the right blue.  I thought I had struck gold when I found a discreet forget-me-not nestled beside a mass of lady's mantle under my parent's old pear tree. I travelled further afield in the same county to my godmother's garden where I found blue hydrangeas heavy as cannonballs.

Neither was quite the right hue.

However it does not really matter, I chide myself, for until I reach perfection in my knitting (although I would be happy enough with almost perfect) I will not require the perfect shade of blue.

And because practice makes perfect I have used the same Rose Cardigan pattern as for Cardigan Angelica.

Here is:



or perhaps

A simple knit with an overly fancy name

You choose ;-) 

While knitting this cardigan during my holidays my thoughts often turned to Anita; another lover of blue. Castles Crowns and Cottages is visual poetry coupled with thought provoking messages. Dear Anita because your work is a symphony of blues - and other colours too - I dedicate my humble knit to you.

Speaking of other colours...

I fell in love this week.  Smack, bang, wallop. 

I was blissfully sauntering through the different colours offered by Madelinetosh yarns - rather like some would take a trip along the Venetian canals - as I NEEDED a dk yarn for a future project which will remain secret for the time being.
As my eye roamed from Boxwood to Celadon past Hollyhock and Golden Hickory I saw

Mansfield Garden Party
How fabulous!  I rushed to my battered copy of The Collected Stories of Katheirne Mansfield and read The Garden Party.  To get an idea of the colours of the Mansfield Garden Party yarn here is the introductory paragraph to the story:

And after all the weather was ideal.  They could not have had a more perfect day for a garden-party if they had ordered it.  Windless, warm, the sky without a cloud.  Only the blue was veiled with a haze of light gold, as it is sometimes in early summer.  The gardener had been up since dawn, moving the lawns and sweeping them, until the grass and the dark flat rosettes where the daisy plants had been seemed to shine.  As for the roses, you could not help feeling they understood that roses are the only flowers that impress people at garden-parties; the only flowers that everybody is certain of knowing.  Hundreds, yes, literally hundreds, had come out in a single night; the green bushes bowed down as though they had been visited by archangels.

If you are not familiar with this wonderful short story you will find it in this edition.  For those who wish to see if their mind's eye has conjured up a good picture of the yarn in question you may either wait until mine wings its way over from The States or take a peek at this photo.

While I mostly agree with Jane Brocket's opinion on similar yarns here I find Mansfield Garden Party yarn totally seductive.  What can I say?  I am a fool for literary names and greedy for colour.


  1. Oh dearest,

    I am so honored to be mentioned amongst these BEAUTIFUL WORDS and stitches of sweet muses. I was following every line, every beautiful image, and there I WAS....almost knitted in, as one one embellish a lovely scarf or sweater with pearls or beads....MERCI MILLE FOIS MA CHÈRE AMIE. Je suis vraiment ravie d'être ici, parmi tes chef-d'oeuvres. Dearest, this colour is spectacular, isn't it? Earlier this summer, I spent several days sitting in my garden, amongst THE BOXWOOD HEDGES, watercolouring. I was using AQUA/TURQUOISE and my heart soared. How painting, knitting, drawing, writing poetry and combining the arts brings such a peace. I love your photo of the old batîment with the ONE LONE little blue sweater. My goodness, that could be a poem in itself.

    Again, thank you for this grand post of multiple dimensions for the senses. Have a remarkable day in your lovely part of the world....Anita

  2. What beautifully styled photos and what lovely things you make.

  3. ingensBeautiful knitting!
    I love the introductory paragraph from The Garden Party, that is just wonderful!
    Happy days to you.

  4. Well whether it's hydrangea or forget-me-not it is definitely beautiful and how pretty it looks photographed against the blue door! :)
    Lovely to have you back Stephanie.
    Vivienne x

  5. Welcome back :D And you do yourself down, that little knit looks not so very far off perfect to me!
    I have to ask, where is the wall you photographed it against? Do your parents live in a battlemented castle in Kent, or did you take your knitting on a day trip?
    I'm afraid I'm with Jane Brocket on the multi coloured skeins of yarn, but I look forward to seeing what you make with it :)

  6. When I see the word Kent I always think of Mr. Darcy asking (in a colder voice), "Are you pleased with Kent?"

    I haven't read any Katherine Mansfield in years. Something to order up from the library!

    Multi-coloured yarn IS so often a disappointment. Or you can look at it as a design challenge.

    What a beautiful little blue sweater. So hard to pick just the right name. Such a heavenly blue, all I can think of is "bleu de ciel" which, however appropriate for une petite Angélique, is not a flower name. Nor is "cerulean" which also comes to mind. I would probably vote for hydrangea. Aren't there some pale blue morning glories?

    Welcome back!

  7. So pretty, I do love your little cardi against the door and wall. Your write so wonderfully.
    xx Sandi
    I think either name is lovely.
    x Sandi

  8. The cardigan is darling! Love the last picture of it, like a flower unexpectedly cropping up on a stone wall.
    How fortunate to have your mother living in Kent.

    I love the name of the skein you chose but indeed - like you, I am wary of these drastically variegated yarns. I am curious to see what you will be doing with it - and fear not - I too have been guilty of buying (yarn, or other things) just because of their seductive literary names.

  9. Dear Stephanie,
    I´m so glad that you have left a comment in my blog, so I have found your lovely blog! :-)

    I´m speechless, this all looks and reads so beautiful!

    The yarn you fell in love with is gorgeous. After I´ve read the extract of The Garden Party I couldn´t resist following your link to the yarn - PERFECT!

    Liebe Grüße, Bärbel

  10. such perfect blue knitting captured in your beautiful photos ...
    thank you for this special post, forget-me-nots are one of my favorites in the garden too ...

  11. Oh I just had to come back to see that darling blue sweater against that magnificent wall!!!

    Enjoy a new week filled with MUCH JOY! Anita

  12. Hello dear Stephanie. I have returned..having read your post at first & then wandered off to savour the loveliness & unearth my wee book found some time ago written by Katherine's best friend & as yet unread. I have had pictures of Katherine Mansfield's garden in a folder for an age & come to think of it views inside her house. I shall look them out. I even read the other day when researching "urban harvest" groups, of all things, that there is an old medlar tree growing in the garden that hangs over the fence & that if you ask the gardeners they are happy for you to take them (when fruiting) as otherwise the fallen fruit makes quite a mess on the path. I can still remember the day that I first saw that particular duck egg blue & fell in love with it.. it had been teamed with deep rose pink & a sage green..soo lovely! Ah Forget-me-nots I shall tell about the book very soon. I once took an agapanthas flower head in to the paint shop to find the colour for the outside chairs..it is quite, quite perfect. I never tire of it! Much love Catherine x

  13. Such a sweet little cardigan, I love the shade of blue and the pretty little pink flowers with the sequin centres. I also love the way you've styled the photos so imaginatively as well. Have a lovely week, Stephanie.
    Helen x

  14. Gorgeous little cardigan, forget-me-not I think it should be.
    Welcome back too :-)

  15. Hi Stephanie,

    Welcome home and must have been lovely visiting your family. Many thanks for visiting me.
    I adore the sweet little handknits and what a gorgeous shade of blue.
    I love the way you have taken the photographs against the fabulous door.

    Happy week

  16. I've just been getting lost in the collections of photographs at castle Crowns and Cottages, what a collection of beauty, I feel a bit over-indulged now! Stephanie, your photos of your wonderful blue cardigan are just delightful, I love the last one especially! And I have ordered a copy of The Garden Party, but refrained from tracking down Madeline Tosh's beautiful yarn, which I agree, is a dream of dreaminess. I'm a bit with JB on the subject of variegated yarns, I love them in their skein! What a wonderful post you've given us here. Vanessa xxx

  17. What a sweet sweater. I love blue flowers, and true blue flowers are rare in my opinion. So often they are really purple or lavender.

  18. Lovely cardi-and the door is absolutely gorgeous.(Smiling) For tall people?

  19. That cardigan is beautiful.. the little pink daisies are just gorgeous. Your photgraphs are beautiful, do you have a special camera? I'm saving up for a nice camera at the moment...
    Thank you for leaving such a lovely comment on my blog, I know.. it is Very hard to find enough time to get on with crafty things!
    You have a really lovely blog and your style of writing is very nice to read. I just write everything that pops out of my head.. and sometime I don't think it makes much sense!

    Ashley xxx

  20. I love the teeny cardigan against the vast backdrop! It's very beautiful, what a lucky little girl to wear something so gorgeous.

    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog, looking forward to more delightful knits:-) Jude x

  21. true blue ... j'adore cette création! à bientôt, @nne

  22. Oh that cardigan is so very tiny and lovely! What a lovely lovely post this is.

  23. Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog. I`m now following your blog and will have a read through all of it when I get the chance. Such beautiful knitting you do. I love Rowan yarns.

  24. I do love your mother's castle - and her painted doors. I am totally inspired on the styling front - first I must knit the cardi though, and then seek out the castle . . .

    And in passing, that is the first time that I have heard anyone consider that one could be fortunate to live in Kent - I now have a whole new and encouraging perspective on life!

    Pomona x

  25. Your sweet little cardi is exquisite. I am making a cardigan for myself with the Mansfield Garden Party! Thank you for your welcome back!

  26. Hi Stephanie,

    I thought I left a comment on this post earlier, but I can't find my name. Don't know what happened! The little light blue cardigan looks very sweet. It makes me wish my girls were younger, so that I could make them one.

    You asked me if I am a tea drinker. Yes I am, but I love my coffee with lots of milk too!

    Happy evening,


  27. your knitting looks perfect to me x
    and that is the cutest little cardi
    Your blog is a delight for my eyes, just beautiful, I'm going to love it here.
    thanks for your sweet message on my blog
    jooles x

  28. Exquisite little cardigan..
    Perfect exerpt from Mansfield. I must find her again..
    You spin a lovely yarn here..

  29. What a gorgeous little cardigan! I do love the colour and the yarn, in fact, I love all those amy butler colours! :)

  30. Beautiful cardigan and such a lovely colour, sometimes simple is the best.

  31. Love this little cardi, just beautiful, as are the scenic photos

  32. Ever so cute, the flowers. And once again, great photos!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...