Sunday, 13 November 2011

What Colour is Winter?

A warm hello to you all!
 We have had the great fortune of a three-day weekend as Armistice Day is a public holiday in France.  The weather has been glorious.
It is already mid-November and we are hurtling towards the winter solstice.  I have been thinking a great deal about why I love winter so.  When I was a child I would peer through the window every morning in the hope of finding snow or sparkling frost on the ground.  I fed my fascination with winter by reading  Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen and The Little Match Girl and would while away the dark afternoons by listening to Tchaikovsky's Winter Daydreams Symphony No° 1.
And now I find myself wondering what colour is winter? 
 This week as I sat nursing my bronchitis (I am feeling much better, thank you) and knitting this shawl the soft shades of celadon and gossamer grey reflected my idea of winter perfectly.  Old Man's Beard,the bright yellow pigments of lichen with a splash of berry red provide the perfect colour backdrop.
I will be working on the association between winter and colour over the next few weeks for no doubt - fickle creature that I am - my perception will change.
Katherine Swift writes:

"My garden was conceived in winter: a garden of ruler-straight lines and precise measurements, of black ink and white paper, moonlight and shadows."

 She continues by giving her thoughts on the colours of winter in the second paragraph on the following page:

She finishes by writing:

"I dress in monochrome, too: working with old books in out-of-the-way corners of dusty libraries I long ago adopted black as a simple everyday expedient.  Is there a connection? The subfusc of academic uniform, the black velvet of winter parties, the black and white of text on page, this liking for winter?"

Black and white for the garden lover and writer Katherine Swift.  Greys and pale jade green and blue for me.

And now I ask what colour is winter to YOU?

Before I leave you I urge you to pop over to visit Annie's amazing blog.  She is having a most marvellous giveaway so hurry, hurry over!

Have a beautiful week,


 Yarn: Madelintosh DK in Celadon and Gossamer delivered, you may recall, by the Madelintosh Fairy in the cabbage patch.

A blissful knit.


  1. Ami I first? I love that book, for the quality of it's prose and so much more.

    And your shawl is just lovely, ethereal as a foggy morning, and yet so solidly comforting too.

    Winter to me is the grey of bare branches on a misty morning, and the lemon of the winter sun before that mist fully lifts, and the white of frost and snow, and maybe the gold of candle flame and the orange of a log fire.

  2. That should say Am I first, and I was :D
    Thank you so much Stephanie for posting the link to my giveaway :D

  3. Hello! I love that shawl, and the garden is just beautiful!!!
    I love the insights into gardening I glean from your blog.
    I think for me Winter is probably bright coloured (our winters are quite warm here)but I would love to have a Christmas the colour of your shawl!!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. The Snow Queen story is one that I loved to be read to me. In the book I had was one coloured illustration of the Queen sitting on an ice blue throne in her ice blue palace. So for me ice blue is a winter colour. Love the Morville Hours-keep it on my bedside table -to dip into.
    Fabulous shawl and beautiful photos.

  6. As a child growing up in Southern California, winter for me was a green time, not noticeably different from any other part of the year.

    Now of course it's the opposite. Here in Wisconsin winter is white - snow white. Sometimes the snow winks and sparkles with tiny gems of fire thrown by the sun. Sometimes it's soft and shadowed with cobalt and violet. Sometimes it's dazzlingly, blindingly white against the hard blue brilliancy of the sky.

    Winter is the fresh green of the fir trees, and the warm brown-grey tints of their bark. It's the deep rose-red of red-twig dogwood, and the soft champagne of dead marsh grass. It's the scarlet flash of cardinals in the yard, and the warm rusty red of my winter curtains.

    And perhaps best of all, winter is the lavender and rose of a January sunset with black lace trees in the foreground.

    (I crave your indulgence for what seems to have turned into a small essay.) Your shawl looks so soft and feminine and cozy, Stephanie. I love that lacy trim. Glad to hear you're recovering!

  7. Your shawl is beautiful Stephanie, the colours are so pretty! Celadon is such a lovely word, don't you think!
    What colour do I think winter is ~ white with some silvery grey, to brighten the dark days.
    Vivienne x

  8. That is a gorgeous shawl.
    The little Match Girl is special to me too.
    For winter I always think of little red berries and rose hips against white.

  9. Ah Stephanie, these are some lovely pictures you have here! I always associate Winter with creamy white, ever since I read a christmas book put out by Victoria Magazine. BUT since the winters in the Seattle area are So VERY Grey, I try to go for as much Christmas color as I can to keep me perked up until February. So I have been wanting to ask, are you originally from France? or England? Hoping the nasty bronchitis goes away SOON! :) ~Melissa

  10. It's a weird thing. The colours I like in nature are not at all the colours I wear. I have noticed lately that grey has really entered my dresser in a big way during those last few years.... but I really don't like grey weather. I like winter best in white and blue. Everything covered in snow or frost and a blue sky to go with it. My favourite wintertime!
    What a fun post you made! Really made me think about colours and what I like about winterseason.

  11. Stephanie, your shawl is beautiful. And I too am a lover of winter. Here in Alberta Canada winter is crisp and white with grey skies. Sometimes the skies are blue and the white becomes dazzling, but not often enough.

    We were fortunate to have a three-day weekend here as well--Remembrance Day. And we had our first snowfall!

  12. Have had our first snow of the season...and so it begins.

    Your post is so elegant in its simplicity.

  13. Love how you've captured the light here...and thank you for introducing me to Katherine Swift.
    I always loved HC Anderson, spent many quiet hours reading those tales over and over as a child. Still cannot read The Little Match Girl without bursting into tears at the end (which is not so nice when reading to my children - but they know by now how emotional I can be!)
    What color is winter? hmm...that is food for thought for the next couple of months....xo K:

  14. Oh yes! I love winter colours and I love that shawl = the colours, sheen and shape.

    To be honest I like wearing winter colours too... with a accent of bright acid green or fuschia or purple, like berries in the hedges. It's the hedge colours I love about winter - that lovely mix of muted purples, olives, mauvey grey, and rust that criss-cross and edge the empty fields.

    And the winter skies, the faded subtle blue with a soft yellow and that intangible pinky lavender that is a sure sign that snow is on its way.


    PS discovered Annie's blog the other day :-)

  15. Such a beautiful post and that first picture is just breathtaking. I too have been suffering the trials of bronchitis so you have my sympathies! Take care lovely lady xx

  16. Stephanie, what an absolutely stunning shawl, just the ticket for getting over your bronchitis I imagine. My Winter colour is grey, in all its shades and then as we veer toward Christmas, I think a large injection of red.

    Keep warm
    Kate x

  17. What a lovely post to read and get into the winter mood. I love it too - and STILL look outside every morning, fingers crossed and wishing for whiteness!!!
    Have you seen the 'Snow Queen' film with Bridget Fonda? It's amazing! And the 2005 version of the film (directed by Julian Gibbs). That one's really beautifully filmed. In fact, thatnks for reminding me of it - I think I might just watch one of them tonight!

  18. Good morning precious one,

    Oh,your magical creations, strewn about on the branches, like arms embracing them give them even more magical features! TO me, winter is ICE BLUE....blue LIFE, frozen for just a small while then melted into a perfect fluidity of grace. I LOVE WINTER, YES I DO!!!!!! ENJOY, Anita

  19. Oh dearie me, your shawl is absolutely lovely! Soft, warm, and so very much the lacy look of a frosted window.
    I do enjoy the colours of winter in the out-of-doors...greys, blues, glistening whites, the pink of sunrise on the snowy field.
    Indoors there are the warm golds of candlelight, warm cider, and warm woolies. Truth be told, there is also a great wooden bowl, filled to overflowing with the colourful, dried petals form our summertime garden...a temptation for the far-off arrival of Springtime surely.

    Wishing you a splendid day Stephanie!

    Most warmly,

  20. Beautiful work Stephanie...so fitting with the change of seasons and I love how you make your connections with nature's gifts around you...
    When I think of Winter I have to tink of silvery blues, frosty greys, pale taupes and snowy whites but Nature as always provides a lovely colourful punch with warm cranberry and berry red....I love the contrasts...
    So pleased to hear you are recovering from that nasty bronchitis,
    Hope you have the best of weeks,
    Susan x

  21. C'est une magnifique création qui donne un air si douillet !
    Pour moi, l'hiver est blanc puisque je suis dans une région où la neige s'invite de longs mois ...

  22. Ooooh... Sigh...
    C'est tellement beau.

  23. Sivery grey for me with a hint of sparkle.i love your shawl.Mentioning those stories brought memories flooding back.

  24. If you have toys and children clothes you don”t need pleas contact me or send them
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  25. Your shawl is really beautiful, Stephanie, so soft and delicate. I love your choice of colours too. Winter for me is a mixture of colours and moods, from icy, frosty shades to warm cosy festive colours...I love the way a piece of linen and some embroidery threads can evoke a season to me, and I love designing winter samplers in that way.
    I'm so glad you are feeling better now. Enjoy your week and keep cosy.
    Helen x

  26. how pretty these pictures....
    winter is white to me :)
    thanks for stopping by...

  27. I wonder if you would love winter as much if you had longer deeper snow season? I love the first snow falls, but once it starts to build up and form a hard ice permanence and the wind comes howling down the road. My face almost blistering with red cold.... and this lasting two long months.

    The writing is beautiful, I love this line:
    Especially in freezing fog, when whole trees are drowned fathoms deep in arctic air.

    I think grey and white with sharp sunlight. For me it's a feeling season, rather than so much a visual one.

    Warm Wishes.

  28. Thank you so much for your lovely comment about my little fox scarf, and thank you also for sharing that wonderful shawl with us....i adore shawls, and love the one you have knitted, may i ask, did you design it yourself or was it from a pattern as i would love to have a go at making one too.
    Pixie x

  29. I love your shawl - I am most tempted to abandon my Christmas knitting in favour of that instead. The only way that I can think winter bearable is to imagine it the colour of firelight . . .

    Hope you are better, too.

    Pomona x

  30. I love the Katherine Swift books and find I can reread them a number of times and find something to catch my eye or my ear every time.
    Winter here either the pale, pearly blue of the sky over the ridge on a clear day, or brown, the colour of mud!

  31. Stephanie thank you most muchly for getting back to me so quickly, i have taken a look at the blog site and found the wrap, its very kind of you to offer to email me the pattern but no need i am quite happy to buy it from the website..i like to support other crafters and their designs...thank you again pixie x

  32. Winter to me is cosy reds, maybe to do with cosy warm fires and christmas. I also have the image of crisp plae lilac and white..(snow?)
    The top picture is stunning with the seedheads against the beautiful backdrop of your shawl, such wonderful colours. A joy to the eye!
    Jess x x

  33. What a lovely post and such lovely comments. I think winter for me is snow white with generous helpings of Christmas red and green and a little golden candlelight to finish it off.

  34. Winter for me is white I think, but the more I thought about it the more I thought of red. A very thought provoking question!

  35. Dear Stephanie,
    Your posts are always so very special, full of poetry!
    Actually I am an autumn girl and not very fond of winter. But I love the cosy moments inside, when it is cold outside, drinking a cup of tea, listening to classical music and enjoying my snow covered garden...
    You have captured the colours of winter with your shawl perfectly!

    Liebe Grüße, Bärbel

  36. My ideal colours for winter would be ice turquoise, snow white and muffled greys. Your shawl is a real beauty Stephanie, beautiful colours, and the accent of the trim is such a lovely touch. It looks softer than soft too. What a beautiful thing to snuggle up in, feel relaxed and confident, and well with the world. I'm pleased you're on the mend Stephanie. Thank you for the link to Annie's giveaway, I've put my penny's worth in, and am keeping my fingers crossed. Vanessa xxx

  37. Gorgeous shawl! That is such a beautiful colour too.
    For me winter is ice blue, white and very pale pearl grey I think :-)

  38. Hi Stephanie,

    Glad to hear you are feeling better. Bronchitis can be so horrible. I had it a few years back. It took me quite a while to recover.

    Your sjawl looks comfortable and beautiful at the same time. I love the little pink edge :-). It gives your sjawl a romantic touch.

    I have been thinking about your question.....To me winter is light blue (foggy skies & ice), golden (light of the candles, fairy lights and Christmas tree) and white. I don't think I have to explain the last one :-). Especially the last couple of years we had LOTS of white!!

    I have finally started on your book. I am on page twenty something. So far it's promising!!!

    Wish you a happy weekend!

    Lieve groet, Madelief x

  39. Oh I do so love your thoughts, words, knitting and photographs....so beautiful.
    The colour of winter for me is brown...the brown bare earth and wonderful brown bracken.
    My computer has been taken away to be repaired as it has a virus, thank you for your concern.
    Much love to you.

  40. I wanted to pop by and thank you for leaving a lovley comment on my blog when Jewel died. It was very thoughtful of you and most appreciated. But I see that since then you have lost your own Sakura, how sad for you all. She looks so beautiful. I do sympathise with you and especially for the children. I do hope the pain is a little easier now.
    What a delightful blog you have. I am sorry not to have visited earlier. Do I take it that you like Dahlia's? They are one of my favourite flowers.
    What a beautiful shawl. Love the colours, they seem to epitimise winter. Hope you continue to feel better. Must just go and check out your holiday link sounds interesting.

  41. Ma chère Stephanie,

    YOU are so kind. Gentle, visionary and so elegant, you always bring a HUGE smile to my face when you post your ethereal creations, suspended in the wind of sweet and fragrant friendship across the pond. MERCI MILLE FOIS for sending your love and wishes; I send YOU much love and kind regards,


  42. Dear Stephanie,

    You have shared such a lovely post today.
    I love your sweet shawl and the colours are so beautiful and work so well for winter.
    I used to read the Little Match Girl too and as we only ever had snow once in my growing up years at home, know how exciting it must have been waiting for the white coating. I know now why they call it, a Magic wonderland.

    Happy Sunday

  43. Yes, 60's and 70's style sequin dazzle were part of my childhood Christmas experience. You can tell that by looking at those trees. :-)

    What color is winter to me? Let me think... Green is the color I most associate with Christmas.
    White (ice and snow) and brown (bare tree branches) and gray and blue (sky colors) are what nature provides us with during the winters here in the midwest.
    And during the years I lived in the pacific northwest, green (evergreen fir trees) and gray (fog, rain and the water) were the winter colors.

    So, snow white, fog gray, sky blue, fir tree green and bare branch brown... those are winter colors to me.

    Now I'm going to go read the responses from other people. I didn't want to see what they wrote until after I figured it out for myself.

  44. Hope you're back to full health now. Winter to me is ice-blue, weak grey and army metal green. I've always wanted to work for a paint company making up colour names!

  45. Hello sweetling. Sorry for my absence. I was thinking about you this week and the question about the colour of winter. What a brilliant question. I think you and I have very similar imaginations, if that makes any sense?
    I think winter is silver, if that is a colour? Silvery frost, sparlkes on sno. The colour isn't always so obvious, unless it is the right time of day, but it gives me overall a silvery feeling. It makes me feel magical.
    I love your pics. Your blog is fairyworld.
    Clothes for Moulin Roty toys! Sigh. xxx

  46. wowza! such photographs of winter bliss! that shawl is so lovely!- cosy looking ;0)x...what a beautiful book, thanks for sharing those words ;0)x

  47. Your shawl is beautiful! I would love to have one like it, but I don't knit! I can crochet, but I don't think it would look as beautiful crocheted.

  48. I just quickly want to tell you my winter colour. I haven't read your comments yet so I don't know what other people have said.

    I think in later years I have come to see winter as brown. Brown for the bare trees and the bare earth that you can see everywhere. I like to think of all that is going on beneath the ground in winter. Right now it's peacefully sleeping but nearer Spring time I'm sure there is plenty of activity as all the plants are getting ready to push through again. We all deserve a rest and I'm sure nature does. It's such a short time to wait before we have a world of colour again. In the meantime I try and think positive thoughts about the brown.

    I am very grateful for the evergreens though, I love lush green plants more than anything so thankfully they don't all disappear.

  49. Thanks for letting me know about this pattern. Your version is very pretty!

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