Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The Perfect Red

I once met a guy at a party who told me that he worked for Pantone, and that his job was the quest for the perfect red; I believed him, like a big twit. It is true, though, that people have long been searching for the perfect hue of this elusive and desirable colour: red was the most fashionable shade for silk in Renaissance Italy, and as such is rather important for my PhD. So many of the words associated with the colour seem magically charged to me: madder, crimson, carmine, alizarin, cinnabar, cochineal, ruby.

I have been working recently with a resplendent red yarn, pictured above. It is Malabrigo Sock in Botticelli Red. I hadn't been aware that Botticelli was known for his reds; perhaps it is a reference to this denizen of the National Gallery's beret.

My pattern is the Alhambra Scarf by lace-genius Anne Hanson, so-called because it draws inspiration from 'the pinwheeling arabesque motif of the kind found in Islamic art and architecture throughout Andalusia and southern Spain'. I love the swirling geometric shapes it produces, so different from typical leafy lacy prettiness.


  1. Wow, beautiful! Mmmm...Malabrigo....

  2. Lovely!

    Finally found your blog and it is amazing. Am bullying my mum into teaching me to knit. She says of you: "oooh she's so pretty! Why doesn't she have her own TV show?". Amen to that. Bella x


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