Calico Corn - white with yellow and brown speckles. Calico corn, also known as flint corn, is a much harder than it's more edible cousin, dent corn. Calico corn is mostly used for decorative purposes and is a sure sign of fall. The hard kernels range in color from yellow to brown to dark ruby red.
Blight - light brown with black speckles. Beetle blight is a real problem for PNW pine trees. These insects made their way through this region a few years back and ruined a good amount of local timber. The beetles kill part of the tree which renders the timber useless for structural uses but creates a beautiful color variation and the salvagable lumber can be used for decorative purposes. I've seen the most gorgeous tables and accent pieces made with lumber that had beetle blight.
Honeycakes - vibrant medium yellow. Honeycakes, also known as Lekach, are eaten at Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. I love the idea of new year being in the Fall. Growing up in the orchard, Fall was the beginning of lots of things that I loved like school and harvest. Autumn was never about the end of summer to me. It was about the beginning of everything else.
Winesap - rich, deep red. Winesap is an old variety of apple noted for it's sweetness and dark outer color. My childhood was spent running through the rows of an apple orchard. This time of year marked the beginning of harvest and, after that, cidering season. One of my favorite smell memories is the smell of rotting fallen fruit on the ground. It sounds gross but it's not, it's great. That meant that cider pressing was coming and that was something that we all took part in.
Pumpkin Kisser - spiced pumpkin orange. Our little Pumpkin Kisser. The first time we took Magnus to a pumpkin patch he enthusiastically ran out into the field and started kissing all of the pumpkins. We asked him why he was kissing them and he said "Because I love fall". This kid is definitely mine. Pumpkin Kisser is our contribution to all things pumpkin colored and flavored for fall.
Shale - medium grey. A long long LONG time ago, our little corner of the planet was covered with water. Oceans pushed further and further inland and brought lots of sediment with them. As the water receded and the lands dried out, we were left covered in limestone, shale and basalt (thanks freshman year geology). In our color spectrum, Shale falls between Fog and Ink.
Steelhead: Wild Collection - grey with brown/black speckle. This fish was a staple on our table when I was young and my favorite thing to come out of the smoker. These fish are regularly bred in hatcheries to keep their numbers up but native fish numbers are dwindling, mostly due to habitat degradation. A portion of the proceeds from each sale of this colorway are donated to The Nature Conservancy, Oceana and The National Audubon Society.
Blue Whale: Wild Collection - deep aqua blue with brown overdye. My son thinks that all whales are blue whales. It's kind of cute. Blue whales aren't the most common whale in the Pacific Northwest water but when they do make it up here, it's a big deal. A portion of the proceeds from each sale of this colorway are donated to The Nature Conservancy, Oceana and The National Audubon Society.
Golden Eagle: Wild Collection - golden yellow. These birds are rarely seen but glorious when you do manage to glimpse one. A portion of the proceeds from each sale of this colorway are donated to The Nature Conservancy, Oceana and The National Audubon Society.
Scrub Jay: Wild Collection - variegated blue/cream/light grey. These little birds have a lot of personality and I can relate to a few of their traits. First, they hide food in different caches around their territory (yep, I do that, mostly with candy bars). Second, they hoard and hide brightly colored objects (I make brightly colored objects). Lastly, and most endearing, they mourn over the loss of loved ones. Scrub Jays will stay by the body of a lost bird and cry for up to an hour. A portion of the proceeds from each sale of this colorway are donated to The Nature Conservancy, Oceana and The National Audubon Society.
Starfish: Wild Collection - half and half dyed clementine orange and deep purple. When I first moved near the ocean, starfish were everywhere. You could see them in most tidal pools. Now they are dyeing off in our part of the water due to a disease called densovirus. Scientists aren't sure why this virus, which is not new, is suddenly taking out our starfish population. However, the popular hypothesis is that the rising ocean temperatures have triggered it. A portion of the proceeds from each sale of this colorway are donated to The Nature Conservnacy, Oceane, and The National Audubon Society.
Hummingbird: Wild Collection - half and half dyed magenta and emerald color. Anna's hummingbirds are the most common in our neck of the woods. Originally bred only in Southern California, the transplant of certain plant species allowed the birds to migrate further north. A portion of the proceeds from each sale of this colorway are donated to The Nature Conservancy, Oceana and The National Audubon Society.
Alpine Lake - semi tonal aqua blue. Something we have a lot of in the PNW, high altitude lakes. These lakes are generally glacial fed and hence have a high mineral content. This turns the water a bright aqua blue color.
Lilac - semi tonal warm purple. My favorite flower. My mom grew them and I remember braving the bees so I could smell them. They have such a brief blooming season and that makes them more special.
Magic Hour - dusty, cedar rose. The time just after sunrise and just before sunset that creates photography magic. The air turns pink and softens every surface.
Midnight at the Mountain - dark navy blue. Night skiing, thrilling nocturnal sport or certain death? I wouldn't know. But I do know that on a clear night, with a full moon, Mt Baker glows like beacon outside our backdoor. The stark contrast of the white snow against the dark blue sky is intoxicating.
Northern Sky - cool, mint green. This brilliant, minty green is inspired by the Aurora Borealis which are particularly active in the fall and winter months. On a clear night, and at a high enough altitude, you can see mint green streaks cut across the night sky.
Twilight - purple/grey. Nothing to do with blood suckers in Forks but everything to do with the Washington sky. Twilight is the beautiful purple that lights up the sky moments after the sun has gone down.
Mermaid - medium sea green. Named for the Maiden of Deception Pass, the story of a beautiful Samish woman who caught the eye of a man from the sea. In exchange for her hand, he would bring back the salmon and shellfish for her people to harvest.
Rhododendron - bright, rose pink. Rhododendron macrophyllum, a hearty, dense wooden plant, native to the alpine areas of the Northwest. It is beautiful and sturdy species that represents wild, uncontrollable nature. All the things I personally aspire to be.
Yellow Bell - light, cheery yellow. Fritillaria pudica, native to the Northwest and abundant on the hills behind my house where I grew up. My sister and I would sneak through the cattle fence and run up and down the hills picking these beauties.
Peach Ice Cream - vibrant peach/pink. Every year, on my birthday, my dad would make peach ice cream from scratch. It wasn't meant to be a tradition, we had an orchard and peaches were ripe in July. After the first few years it became a thing that I had to have peach ice cream on my birthday. It still is a thing.
The Grass is Always Greener - light, grassy yellow/green. Full disclosure: this color was an accident, but a happy accident. While trying to create a different shade, I mis-measured my dye and ended up with a color I liked better than the original. Proving the proverb is true. The grass is always greener on the other side.
Robin Red-Breast - spice red, semi-solid. These happy looking little birds are all around us this time of year with their blushing red chests, trying to attract a mate. Their increased activity makes them territorial and makes Ginger the Beagle go crazy. She is just sure they are taunting her.
Undertow - light blue, semi-solid. Under the murky water of the Pacific Ocean lies an entirely different world full of brilliant color and life. The undertow is what tugs at your feet with each wave, reminding you what lies underneath.
Ink - charcoal, semi-solid. Ink, as in SQUID! The liquid secreted by these cephalopods is their defense mechanism, creating a diversion so they can escape. Some one, at some point in time, decided it would be good in food. Who comes up with these ideas?! I can't argue with results though. Squid Ink pasta is delicious. So thank you, mystery stranger.
Toasted Marshmallow - semi-solid cream. A staple when camping. I love to camp. We haven't been since the Little Viking came into our lives. So sitting in the yard and roasting marshmallows for no reason should be acceptable.
Cervidae - semi-solid tawny brown. Latin for deer. These little wee ones were in the front yard last year and there are babies in the forest behind the house again this year. They are too cute and not afraid enough. Live well and run fast little guys.
Bark - semi-solid medium cocoa brown. This is a gorgeous color and so hard to do justice to in photographs
Smoked Porter - semi-solid chocolate brown. What is more PNW than beer?! Dark, light, heavy or nitro, we love our fermented libations. Particularly if they are homemade. Viking husband's beer collective, 542 Brew, cranks out delicious homemade beer so I am lucky that there is never a shortage in our house.
A Land Far Away - teal/grey semi solid. Inspired by the color of land on the horizon. The photo below is of the Coast Range of Canadian mountains as seen over downtown Bellingham. Photo courtesy of Western Washington University.
Fog - medium grey semi solid. What would a coastal NW town be without fog. In the late fall it is a near constant companion and adds mystery to our nights.
Oyster - light grey semi solid. Not the prettiest of creatures but definitely one of the tastiest. These can be dug up on our local beaches and I like them best put on the grill with herb butter and a shot of hot sauce.
Moss - brilliant grassy green semi solid. Ode to the plant that grows on every available outdoor surface.
Deep Cascadian Love - rich, deep magenta semi solid, in honor of my husband.
Prairie Fire - mahogany/spice tonal, the depth of this colorway is hard to capture in a photo. I am in love with the mid-tone of this yarn, a deep garnet.
Pacific Bleeding Heart - Purple/Magenta tonal, named after the wildflower found in the woods of Western Washington State.
Stormy Skies - Charcoal/Silver tonal, inspired by the dark and stormy skies that the PNW is known for.
Noble - Deep pine semi-solid, named after the Noble Fir trees that are mere steps outside our backdoor. That is my husband, picking up last year's Christmas tree.
Ginger - Rustic brown semi-solid, name after my beautiful beagle, Ginger. This color is the exact reddish brown that covers her head and the cute little tick marks on her legs.