Ardnamurchan Seavaiger

Good morning! Something new to show to you today – our latest shade of Milarrochy Tweed.

Dyed to a beautifully saturated hue of blue-y green, this shade is enlivened by tweedy twists and flecks of pale pink and paler green.

It’s a deep, bold colour – almost the opposite of the spectrum from our other new addition to the palette, Asphodel

And we’ve named this shade Ardnamurchan.

Many of you may know that name from the UK shipping forecast, where the lighthouse at Ardnamurchan Point marks the almost-most westerly point of mainland Scotland, and in fact the whole of mainland Britain (the nearby hilly rise of Corrachadh Mòr lying half a degree further west than Cornwall’s Lands End). If you’ve spent any time around the western coasts of Scotland or Ireland, I imagine that this colour will speak immediately to you, as it does to me, of the distinctive light and colour of that part of the world, especially the saturated blue-green hue of the Atlantic. Tom and I had planned to spend some time in Ardnamurchan this spring, but times change. So I thought of the sea while knitting myself an Ardnamurchan Seavaiger instead.

In this sweater, I’ve paired Ardnamurchan with Tarbet, a marine blue that’s another of my favourite Milarrochy Tweed shades

Tarbet is quite close in hue to Ardnamurchan, and also shares the same pale pink tweedy flecks. When knitting with colour, blues have a tendency to swallow up everything around them, so I was interested in what would happen when I placed these two tonally similar shades alongside one another. Would they just cancel one another out?

I was pleased to find that they did not, but rather that the effect of the close striping was subtle and harmonious . . .

. . . while still remaining jolly and stripey in a way that befits a maritime gansey! Ahoy!

I designed Seavaiger as a longer sweater that sits at the hip , but I made this version shorter, knitting the body to 5 inches before beginning the underarm shaping.

I sometimes like to work my sweaters to this shorter length but I also know that many don’t: so be assured that the Seavaiger kits in the shop contain enough yarn to knit the longer version!

The Seavaiger I knit myself last year is among the most comfortable and most-worn garments in my wardrobe.

There’s just something about the easiness and roominess of the garment.

And how the yarn lies, worked at this fairly drapey gauge of 6 stitches to the inch.

I love my yellow Seavaiger inordinately, and I think Tom did a great job with those photos, but I find it quite difficult to look at them because I know that I was really struggling with my mental health at the time that they were taken. I feel a similar unease about the photographs of Manu – which were also taken during a period when I was severely unwell with my bipolar. When I’m elderly, how will it feel to have told the story of my middle years and aging and many ups and downs through these photos of myself? Will the images Tom and I have shot here, close to home, over the past few weeks, feel bound up with the world’s bigger, stranger picture? Perhaps inevitably.

But one of the many things I’m grateful for right now is to not be struggling mentally, and feeling able to face things with a clear head.

If things are difficult for you right now, I hope you have around you things that lift you from and back to yourself – craft, birdsong, family, the written word – and that you are able to find some comfort in the certain knowledge that things will move on and change. We knit on, anyway.