Color Inspiration Thursday ~ Highland Summer

Highland Summer, inspired by my memories of Scotland

Highland Summer is a colorway I created for the 2015 clubs. A variegated blend of cool stone grays, sky blues, soft mountain greens and purple wildflowers, it works really well as a contrasting color in colorwork projects, simple stockinette and garter stitch, and simple knit / purl or lace projects like these ~ AutumnSky’s Fall Line Cowl and bratsche51’s Noyac Bay hat and cowl set:

When I imagined this colorway, I was remembering the honeymoon trip my husband, Brett, and I took to Scotland (being a good sport, he let me choose our destination). It’s hard to believe it will be 20 years this June!

We flew in to Glascow, drove to Oban, Glen Coe, and then north up to Fort William, Loch Ness, Inverness and Culloden, and then made our way back down through Callendar to Glascow. (Which means, yes, I need to go back because we didn’t make it to Edinburgh, or Skye – it was pouring that day, or the Orkneys, the Shetlands, the Hebrides, or the Highlands north of Inverness. Several more trips are obviously in order.)

Scan 1
Loch Awe

What I remember most about Scotland in late June / early July are the colors (this is not all that surprising, is it?). The stone grays of castles, craggy mountains, and stormy skies, and the subtle greens of heathered vistas that seem to go on forever. I remember the pinks and purples of rhododendron in centuries-old gardens, and the blazing blooms of wildflowers by the side of the road. The deep and vibrant blues of the sky on clear days, and of the lochs that seem to be around every bend in the road. It’s an incredibly stunning country. It’s impossible to adequately capture all of this on a medium like yarn, but I wanted to try to pull these color memories into a representation which would knit into a mosaic of remembered hues, rather like an impressionist painting.

Kilchurn Castle

I have plans to use Highland Summer in a colorwork project sometime soon; I really love how variegated yarns look in colorwork; the shift of color is always so beautiful. I knit a little swatch last night; I’m still pondering the contrasting color, but for the swatch I used Ink (a deep, murky blue/purple) because I happened to have a skein sitting around. I think it would also look fantastic with The Witching Hour (a deep, dark gray), Muscaris (a rich, bright purple), Scrimshaw (vanilla cream) or even Entling (a deep green).


I like the somewhat softer contrast between the Highland Summer and Ink; the fluid color changes of Highland Summer against the more solid Ink make me think of stained glass for some reason. I think I’ll pull out a little snippet of Scrimshaw, or even undyed, for another swatch; the contrast will be much greater so it will be interesting to see how Highland Summer looks against a pale background.

A few more honeymoon shots of Scotland with her summer color on …

Finally, thanks for playing along and commenting on my recent Longshadows post. I wish I could give everyone a prize! The winner of the random-number-generator is Maureen (I replied to the winning comment, too, so hopefully that worked 🙂 ). Congratulations! And, I’ll definitely do this again with other patterns and yarn!

7 thoughts on “Color Inspiration Thursday ~ Highland Summer

  1. This would be a lovely essay anytime but especially as I’m on the cusp of a trip to Scotland and have my skeins of Highland to fondle, its perfect timing. I love the look of it in colorwork. You won’t mind if I copy you?


  2. I am SO glad you are blogging again, Jennifer. It is fun to read about colors from your viewpoint as a dyer. Long shadows was my introduction to your yarns, and will always be a favorite of mine. I knit a second for my sister out of a similar color of Nona and she loves her’s, too. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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