One of the things that most attracts me to Donegal Tweed yarn, is the way its colourful flecks add depth and interest to the main colour. The flecks, small and whimsically strewn, are mesmerising to look at and can completely transform the overall look of the colour you think you have. A seemingly dull sage green comes alive with bursts of turquoise and pink. A shocking coral-red is tamed with splatters of green and lilac.
Now, what about gray?
When I was first choosing a gray from my supplier, this task took me over an hour. The mills in Killcar have what must be close to a dozen stock 'grays'. Warm grays and cool grays, light grays and dark grays. Grays that resemble charcoal and grays that resemble slate.
Finally, I selected a medium heathery gray. Studied up close, this particular yarn positively explodes with brightly coloured flecks, yet from a distance it takes on a surprisingly neutral appearance.
It seemed an ideal choice for people who love colour, but do not like dressing colorfully, if that makes sense.
I have tried other grays in Donegal tweed over the past two years, but this one remains my favourite. It is also the colour that gets requested the most when I get custom orders.
Sometimes, when I send a customer photos of the finished knit in this yarn, I almost worry they will find it too colourful - so I include a note to explain that the flecks are not noticeable from a distance. If anything, this particular gray looks nearly too neutral from afar.
And, examining my latest knit in this yarn, I finally realised why that is.
While the flecks here come in several colours - including light blue, white, and yellow - the dominant colours are olive and pink. And of course when mixed, olive and pink- like green and red - make gray! It makes perfect sense that this colourful yarn looks so utterly neutral from a distance. The eye blends the complementary flecks together.
It's a neat effect. And it allows for an almost painterly appreciation of colour. One of the joys of Donegal Tweed.