I knew I wanted to pick something neutral as a base so that I could let the voting excite me with the choice of the brighter/more playful colours. I went through the Wollmeise website colours (approximately 1, 111 of them, by the way – what a selection!) and chose Maus Jung. I didn’t just pick grey because it’s my favourite neutral for yarn. Grey reminds me of Germany: the cobblestones and asphalt, the misty weather, the rainy winters. It’s an urban colour for a very urban country.
I first went to Germany when I was 18 and up to that point had spent most of my life in the prairies. The prairies have 4 main colours: green plants bursting forth in spring, blue in the endless sky, autumn gold at harvest time, and white for 7 snowy months. I found Germany such a contrast. It was Christmas 1993, but there was no snow. In fact, it was flooding and that was the first flood I’d ever seen. We were just coming out of a decade of drought. The landscape was concrete, urban, and grey, with wet, grey skies and fast-moving steely rivers over-flowing their bounds and menacing the towns.
The colour that won the Instagram vote – more than doubling the nearest contender – was a colour I almost didn’t include. It’s a dark, dark pink, or perhaps a light red. I’ll see once I get there and have it in my hands. It’s actually a fantastic colour for this project though. You see, we are splitting our time between Germany and Romania. Romania is a country I know only through a Cold War childhood perspective and the stories of my in-laws. It seems like a much redder country than Germany. More impulsive and demonstrative. More paprika, although I know that’s Hungary more than anywhere. Still, if I had been asked to give Romania a colour, I think it would have been red, but I didn’t realize that connection until it won the vote.