Posted by: christinelaennec | March 11, 2011

Wrapping my Daughter in Colour

Since she started high school last August, one of the things that has been hard for my daughter has been the school uniform.  It is pretty much unrelieved black polyester (the tie is navy blue and dark green, and she does have a white blouse).  At first she found it quite depressing not only to be encased in black polyester, but to be completely surrounded by hundreds of other black-clad children.

So I recently made her a colour wrap that she can put on when she comes home from school and frees herself from black:

The Dafter modelling her Colour Wrap. I modified Marie Wallin's "Doris" pattern and used Colourscape Chunky wool. (More details on Ravelry - I'm "tefighe".) The painting behind is by Pam Carter.

I believe that colour is extremely important in our lives.  I’ve never quite managed to read all of Goethe’s philosophical work on colour (summed up briefly here), but I’m fascinated by accounts of colour being used in amazing ways, for example, colour lights being used to heal.  It is said that some blind people can “feel” colours because each colour is a different vibration.  The painter Winifred Nicholson was fascinated by colour.  She wrote “Who can see the colour at either end of the rainbow beyond ultra-violet and infra-red?”  She was interested in a colour that Goethe had posited the existence of:  one that lay outside the visible spectrum, a colour “beyond ultra-violet and infra-red”.   It will be very interesting to see if such a colour is ever discovered!

Of Nicholson’s later work, Alice Strang writes:

In 1975 Winifred met Professor Glen Schaefer, a Canadian physicist and biologist, who enouraged her to purchase two prisms.  She could look through them and see the same division of light into colour as appears in a rainbow, confirming her personal colour theory, which she summed up as ‘how form is related to colour – colour is not just a coat over objects – it lies on the rim of objects between one form and the neighbouring form or space.’ (Winifred Nicholson in Scotland, p. 25)

I’m hoping that my Colour Wrap for the Dafter is not just “a coat over an object,” but something that will bring her peace, comfort and healing.




  1. So lovely..that is both, the Dafter and the cardi. So good to have such a talented Mum x

  2. I love the colour & comfort of making quilts- there is something very soothing about being bathed in colour. If the Dafter would like to give it a try, I have lots of beautiful bits and pieces for her to play with.

  3. YES to color! i agree with you … color is amazing. love the cardi and your daughter looks like a lot of fun. yellow walls are fantastic. i just recently painted our bathrooms in yellow. also thanks for mentioning that the picture was Pam Carter … it’s got lovely greens and yellows in it.

  4. What a great cardi you made for The Dafter,one can see she’s very pleased with it

  5. What a gorgeous cardi/ wrap. Beautiful wool and the neckline is so pretty. It’s funny, I do get a sense of its other properties- I think it’s more obvious seeing someone else wrapped in wellbeing- it benefits others viewing it as well. We’re all sharing the rainbow goodness!

  6. it is beautiful and she’s just beaming as she models it! I’m sure she feels the love you put into each and every stitch!

  7. Dear All,
    Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging comments. It’s great to be able to make something for someone we love, just to express how we feel about them. Thanks for sharing her and my pleasure in a simple sweater.

    Fiona – funnily enough, as I read your comment the Dafter was sewing! She has made a towel holder, a sequin-covered hair bobble and a wee embroidered purse for herself this weekend. Your offer is very kind. We are blessed with several boxes of fabric scraps, but if we run out, or if the Dafter gets bored of the selection at home, I will let you know!

    ajb – I love our yellow kitchen (the cabinets are blue), but not everyone feels the same way. When my father came into the room for the first time, he looked a bit bilious and said “I suppose you picked out this colour yourselves?” Yes, I mentioned that the painting is by Pam Carter just for you!

    Scruffybadger – “we’re all sharing the rainbow goodness” made me laugh out loud!

  8. I just love what you made for your daughter, I love those bright colors. Here the children don’t wear a school uniform but there regulare clothes.
    BTW. I always use a Q-snap when I do cross stitching, I can’t work without 🙂

  9. She certainly looks happy! Well done 😀

  10. It’s important to get rid of the black of the day. What a lovely thing to do, to enfold your daughter in colour. My children’s uniform is maroon. It’s bright, that’s one thing in its favour.

  11. This is a fascinating post. I have found my wardrobe getting very neutral lately – black, brown, blue. I think it is soothing – but at the same time that punch of color is just what is needed. Your daughter is sweet here.

  12. Dear Carin, Roobeedoo, Linda and Lovely World,
    Thanks very much for your comments. I do find colour fascinating. There’s been an interesting discussion on “analog me”‘s blog about the colours we wear. Sometimes neutral colours are just the thing we need, too.

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