Colours of Snældan

The names of the twenty colours of Snældan yarn are all inspired by things that can be seen by any visitor to the Faroe Islands.  Here are some of them.

Mist/Cloud

mistMist and cloud are the key to the ever-changing landscapes and seascapes of the Faroes.
IMG_0173

Basalt

YD15This volcanic rock forms the islands themselves and can be seen virtually wherever you look.

IMG_0165

 

Driftwood

YD16There are very few trees on the Faroe Islands – a combination of too much sea salt in the air and a large population of hungry sheep, so wood for building and manufacture had to be either imported or collected from the seashore.

19th-century cheese mould from Hvannasund (Klaksvík Museum)

19th-century cheese mould from Hvannasund (Klaksvík Museum)

 

Peat

peatPeat was once the most important fuel in Faroese households and the land around the villages still shows the markings formed by centuries of peat cutting. These crates in Klaksvík Museum were once used to carry the peat home. (Note the woollen straps added to ease the load.)

P1010707

 

Viking Gold

YD310

Silver was the most common precious metal in Viking times, but the richest chieftains were able to display their wealth with small quantities of gold. This 9th-century gold ingot was discovered in farmland in Northern Ireland only last year.

ULSTER+Treas_2

 

Rhubarb

YD313

Rhubarb is one of the few fruits or vegetables that grow really well in the Faroes, and is a staple ingredient in desserts, as shown on this stamp image of typical Faroese cuisine (along with with cod heads and stuffed puffins).

Faroe_stamp_521_gastronomy

 

Flag Red & Flag Blue

YD318

YD347

The colours of Merkið – the national flag, celebrated on 25 April every year, in commemoration of the day in 1940 when the British Government instructed Faroese vessels to fly their own flag, following the German occupation of Denmark.

P1000575

 

Sorrel Red

YD319

Sheep’s Sorrel (Romex Acetosellu) is one of the many moorland flowers that flourish on the Faroese fells.

220px-Ahosuolaheinä_(Rumex_acetosella)

 

Turkish Blue

YD226

The colour Turquoise, from the French for Turkish, was named after the country from where the gem stones were first imported to Europe. The connection here is with the history of pirate raids on the Faroes, including a documented raid in 1620 when a pirate ship of Ottoman Corsairs arrived from the Barbary coast of Africa.

Göke_(1495)_the_flagship_of_Kemal_Reis

 

Turf

YD327

Grass turf is the traditional roofing material on Faroese buildings, and there are still some modern homes constructed in this way. As well as being an abundant material, it has many advantages in the North Atlantic climate: it adds a very good layer of insulation, and can withstand the batterings of winter storms. From personal experience, I can also vouch for turf roofs as a superb way of silencing heavy rainfall. (Try sleeping under a metal roof in the Faroes and you will know what I mean.)

IMG_0174

Atlantic Blue

YD328 copy

This colour is seen during those amazing times when the clouds clear and the sea and sky take on an iridescent blue.

IMG_0036

 

Raven Black

YD355

Often on a walk in the Faroese fells there is a magical moment when you hear the deep croak of this majestic bird and then see it as it tumbles in the sky. The raven played an important role in Norse mythology, especially in the form of Odin’s two birds, Hugin and Munin (Thought and Memory) who bring the god news from the world of humans.

Faroe_stamp_275_the_north_atlantic_raven_(corvus_corax_varius)

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3 thoughts on “Colours of Snældan

  1. Hi! Very interesting information about how to colour the . Is it possible to attend à folk lore corse for à couple of days ? What about traditional folk Music and folkdance of the Faroe Islands? Any corse or traditional festival in Music/folkdance? Looking forward to à little information!! Thank you! Best wishes from SaraLisa/ÅKERSBERGA,Sweden

    Like

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