Tour de Fleece Day 15: half a gradient pack on the bobbin.

Going from green to yellow you can’t see where one colour ends and the other begins. Much like you can’t define the colour chartreuse.

There was a magnificent squabble about just that on Ravelry, 5 years ago, in the highly competitive group called Sock Knitters Anonymous. It’s part of Ravelry’s collective history.

This group has a competition each month and they are (were?) very strict on the rules. In September 2011 the colour of the month was chartreuse, the green variety. But what is chartreuse?

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 20.33.15

It started off all nice and pleasant. People posting picture of their yarns, saying it’s chartreuse. Some defined it as ‘high lighter green’.

A mod responded:

“Now for the record, chartreuse ISN’T ‘highlighter’ green, it’s an ‘slightly olive-y, acidic green’ has a large component of yellow to it.

I have to say that while I’m seeing lots of NEON greens, I’m NOT seeing so much true chartreuse!”

People got insecure and posted more of their yarns, asking it it’s chartreuse enough. They got told:


Then the discussion started to incorporate the tone mods were using because people were feeling scolded by the use of CAPLOCKS (which indeed represents shouting on the the internet). On top of feeling rejected in their efforts to just join in the knitting fun.

Mods tried to explain they use caps lock because the group is so large and people skim over the pages for their posts. But you can’t change an internet convention.

Then people bought the special yarns that dyers were offering on Etsy, dyed just for this September competition, but once they posted them online they got told it wasn’t chartreuse at all but lime, neon, sage or any other colour green you can think of.

People got shy and tired and frustrated. And we never figured out what chartreuse is.

Yes, the first few pages of this thread are part of Ravelry’s notable history. And chartreuse still makes Ravelers a bit shifty eyes.


2 thoughts on “Tour de Fleece Day 15: half a gradient pack on the bobbin.

  1. Thank you for sharing this, did give me a good giggle! It’s interesting though how difficult colours can be to define though, I had a car that had the unfortunate paint name ‘Miami green’, even though, to me and most other people, it was clearly blue.

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