what colour do you think of?
No, it is not a silly question. Red is not "just red". There is red and scarlet and crimson and vermilion. There is burgundy, maroon, cherry, wine, cerise, tomato, fire-engine, letter/pillar box, strawberry and rose red.
There are other reds too. I could haul out my tin of Derwent colouring pencils and find more.
It is the same with blue - cobalt, navy, french, sapphire, turquoise, aquamarine, saxe, teal and hyacinth for a start. Green has emerald, jade and lime.
They are just a start. I can remember my paternal grandfather used to sometimes bring home an English "Women's Weekly" for my grandmother. There were knitting patterns in it and there would always be a list of suggested colours under the black and white picture. The colours were rarely plain red or blue or green. They would be given more exotic names.
Last Friday a friend and I were putting the squares together for a blanket that will be raffled off for charity. The squares are mostly tan but others are mottled yellow, blue and green. They do go together in the unexpected way that colours can go together when you least expect it.
We needed a border to pull the blanket together. I had pulled out some odds and ends from my "stash" and I was surprised by the colour my friend reached out for. It was grey. It is not a colour I would have considered putting with tan but she is a quilter.
"It will work," she told me. I do not doubt that it will. She is going to put the border on and things have a way of working for her.
She left with the yarn for the border and the blanket. After she had gone my father said to me, "What's she going to do with the mouse?"
He meant the yarn. He saw it as mouse colour.