Playing With Yarn

Scheepjes River Washed: New Shades Honoring 8 More Rivers

When I got the news that one of my favorite Scheepjes lines – River Washed – was getting a fresh new set of eight colors, I got super excited and started dreaming of what the shades would be. Check them out in the photo below, and you’ll see why they well surpassed my expectation! I love how each shade fills in a gap in a different color family. They’re incredible!

River Washed Information

Find River Washed and its XL buddy at WoolWarehouse* (UK), and KnottyHouse (Colour Packs)* (CA), Deramores, and other Scheepjes retailers. Trust me, you can put 10 random colors in your shopping cart and it’ll make a smashing palette.

The Core Color

The “base” or “core” of these colors is yellow, and that’s why you see yellow peeking out from the colored halo.

From the Scheepjes website:

This unique Scheepjes quality is comparable to Stone Washed, though River Washed is made from a painted inner thread that is surrounded by a differently coloured net, resulting in a uniquely expressive yarn. River Washed gives all projects a tough and contemporary look and can be combined perfectly with Stone Washed.

River Washed is available in 22 colours. The yarns carry the names of rivers. The 8 newest colours (955-962) with a gorgeous mustard-yellow colour-base are the perfect complement to the existing colour palette of River Washed and Stone Washed.

Note in the photos below, the difference between the red, teal, and yellow core with the River Washed yarn.

Yarn Details

  • Fiber Content: 78% Cotton x 22% Acrylic
  • Hook Size: 3-3.5mm
  • Yarn Weight: Sport
  • Ball Weight: 50g
  • Length: 130m

Eight New Rivers

I dove into the internet and an outside source, The Secret Lives of Colour, by Kassia St. Clair to bring you a small color study of a selection of the new shades. All of these findings are only based on my interpretation of the yarn color, not the actual known intentions of Scheepjes Yarns. That’s the beauty of color! It’s seen and interpreted differently by each person.


River Eisack, Italy

Image from Wikipedia


Color Study


In Kassia St. Clair’s book, The Secret Lives of Colour, I searched for a similar color to that purpley-red halo. The closest I could find was “Orchil” on page 165, and the article holds the following information: The red-purple color is derived from lichens which grow on rocks, re-discovered in the 1300s by an Italian merchant named Federigo. When he returned to his home in Florence, Italy, he began using the lichens to create rich purple dyes. Soon, news of the dying process spread through Italy, and then to other European countries and the Western world. The Italian Eisack River seems to be the perfect namesake.

Check out something else I found in my research. This is an incredible article on orchil dyeing and a photo of a dye study from 1845.

Image from


Chrome Yellow

Orchil and the remainder of the River shades are netted over a Chrome Yellow, which on page 78 of his book, St. Clair shares is a color demonstrated in the happiest point of artist Vincent Van Gogh’s life, and so it shows up in many of this paintings, including the famous “Sunflowers” series (link to the NL Van Gogh Museum website) which represents happiness. Since Scheepjes is a Dutch yarn, I can say this definitely makes me happy!

Image from the NL Van Gogh Museum website.



River Avon, England

River Avon, Bristol – Article on Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia


Color Study


Scarlet red is a polarizing color. Red represents love and romance, and war and rage all at once. According to the Scarlet article on page 138 of The Secret Lives of Colour, the “kermes” red dye was so difficult to produce – made from the bodies of tiny insects – that an account book of King Henry VI, indicates it took a month’s wages for a master mason to buy one yard of cheap scarlet cloth. Accordingly, the color became associated with English royalty (painting of Queen Elizabeth I in her scarlet red gown shown below), as they were known to dress in the fine cloth. So famous was the color with the wealthy that it spread to the power of the Church, and in 1464, Pope Paul II changed the royal robes from rich purple to scarlet red.

Image from Wikipedia



River Mersey, England

Image from Wikipedia

(Liverpool skyline)


Color Study

It is tough to say whether the halo of this shade is a coral, a pink, a salmon, or something different. I like to think it is a pink color that’s made to look orange-tone by the chrome yellow core of the yarn.

The color Pink has a rich history. According to Wikipedia, pink began to soar in England in the 1800s.

In 19th century England, pink ribbons or decorations were often worn by young boys; boys were simply considered small men, and while men in England wore red uniforms, boys wore pink. In fact the clothing for children in the 19th century was almost always white, since, before the invention of chemical dyes, clothing of any color would quickly fade when washed in boiling water. Queen Victoria was painted in 1850 with her seventh child and third son, Prince Arthur, who wore white and pink. In late nineteenth-century France, Impressionist painters working in a pastel color palette sometimes depicted women wearing the color pink, such as Edgar Degas’ image of ballet dancers or Mary Cassatt’s images of women and children.

Note the salmon pink dress depicted below on the third son of Queen Victoria. Yes, pink was a color “meant for boys” in its early years.

Image from Wikipedia




River Murray, Australia

Image from the Government of South Australia, Department for Environment and Water website


Color Study

I love the pale pink color in this yarn shade halo. The first thing I thought of was the pink theme in Australian lakes, and the pink Murray River Salt also springs to mind. These lakes and salts are pink due to the minerals present, according to the AtlasObscura website. The water have a high salt content, and a salt-loving algae – which happens to be pink – thrives there. When the water is bottled, it retains its pink coloring.

According to the Australian Geographic article, it is the bacteria bacterioruberin that is present in the water which gives it the pink coloring. Unlike algae, the entire cell of the bacterium is the color pink, so it is more likely that the color is due to this bacteria. Don’t worry though – the water is harmless to humans, though the salt content is very high.

Image from


The remainder of the shades are a collection of gorgeous yellow-greens, and they just go so well with the existing River Washed colors.

Thank you for coming with me on our Color Study journey! I was inspired to make a start on a project while on vacation in Destin, FL. I guess the beautiful water theme was an inspiration as I sat on the beach! Bringing my yarn everywhere doesn’t hurt, either 🙂 Read more about that on this post, and I’ll show more of the WIP soon!

I actually have a huge love for combining River Washed and Stone Washed (affiliate). Here’s how the new shades look when mixed in with my Dutch Rose yarn palette (blog post).

Breathtaking, right? The River Washed extends the reach of the Stone Washed and just pulls you in. Heavenly!

Happy crafting, y’all!

Rachele C.

Psssst: My crochet pattern book comes out on Nov, 13 2018! Read all about it!


4 replies »

  1. Great article, Rachele. You found some really interesting information about these colours. Interestingly, I read just the other day at a museum in Toronto that pink and blue were the opposite for children in the 19th century.

    • Thank you, Miss Carol! I am trying to flex my writing muscles – I do have an English Rhetoric degree! About time I use it haha – so slowly trying to dive deeper into research for content. Thank you for noticing 🙂 It’s hard to dust off those neurons!!

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