July 2013 Club

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby, the classic American novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, relates the story of how the nouveau-riche, young war veteran, Jay Gatsby, throws extravagant parties during the summer of 1922 in the hope that someday, the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan will attend and he’ll be able to sweep her off her feet with his impressive wealth and gaudy mansion in West Egg, Long Island. One little detail which seems irrelevant to Gatsby – Daisy is already married.

Gatsby’s reputation precedes him – did he go to Oxford? Where did his fortune come from? Did he really kill a man? And Gatsby, who tends to hide behind a slightly absurd formality of speech, likes to keep his background mysterious – for good reason.

Nick Carraway, the narrator, is Gatsby’s neighbour and Daisy’s cousin, and although attracted to the fast, lavish lifestyle on the East Coast at first, he gradually becomes disillusioned with the empty, hedonistic pursuit of materialism, drunkenness, deceit and immorality. He is the protagonist who gradually reveals the true nature of the Gatsby’s character, unveiling the man behind the reputation. And ultimately becomes disenchanted with the demise of the American Dream – from the pursuit of something great and noble, to the empty pursuit of wealth, for wealth’s sake.

Colourway inspiration
Gatsby’s glittering lifestyle calls to mind gold and champagne – with the riches of chiffon, marble, chauffeurs, cocktails and finger-bowls of champagne. So for the semi-solid colour, that’s exactly what I dyed up – a champagne gold.

Champagne Gold
For the variegated option, I took the champagne gold, and added a paler champagne, a strawberry pink and a rose pink. Gatsby favoured wearing pink suits and Daisy tells Nick that he reminds her of “a rose – an absolute rose”. The French windows on Daisy and Tom’s mansion are described as reflecting gold and the interior as rosy-coloured.

Strawberries and Champagne
As for the yarn type, Enchant seemed to embody the degree of luxury required – a heady blend of baby alpaca, silk and cashmere – and Gatsby tells Nick that he “seemed to bear an enchanted life”.