Followers of Blue Thread probably know that the title of the book refers to a blue-colored fringe in a prayer shawl. In the Bibles Book of Numbers 15:38, the ancient Israelites are commanded to add fringes (in Hebrew: tzitzit) to the corners of their garments. The Biblical edict goes on to require that the tzitzit have a thread of blue (ptil tchelet). There’s more about that in a blog post from last November.
What is the precise color of tchelet? The color is supposed to echo that of the sea and the sky. Opinions vary about just which dye was to be used to make the blue color. The blue that Ooligan Press and I decided would work for the cover of Blue Thread is “Pantone 293 uncoated.” I found yet another take on tchelet yesterday at a shoe store. Take a look at these shoes from Israel. The Hebrew script reads tchelet. The English translation: “BLUE.GR.” Blue gray? Blue green? The shoes inside definitely look like a Portland sky–in the winter, sometimes.