It took me 3 months searching every catalog and yarn store I could get my hands on to find exactly the right colors to get the effect I wanted for this creation: the effect of sunlight streaming through ancient stained glass.
The good news is: you can still get most of the principle colors I used. They are made by Red Heart. Get the Black and White in the Super Saver size, but not the "sport weight." But, be SURE you get the "Wedgewoods" in the 3 oz. "Classic" size and worsted weight. Even though it *does* come in the slightly-cheaper super saver size, the colors are NOT the same, and you will be more disappointed with the results of using the super saver size than you will be pleased by the few dollars you will save.
It's the other "variegated" yarn for the smaller, purplish window panes that always proves problematic. I've had my yarn of choice discontinued on me 4 times now! So, I am constantly re-evaluating what is available that would give me that sunlight-through-old-stained-glass look.
As of March 2006, if I were making the afghan all over again, I think I would use one strand each of Moda Dea "Gleam" yarn, tweeded, in Amethyst (#3552), Blue Topaz (#3517) and Rubelite (3903). I think this would give the closest result to the original, with the added "bonus" of a bit of sparkle as the sun shines through the "window." I know that's a bit on the pricey side, so for those watching their pocketbooks, I would consider using either Moda Dea "Swirl" yarn #3945 - Carnival OR Moda Dea "Metro" yarn #9446 - Sante Fe as possible substitutes, depending on which one the individual felt looked the best with the Red Heart yarns.
I will try to keep this blog updated so that those who wish to reproduce the Notre Dame Rose Window as closely as possible may do so with yarns currently available. If you are looking for colors, and I haven't updated in awhile (like, now, for instance!), let me tell you 2 simple tricks that I look for so you may get something as close as currently possible:
1. Try to keep the thread count to around 6. That will mean one strand each of three 2-strand "fingering weight" yarns, or 2 strands of a variegated "sport weight" yarn. More than that, and the little windows will be too bulky.
2. If you are using the Wedgewoods variegated yarn, try to find fingering weight yarns in lavender, rose, and country blue. If you tweed these three colors, you will get the effect you are looking for. But, compare your choices with the current Wedgewoods dye lot. Over the years, I've seen Wedgewoods vary from white, turquoise, and cranberry to some closer resembling pink, gray and aqua!!
Of course, there's nothing to say that you can't pick out your own set of colors, to match your decor! I recently saw a FABULOUS interpretation of my pattern in turquoise and coral. Check it out: http://yknit.blogspot.com/
I *love* it!