What’s In A Name?

What draws you to patterns or yarns? Is it simply the pattern, the structure, what it will look like?  Is it the yarn, the fibre content, the colours? Or does something else draw you in?

Names draw me in.  Names can be a selling point for making a pattern or for buying a yarn. Maybe I shouldn’t base such choices on something as seemingly trivial as a name, but for me, the names help to personalize the thing – they help add an extra layer of meaning and thought to the thing.

Take the 504 King West shawl I made for my sister.  I knew I wanted to make her a shawl. I knew I wanted it to be asymetrical. I knew I was going to use a fingering weight yarn. I really could have made ANY pattern that would have fit this criteria, but this pattern, with a name deeply rooted in her neighbourhood added a level of personalization to the shawl. It gave extra meaning to her gift.

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In my Ravelry queue, I have two sweaters waiting to be started, one called Tucker and one called Geordie. Firstly, they are gorgeous patterns.  That’s a bonus, but what really grabbed my attention was their names.  Geordie was my childhood dog, a faithful, yet sometimes miserable, Jack Russell Terrier, and Tucker is the name of my beloved Border Terrier.  Yes, I am wanting to knit these patterns because they share a name with my pets. Is this a superficial reason for choosing a pattern, maybe, but it gives me such a sense of happiness.

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Tucker the dog and Tucker the sweater.  Right photo credit: © Interweave Knits 


The same is true with yarn. My knitting friends and I have had many a discussion about colourway names and how numbered colourways are such a missed opportunity! Why call your colourway 508P2 (as a completely random example), when you COULD call it something fun and unique!  I made a cotton shawl last summer with a black and red variegated yarn.  The colourway name: Vampire Kiss.  Isn’t that brilliant?! I bought sock yarn from Turtlepurl Yarn simply because it was named Serenity in honour of Firefly.  In the very near future, I’ll be buying yarn from another Canadian dyer, Indigodragonfly, whose colourway names include You Punched the Highlights Out of Her Hair! (Scott Pilgrim), Use Your Mind Palace!, Captain Tightpants, and TARDIS. How do names like that NOT leave one feeling inspired??

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Vampire Kiss Colourway – Isn’t it awesome!

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet


“I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


2 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?”

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