I'm a librarian, spinner, knitter! This is my blog for crafty things, updates to my shop and more.
You can check out my handspun yarns here - Kitty Grrlz Hand Spun Yarns and my hand knit items here - Kitty Grrlz Hand Knits

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What's in a Name?

Lately, I've been thinking about the names of my yarns and the fibers they are spun from. Before I started spinning, I made jewelry (briefly), and I always named the pieces I made. This carried over to my yarns and hand knits and I couldn't imagine NOT naming them, even when I have trouble coming up with good ones.

My names aren't always that original. I tend to use color-names, or sometimes names that simply come from what I think about when I see the fiber, or finished yarn, or what I was thinking about while spinning. I also have certain words I tend to use to signify a certain trait - I like "midnight" for darker shades and moods, "sky" for lighter shades. I also like words like "wish" and "dreams", etc.

Since I receive much of my fiber from Lynn aka the Yarn Wench, sometimes I simply keep her names of the colorways for the yarns because they are so perfect. Names like "Carol Brady's Kitchen" and "June Cleaver, Vacuuming" - how can you beat those??? Sometimes, I like the names of her colorways, but they may not have . . . a point of relation to me? Not sure if that makes sense, but usually . . . I "feel' the names, and sometimes, there isn't that connection, so I try and come up with something new. And, truth be told, sometimes I just can't come up with anything so fall back on the colorway names!

I guess I was thinking about this recently because of two recent yarns I spun and named. This one, which was from a fiber colorway called "Glo-Brite" became "Heart Shaped Box". There were a couple reasons for this name bubbling to the surface. First, the combinations of pink and red with the slight shades of brown, got me thinking about Valentine's Day, and the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. Those same shades also made their way into the video for the Nirvana song, "Heart-Shaped Box", which, well, Nirvana is definitely one of my favorite bands. And, finally, since my birthday is coming up shortly after Valentine's Day, and one of my Mom's traditions (since my 16th birthday) was to give me a heart shaped box of some sort - the name just sort of stuck as I spun through the first two skeins.

The next yarn I spun after that one, was this one. From a Yarn Wench colorway called "Meme". This is a good example of a name that, while great, I didn't really connect with at this time. To me, the colorway was more "Gothic Nightfall", but since that one had already been used, I wanted to come up with something else.

My first instinct was to call it "Violet", after the Hole song of the same name. Again, this is one of my favorite bands, and I can't really think about Kurt and Nirvana without thinking about Courtney and her band. And, I just felt the vibe was there, but didn't feel it was descriptive enough and kind of plain, since who would really know THIS was why I named it? Then, I started thinking of a line I once said to my friend back in our tragic, drama-queen college days - No one can help you in your darkest hour. I wanted to call it "Darkest Hour", but that seemed a bit . . . dark? depressing? Not the type of vibe I wanted to give for a yarn that I think is one of my favorites . . . so, I compromised and the main name of the yarn is "Violet", but in the listings, i did add the "aka Darkest Hour"

So, there is a little bit of insight into the thoughts that run through my head when naming yarns! :)

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