Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What's in a name?

An impromptu dye session this afternoon and some recent comments sparked the topic for today's post.

I will admit, one of my favourite parts of dying yarn is naming the colourways.

I've always liked naming things. As a child I named a lot of our pets (no one else in the family would name a cat Kobiashi Thunderdaemon Satancat, Emperor Tiberius Felinicus or Rockster Weewiggles - though my niece did want to name her baby sister Sally Swimpants, so someone in the family understands my madness.)

Occasionally I'd get vetoed. For some reason no one liked the name Charles so...... he got named Russell.

When I go fishing with Dad, I have a tendency to name the fish we catch (but he says it's not right to name dinner) - the biggest fish I've ever caught is a 24-inch pike named Fred.

The very first angel fish Dave bought me were called Spot and Fluffy, and then he got me some gouramis named Jake and Elwood. When Spot and Fluffy died (probably of embarrassment) I got Othello and Desdemona.

My car is named Betty, and I talk to her like she's a real person (lately it's been "C'mon baby, you're a good girl, don't stall on me now)... but I digress.... we were talking about yarn names.

I think the yarn name is just as important as the colour itself. As Zoom mentioned in a previous comment, she is often influenced by the colour's name. I'll admit, often I am too. I have nail polish that I bought only because it was called "Baby" and all I could think was "Nobody puts Baby in the corner!" and I had to have it.

Some dyers limit themselves to a theme - Sanguine Gryphon's Bugga line is all bugs, Numma Numma is all food. Our yarn names are all over the place - I don't believe in limitations. People who know us well should be able to tell which one of us named it. Mom has a tendency to name colours after flowers or songs...
...such as Blue Jean Baby or...

I have a bit of a penchant for the fantastic, so my names tend toward the mythical...
...such as Mermaid's Treasure. (Incidentally it seems I have a bit of a mermaid problem.. there has been Mermaid's Treasure, Mermaid's Tale, Mermaid's Lagoon and Mermaid's Fancy.... and Mermaid's Delight is drying right now.)

I'm not sure how it works for Mom, but sometimes I get a name before I even start dying, and decide to make something that works with it......that's how Aurora came to be.

Most of the time, something comes out of the dye pot and I name it instantly... the names just come to me, I can't explain how or why.

When mom's dying without me, I name things when I come to inspect (though sometimes she already has them named)......the minute I saw this one, I knew it had to be Pickle.

But sometimes... just as with Russell.... I still get vetoed......I wanted to call this one Troll Bogeys... we compromised with Grendel. (And it's still one of my favourites!)


TheBlackSheep said...

We are influenced by names. Things with pretty or interesting names always seem more attractive to me (I also like the fanciful names and find Tiberirus Felinicus a brilliant name.) But Russell instead of Charles? Why? Of course, I had a cat named Mildred, so maybe I don't count. Someone once told me that Mildred was a name for an old cat, to which I pointed out that you had to have a young Mildred to get an old one.

Randomly, the sentence "When mom's dying without me" could really sound pretty messed up if you don't know the context.

lexa said...

I like interesting names! Jewel and Maggie get called all sorts of names besides Jewel and Maggie. Hubs says it's no wonder they don't come when called!

Monika said...

That was fun to read! :o)

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Wow what a great post! It reminded me of the tree we had in our dining room when I was a kid - Stanley. No idea how he got the name (maybe I named it when I was really little, who knows) but everyone called it that. I wonder what happened to him.

I have to say that I am not as influenced by names as I am by color. It is really rare that I would look a the name before picking something (which is a problem with things like nailpolish, because if I paid attention I would not end up with so many duplicates). I am not great a coming up with fun exotic names, at least with the cats. I think I was that way with my stuffed animals as a kid too. It is great that you can come up with fun names.

zoom said...

I love this post.

Pickle is the perfect name for your pickle-coloured yarn. And that picture of Russell made me laugh out loud, which I needed.

Rhonda said...

Thank god, you don't have any children, I'm really scared now.

Jeanne said...

LOL - I'm not sure that I'd would have liked Troll Bogeys as much as I like Grendel (alhtough the colorway is gorgeous!). And Pickle is perfect for that colorway.

Thanks for the post - now I will know who is naming the yarn!

Lost City Denise said...

Ha! Glad to hear I'm not the only one naming cars! My beloved Jetta wagon was Sophia - aka Sophie - after the goddess of wisdom because I thought she was such a wise choice in vehicles. Before Sophie (who my DD totaled but again Sophie was a wise choice and protected the kiddo) I had Janis the truck - named for Janis Joplin - because it wasn't going to be right for me if I couldn't rock out to Cry Baby while driving down the highway in it. Janis rocked!
Now I drive our Jeep...it has no name. Dang. I need to name my JD tractor instead huh?
I agree - don't be limited by themes!!

Anonymous said...

Your ability to come up with fitting, yet outrageous names is both impressive and enviable! My most creative (and I really can't take much credit for it) is our female Chihuahua named... wait for it... Spike.

Samantha said...

Lily has a webkinz caterpillar named Pickle. Best webkinz name ever ... next to Grissom (my elephant).