I do love concepts and itemizations and documenting things, so I keep a list of words I think would make a good pattern names—Delta, Outpost, Espionage, Covert, Adirondack, Tabernacle, Camp Director, Fleetwood, Magoo. It’s a useless thing to do because I never refer to that list when I’m ready to name a pattern, but it comforts me to keep them safe somewhere.
With my Shire scarf, that was the working name and the name I stayed with through publication, but not before trying out some other names, which is the dessert part of designing knitwear.
A while back, I designed some fingerless mitts that I sold to Knit Picks. The design looked a bit like chain link, and the German word for chain link, Kettenglied, was cool, so I turned to German again when it came time for dessert.
First* I listed some words that described the design: grillwork, lattice, crosstalk, fraternal, harmony, duet, crosshatch, hatch, intersection, balance, reflection, similar, mirror, reversible. Then I looked up their German translation.
Some weren’t different enough and would look like a simple misspelling:
- Harmony = Harmonie
- Duet = Duett
- Balance = Balance
- Reversible = Reversibel
Others either made the scarf seem hard to knit or they sounded offensive when pronounced, even if just quietly to yourself at home:
- Crosstalk = Übersprechen
- Fraternal = Brüderlich
- Crosshatch = Kreuzschraffur
- Intersection = Überschneidung
- Reflection = Betrachtung
- Similar = ähnlich
Others were just meh:
- Grillwork = Gitterwerk
- Lattice = Gitter
- Mirror = Spiegel
- Hatch = Luke
The scarf has a sort of Irish flavor, so I looked up those same words in Gaelic.
- Harmony = chéile
- Balance = Iarmhéid
- Reversible = inchúlaithe
- Fraternal = bráithriúil
- Crosshatching = tras-haitseáil
- Intersection = crosbhealach
- Reflection = frithchaitheamh
I eventually decided that Shire was a right good name for it, especially after I found an old email I had written to a friend in May 2015 about why I named it Shire.
The working name of the design is Shire in honor of a draft horse I met earlier on my morning walk down to the lake. There was a gal with seven horses down there. She gives trail rides and was waiting for her clients. She let me pet her horses and we talked for about 30 minutes. Then I took her old dog Shadow down to the lake so he could cool off in the water. There were a bunch of wild blackberries on the trail that the deer hadn’t eaten, so I foraged as many as I could hold in my hand and fed some to the Shire (which is the breed of draft horse rather than his name), then split the rest with the gal.
*Actually, I first looked up Shire, which is translated as Grafschaft. I’ll let you decide what’s wrong with that.
To Ponder: In early times some sufferer had to sit up with a toothache, and he put in the time inventing the German language. |-Mark Twain-|