Friday, September 7, 2007


Sometimes naming a colorway is easy. I have a specific inspiration so I pick a name that's related. Other times, I fuss and fret, trying to come up with just the right word or phrase.

I knew I wanted to do a black and silver colorway for the pirate stocking at Venus Vanguard. Originally I thought I'd name it after Captain Jack Sparrow, him of Pirates of the Caribbean fame, but after I'd dyed it, it just wasn't flamboyant enough. Jack is all about flash and dazzle, reds and golds and liquid eyeliner. This was too subtle for him.

So I tentatively named it Shadow, but then the pirate connection was lost. The fussing and fretting commenced.

Today, I got the name. I've been reading a lot of Patrick O'Brian this summer; I'm working my way through his Aubrey/Maturin novels, which are set during Great Britain's war with Napoleonic France in the early 1800s. Captain Aubrey has a phrase for when his ship must make all possible speed; he says, "We must crack on like smoke and oakum." Oakum is the loose fiber that you can get by picking apart old ropes; they used to use it when caulking wooden ships. So I take the phrase to mean that they must fly as fast as a wisp of smoke or oakum.

And there you have it: my new colorway is named Smoke and Oakum. I'll post a photo this weekend.
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