From name to design

I know I promised to explain some of the names I have given to designs, and I will, but I’m going to digress a bit first – this is about a design that has a name but doesn’t exist yet. Odd though it may sound, very occasionally I come up with a name that won’t suit any of my exisiting designs, but seems too good to waste. Or not exactly too good, just "rather nice and wouldn’t it be a shame not to use it".

Last week I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of "Musing" over the next few weeks, what with Christmas and a big family pre-Christmas party and the in-laws coming to stay and then visiting my family in The Netherlands for the New Year’s celebrations. That in turn made me think of the Dutch term for New Year’s Eve: "Oud en Nieuw", which means Old & New. One of the things the Dutch do for Oud en Nieuw is let off fireworks. And they do it in a BIG way. We watch it from my mother’s apartment on the 6th floor, and all around there are bangs and whistles and stars and gold and silver and red and green and blue sparkles, until after 20 or 30 minutes the whole town is cloaked in a black cloud of smoke.

The brain started whirring. Would it be possible to design fireworks in Hardanger? Nothing very photo-realistic, obviously – you’d be better off with coloured blackwork for that (which led to another idea, of using those Silk Mill shiny threads on black for a blackwork fireworks design; all right, I get distracted very easily). But something round with spiky bits bursting out, using various colours, on a black or navy ground …. And I would call it "Old and New", which to a non-Dutch speaker would be a little puzzling (and hopefully intriguing), and even to a Dutch native speaker might not be immediately clear because we’re not used to seeing the term in English. So there we are: a name with as yet no design. Just a few vague ideas. Which I am now off to work out a bit, before the Christmas rush starts in earnest!

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