One of the most ridiculous, hilarious, enjoyable and endlessly delightful aspects of the Discworld books, for me, is the naming system for the years. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be many of them actually floating around, but the ones I have found have inspired visions of yarn, and inspired my own brain to think up ridiculous pairings of words in the same style.
So my next yarn, which I’m planning and prepping at the moment, is to be called Reversed Ptarmigan. I didn’t know exactly what kind of bird a ptarmigan was – I had a vision in my head of a fat, plump little speckled brown and white thing, that maybe didn’t fly all that much. So I had a loose idea of a fairly tame yarn, brown and white, probably a 2×2 cable. (For the non-spinners, that means taking your single ply that’s spun directly from the loose fibre, twisting it with another one for a 2-ply, and then putting that against itself and twisting again to make a 4-ply.) I wanted the brown to be rich and gorgeous, the white to be immaculate. I wanted the cabling to suggest the “Reversed” nature of this particular Ptarmigan. I wanted it to lofty and squishy and oh! so soft to evoke the plumpness and roundness, the low-to-the-ground sedentariness.
Turns out, I was kind of close in my assumptions about ptarmigans! They change colour with the seasons, white in the winter and brown in the summer, and transitioning in the in-between-times. Here’s a picture, supposedly of a Willow Ptarmigan (aka Willow Grouse):
I have the perfect batt for the brown; the most amazingly rich, shiny, treasure-filled treat from my lovely
crack-dealer fibre-supplier, Sayra at AtomicBlue. She calls it “Fieldmouse” (because I think she didn’t like that I wanted a fully brown batt! sssssshhhh!) which kind of sells it short – it has loads of the most gorgeous rufous-brown silk, soft-soft-soft wool, incredibly fine and lustrous mohair (and I don’t even like mohair!) . . . It’s gorgeous, I tell ya. And I’ll post pics and continue the story in my next episode!