Tag Archives: wordsmith

Wordsmith Wednesday – Petersham Ribbon

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Petersham Ribbon

Petersham ribbon, also called Petersham facing or simply Petersham, is a thick, stiff, flexible corded ribbon usually made out of either cotton, rayon, viscose, or a cotton/ rayon or viscose blend of fibers and used as facing by milliners and tailors. Petersham is frequently watered on both sides and comes with a scalloped edge. It is woven so that once steamed, it will take on and support a particular curve of fabric. This makes it useful for obtaining a smooth edge on the brim of a hat, for example, without forming puckers or wrinkles which would result from the use of traditional flat ribbon or other flat fabric. It is also useful as an alternative to bias tape for making fabric conform closely to the shape of the body wearing it— in a corset, for example, or along the waistline of a pair of trousers or a skirt. Petersham is very similar to grosgrain ribbon in appearance: both have closely spaced horizontal ridges, but Petersham has a flexible picot edge allowing it to be shaped with an iron, whereas grosgrain cannot be shaped this way.

Petersham is named after the eighteenth century English lord Viscount Petersham who invented an overcoat and breeches made of a special heavy woolen cloth with a round nap surface. For this reason, “Petersham” is often (but not always) capitalized.

Wordsmith Wednesday – Notions

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This is just one definition of the word “notions” as described by Wikipedia. Don’t you just love this word? I think that the joy of certain words comes from a personal association with the meaning. When I hear Notions in this context I imagine all those cotton reels, scissors, quick unpicks, tape measures and so (sew?!) on.

Notions (sewing)
In sewing and haberdashery, notions is an umbrella term for a variety of small objects or accessories. Notions can include items that are sewn or otherwise attached to a finished article, such as buttons, snaps, and collar stays, but the term also includes small tools used in sewing, such as thread, pins, marking pens, and seam rippers. The noun is almost always used in the plural. The term is chiefly found in the United States, and was formerly used in the construction Yankee notions.

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Wordsmith Wednesday – crochet

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Crochet is a process of creating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials using a crochet hook. The name is taken from the French word “crochet”, meaning small hook. These are made of materials such as metal, wood, or plastic and are manufactured commercially and produced in artisan workshops. The salient difference between crochet and knitting, beyond the implements used for their production, is that each stitch in crochet is completed before proceeding with the next one, while knitting keeps a large number of stitches open at a time. (Variant forms such as Tunisian crochet and broomstick lace keep multiple crochet stitches open at a time.)

At Yarndale 2015 last weekend I met dozens of crochet experts. The end products were beautiful including some stunning shawls. I intend to “have a go” but am wary of the Lacey patterns as I always seem to get into trouble with “holes”

I have many pieces of crochet but they are mainly cloths, or doilies. Much too intricate for my patience!

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imageCrocheted shawls

As an aside many of the ladies who crochet call themselves “Hookers” very tongue in cheek!

Wordsmith Wednesday-Cutlery

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Cutlery

Having bought so many knives and forks in recent months I began to wonder what the definition of cutlery was! Thanks to Wikipedia for this explanation. Don’t you just love the “modern” words eg spork etc?

Cutlery refers to any hand implement used in preparing, serving, and especially eating food in the Western world. A “cutler” is a person who makes or sells cutlery. The city of Sheffield in England has been famous for the production of cutlery since the 17th century and a train – the Master Cutler – running from Sheffield to London was named after the industry.

Cutlery is more usually known as silverware or flatware in the United States, where cutlery usually means knives and related cutting instruments. Although the term silverware is used irrespective of the material composition of the utensils, the term tableware has come into use to avoid the implication that they are made of silver.

The major items of cutlery in the Western world are the knife, fork and spoon. In recent times, hybrid versions of cutlery have been made combining the functionality of different eating implements, including the spork (spoon / fork), spife (spoon / knife), and knork (knife / fork) or the sporf which is all three.

imageSome Vintage cake forks from my collection for Nanna Amy’s Vintage Tea Party.

Wordsmith Wednesday – Blackberry vs Bramble

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imageThe blackberry is a bramble

In British English, a “bramble” is any rough (usually wild) tangled prickly shrub—specifically the blackberry bush (Rubus fruticosus)—or any hybrid of similar appearance, with thorny stems. Bramble or brambleberry may also refer to the blackberry fruit or products of its fruit (e.g., bramble jelly). The shrub grows abundantly in all parts of the British Isles and harvesting the fruits in late summer and autumn is often considered a favourite pastime. It can also become a nuisance in gardens, sending down its strong suckering roots amongst hedges and shrubs.

Elsewhere, such as in the United States, the term “bramble” also refers to other members of the Rubus genus, which may or may not have prickly stems—notably the raspberry (Rubus idaeus) or its hybrids. The word comes from Germanic bram-bezi.

Bramble bushes have a distinctive growth form. They send up long, arching canes that do not flower or set fruit until the second year of growth. Brambles usually have trifoliate or palmately-compound leaves.

Bramble fruits are aggregate fruits. Each small unit is called a drupelet. In some, such as the blackberry, the flower receptacle is elongated and part of the ripe fruit, making the blackberry an aggregate-accessory fruit.

Many species are grown and bred for their fruit. Ornamental species can be grown for flowers (e.g. Rubus trilobus), for their ornamental stems (e.g. Rubus cockburnianus) and some as ground cover (e.g. Rubus tricolor). Members of the Rubus genus tend to have a brittle, porous core and an oily residue along the stalk which makes them ideal to burn, even in damp climates. The thorny varieties are sometimes grown for game cover and occasionally for protection.

Most species are important for their conservation and wildlife value in their native range. The flowers attract nectar-feeding butterflies and hoverflies, and are a particular favourite of Volucella pellucens.

Brambles are important food plants for the larvae of several species of Lepidoptera—see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Rubus. The leaves of brambles are often used as a main food source for captive stick insects. Many birds, such as the common blackbird, and some mammals will feed on the nutritious fruits in autumn.

Wordsmith Wednesday-Dulcinea

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Dulcinea
noun:
A man’s sweetheart
Word Origin:
C18: from the name of Don Quixote’s mistress Dulcinea del Toboso in Cervantes’ novel; from Spanish dulce sweet

I saw this word today for the first time on Wordsmith.org.( A great source of unusual words and their meanings)

Some words are really attractive and I think that this is one of them. I’m not sure if it’s the sound, meaning or association that makes any particular word appealing.

Have you ever been a Dulcinea?

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Dulcinea del Toboso
Art: Charles Robert Leslie, 1839

Wordsmith Wednesday -Alpaca Yarn

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Alpaca Yarn

Yarn spun from alpaca wool

Alpaca fleece is the natural fiber harvested from an alpaca. It is light or heavy in weight, depending on how it is spun. It is a soft, durable, luxurious and silky natural fiber. While similar to sheep’s wool, it is warmer, not prickly, and has no lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic. Alpaca is naturally water-repellent and difficult to ignite. Huacaya, an alpaca that grows soft spongy fiber, has natural crimp, thus making a naturally elastic yarn well-suited for knitting. Suri has no crimp and thus is a better fit for woven goods. The designer Armani has used Suri alpaca to fashion men’s and women’s suits. Alpaca fleece is made into various products, from very simple and inexpensive garments made by the aboriginal communities to sophisticated, industrially made and expensive products such as suits. In the United States, groups of smaller alpaca breeders have banded together to create “fiber co-ops,” to make the manufacture of alpaca fiber products less expensive.

image Alpaca Farm. Cute aren’t they?

Thanks to Wilipedia for the above although I prefer to spell FIBRE the English way!

Wordsmith Wednesday – Paraprosdokians

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Paraprosdokians (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.

1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

9. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

10. In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, Notify’, I put ‘DOCTOR’.

11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they are sexy.
(Ever been to WAL MART?)

12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

13. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.

14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

15. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

16. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

17. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

Well on that note…….
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Wordsmith Wednesday- Fair Isle Knitting

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As I am having something of a knitting frenzy at the moment I was thinking where Fair Isle Knitting originated from. So here goes……

Fair Isle Knitting

Fair Isle (technique) Fair Isle jumper done in the traditional style, from Fair Isle. Fair Isle is a traditional knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colours. It is named after Fair Isle, a tiny island in the north of Scotland, that forms part of the Shetland islands.

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Wordsmith Wednesday-Twill

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Wordsmith Wednesday is a short weekly blog post that aims to define a word a week. I try to choose a “crafty” or “vintagey” associated word ( I don’t think that vintagey is a real word!) It may broaden your vocabulary or widen your word knowledge, or maybe just fun!

Twill  is a type of textile weave with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs (in contrast with a satin and plain weave). This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a “step” or offset between rows to create the characteristic diagonal pattern. Because of this structure, twills generally drape well.

Examples of twill fabric are denim, tweed, chino, gabardine, drill, covert, and serge.