Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Bit About Naming Colors

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on Facebook or Twitter asking you what you'd like to hear about from me on these pages. One of the things that I learned was that you were interested in some of our processes like color development and naming.

Naming colors is probably my second favorite thing to do around here. (Creating colors is hands-down number one.) It's also something we put a fair amount of thought into.

Let me start with a bit of history about the names of Lorna's Laces colorways. Back in the day, Lorna Miser looked to her surroundings for inspiration. She lived in an old mining town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. So we have Motherlode.

And Mineshaft.

There was a town nearby called Somerset.

Which isn't far from Tahoe.

When we moved Lorna's Laces from California to Chicago, we thought her original scheme was pretty darn good. It gave us a framework to work in while still allowing us to stretch our wings a little bit and make it our own.

At the time, I lived on a street called Bittersweet.

Lorna's Laces is in a neighborhood called Ravenswood.

At some point, we noticed that all the neighborhoods and streets we were picking were from the north side of the city so we traveled down south and Ashburn was born.

Pilsen too.

We're not only about the local though. Sometimes it's all about a vacation. Lorna and her husband took a trip to Washington D.C. and Georgetown was the result.

Another story I like is about Black Watch. Lorna had always dreamed of taking her family on a long trip to Scotland. Selling the business gave her the ability to do it. While she was away I got to thinking about her trip. We were both embarking on new phases in our lives and I wanted to do something to mark it. Black Watch plaid is such an iconic Scottish image that I decided it made sense.

Then we went through a bit of a fantasy phase. Most of these names came out of fits and giggles over lunches. We had Unicorn Parades.

And of course Zombie BBQ.

We're heading back to our local/neighborhood roots this season but with a bit of a twist. This time we're doing landmarks. The "L", The Bean, Buckingham Fountain and Lincoln Park Zoo are amongst the names. I'll posting more on each of them once they get properly launched at TNNA.

There's a story for most every name. Which would you like to hear about?


Anastasia said...

I'd love to hear about how you came up with the name for Zombie BBQ

idyllicchick said...

I always think of Clara Parkes when I see Clara's Garden. Any relation? said...

Cute Beth! And Tuscany in honor of your trip to Italy while LL was in escrow.

Btw, there is a tiny little town near Placerville called Georgetown. :)

Anna M said...

what about Black Purl (my personal fav)?

Kathy said...

And, Buck's Bar?

Lorna's Laces said...

Anastasia, Zombie BBQ was the brainchild of a woman who used to work here named Sam. We were dreaming up new colors for Sock Summit 09 and she came up with the name and created the color from there. Pictures of fire and zombies and burnt flesh.

Lorna's Laces said...

@idyllicchick You are spot on! It was a collaboration with Clara Parkes. Here's some more about it

Lorna's Laces said...

@lorna Really?! That's so cool!

Lorna's Laces said...

@Kathy, Bucks Bar is a Road in Placerville CA.

@Anna It's riff on Tahitian pearls, the black ones. They actually look kinda purple and purple is Lorna's favorite color.

SusCochran said...

I absolutely LOVE all the stories about the naming! Absolutely delightful! I am so glad you are sharing this! I have been to Chicago . . . so . . . . this will be fun!

floribunda said...

aha -- I'm wearing my Pilsen socks today... always wondered where that name came from!

Stefanie said...

OMGosh! We're on the same wavelength this week. I posted ( about dyeing yarn one day and used Lorna's Laces as a example of a great company who comes w/creative and fantastic names for its yarn!

Shel said...

I screamed when I saw you had a yarn called robot overlord. My youngest LOVES robots and is fascinated with my knitting and it was sooooo perfect for him. I know I would have named a yarn robot overlord, but what ever made you think of that one. Love it!! (even did my own blog post about it)