What's in a Name

Happy DK Happy Sock Indie dyers of Canada Smiling Sheep

We’re all about colour at Smiling Sheep, but we really have a thing for music, too. Even when we’re up to our elbows in the dye pots, we’re still boppin’ and groovin’ to the tunes on the stereo. We even name all our colourways after some of our favourite songs. It might be the song title or perhaps just a snippet of the lyrics. Its fun to see someone’s face light up when they suddenly make the connection between the name on our label and the song that it came from. One of our favourites is “And I think to myself…” which refers to the “skies of blue” from Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.

Our yarn bases have an entirely different structure for naming. We are generally a happy lot, preferring to focus on the brighter side of things. Our yarn bases are named after emotions, such as Happy and Joy. Let’s consider Joy for our example. Joy is 100% Extrafine Merino, and it is untreated (not superwash). Joy comes in a range of weights with each one having its own identifier, such as Joy DK. Let me give you the full breakdown below.

Joy Aran – Aran-weight 100% Untreated Extrafine Merino.

Joy DK – DK-weight 100% Untreated Extrafine Merino.

Joy Lite – Fingering-weight 100% Untreated Extrafine Merino.

Joy Lace – Lace-weight 100% Untreated Extrafine Merino.

Notice that we have opted for “Lite” instead of ‘Fingering” because it simply has a nicer ring to it.

Our Happy yarn base is made from Extrafine Superwash Merino, and the fingering weight is called Happy Lite. But what if there was some nylon added to it for strength and durability? The result would be Happy Sock.

There are times when we like to play in the studio, perhaps with a new technique or a different yarn. These dye sessions often produce some stunning individual or limited-edition skeins. So, how do we name those? Well, it really is quite simple once you figure out the system. If we are playing with colour and techniques using one of our regular yarn bases, it would be named as such with the colourway as One Hit Wonder. Yep, that’s another music reference! If we are playing with a yarn that is not in our regular lineup, it would be called Happy’s Stash along with the appropriate colourway name. Why Happy’s Stash, you ask? Happy Ewe is our mascot, and the ol’ girl likes to hoard some of our yarns in her own stash. We sneak them back out when she’s not looking and sell them!

Well, now you can see that there is some method to our madness! Just remember that colour, good yarn, and music make the world a better place. And one more thing, be sure to check out the songs and the talented artists that recorded them. Keep smiling!

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