Knitsteel has brought up an interesting question.

You know how a company can lose a trademarked name if it goes into common parlance as a common word?

“Yo-yo” for example, used to be a trade name for, if I remember correctly, a “patented rebounding device.” Once enough people started saying “yo-yo,” the company had to give up and change their trade name.

Threatened terms include “Kleenex,” which is actually a trade name for “facial tissue,” not that anyone I know ever says “facial tissue.” I believe that in England, vacuuming is commonly called “hoovering,” which probably threatens Hoover’s trade name status over there. Successful companies work hard to maintain their trademark status, particularly in print. This is why, in a published written work, we capitalize “Kleenex,” even if we use it as a common noun in speech.

I have studied this, of course, since I have a degree in linguistics. I mean, they make us learn this stuff, you know. I think of it as an interesting historical process in language change.

But Knitsteel — if I am not leaping to conclusions here — seems to feel that it is more akin to copyright violation, and that we should support the companies which not unreasonably want their names to be household words — but not that much. She feels that we shouldn’t use “google” as a verb, and presumably that the Brits ought not to use “hoover” as a verb, either.

I have honestly never thought of this as a moral issue before. What about you?

I am eagerly awaiting all your views.

In the meantime, you may need something to knit while you think about it. We had a bit of spring weather here, but have gone back down to freezing temperatures, so there is still time to knit a wool cap like this one:

Red- Light Special

Frankly, I wasn’t wild about this hat. Nothing wrong with it, but it didn’t call to me. However, if you look over here– at brooklyn tweed‘s blog — and scroll down the page, you can see some very intriguing versions of the pattern. It seems to be one of those that looks very different in different color combinations. It is designed for Telemark, of which I have quite a lot left over, being as how Pipes didn’t take up near as much yarn as I had calculated.

Also, Brooklyn Tweed takes beautiful photographs, and kindly shares her patterns for free, so you will surely enjoy visiting her, whether you have a bunch of leftover Telemark on hand or not, and regardless of your upcoming weather.

It is my birthday today. I am celebrating by going back to work again. After the grocery shopping.

Having worked two six-day weeks in a row, I think it unlikely that I will have a sewn FO this week, so I am planning to cut out a muslin tonight for a jacket I want to make.

Making a muslin means that you cut and sew your pattern in muslin before using what they call your “fashion fabric.”  You figure out the details of the pattern and fit it properly, mark all the adjustments on your pattern, and then are ready to make the real one perfectly. A muslin is to sewing what a swatch is to knitting, except that you can pull out your swatch and re-use the yarn, while your muslin uses up the fabric and thread and then you throw m4972it away. That’s why it’s traditionally made in muslin, a very cheap cotton fabric.

That’s also why so many of the sewing bloggers make what they call “wearable muslins”: a run-through of the pattern in a cheap fabric which you can nonetheless wear when it’s finished.

The nice lady at Hancock Fabrics, when I told her what I had in mind, found me a linen/rayon in navy blue at the $1 table,  which will be a nice try-out fabric for this jacket pattern. If it turns out well, it will also make a nice jacket for my SWAP Part II, which has admittedly gone off the rails a bit.

Along with housework, my encyclopedia entry and writing contest entry, and indeed most other things.

However, a birthday is a very good day to re-balance your life and think deep thoughts.

This year, I literally do not know what I will be doing next year at this time, a circumstance which has not been true for me for many years.

I’m going to quit letting that keep me from planning my SWAP, though.

BTW: If you are or would like to be a Beauticontrol user, Chanthaboune can hook you up. She is working toward a quota this month.