Maryanne Ladensack’s Definitions

In the new Interweave Knit&Spin bookazine, Maryanne Ladensack gives some useful and often entertaining definitions of spinning terms. Here's a fun one: "Batt: A) A flying creature? B) A wooden stick used to hit baseballs? or C) A rectangular volume of carded fiber? Of course, “C” is correct. While the origin of this word is unknown, the dictionary defines it as layers or sheets of raw cotton or wool for lining quilts or stuffing or packaging." And did you know that "distaff" derives from the Anglo-Saxon words dis for “flax” and staef for “stick,” or that wool "cards" come from the Latin carduus, meaning "thistle"? Or that "hank" of yarn or fiber comes from the Old Norse word honk, meaning a coil or loop?


Here's one that gave me a V-8 moment: The word for taking a batt of fiber off a drumcard or handcards, "doff," comes for a combination of the words "do" and "off." As Homer Simpson would say "D-oh!" And does history reveal the true identity of "lazy Kate," who lives in infamy as a passive holder of spinning wheel bobbins? I'll leave you with that burning question and recommend Knit&Spin for a whole treasure trove of fascinating fiber facts.

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