Tag Archives: words


Special words…We all have them, and indeed most cannot be found in a dictionary.

Yesterday I learned a new one from Viv:


It was in connection with quilting and crafting. We are both avid followers of talltalesfromchiconia and were wowed by her latest creation.

In needlework of all kinds I ferniggle, adapt and cheat all the time. We are often reminded that there is more than one way to skin a cat (mind you I like to keep away from cats, so never tested it) I am a great believer in there being more than one way to do anything.

Hush will you, I am not talking about a right way and a wrong way, as if that were the only choice. I mean adapting a different way to make something fit, look, feel etc., I might use a ‘what-ya-ma-call-it’ or ‘a thing-a-ma-gig’ to help me get there.

Daddy had a phrase: Cut your cloth to suit your pattern. He might have meant living within my means, but I ferniggled it to mean fiddling about and adjusting my pattern to suit my cloth, yarn… or indeed my recipe to suit the ingredients in my pantry!

If I like the sound of a recipe that calls for butter, well, I will find a substitute for that ‘butter’ that can never touch my lips. It works for me and so far nobody has refused to eat my home baking.

Mammy was a dab hand at ferniggling a hat. In her book it was a ‘mortlar’ (think mortal sin) to plonk a hat like an upturned flowerpot on any head. She would always perch them at an angle, add a tricky feather or punch a dent in the side of chosen hat for the day. Do you think that is where I got it from?

The last hat/headgear I made was not alone ferniggled but footery into the bargain. It was well worth the effort and a great success!