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Tuesday February 9, 2016

Spring 2016

"Interweave Knits just came out and we got the COVER!" said Mary Anne Benedetto in February 2, 2016 email to Dominique.

Mary Anne designed and knit the herringbone pullover on the cover (her pattern is on page 32) of Interweave Knits. She used our Catskill Merino Berry Sorbet, a Fingering weight Saxon Merino yarn,

2 ply, 2 oz (50 g), 225 yd, 7.5 stitches per inch on US 3

Not only is she a fine knitwear designer, she interfaced with Interweave Knits and 'got the cover' of the magazine. A very big thank you to Mary Anne (aprioriknits.com/) for her knitting and work on the Catskill Pullover from all of us and the sheep too.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
2/7/2016 4:43 pm

Du côté de chez Swann, Volume I of À la recherche du temps perdue Marcel Proust 1913, as it concerns us:

Two sentences later Marcel Proust uses avoir bien.

On avait bien inventé, pour me distraire les soirs où on me trouvait l’air trop malheureux...

Humanis Edition Loc 288

The translators all differ on how to render this indeterminate verbal construction in English much like they did with avoir beau.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
2/7/2016 3:48 pm

Du côté de chez Swann, Volume I of À la recherche du temps perdue Marcel Proust 1913, as it concerns us:

Look at how differently each translator handles the initial part of the sentence, "Mais j’avais beau savoir que je n’étais pas dans les demeures...". It is difficult to agree on the translation because no one agrees on the relationships formed by the following parts of speech; both, the first part of the sentence—as Marcel Proust has written it—and the grammatical contexts, have non-specified or partial meanings in French and the problem continues if not intensifies: avoir beau is considered idiomatic or indeterminate.

Mais j’avais beau savoir que je n’étais pas dans les demeures dont l’ignorance du réveil m’avait en un instant sinon présenté l’image distincte, du moins fait croire la présence possible, le branle était donné à ma mémoire ; généralement je ne cherchais pas à me rendormir tout de suite ; je passais la plus grande partie de la nuit à me rappeler notre vie d’autrefois, à Combray chez ma grand’tante, à Balbec, à Paris, à Doncières, à Venise, ailleurs encore, à me rappeler les lieux, les personnes que j’y avais connues, ce que j’avais vu d’elles, ce qu’on m’en avait raconté.

Du côté de chez Swann, Marcel Proust 1913, Humanis Edition Loc 285.

But it was no good my knowing that I was not in any of those houses of which, in the stupid moment of waking, if I had not caught sight exactly, I could still believe in their possible presence; for memory was now set in motion;as a rule I did not attempt to go to sleep again at once, but used to spend the greater part of the night recalling our life in the old days at Combray with my great-aunt, at Balbec, Paris, Doncières, Venice, and the rest; remembering again all the places and people that I had known, what I had actually seen of them, and what others had told me.

Swann's Way, Marcel Proust 1913; translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff 1922,Loc 107.

But for all that I now knew that I was not in any of the houses of which the ignorance of the waking moment had, in a flash, if not presented me with a distinct picture, at least persuaded me of the possible presence, rule I did not attempt to go to sleep again at once, but used to spend the greater part of the night recalling our life in the old days at Combray with my great-aunt, at Balbec, Paris, Doncières, Venice, and the rest; remembering again all the places and people I had known, what I had actually seen of them, and what others had told me.

Swann's Way, Marcel Proust 1913; translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, Terrence Kilmartin and D. J. Enright 1922-1992, P. 9, Loc 606.

But even though I knew I was not in any of the houses of which my ignorance upon waking had instantly, if not presented me with the distinct picture, at least made me believe the presence possible, my memory had been stirred; generally I would not try to go back to sleep right away; I would spend the greater part of the night remembering our life in the old days, in Combray at my great-aunt’s house, in Balbec, in Paris, in Doncières, in Venice, elsewhere still, remembering the places, the people I had known there, what I had seen of them, what I had been told about them.

Swann's Way Marcel Proust 1913; translated by Lydia Davis 2002, P. 9, Loc 482.

But it was no good my knowing that I was not in any of those houses of which, in the unknowing moment of waking, if I had not caught sight exactly, I could still believe in their possible presence; for memory was now set in motion; as a rule I did not attempt to go to sleep again at once, but used to spend the greater part of the night recalling our life in the old days at Combray with my great-aunt, at Balbec, Paris, Doncières, Venice, 7 and the rest; remembering again all the places and people that I had known, what I had actually seen of them, and what others had told me. 

Swann's Way, Marcel Proust 1913; translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and revised by William C. Carter 2013, Loc 298.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
2/5/2016 3:59 pm

Wintergreen and Gray

2 oz (50 g), 350 yd, 1 ply, 8 stitches per inch on US 2.

Available, with many other colors, in our Saxon Merino Lace Yarn Store.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
2/4/2016 6:10 am
Labels: Lace Weight

Gertrude Stein wrote Miss Furr and Miss Skeene (a prose poem published in 1922); this is one of the first homosexual revelation stories to be published. 

"The work contains the word "gay" over one hundred times, perhaps the first published use of the word "gay" in reference to same-sex relationships and those who have them..."

From Wikipedia

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
2/3/2016 5:51 pm
Labels: Gay, Gertrude Stein

Du côté de chez Swann, Volume I of À la recherche du temps perdue Marcel Proust 1913, as it concerns us:

The following sentence is difficult to translate; none of the leading translators (listed below) of Marcel Proust's À la recherche... have left the French "...les unes des autres..." or translated it directly. 

Marcel Proust seems to echo this utterance in the beginning of the following sentence, or at least in the broken or repetitive rhythm of its syntax: "Mais j’avais revu tantôt l’une, tantôt l’autre..."

Echoing, along with the use of other poetic devices, helps us understand Marcel Proust's usage ln French: his words are easy, but his style is more difficult to translate.

Ces évocations tournoyantes et confuses ne duraient jamais que quelques secondes ; souvent, ma brève incertitude du lieu où je me trouvais ne distinguait pas mieux les unes des autres les diverses suppositions dont elle était faite, que nous n’isolons, en voyant un cheval courir, les positions successives que nous montre le kinétoscope.

Du côté de chez Swann, Marcel Proust 1913, Loc 255.

These shifting and confused gusts of memory never lasted for more than a few seconds; it often happened that, in my spell of uncertainty as to where I was, I did not distinguish the successive theories of which that uncertainty was composed any more than, when we watch a horse running, we isolate the successive positions of its body as they appear upon a bioscope.

Swann's Way, Marcel Proust 1913; translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff 1922, Loc 80.

These shifting and confused gusts of memory never lasted for more than a few seconds; it often happened that, in my brief spell of uncertainty as to where I was, I did not distinguish the various suppositions of which it was composed any more than, when we watch a horse running, we isolate the successive positions of its body as they appear upon a bioscope.

Swann's Way, Marcel Proust 1913; translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, Terrence Kilmartin and D. J. Enright 1922-1992, P. 7.

These revolving, confused evocations never lasted for more than a few seconds; often, in my brief uncertainty about where I was, I did not distinguish the various suppositions of which it was composed any better than we isolate, when we see a horse run, the successive positions shown to us by a kinetoscope.

Swann's Way Marcel Proust 1913; translated by Lydia Davis 2002, P. 7.

These shifting and confused gusts of memory never lasted for more than a few seconds; often, in my brief spell of uncertainty as to where I was, I did not distinguish the various suppositions of which that uncertainty was composed any more than, when watching a horse run, we isolate the successive positions of its body as they appear in a kinetoscope.

Swann's Way, Marcel Proust 1913; translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and revised by William C. Carter 2013, Loc 266.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
2/3/2016 5:40 am

Du côté de chez Swann, Marcel Proust 1913, as it concerns us:

Un homme qui dort tient en cercle autour de lui le fil des heures, l’ordre des années et des mondes. Il les consulte d’instinct en s’éveillant, et y lit en une seconde le point de la terre qu’il occupe, le temps qui s’est écoulé jusqu’à son réveil; mais leurs rangs peuvent se mêler, se rompre.

Du côté de chez Swann, Marcel Proust 1913.

A translator's preface contains an apology for an attempt at transcribing a foreign idiom into a familiar one and failing; at best, a translation from a language is merely an understanding in the reader's tongue.

C. K. Scott Moncrieff is the time-honored translator of Marcel Proust's À la recherche de temps perdu; he was its first translator and his translation has been in print with revisions since 1922. 

A recent 'translation' of Swann's Way by Marcel Proust says on the cover "The C. K. Scott Moncrieff translation edited and annotated by Willam C. Carter."

After almost 100 years Mr. Moncrieff is respected today.

When a man is asleep, he has in a circle round him the chain of the hours, the sequence of the years, the order of the heavenly host. Instinctively, when he awakes, he looks to these, and in an instant reads off his own position on the earth’s surface and the amount of time that has elapsed during his slumbers; but this ordered procession is apt to grow confused, and to break its ranks.

Swann's Way, Marcel Proust 1913; translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, 1922. French Classics in French and English, P. 11.

When a man is asleep, he has in a circle round him the chain of the hours, the sequence of the years, the order of the heavenly bodies. Instinctively he consults them when he awakes, and in an instant reads off his own position on the earth’s surface and the time that has elapsed during his slumbers; but this ordered procession is apt to grow confused, and to break its ranks.

Swann's Way, Marcel Proust 1913; translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, Terrence Kilmartin and D. J. Enright 1922-1992, page 3; Loc 199.

A sleeping man holds in a circle around him the sequence of the hours, the order of the years and worlds. He consults them instinctively as he wakes and reads in a second the point on the earth he occupies, the time that has elapsed before his waking; but their ranks can be mixed up, broken.

Swann's Way Marcel Proust 1913; translated by Lydia Davis 2002, P. 5 Loc 482.

When a man is asleep, he holds in a circle around him the chain of the hours, the sequence of the years, and the order of the universe. Instinctively, when he awakes, he looks to these, and in an instant reads off his own position on the earth’s surface and the amount of time that has elapsed during his slumbers; but this ordered procession is apt to grow confused, and to break its ranks.

Swann's Way, Marcel Proust 1913; translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and revised by William C. Carter 2013, Loc 226.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
1/14/2016 7:02 pm

The Countess Anna de Noailles (1876-1933) was a poet. She was the first woman to become a Commander of the Legion of Honor and was honored with the "Grand Prix" of the Académie Française in 1921. She was a favored correspondent of Marcel Proust.

Yesterday I finished his À la recherche du temps perdu. I will read it a fourth time but the first volume, Du côté de chez Swann, I will read in French.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
1/13/2016 9:12 am

And she would say to me, pointing to my note-books as though they were worm-eaten wood or a piece of stuff which the moth had got into: “Look, it’s all eaten away, isn’t that dreadful! There’s nothing left of this bit of page, it’s been torn to ribbons,” and examining it with a tailor’s eye she would go on: “I don’t think I shall be able to mend this one, it’s finished and done for. A pity, perhaps it has your best ideas. You know what they say at Combray: there isn’t a furrier who knows as much about furs as the moth, they always get into the best ones.”

Time Regained Volume VI, Marcel Proust, The Modern Library translation, Loc 6499

Elle me disait, en me montrant mes cahiers rongés comme le bois où l’insecte s’est mis : "C’est tout mité, regardez, c’est malheureux, voilà un bout de page qui n’est plus qu’une dentelle, et—l’examinant comme un tailleur—je ne crois pas que je pourrai la refaire, c’est perdu. C’est dommage, c’est peut-être vos plus belles idées. Comme on dit à Combray, il n’y a pas de fourreurs qui s’y connaissent aussi bien comme les mites. Elles se mettent toujours dans les meilleures étoffes."

A la recherche du temps perdu, Marcel Proust, Loc 54396

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
1/12/2016 4:18 am

I have said that it would be impossible to depict our relationship with anyone whom we have even slightly known without passing in review, one after another, the most different settings of our life.

Each individual therefore—and I was myself one of these individuals—was a measure of duration for me, in virtue of the revolutions which like some heavenly body he had accomplished not only on his own axis but also around other bodies, in virtue, above all, of the successive positions which he had occupied in relation to myself.

And surely the awareness of all these different planes within which, since in this last hour, at this party, I had recaptured it, Time seemed to dispose the different elements of my life, had, by making me reflect that in a book which tried to tell the story of a life it would be necessary to use not the two-dimensional psychology which we normally use but a quite different sort of three-dimensional psychology, added a new beauty to those resurrections of the past which my memory had effected while I was following my thoughts alone in the library, since memory by itself, when it introduces the past, unmodified, into the present—the past just as it was at the moment when it was itself the present—suppresses the mighty dimension of Time which is the dimension in which life is lived.

Time Regained Volume VI, Marcel Proust, The Modern Library translation, Loc 6438.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
1/11/2016 9:07 pm

Playful Indigo

From White Indigo to our darkest Yves Klein Blue and many shades in between on one skein:

We wash off spinning oil from the skein and dip it into a lukewarm and pH adjusted bath that has a light concentration of Indigo dye for the White Indigo color, then we increase the concentration of the Indigo and the time that we leave it in the dye bath for the darker Yves Klein blue.

The intensity of blue color? How much Indigo extract is in the dye bath, the pH, the temperature, etc. and how long we leave the skeins in the bath depends on the experience of the dyer—the dyeing of Indigo becomes alchemical if not magical.

Available in Special Orders on the website.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
12/31/2015 4:15 pm
Labels: Playful Indigo

François-René de Chateaubriand; painting by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson

This morning I was driving on I-87 and listening to Audible's recording of Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time, specifically Vol. VII Time Regained when I heard "...the diverse melancholy of regret and absence and youth” which bowled me over. I had to stop at the next service area noting the word Newfoundland to search for the passage in my Kindle app. At home I found it. 

I like Proust when he is writing non-fiction as he does here speaking of Chateaubriand:

Is it not from a sensation of the same species as that of the madeleine that Chateaubriand suspends the loveliest episode in the Mémoires d’Outre-tombe:

“Yesterday evening I was walking alone … I was roused from my reflexions by the warbling of a thrush perched upon the highest branch of a birch tree. Instantaneously the magic sound caused my father’s estate to reappear before my eyes; I forgot the catastrophes of which I had recently been the witness and, transported suddenly into the past, I saw again those country scenes in which I had so often heard the fluting notes of the thrush.”

And of all the lovely sentences in those memoirs are not these some of the loveliest:

“A sweet and subtle scent of heliotrope was exhaled by a little patch of beans that were in flower; it was brought to us not by a breeze from our own country but by a wild Newfoundland wind, unrelated to the exiled plant, without sympathy of shared memory or pleasure. In this perfume, not breathed by beauty, not cleansed in her bosom, not scattered where she had walked, in this perfume of a changed sky and tillage and world there was all the diverse melancholy of regret and absence and youth.”

Time Regained Vol. VII by Marcel Proust; Modern Library Edition, Loc 4288 of 11587.

~ 

Proust refers to Chateaubriand's "lovely sentences" in the French—I must read the original. I tried searching À la recherche du temps perdu for Newfoundland and I found nothingit was in the French Terre-Neuve and unknown to meI tried birch or le boileau—et voilà—I found the French passage to copy from the Kindle app:

N’est-ce pas à mes sensations du genre de celle de la madeleine qu’est suspendue la plus belle partie des Mémoires d’Outre-Tombe:

« Hier au soir je me promenais seul… je fus tiré de mes réflexions par le gazouillement d’une grive perchée sur la plus haute branche d’un bouleau. À l’instant, ce son magique fit reparaître à mes yeux le domaine paternel ; j’oubliai les catastrophes dont je venais d’être le témoin et, transporté subitement dans le passé, je revis ces campagnes où j’entendis si souvent siffler la grive. »

Et une des deux ou trois plus belles phrases de ces Mémoires n’est-elle pas celle-ci :

« Une odeur fine et suave d’héliotrope s’exhalait d’un petit carré de fèves en fleurs ; elle ne nous était point apportée par une brise de la patrie, mais par un vent sauvage de Terre-Neuve, sans relation avec la plante exilée, sans sympathie de réminiscence et de volupté. Dans ce parfum, non respiré de la beauté, non épuré dans son sein, non répandu sur ses traces, dans ce parfum chargé d’aurore, de culture et de monde, il y avait toutes les mélancolies des regrets, de l’absence et de la jeunesse. »

Le temps retrouvé Vol. VII de Marcel Proust.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
12/30/2015 4:10 pm

 The redoubtable color theorist of modern times, Josef Albers, offers sound advice: “in order to use color effectively it is necessary to recognize that color deceives continually.” 


P. 18

Yet does not the very phrase “he showed us his true colors,” venerable with age and usage, also suggest the opposite, that color is both true and untrue precisely because of its claims to authenticity?

P. 18

As the spirit of the gift, color is what sold and continues to sell modernity. As the gift that gives the commodity aura, color is magical and poisonous and this is perfectly in keeping with that view which sees color as both authentic and deceitful.

P. 25

Like fast food’s effect on food, nineteenth-century color technology killed off the body of color and, as regards the fine arts as practiced by the likes of Jan Van Eyck and Vermeer, choked off centuries of craft, notably the tremendous work preparing pigments, fresh, each day; the underpainting or foundation of the painting; and, following that, the application of alternate layers of opaque colors and transparent varnishes, what Cezanne called the “secret soul of grounds” and others call “glazing.”

P. 41

But is not Anita Albus a shade too conservative with her language of the glittering firmament versus the all-the same-sameness of synthetic paint? Is there not value in flat sameness, only we don’t see it as romance so much as the heroic mysteries of the void? Take Yves Klein’s artificial ultramarine, IKB, a.k.a. “International Klein Blue,” the resort to acronym telling you just how daringly industrial, how daringly camp and modern this color is going to be, allowing its progenitor to shock the 1950s art world with his ultramarine that “literally takes on a life of its own,” such that color “would become the springboard for the space without limit.” If Albus’s natural ultramarine plays with space like the flitting wings of the butterfly, the spatial play of IKB is “vaporous, floating, timeless.” But at the end of the day, the butterfly seems a lot more fun, I would say. After all, IKB is romantic too, for nothing is as romantic as being anti-romantic.

P. 42

What Color Is The Sacred, Michael Taussig 2009.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
12/28/2015 8:10 pm
Dyeing with Natural Dyes is more expensive than with Synthetic Dyes for two basic reasons: The material cost of a Natural Dye extract is dearer because it is a crop rather than a man-made chemical compound; and secondarily it takes more time to dye correctly with Natural Dyes because of the required mordant and the coverage unevenness or leveling.
 
Mordanthaving or showing a sharp or critical quality; biting. "A mordant sense of humor..." It comes from the present participle of French mordre, "to bite". 
 
A mordant, or more specially, a pre-mordant is a substance used to set dyes on fabrics by forming a coordination complex with the dye which then attaches to the cloth or yarn to be dyed.
 
Until 1856, and much later in certain places and with specific dyes, all dyestuffs were of animal, vegetable, or mineral origin. However, (then) William Henry Perkin, a young English chemist, while attempting to synthesize quinine from aniline, a coal tar by-product, accidentally produced and discovered mauve, the first synthetic dye. Indeed, by the 1880s every country store in North America carried the new Diamond synthetic dyes for home use.
 
Traditional methods of natural dyeing were reintroduced by the craft revivals of the 1920s, mostly by spinners, weavers, and knitters, untrained technically in dye chemistry, for use in their finished products. 
 
The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing, J. N. Liles, 1990 p. 2.
 
Almost all natural dyeing, using dyestuffs from animal, vegetable or mineral origin, needs pre-mordanting and that process is expensive because it takes a longer time than the total completion of dyeing with a synthetic dye.
 
Yes, the newer dyes are faster; they are more convenient—but they are not alive—newer dyes don't have similar values of natural dyes and they can be dangerously garish in the untrained hands of new dyers.
 
A basic wool pre-mordant:
 
Aluminum Sulfate - Cream Of Tartar

1. Dissolve 3 ounces of alum (86 grams or 5 1/2 level tablespoons granular alum) in 4 to 6 gallons of warm water. Use a nonreactive vessel.

2. When the alum is dissolved, add 1 ounce (29 grams or 10 level teaspoons) of cream of tartar. Stir until dissolved.

3. Add the well-scoured wet fiber and heat slowly to the simmer (about 190° to 200° F). Keep the material at this temperature for at least 1 hour, preferably 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Turn the material occasionally during mordanting. Allow the material to cool in the mordant bath, time permitting.
 
4. Remove fiber and squeeze out excess moisture. Dry without rinsing if dyeing is not to be done immediately. Slow drying, done in a cotton or linen bag, is best. This way the material remains damp for several days. Mordanted material may be stored.

5. Rinse very thoroughly before dyeing to remove unfixed alum which will loosely attach to the fiber and dye. Items not well rinsed may also dye unevenly. This is true of all mordants.

The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing, J. N. Liles, 1990 p. 27-28.
 
After mordanting the wool yarn is ready to be dyed—and one should note—that it took longer to mordant a Natural Dye than it took to dye a Synthetic one.
 
 
Mordanted Yarn
 
Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
12/28/2015 5:54 am

The Blue People 

The Tuareg are nomads in the Sahara desert of North Africa.

I first heard of the Tuareg when I was in Marrakesh, Morocco. They are called the "Blue People" because sometimes the indigo pigment in the cloth of their traditional robes and turbans stains their skin blue.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
12/27/2015 7:23 pm
Labels: The Tuareg