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Posted 7/14/2011 8:13pm by Eugene Wyatt.

We added more Indigo to the pot and I said to Rebecca, "Let the yarn stay in the pot longer, we're looking for a deep green." We watched the intensity of the value not the color (everything looks green not blue in a reduced-oxygen indigo pot) as Rebecca swirled the fiber in the pot raising it out of the liquid from time to time.

It looked good, a black green, a deep seaweed color; I said, "OK" and Rebecca pulled the 16 skeins from the bath. We watched the black become blue over the Weld yellow—it turned a true teal—as the oxygen struck the indigo solution on the fiber. 

It was a green we'd looked for—a deepish color—one that was distinct from the lighter greens we'd just gotten in the more dilute indigo pot when we'd pulled the yarn out sooner.

As much as lovely colors we want for you, we want colors that are different from one another because everybody has a different favorite color. 

This color was dyed in a limited editions of 16 skeins.

Available from the Yarn Store.

Posted 7/14/2011 8:57am by Eugene Wyatt.

Last Summer Florence Fabricant reviewed our garlic in the New York Times.  From that review we had responses from everywhere the Times is read.  This morning I sent out the following email to inform those interested Times readers that this Summer's garlic harvest was in.

Hello Garlic Lovers,

Last year you bought garlic from us and we're sending you an email to let you know that this year's harvest is in the barn drying waiting to be shipped.

You can place your order here:


What we have is a porcelain variety called German White, Extra Hardy, grown purely with sun and rain from the heavens in soil fertilized with aged sheep manure and weeded with love by hand.

Last year you got a dozen, this year you get a baker's dozen-so sayeth the sheep and the garlic gods,


Posted 7/11/2011 6:32am by Eugene Wyatt.

Delanceyplace: In today's  excerpt - the Culinary Institute of America, perhaps the finest chef college in the world, includes among its many courses a class in killing the animals that will later be served as the culinary offerings of its students. Jonathan Dixon, a student at the Hyde Park, New York, campus, describes the experience:

"[My classmates] Adam, Lombardi, and I all signed up to go and kill animals the following Friday. Meat class would be over, and we'd be in the thick of fish class - Seafood Identification and Fabrication. But this was something necessary. If I really asked myself some tough questions, which I did in the days going forward, I realized that the truism was right: Unless you're a vegan or hard-core vegetarian, if you are going to consume animal flesh, then you should kill an animal. Not just watch the killing and the flow of blood, not be an observer, but touch an animal and end its life. ...

"The farm [where the class would be held] had a dirt driveway that cut through green fields, and a few yards down from the road a sign read WELCOME CIA STUDENTS AND BROOK FARM FRIENDS. For most of the ride, the four of us in the car had talked food, [restaurateur] Thomas Keller and the cult of celebrity, run down other students we didn't care for, and generally avoided the topic of killing. With the farmhouse in sight the conversation swerved down a darker bend; we made jokes that weren't all that funny and laughed too hard at them. We parked the car, gathered the knives, and took heavy steps to the backyard.

"As we walked toward a set of tables to put our things down, we passed a mobile chicken coop, presumably filled with the work at hand. A dozen or so feet beyond that was a fifty-five-gallon drum full of bubbling water on top of a propane burner, and next to it a cylindrical tube with finger-sized rubber pieces extruding off the interior sides and on the bottom. Nearby were a few tubs filled with water. And throwing their shadows onto the tables were six traffic cones upended and nailed to a crossbeam. ... I had a good idea what the traffic cones were for. Beneath the cones, someone had dug a trench about six inches deep. On this assembly line, no one part of the process was more than a few feet from another. ...

"By the coop there were two wooden cages. The [farm owner] took a few of us to the coop, crawled inside, and handed out chickens two at a time. Six chickens were put into each cage. The cages were carried back to the crossbeams; we reached in and each picked up a chicken by its feet and held it upside down - if held that way long enough, chickens go into a trance; they'll fight you, though, when you first try to turn them feet up. Once they were sedated, we drew them headfirst through one of the cones. Sebald spoke his softly accented instructions: Hold the head with your thumb under the chicken's beak. Put the bottom end of the knife blade against the bird's throat. Draw the blade across, applying firm, even pressure. The head should pop right off. All of us stood thronged together, knives in hand, waiting. The first bird went into the cone. ...

"That first bird: a young woman from school was the first to kill, and it didn't go as well as it could have. The knife seemed to stick; the bird freaked out; she responded in kind but got the knife through the neck. She had blood running down her cheeks and held the head in her hand. She was blameless; it's hard for your hands to know what to do. In the cluster of students around her, I saw one of the teaching assistants from school, her eyes also shining with tears. Most of us were shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot. I held my knife with a tight grip. Other students were reaching into the cages and pulling out the chickens. I watched people lifting the birds up, watched their wings flap frantically, heard them squawking, saw them being killed. ...

"My turn came. I could feel the bird's pulse under my thumb. I positioned the knife as instructed and drew it hard across the chicken's throat. And then I was holding its head in my hand, blood on my arms and shirt, watching the body convulse. My foot slipped and slid into the trench. My work boot was glistening with blood.

"The body was dunked into the same hot water that had cooked the corn. When the feathers began pulling away, it was removed from the water and put into the cylinder. The cylinder whipped the bird around and the rubber extrusions pulled away the feathers. Any feathers left were plucked by hand at a nearby table. Then we gutted the chickens, the viscera still hot. The carcass was then washed and put into a tub. We went through this for hours, until past dusk, stopping when the hundredth chicken was finished. ...

"At the end of the [class], the husband and wife [who owned the farm] asked us to gather in a circle and tell them what we'd learned. One by one, we each mouthed the same platitudes about respect for food, being closer to the food source, and like that. But what I actually learned I still only feel."

Author: Jonathan Dixon  
Title: Beaten, Seared, and Sauced on Becoming a Chef at the Culinary Institute of America
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Date: Copyright 2011 by Jonathan Dixon
Pages: 60, 75-78


Delanceyplace is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context.  There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, are occasionally controversial, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came.  To visit the homepage or sign up for a daily email click here

Posted 7/10/2011 2:52pm by Eugene Wyatt.

July 10, 1871

But we are no more disturbed by the fact of our having become another person, after a lapse of years and in the natural order of events, than we are disturbed at any given moment by the fact of our being, one after another, the incompatible persons, crafty, sensitive, refined, coarse, disinterested, ambitious, which we are, in turn, every day of our life. And the reason why this does not disturb us is the same, namely that the self which has been eclipsed — momentarily in this latter case and when it is a question of character, permanently in the former case and when it is a matter of passions — is not present to deplore the other, the other which is for the moment, or for all time, our whole self; the coarse self laughs at his own coarseness, for he is a coarse person, and the forgetful man does not worry about his loss of memory, simply because he has forgotten.

I should have been incapable of resuscitating Albertine because I was incapable of resuscitating myself, of resuscitating the self of those days. Life, according to its habit which is, by incessant, infinitesimal labours, to change the face of the world, had not said to me on the morrow of Albertine’s death: “Become another person,” but, by changes too imperceptible for me to be conscious even that I was changing, had altered almost every element in me, with the result that my mind was already accustomed to its new master — my new self — when it became aware that it had changed; it was upon this new master that it depended.

Albertine Disparue Marcel Proust 1925; translated as The Sweet Cheat Gone by C. K. Scott Moncrieff 1930.

Tags: Proust
Posted 7/7/2011 4:59pm by Eugene Wyatt.

The lambs were moved to a fresh paddock; last night I went to see if they liked where they were.  They ignored me—good I thought—they have much to graze.

Posted 7/5/2011 8:10am by Eugene Wyatt.

I'm not sure about the new yarn photographs—if I like them.  They're for the Yarn Store: the show-and-tell and sell there.

Tell me what you think.  Let's make it a focus group of Twitter knitters, fiber enthusiasts and newsletter subscribers; I'll link the  photos (the old photos and the new [the 1st two] for comparison) at the Yarn Store & on Twitter too.

For all respondents; telling me what they prefer, what's useful, what helps them in their online purchase of yarn: either the old or the new protographs and also photographs of other online yarn vendors they like too; I'll put your Twitter name or your email address into a hat and in a week's time I'll blindfoldedly draw one and send the winner a skein of our undyed 2 ply Sport Saxon Merino Yarn, the same yarn that Clara Parkes reviewed in Knitters Review.

Posted 7/4/2011 8:54pm by Eugene Wyatt.

This is a noble sheep, a purebred Saxon Merino ram descended from Bullamalita 76, a ram I imported in 1991 from the Bullamalita stud in New South Wales, who was sired by a Merryville (NSW) ram from their Ringmaster line.  Bullamlita (R. Peden) was a secondary or daughter stud of Merryville (W. Merriman) which is one of the premier Saxon Merino studs in the world.

Bullamalita 76 was as close as I could get to bringing Merryville blood to the United States; in 1991 Merryville did not export rams or semen.

Posted 7/3/2011 9:13am by Eugene Wyatt.

From an OP-ED memoir in the July 1, 2011 New York Times by A. E.  Hotchner entitled Hemingway, Hounded by the Feds.

In 1959 Ernest (Hemingway) had a contract with Life magazine to write about Spain’s reigning matadors, the brothers-in-law Antonio Ordóñez and Luis Miguel Dominguín. He cabled me, urging me to join him for the tour. It was a glorious summer, and we celebrated Ernest’s 60th birthday with a party that lasted two days.

But I remember it now as the last of the good times.

In May 1960, Ernest phoned me from Cuba. He was uncharacteristically perturbed that the unfinished Life article had reached 92,453 words. The contract was for 40,000; he was having nightmares.

A month later he called again. He had cut only 530 words, he was exhausted and would it be an imposition to ask me to come to Cuba to help him?

I did, and over the next nine days I submitted list upon list of suggested cuts. At first he rejected them: “What I’ve written is Proustian in its cumulative effect, and if we eliminate detail we destroy that effect.” But eventually he grudgingly consented to cutting 54,916 words. He was resigned, surrendering, and said he would leave it to Life to cut the rest.

A. E. Hotchner is the author of Papa Hemingway and Hemingway and His World.

Tags: Proust
Posted 7/3/2011 9:00am by Eugene Wyatt.

Marcel Proust wrote in a hypotactic style; in the entry above by A. E. Hotchner we have the paratactic Ernest Hemingway defend the editing of his writing for hypotactic or Proustian reasons.  I would like to see what Hemingway cut out of the Life article.

For me the definitions* are of little use in remembering the difference  between the terms, not being a student of Greek and Latin, but recalling recent authors who are famous for using the different styles is more meaningful.


Perhaps the most consistent, philosophically reasoned paratactic style in our time has been written by Ernest Hemingway. Here is the famous tight-lipped syntactic reserve:

Now in the fall the trees were all bare and the roads were muddy. I rode to Gorizia from Udine on a camion. We passed other camions on the road and I looked at the country. The mulberry trees were bare and the fields were brown. There were wet dead leaves on the road from the rows of bare trees and men were working on the road, tamping stone in the ruts from piles of crushed stone along the side of the road between the trees. We saw the town with a mist over it that cut off the mountains. We crossed the river and I saw that it was running high. It had been raining in the moun­tains. We came into the town past the factories and then the houses and villas and I saw that many more houses had been hit. On a narrow street we passed a British Red Cross ambulance. The driver wore a cap and his face was thin and very tanned. I did not know him. I got down from the camion in the big square in front of the Town Mayor's house, the driver handed down my rucksack and I put it on and swung on the two musettes and walked to our villa. It did not feel like a homecoming.

A Farewell to Arms, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929.

Analysing Prose, Richard A. Lantham, 1983.

*Edward Morris wrote in 1901 that the term (parataxis) was introduced into linguistics by Friedrich Thiersch in his Greek Grammar (1831). The concept has expanded since then, and a number of definitions have emerged, often conflicting. From Wikipedia.

Posted 6/30/2011 10:34pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Just arrived from the tannery in Quakertown—they're big, white and soft Saxon Merino sheepskins; we'll have them at Union Square Greenmarket this Saturday or you can order them online from the Sheepskin Store.