News and Blog
This photo which I like, which reminds me of a detail from a neo-old master painting (whatever that is), and others on the Seedy Sunday website are by Dan Johnson.
The short but illustrious history of Brighton and Hove Seedy Sunday began in 2001, when two members of Brighton and Hove Organic Gardening Group (yes, BHOGG) went on holiday to Vancouver, Canada. There they happened upon a seed swap...
A seed swap is a sort of fair, where growers exchange seeds from plants they have grown themselves, meet kindred spirits, and reassure each other that preferring home-saved seeds to bought ones does not mean that they are just stingy or eccentric. The Brighton gardeners were so impressed that when they got back to England they persuaded a group of fellow growers to help organize a similar event. The result, the UK's first ever seed swap, took place in St George's Hall, in Kemptown in Brighton, in February 2002.—Lindy Sharp.
Seed swapping is a thorn in the side of big seed companies like Monsanto; they don't want growers giving away or trading or saving-to-plant (without paying for) the patented plant genetics they sell, or might sell. Seed swapping can make big seed a little paranoid.
I'm delighted to pay my stand staff with yarn as I did Perri whom you can meet Saturday afternoons in Union Square. Her cowl is knit from Violet #1 a color of which I have no more. But here is the pattern she used.
You can hear the head-on collision when rams butt from almost 1/4 mile away. They butt to prove dominance and it's their way of having fun, I guess. Mature Saxon Merino rams weigh about 225 lb. Challenged, they back up several paces then charge rolling their heads down just before impact like fists of prize fighters maximizing the blow; this goes on until one ram, with a yielding gesture, quotes the beaten Roberto Duran in the Sugar Ray Leonard fight, "No mas."
There is a victor and a victim. There is no way to stop them; the minute you leave after trying to separate them they are back at one another.
They have another method of attack and to stay with boxing jargon let's call it a clinch: After a butt or two they get beside one another, lower their heads dropping a horn, then with a powerful rotation of the neck they bring it up rapidly into the rib cage of their opponent.
Most of the time the rams are at peace with one another and they are gentlemen around us; they know, having learned from when they were lambs, that a shepherd is dominant.
...in the new house. Which, it is high time now that the reader should be told—and told also that we had moved into it because my grandmother, not having been at all well (though we took care to keep this reason from her), was in need of better air—was a flat forming part of the Hôtel de Guermantes.
Le côte de Guermantes Vol. 3 of À la Recherche du Temps Perdu, Marcel Proust 1920; translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff 1925.
Clara Parkes taught classes and spoke at Vogue Knitting Live in New York this past weekend. Her address was entitled The State of the Yarn Union and covered, among other things, the history of yarn marketing in the pre and post web eras.
For those of you who do not know Clara, she publishes Knitter's Review, a newsletter that comes out once a week and usually has a yarn review detailing her thoughts about knitting that yarn: how it feels, how it looks, how to care for it, where to get it, etc. and background on where the yarn comes from and who is behind it. KR also has knitters' forums, a tools section, a how-to section, patterns and book reviews too. Knitter's Review is a valuable resource for fiber enthusiasts. Subscription is free.
Some of her knitting knowledge is shown in the lovely red shawl she wears; besides, not many people can wear red but Clara can.
The mallard duck who lives with the rams by the frozen pond has now taken to eating with them. When the pigeons get too close and pick at the oats, he waddles at them, flaps his wings and flies them off. I think he's protecting his food rather than protecting the rams. But with ducks you never know.
Sheep sometime spin their own wool while going about their business; here we see a spun lock over this ram lamb's right eye.
Email from Sabine:
"Your sheep, of course, steal the show. http://www.reverseshot.com/video (Just scroll through the films on the bottom of the page until you find "Eat This Film #4 Sweetgrass" and click on it to play.)"
Earlier in the year, Sabine had asked me to be at the screening of Sweetgrass at the 92 St Y Tribeca as part of the Eat This Film series which she organized over the Summer months. After the screening, a short video was recorded of filmmakers Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and shepherd me discussing the film and sheep.
This is color rectitude: if we don't care for a color (this was originally an uninteresting greenish hue) we overdye it with Indigo, as we did here; now it has a depth to it, you can see into the color, it has layers, it is many, one color is over another making a third and a fourth, the mixing is optical rather than chemical (mixed in your eye and your heart), and that charges the color with an energy that only natural dyes have. They radiate the light of the natural world, of dawn, of rainy days, of forests fragrantly abloom, of dusk and of so much more. Natural dyes come from our world and they colorfully tell about where they've been.
This color was dyed in a limited editions of 12 skeins.
Each worsted skein weighs 2 ounces (50 grams) and it is 140 yards in length; the wool comes from our superfine Saxon Merino sheep and is hand-dyed with natural colors on the farm. Expect 5-6.5 stitches per inch using US 5-8/3.75-5.25 mm needles.
Available from the Yarn Store.