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News and Blog

Posted 1/25/2011 11:12pm by Eugene Wyatt.

...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.

Tags: Proust
Posted 1/24/2011 3:43pm by Eugene Wyatt.
Eugene Wyatt
If you're looking for a thick read in a Dublin brogue try Finnegan's Wake by Jame Joyce at @ on Twitter at ~140 characters/hour

Posted 1/23/2011 7:49pm by Eugene Wyatt.

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.

Posted 1/23/2011 7:39pm by Eugene Wyatt.

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.

Tags: Duck
Posted 1/21/2011 1:39pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Sheep sometime spin their own wool while going about their business; here we see a spun lock over this ram lamb's right eye.

Posted 1/18/2011 5:51pm by Eugene Wyatt.

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. 

Posted 1/17/2011 8:50pm by Eugene Wyatt.

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.

Posted 1/17/2011 5:55pm by Eugene Wyatt.

"The best definition of 'periodic sentence' I know is also the simplest.  The great classicist H. J. Rose in his A Handbook of Latin Literature (London: Methuen, 1936) called it 'the long and frequently involved type of sentence, needing skill to handle it properly, in which the construction begun with the first word is not completed until the last.' 'Construction' here we'll take to mean sense as well as syntax. In a periodic sentence, things don't fall into place until the last minute, and when they do, they do with a snap, an emphatic climax. The juggler catches all the pieces, and takes the applause. In a periodic style, sometimes the periodism is contained in a single grammatical sentence and sometimes it runs over into a larger unit, but the architecture is the same whatever the scale. When it is large, and more than one sentence is involved, the construction is usually called a period. H. J. Rose himself could build a beautiful period, as when he described the younger Seneca. After a brief introductory nourish ('Of his works the writer finds it hard to judge fairly, owing to the loathing which his personality excites') comes this salvo:

That a man in exile should flatter basely those who have power to recall him is understandable; Ovid did as much. That a prime minister in dif­ficult times should show himself neither heroic nor self-consistent is no more than is to be expected of the vast majority of statesmen. That the influential adviser of an impressionable and unbalanced young prince should allow his master's favors to take the form of making him prodigiously wealthy is not remarkable; we may discount the tales of Seneca using extortion to add to his riches. That, having flattered, he should bespatter with abuse the object of his sometime adoration is certainly not commendable, but shows no deep depravity, merely a desire to swim with the current. That, being the most popular author of the day and master of an eloquence calculated to make the worst case appear passable, he should frame an elaborate justification of a matricide, may be passed over as one of the hard necessities of his position; but when the man who has done and is doing all this takes the tone of a rigid moralist and a seeker after uncompromising virtue, preaching, from his palace, simplicity and the plainest living with almost the unction of a St. Francis praising Holy Poverty, refusing all knowledge that does not tend to edification, and proclaiming, in verse worthy of a better man than Nero's hack, that the true king is he who fears nothing and desires nothing, the gorge of the reader rises and he turns for relief to some one who either made his life fit his doctrine or, if he behaved unworthily of the best that was in him, at least laid no claim to be a spiritual guide.

Longer than one sentence, technically, but we could fix that up with semicolons. And it doesn't matter whether the period stretches over one sentence or several. The main thing is the suspension, both of syntax and sense, until the end.

What fun to watch this balancing act! The secret of a periodic structure is pacing, slowly building up steam for a thundering climax like THE GORGE OF THE READER RISES. If the secret is pacing, the center is drama, the suspense as the syntactical spring is wound tighter and tighter and finally—ah, got him!—released.

At last, some tangible ingredients for a 'periodic' style:

suspension, over a number of complex statements;
parallelism of phrases and clauses - all those 'That's and later the three participles;
balance, the antiphonal chorus;
climax, the final thrust that nails Seneca to the wall.

And to these we must add a last quality that exudes from periodic structure, virtuoso display. Rose does not just hack his man down. He fences him into pieces con brio."

Analysing Prose, Richard A. Lanham 1983.

Tags: Rhetoric
Posted 1/17/2011 8:01am by Eugene Wyatt.

VKLive this Friday, Saturday & Sunday—January 21-23—in New York City at the Hilton Hotel. "Tickets for the Marketplace are available online or at the door; all workshops & lectures are sold out."

Tags: VKLive
Posted 1/16/2011 7:24pm by Eugene Wyatt.

A knit cowl from our undyed Saxon Merino bulky yarn, perfect for a cold Saturday in New York.  This is what knitting is about: uniqueness, comfort and style.  Being on the streets of Manhattan celebrates your work and it celebrates you as an individual in the sameness of this paint-by-numbers world created for us by big business.  Looked at like this, the knitting hand—nurturing the small, the personal and the local—has a revolutionary touch.  Thank you for coming by the stand.

Tags: Knitting