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Posted 8/18/2011 9:27am by Eugene Wyatt.

A pregnant servant maid is momentarily featured and compared to an allegorical figure in a Giotto picture, just as Mme. de Guermantes appeared in a church tapestry. It is noteworthy that throughout the whole work either the narrator or Swann often sees the physical appearance of this or that character in terms of paintings by famous old masters, many of them of the Florentine School. There is one main reason behind this method, and a secondary reason.

The main reason is of course that for Proust art was the essential reality of life. The other reason is of a more private kind: in describing young men he disguised his keen appreciation of male beauty under the masks of recognizable paintings; and in describing young females he disguised under the same masks of paintings his sexual indifference to women and his inability to describe their charm.

Lectures on Literature by Vladimir Nabokov 1980

Tags: Proust
Posted 8/18/2011 3:25am by Eugene Wyatt.

Denim is unique in it's singular connection with one colour. 
The warp yarn (that running the length of the fabric) is traditionally dyed with the blue pigment obtained 
from indigo dye. Until the introduction of synthetic dyes, at the end of 
the 19th century, indigo was the most significant natural dye known 
to mankind, linked with practical fabrics and work clothing. The durability 
of indigo as a colour and it's darkness of tone made it a good choice, 
when frequent washing was not possible. In 1870 BASF in Germany, 
originally suppliers of natural indigo had started the search for a synthetic 
substitute, in 1894 the process was perfected.

Birgit Lohmann  Designboom, 2000

Tags: Indigo
Posted 8/15/2011 8:31pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Eugene Wyatt

Cochineal & Madder make a coral. A designer from MA visiting bought most of it...5 or 6 skeins left.

I'm trying to get all the pieces in play this evening for selling yarn online from my soon-to-be-revamped web site: the blog where I talk about the color, Twitter where I announce the color, etc. 

Tomorrow I'll post the color to the Yarn Store after I read myself to sleep considering the tribulations of poor Swann in love with Odette who likes the attention of other men and, why Proust was such a daring writer in 1913, other women too.

It's a singles worsted, 2 oz & 140 yd in length.

8/16/11, this color is now in the Yarn Store.

Posted 8/15/2011 6:42am by Eugene Wyatt.

From Proust Reader by Jim Everett, August 14, 2011

But perhaps to hear music this intensely requires an altered state of mind. Swann’s barren life had eroded his ability to feel deeply. The little phrase changed that and Proust created some of his most startling metaphors to describe Swann’s new musical faculty.

There was a deep repose, a mysterious refreshment for Swann–whose eyes, although delicate interpreters of painting, whose mind, although an acute observer of manners, must bear for ever the indelible imprint of the barrenness of his life–in feeling himself transformed into a creature estranged from humanity, blinded, deprived of his logical faculty, almost a fantastic unicorn, a chimeaera-like creature conscious of the world through his hearing alone. And since he sought in the little phrase for a meaning to which his intelligence could not descend, with what a strange frenzy of intoxication did he strip bare his innermost soul of the whole armour of reason and make it pass unattended through the dark filter of sound! (I, 336-337)

As though the musicians were not nearly so much playing the little phrase as performing the rites on which it insisted before it would consent to appear, and proceeding to utter the incantations necessary to procure, and to prolong for a few moments, the miracle of its apparition, Swann, who was no more able to see it than if it had belonged to a world of ultra-violet light, and who experienced something like the refreshing sense of a metamorphosis in the momentary blindness with which he was struck as he approached it, Swann felt its presence like that of a protective goddess, a confidante of his love, who, in order to be able to come to him through the crowd and to draw him aside to speak to him, had disguised herself in this sweeping cloak of sound. And as she passed, light, soothing, murmurous as the perfume of a flower, telling him what she had to say, every word of which he closely scanned, regretful to see them fly away so fast, he made involuntarily with his lips the motion of kissing, as it went by him, the harmonious, fleeting form. (I, 494)

Swann's Way Volume I; In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust, translated by Moncrieff and Kilmartin, revised by Enright. The Modern Library Edition.

Posted 8/14/2011 5:08pm by Eugene Wyatt.


They make me make up names for them and they make me make up songs to sing them—isn't that what a muse does. 

Tags: Muses
Posted 8/14/2011 2:01pm by Eugene Wyatt.

This week we're adding the garlic we grow on the farm to a recipe called, naturally enough, Fresh Garlic Lamb Sausage; the seasonings will be our garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika (Hungarian smoked), fresh chives and red wine in a sheep casing.

Then next week we're doing a sausage that is quite unusual, a Lamb-Bacon Lamb Sausage with our lamb & our lamb bacon (ground) plus these seasonings: black & red pepper, savory, marjoram and again garlic grown on the farm in a sheep casing.

And we sample Lamb Sausages, sizzling hot from the BBQ grill, at the Union Square Greenmarket almost every Saturday from 9 AM to 11 AM.

Posted 8/14/2011 5:46am by Eugene Wyatt.

The government thinks if major supermarkets open stores in blighted areas and stock affordable healthy food options (that American's will eat more healthily). But not everyone shares...(this) optimism; in fact, some critics say opening new stores and markets in so-called food deserts will have little or no impact on how people eat.

... Many Americans have little experience eating or preparing broccoli, asparagus, and other produce; in fact, only 26 percent of the nation’s adults now eat three servings of vegetables a day. The poor, in particular, have become so accustomed to salty packaged foods and sugary beverages that they find fresh food bland, strange, and off-putting. “It’s simplistic thinking that if you put fruits and vegetables there, they’ll buy it,” said Barry Popkin, author of the UNC study. “You have to encourage it, you need advertising, you need support.” Changing Americans’ diets, in other words, won’t be as simple as telling them to eat their peas.

From America's 'Food Deserts' in The Week Friday August 12, 2011

“You have to encourage it...", marketing becomes education.

Posted 8/12/2011 6:03pm by Eugene Wyatt.

This blue burns a hole in my heart and although I'm not ready to bring it out formally with new pages that reconstitute the Yarn Store, I had to show you, so proud I am of it. Not all naturally dyed colors are as wonderful as the one in the mind's eye of the dyer as he begins the dyeing process, but then again, when you stumble upon a truly surprising hue, you'll swear that you can hear the angels' trumpets heralding you and your color. 

This blue is the result of two long dips (about 3 minutes each) in a mystical Indigo vat.   

The yarn is a singles worsted weight: a 2 oz. skein measures 140 yd. in length.  The color was dyed in a limited editions of 16 skeins.

Now available from the Yarn Store.

Posted 8/7/2011 1:29pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Botticelli "The Trials of Moses" Detail of Zepporah (1481-82) Sistine Chapel

As she (Odette) stood there beside him, brushing his cheek with the loosened tresses of her hair, bending one knee in what was almost a dancer’s pose, so that she could lean without tiring herself over the picture, at which she was gazing, with bended head, out of those great eyes, which seemed so weary and so sullen when there was nothing to animate her, Swann was struck by her resemblance to the figure of Zipporah, Jethro’s Daughter, which is to be seen in one of the Sixtine frescoes.

Du côté de chez Swann by Marcel Proust 1913 translated as Swann's Way by C. K. Scott Moncrieff 1922

Posted 8/7/2011 1:20pm by Eugene Wyatt.

A man came up to me while I was setting up the farm stand Saturday morning; he picked up a head of garlic and asked me how much. "Two bucks," I said; hearing the price he dropped it as if it were too hot to hold.  "It must be good," he said sarcastically shaking his fingers as if to cool them.  "It is," I said.  He walked away; I assumed he purchased cheaper garlic that had been sprayed with herbicides from a conventional farmer.

Below is a list of approved herbicides that can be used in conventional garlic farming from the University of California IPM Program; mind you that California has stricter standards and a shorter list than any other state in the Union. Herbicides are chemical substances used to destroy or inhibit the growth of plants; they are usually synthesized from petrochemicals. All the listed herbicides have REI's, Restricted Entry Intervals, from 12 to 48 hours meaning humans can't go into the sprayed field for that period of time without protective clothing and a mask. 

Seeing the application of herbicides and pesticides by tractors with 40 foot spray booms mounted behind them is common when I drive through a section of Orange County's Black Dirt farming region by taking Pumpkin Swamp Road to the farm.  The result of spraying is seeing growing crops in rows like toy soldiers in fields bare of weeds.  Almost daily in July, I saw the spraying of fields of onions (in the same family as garlic) on both sides of the road.  The last spray (a week ago on about 20 acres) must ready the onions for the harvesting machine; it was a herbicide, specific to the onion, sprayed to wilt (kill) the onion tops, which in an orderly human fashion fall like umber dominoes in time lapses—row after row, field after field—as fast as the slow moving tractor could spray them. The field sprayed on day one: down, brown and flat, the field sprayed on day two: brown and almost flat, the field sprayed on day three: yellow and leaning, and so on through ten 2 acre onion fields.  I wasn't aware of the pervasiveness of chemical spraying by conventional farms until Pumpkin Swamp became a short cut to the sheep from where I now live.

This use of herbicides (and pesticides) permits conventional farmers, be they of small market-farms or of large agribusiness-farms, to charge less for their garlic (and all sprayed produce) because they don't have to pay laborers to hand weed it with a hoe as I and other traditional farmers do.  The subsidized, labor-saving spraying of petroleum based herbicides and pesticides along with the spray caused damage to the health of the land is why Michael Pollan and others food writers maintain that "food is too cheap" meaning that if the cost of environmental damage of spray-based mono-cropping and the cost of taxpayer paid subsidies for herbicides and pesticides were added to the lesser costing conventional garlic we would find that my hand-hoed, "two buck" garlic was a bargain in comparison.

And there might be other costs that could make my garlic an even better deal.  After the burned man left I wondered if he had an explanation for the rise in cancer cases since the 1940's when the Green Revolution in conventional agriculture began ushering in the wide-spread use of herbicides and pesticides; truthfully, I don't know the reasons for this increase but if I were guiding an independent research institution I know where I would start looking for answers:  Big Agriculture (the maker of pesticides and herbicides) and the FDA (the approver of pesticides and herbicides) are linked by the golden door that revolves between them. FDA officials grant specious approvals, waive overbearing regulations and interpret laws favorably for agribusiness corporations, and for that favoritism they'll get a much larger stipend than what the FDA could afford when they retire and become consultants to Big Agriculture. 

Trust in the government and the agribusiness corporation wilts like sprayed onion tops.  Eat well, eat small—your health is priceless.



      COMMENTS: Beds must be free of large clods and the soil should be moistened by rainfall or irrigation before application. Soil temperatures should be between 40° to 90°F at the 3-inch depth. Broadcast rate is 50–75 gal /acre but if only the planted row is to be treated, reduced rates can be used depending on the number of rows to be planted/bed. Applications are made using a spray blade cutting 2 to 3 inches below the soil surface, depending on soil moisture.


     COMMENTS: A nonselective foliar herbicide that kills emerged weeds. Cannonselectiveore planting or after planting but before the crop emerges. Any crop plants exposed to the spray will be killed, even germinating seed in the crook stage. No soil residual activity. Use the lower rate on small broadleaf weeds, the higher rate on larger weeds and grasses. Highly toxic if ingested; wear protective clothing. Faster acting on warm, sunny days. For use on seeded onions and garlic.


      COMMENTS: A nonselective, foliar herbicide applied before planting to pnonselective to kill emerged weeds. Allow 3 days after trepreent before planting. Use the lower rate for annual grasses and weeds, the higher rate on perennial weeds. Consult the label for specific recommendations on particular weed species. Do not apply to weeds stressed for moisture. For perennial weeds, allow 7 days after application before cultivating.


      COMMENTS: Apply at planting to control annual grasses and some annual broadleaf weeds. DCPA can be sprayed directly over transplants without injury. In sandy loam soils, maximum preemergence rate of 10 lb/acre is recommended.


     COMMENTS: Registered for use on bulb onions and garlic, but recommended only for onions in California. Do not incorporate by mechanical methods.


      COMMENTS: Provides yellow nutsedge and broadleaf weed control. Apply at second true nutsedgege of onions but before nutsedge emerges. Do not exceed a total maximum of 21 fl onutsedgen a single growing season. Use lower rates on coarse-textured soils and higher rates on fine-textured soils.

        COMMENTS: For use on garlic, shallots, and bulb onions. Apply after planting garlic, incorporate with sprinklers or a heavy furrow irrigation. Will control many broadleaf weeds and annual grasses. The two formulations of pendimethalin have different application timings: Apply Prpendimethalintween 2 to 6 true leaf stage (shallots/onions) and 1 to 5 true leaf stage (garlic). Prowl H20 has a Special Local Needs registration and can be applied at the loop stage in direct-seeded dry bulb onions. Application rates depend on soil type with lower rates for coarse-textured soils and higher rates for fine-textured soils; do not use on muck soils.


       COMMENTS: Apply by ground when onions have 2 to 4 true leaves. Use at least 50 gal water in spray mix. Various conditions will lead to crop injury; consult label before application. Can be used in sequence with oxyfluorfen. Very good for control of mustard species.


      COMMENTS: A selective, foliar herbicide for control of grasses. A surfactant (crop oil concentrate or nonionic surfactant) is recommended. Safe to the crop.


     COMMENTS: For use in onions and garlic. A selective, foliar herbicide for control of grasses. A surfactant (crop oil concentrate or nonionic surfactant) is recommended. Safe to the crop. Notnonionicve on drought-stressed grasses or on certain species (e.g., annual bluegrass, foxtail, sprangletop).


      COMMENTS: Lafoxtailorsprangletopon (dry bulb only), garlic, and shallots. Controls annual bluegrass in the 2- to 3-leaf stage as well as other annual and some perennial grasses. Do not apply through any type of irrigation system. Always apply with a crop oil concentrate. Use higher rate on perennial grasses. 


      COMMENTS: Up to four foliar applications after crop emergence at evenly spaced intervals can be made; do not apply more than 0.75 gal/season.