Today the stagecoach driver dropped off box after box of wool wool wool at Castle in the Air. We're now the proud owners of 60 kilograms of fine dyed wool from Austria. The family who runs this small farm has been trying to find new uses (and new markets) for their shearings, including selling it to the floral industry for use as fill around bouquets. We've become fleecy florists ourselves, as we used part of last year's shipment of wool to create needle-felted flowers and vines for a fancy centerpiece arrangement.
In a happy coincidence, our friend Lana (whose name happens to be Spanish for "wool") emailed this morning with Merriam-Webster's "word of the day," which is actually a phrase: dyed-in-the-wool:
dyed-in-the-wool \dyde-in-thuh-WOOL\ adjective: thoroughgoing, uncompromising
Apparently, early yarn-makers helped their yarn retain its color longer by dying the wool before spinning it. This practice was referenced in 16th-century England by people who compared the long-lasting color with the way that children would hold certain convictions their entire lives if they were taught them early enough. "Dyed-in-the-wool" was used as a derogatory descriptive for Democrats in 19th-century America, but now it's used to describe people not likely to change their opinions or ways.