So I did a little more research into Appleton Bros, and aren't they just fascinating! One of my fellow bloggers sent for their shade cards; here's a look at what she got in return. It's like a time capsule, with the old-school typewritten card and whatnot. Appleton Bros: doing it up right for over 150 years.
I think my favorite piece of trivia is that they were used by the designer William Morris. You don't find guys like him much anymore. He did textiles, mosaic tiles, all sorts of stuff like that, and was a huge influence in the design world in the early 20th century, but he was also a writer and publisher. His Kelmscott Press made books of artistic beauty, bringing back the medieval illuminated style. I have a Dover edition of his book The Wood Beyond the World and it's great fun to read. He also did a truly regrettable translation of the Aeneid in couplet form that reads like a Hallmark Card. And yes, I own that too. It's Virgil, and the story is so marvelous that you can't go far wrong with it even in a bad translation, but I can't forgive Mr Morris for that couplet form. And I know I'm starting to sound a bit book-snooty here, so I'll rein that back.
I took a picture of one of the skeins of wool with a nickel so you can really see how fine this stuff is. I'm going to use it for my Magnum Opus -- my "greatest work", a project I've only hinted at so far but I've been planning with an artist friend for about a year -- and that puts me one step closer to having all the supplies I need to get started. And a little thrill just sizzled up my spine at that notion, if you'll pardon the pun.
(Also, I'm really enjoying links these days. I hope you like them, too. So much nicer than footnotes!)