Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The moths continue to emerge and mate but there are very few eggs appearing. This is a blow as I am giving a talk in mid May to spinners and weavers and would like some cats to show them...never mind, perhaps I will put the eggs in the fridge and see if a spell in the comparative cold gives them the illusion of winter followed by spring and therefore hatching time!

Fingers crossed

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Well, things have moved on. There are now five moths out of the cocoons and there are two pairings! The first pairing doesn't seem to have produced much in the way of eggs, but at least there is another chance with the second.

I hope the oak decides to get a move on - the leaves are still just buds at the moment and I would be grateful not to have any offspring from this pairing having to spend their egg days in the fridge!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Well, at last something is stirring in the silkmoth department! I put several cocoons into breeding cages yesterday afternoon and this morning, to my delight, I have found a lovely fat, furry moth. a.pernyi, hanging from the top of the cage. She looks as though she has a tummy full of eggs, so I hope a chap will emerge to fertilize them, and that her companions will begin to emerge and we shall have some beautiful silkworms to look at during the coming weeks. Very appropriate for Easter Saturday!

Next week I shall start taking the overwintered eggs out of the fridge. The oak and lilac are beginning to show signs of life, but I don't, as yet, have any bombyx mori eggs, the mulberry silkworm, which is as well, as the mulberry looks a bit feeble at the moment. A week of sun might help...

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Well, the early signs for the Easter weekend aren't good weatherwise - we have a dull, rainy day and it is likely to get worse according to the cheerful chappie on the weather forcast.

I have just put some wool yarn on to mordant with alum, no cream of tartar, because I have soft water and am going to test Deb Bamford's suggestion that the reds are bettere in soft water areas without the cot. Will report back.

Yesterday I dyed some wool with mylobaran extract and modified two of the skeins with lemon juice and washing soda - they aren't dry yet but the modifying seems to have made no difference at all! I'll post a pic when they are dry.

Am thinking about taking my Robin Moth cocoons out of the fridge - the chap at the top of this blog is one of them, and seeing if they have survived their hibernation....

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Well, here I am again. Silence has been deafening but I have been very busy and don't know where the time is going.

I am trying to get all the colours in the Pure Tinctoria range up in my studio, as well as working there and at the day job and am at that awful stage with half the stuff I need to do a particular project in one place and the other in another! It will work itself out...

I am watching the leaves still and expect to take the first batch of eggs from the fridge after the Easter weekend. Also I have to be in the studio for the start of the tourist season, and tidy the house (a mammoth task!). Additionally I need (want) to get on with the online guild workshop this month which is dyeing the reds, lead by Deb Bamford, an outstanding dyer. Perhaps I should just give up sleep. On the other hand, I am like a bear with a sore head if I don't get my full 8 hours, so that's probably not a good idea either.

More soon, but maybe not ttomorrow!