Sunday, 20 June 2010

Photo de jour

Well, this something I have never actually seen before - a Giant Atlas caterpillar eating his shed skin. Recycling is something I am generally in favour of, but not sure about this....At first I wasn't sure that he was actually consuming it, but he was.

I've just done today's major muck-out and the cat house now has Giant Atlas, s.ricini, a.pernyi, a.mylitta, 2 sorts of moon moth but can't remember which (will check records!), s. pavonia, one solitary little Great Peacock baby living with the s.pavonia, 2 baby Asian eyed moth cats - their siblings haven't survived, and some polyphemus. The GAs and the s.ricini are hopefully not far from cocooning, as are the s.pavonia, but the others are all first or second instar, so a busy time ahead.

I've got some solar dyes on the go again and am hoping to have a dye day soon - the woad is coming on nicely - but also have two deadlines coming up, one for some woven devore for which the samples have been disastrous, and the other for more devore and a rug, 2 cushions and a throw. Not to mention having rather a lot of fleece, as I may have mentioned before (there's more since then!). Oh, and two alpaca saddles to spin. Anyone know how to live without sleep?

Monday, 7 June 2010

Peel me a grape!

Just thought you might like to see this Giant Atlas cat, looking for all the world as though he is waiting for someone to wait on him, like a Roman Emperor!

Silk crop

Not kept up with this as I had intended, but there you go!

All but three of the a.pernyi cocoons have emerged, I've had 6 observed pairings and have been distributing eggs to friends in order to avoid a population explosion of caterpillars!

I took 17 cocoons, weighing 20g, and degummed them yesterday. I now have 7.1 g of gorgeous tussah silk that you can see in the picture, together with a gummed cocoon and a moth. The cocoon is to the upper right hand side of the moth.

The Giant Atlas babies are growing well, as are the Emporer and s.ricini, and the Great Peacock babies have hatched at last, though they are doing their best to escape! I've found them all over the place - the lid on their little box must not be a good fit, so they now have a new home, hopefully escape proof.....