Sunday, 5 December 2010

Well, the weather is going the right way and we are a lot less frozen this weekend than we were last. Let's hope it holds.
You will see the TAFA logo on the blog - have a look. It is the most fantastic resource and is an ideal way to while away a wet Sunday afternoon, especially if Santa has some chores for you do!

I am going to put some wonderful eucalyptus bark into soak for a week to see if I can get some exciting colour. It was grown in southern Spain and is a gift from a friend. I shall be interested to see if the bark grown in a hot climate differs in the colour that is produced from my little Silver Dollar gum in the chillier south west of the UK.

Clothes moths are a topic that has been raised on my friend Lesley Prior's blog (www.devonfinefibres.wordpress). Apparently people are concerned about the little blighters eating woollen garments, and that is why they are reluctant to buy natural fibres. I can tell you that if natural fibres aren't available and you have case moths or carpet beetles, that they are quite happy to eat synthetic fibres.....I would urge those of you who swat any moth you see that you check it is one of the clothes moth varieties. Thousands of moths are swatted to death every year when they venture through an open window, usually attracted by a light. These moths have no interest in your belongings, are already under threat from environmental pressures, are pollinators and a valuable food source for birds. The case moth, or clothes moth, is a weedy little specimen, doesn't seem to like the light much, leaves evidence of its presence with the little 'cases' from which the larvae emerge as moths and by then the damage is done, as it is the larve who eat the fibres, not the adults.

So how do you combat them? I keep my clean fleece in vacuum bags, wash dirty fleece as soon as I get it, put suspect fibres in the freezer overnight and repeat in 12 days to catch any eggs that may have hatched in the meantime. I vacuum dark corners, cupboards and drawers regularly and keep a mothball in my vacuum cleaner bag. I have no faith in lavender, sanderswood, cedar or any of the other so called anti-moth smellies, but I do regret the passing of newspaper printed with proper ink - that did help keep the moth down, because the ink contained a poison. I do keep my handspun yarn in hanks rather than balls and if they are to stored for any length of time, I undo the skein, give them a shake, and hang them in the sun every few weeks.

I raise silkmoths, as regular readers of this blog will know, so cannot afford to have chemical controls around the place - poison will not discriminate between useful and destructive moths!

Back to the loom....

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