Sunday, 6 May 2012

Silkworms, bananas and excitement!

It seems that though my intention is always to update the blog at least once a week, that my default setting is once a month!

Since my last post I have taught a workshop and rashly decided to put my faith in the Garcia vats - not taking with me a failsafe traditional Spectralite vat (when people are paying, they want a successful indigo vat!) and I am delighted to report that both the henna vat and the fructose vat worked splendidly. This success was repeated yesterday at Peter Tavy Guild of WS&D when I made a vat with a banana (it was a small vat!) and got some gorgeous blues. I will be working out how to lower the pH slightly to make the vat more appropriate for wool, so watch this space.

The silkworm season is upon us again and my first batch of Japanese Oak Silkmoth caterpillars are hatching. The first emerged on May 1st, appropriately enough and today the first few have changed from yellow skins to the green that they will keep until they cocoon. There are lots of pix of these on the blog already so I don't feel that you need to see more of the same!

The excitement part comes from two aspects - one is the fact that Nick Viney's new studio space is underway at and we will be starting to run courses there in the not to distant future. We have started a dye garden - it's a bit bare at the moment and though it is fairly goat-proof (a relative position, as anyone who has kept goats will know) we are wondering how the rabbits will take to the prospect of new diet possiblities. We shall see.....

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