Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Adding a little color to my day

Well, the moths have hatched, mated, laid eggs, and passed on.  It was fun and I'm looking forward to having an afternoon to process the cocoons.  But this week, in honor of the increasing afternoon clouds and rain, we did a little color work.  Have you seen the Sharpie tye-dye technique flitting around Pinterest and art blogs?  It looked too simple to be true, but guess what?  It works and it works well!

The top photo is the bottom of a big t-shirt that we are going to turn into a skirt for Frances.  The bottom image is a t-shirt we are working on for Nora.  The process is really simple. You just use rubber bands and cups or jars to create tight spots on your fabric. We are using t-shirts, but some folks use muslin and I have some dish towels that I think this would work on.  I used egg-dye cups left over from Easter. Draw with your sharpies.  I don't know if other brands will work--all the blogs I have read call for sharpies.  Then, when you are finished making swirls, dots, squiggles, fans. or whatever shapes strike your fancy, drip isopropyl or rubbing alcohol into the center of the tight spot and watch the colors spread.  Many sets of directions counsel patience and a reasonably light hand with the drops.  My family lacks patience, so we dripped fairly heavily.  We might have gotten more subtle designs if we had gone slower, but we are happy with our results. I also tried this on some watercolor paper. The effect wasn't quite as dramatic, but it made nice color splotches.  I also sprinkled some salt on the paper before dripping the alcohol and got some fun results. I haven't tried that on the t-shirts yet.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I never thought I'd be happy to see moths!




Look what I found when I got home today.  I wasn't expecting moths until next week.  So far I have two moths and about 6 violently rocking cocoons.  Aren't those cocoons beautiful? I know they will wash out white, but I  can dream about golden silk hankies.

Monday, April 16, 2012

We have a cocoon!





We have a cocoon!  Apparently, threatening to feed them to chickens motivated the little buggers. Three more have jumped on the bandwagon.  The other 62 or so are still eating voraciously and turning their little noses up at the paper cones. Fortunately, I found a mulberry tree in a nearby neighborhood, so I should be able to feed them until they give up and go with biological imperatives.

Friday, April 13, 2012

As the worms turn (into silk, hopefully)


Well, the worms continue to grow. They are fat and juicy, several have begun to look "waxy," but show no desire to cocoon. They seem perfectly happy to just keep eating. thank goodness I have found two additional sources of mulberry leaves!  The picture above is from Sunday. The neighbors did a spectacular job feeding them while I was away and they were several times larger than before I left.  The pictures below are from this morning when I realized how much more  they have grown, the largest ones now measuring at 2.5 inches.  Some of them have gone to the expected white color, while many other seem to be retaining their stripes. I don't know if that is a varietal thing or pure contrariness on the part of the worms.
 





Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Creepy Crawlies in the kitchen

My silk worms hatched! I put them out almost two weeks ago and had decided that maybe they had frozen in my refrigerator. I have them hanging in a basket by the kitchen window, since many blogs indicated that early morning light was good for them. I double checked them last night and wow there were all these little worms. So cute.


This is going to be a family experiment in sericulture, since I am traveling a lot in the next 6 weeks.

First up is the long weekend at the Tropical Hand-weavers Guild retreat at Lake Yale. I'm taking a card or tablet weaving class to go along with my current obsession with inkle weaving. Then DH and I are taking an actual vacation together, like to the same place at the same time. It's been years! We are going to the John C. Campbell folks school. He is taking a wood turning class and I am going to play with glass and blow torches while (hopefully) learning how to make glass beads.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Oh, hello

I had no idea this page was still active. I actually hope to start blogging now that things have become entirely crazy at home and work. I need a new project. :-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Attack of the Felted Fans

I finally cast on for the felted fan bag. I am SO excited. I can already tell I'm going to love this pattern. We went with the Kuryon because we just couldn't find a better colorway.