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  1. admin
    admin says:

    Well, to weave it ONCE, or to weave the damned thing five times? 🙂

    After I’d worked the kinks out, and had the pattern shaped up properly, it’s probably a five to eight hour project, warping to finishing. The design part took quite a bit more, so that is just from the time I sit down with thread in hand to the time one bookmark is finished.

  2. admin
    admin says:

    Hmm.. it was both fun, and a pain. Ya know? It felt good doing it, and I felt smart and interesting and all that… but saying the same stupid stuff (which they told me to say, sometimes) again and again for six hours, was tedious. And being in a small room with huge lamps and 3 people and not being able to use the AC was definitely not a fave. I’d love to do another one, although there’s not anything else planned yet.

  3. darthcynthia
    darthcynthia says:

    Awesome!! That was great and I enjoyed watching you work and seeing the process. Congratulations!

    (sorry if there’re any typos, for some reason the text in the reply box is so tiny I can barely see it! LOL)

  4. cgronlund
    cgronlund says:


    and I just watched the spot (I was debating getting “sick” around lunchtime and staying home to watch since we have no way of recording stuff). Truly incredible stuff, and you not only have a knack for weaving, but also TV. Very, very cool stuff and it was neat seeing a quick rundown of the process.

  5. lord_whimsy
    lord_whimsy says:

    I agree–you are a natural. Very personable and charming.

    I’m glad you posted this, because it certainly requires repeated viewing to get the particulars. Very impressed with the process. Congratulatins!

  6. treebreeze
    treebreeze says:

    Awesome…just wonderful. Hope you don’t mind if I add you to my friend’s list. We have a number of friends in common, and Artkourous steered me your way.

    Again. Congratulations….well done!

  7. admin
    admin says:

    they didn’t quite let me explain in full…

    There are several silkmoths native to Texas. The one in the picture is the Luna moth, Actias luna. The one I raise most often is the Polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus, because of their ease of culture and their very nice brown silk.

    The worms they showed in the tray, are Bombyx mori, the cultivated silkworm. The leaves they are eating, and that I’m harvesting, are mulberry. Polyphemus would eat oak; Luna would eat pecan, walnut, or other nuts.

    They were very concerned about people getting the (entirely correct) impression that the caterpillars die in the silk-making process. That’s why they had me mention that the luna moth got to fly free. Which it did – because the damned things wouldn’t breed and lay eggs for me! With polyphemus, I let the males go, but keep the females for egg laying.

  8. chifurbuddy
    chifurbuddy says:

    Awesome! Entertaining AND informative (and I’ll jump on the “easy-on-the-eyes” bandwagon too!). If you siad how long it took on the clip I missed it (though I did see the answer in the comments).

    It’s always interesting to put a voice to a face. I sometimes look up people on imdb when I hear their voices in a movie (voice-over) or cartoon or some such.. Thanks for that!

  9. bronxelf_ag001
    bronxelf_ag001 says:

    I was just saying to that I noticed they went way out of their way to avoid the “icky dead bugs” part, which is too bad because it’s not something they should be forcing you to hide.

    However you did very well. I’m totally impressed by your talent- I wish though they’d have allowed you to say how long this actually takes you, because (from reading my lj you probably know this) the fact that they make everything look like “just a little project” gives people a false impression of what kind of work something like that really is.

    Well done! You’re extremely talented. 🙂

  10. doobieous
    doobieous says:

    I think their avoiding the issue of killing the worms gives people who don’t know better the wrong impression, but I suppose part of it was avoiding the “OMG He is teh horribllllllllle” calls and emails from animal rights people.

  11. fj
    fj says:

    I am not a big fan of the show as some of the crafts I see look ridiculous, but your segment is amazing. Like a true natural you make it all look so easy.

    But about the worm diets, do the silks change depending on what the worms eat, have you ever experimented with that? Or are the worms very leaf-specific?

  12. rosefox
    rosefox says:

    Here via . Lovely work! I’m a compulsive crafter and did pick up a set of tablet weaving cards at one point, but I never got around to doing much with them because the learning curve was a little steep and I was a lot impatient; I admire your patience and perseverence. Your designs are lovely.

  13. psychemarlies
    psychemarlies says:

    Another who found my way here via (though I have seen you around).

    I watched it and kept thinking that I had seen you somewhere before. Now I know where!

    Fabulous spot. I knew a bit about the process before, but you explained it very well and I learned a lot. Very well done!

    Mine if I continue to read along?

  14. epinoid
    epinoid says:

    I am so glad you posted this – I was very bummed that I was at work when it aired.

    OK it has been written already but that sure was interesting, you made it look a lot easier than I imagine it really is, and you looked and sounded great!

  15. admin
    admin says:

    I’m sorry you had a challenging first experience with tablets. I’ve found through my own rough experience, that some of the books out there really bite rocks.


  16. admin
    admin says:

    I know… the goofy camera angles, the corny writing (which they make you say)… but, it was national TV, and it wasn’t all that bad. The worms are mostly specific to a few kinds of trees. Their dietary choices between the kinds they can eat, does indeed make a difference in their silk, particularly for the ones that eat oak/birch/beech/maple – the leaves with more tannin, make the silk more brown. I haven’t experimented with it myself, though.

  17. admin
    admin says:

    They do a lot of that kind of “Hollywood Magic” stuff… like a ceramics artist will put a single piece into a cold kiln, they show a little clock whiz round, and she takes it out fired. But, hey, they’ve got six minutes, I can see why.

    Once all the crazy design work was done, the actual project takes between five and eight hours. It’s not a tiny amount, but it’s not overwhelming either.

  18. niamh_sage
    niamh_sage says:

    That was brilliant, and so interesting to see. Like others have said, you really are a natural at the tv thing. Have you thought of making how-to DVDs about your work?

    My favourite part was watching the silk unravelling from the cocoons. It spins me out that it comes off in one piece like that!

  19. admin
    admin says:

    Yes, I’ve thought about making a DVD – haven’t yet, but it’s on my list.

    I’m the same way, even still, with the wonder of the cocoons unwinding to thread. I love how it works.

  20. wilderose
    wilderose says:

    Thunderous applause – you did great! (of course)

    I have the pleasure of saying I did know you have been weaving since 1988 because I have known you (or of you) since then – I am glad I turned you back up here a few years ago – Thank you for sharing all the knowledge you have with others!

  21. faireraven
    faireraven says:

    I’ve got a couple by Peter Collingswood and Nancy Spies that work out well… But I learned most of my cardweaving stuff from someone directly. The books weren’t exactly the best way to learn it.

    By the way, I’m here through Bronxelf, too. 🙂

    Nicely done! Do you smoke the cocoons to kill the worm, or are you killing them when they hit the boiling water? I admit that the few times I’ve looked at getting cocoons, I’ve kind of shied away from them when they sounded like maracas… I’m not one to get totally grossed out by bugs, but I don’t like dealing with dead stuff. 😉 So I’d happily play with the worms, but not the dead ones. *chuckle* In the meantime, I’ll happily buy my silk from someone else (although right now my string thing is more in the knitting variety than the cardweaving variety… I have a set of six-holes that I *really* must learn how to use… Doubleface would be so much cooler if I could do it with more than two colors… ).

    You said you were using two different techniques on there… Iknow the “dream” part was done in doubleface, but were you doing weft picks for the moon and the moth? That’s something I haven’t done either… I’ve gotten about as far as doing the ram’s horn pattern in single-face, and I’ve done some of my own charting in doubleface, but I’ve never done weft picks.

    Okay, Elf did say I’d be interested… *grin*

  22. admin
    admin says:

    yeah, we had fun with that! It’s a shame it got so dark in the YouTube process – there was a part where they have me in the tree in like five different places (like multi-me) but it’s hard to see in the little YouTube version.

  23. admin
    admin says:

    The cocoons are dead before they hit the water; these are heated in an oven to kill them before they are stored. Otherwise they can mold, which is *really* disgusting.

    I have only dipped my toe briefly into six-holes; I didn’t get as far as doubleface with them. The problem is, you have to get from color A to color C… and B is in the way. The designs take a lot of extra thought.

    The Dream part is done in doubleface. The moon and the moth are done in brocade – shuttles of colored thread which fly over the surface of the band, tied down at intervals to keep the floats from snagging. Here’s a closer picture, where you can really see what’s going on:

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