Some silk pictures!

This is most of the colors of the dyed silk floss so far. I’ve been learning as I go, so some of them are in better shape than others.

I was trying to catch the light glancing on the cards, but it only looks kinda washed out.

This inside shot with the flash shows the colors better, actually, but it kills the shine. Silk is difficult to photograph well… or, perhaps, it’s just difficult to light properly for photography.

This shot almost catches the lit-from-within quality that these silks have. The card was willing to either catch the light across its entire surface, or be dark across the entire surface. I think I may need round spools.

This is the biggest of the Eri silkworms. Note: this is not the same kind of silkworm that is responsible for the thread above; those are all from mulberry silkworms. note: this is my little finger in the picture. The worm is about two and a half inches long.

At this stage, they always want something to eat. This big guy has turned himself around, looking…

And tried to eat my fingernail, although without success.

He was much happier once he was back on the leaves, and went immediately back to the compulsive munching.

19 replies
  1. retro_girl69
    retro_girl69 says:

    Please feel free to send those dyed silks to me. 🙂 What amazing colors! Esp. that tuquoise-y blue.

    I am currently raising some moth cats myself. Io moths. Should be cocooning anyday now. Those little buggers sting! Who knew.

    Your little babies have gotten HUGE!

    Jealous, jealous, jealous. 🙂

    W. 🙂

  2. admin
    admin says:

    Hee… yup! He kept making this “I’m coming to destroy Tokyo!” pose, but he wouldn’t hold it long enough for the camera to snap.

    I keep meaning to ask – is that a whip-scorpion in your icon?

  3. admin
    admin says:

    I’ve been having SO MUCH FUN with all the colors! Check back here for more detail… I just zipped home at lunch, shot the pix, and uploaded them, didn’t have time to write it out!

    and YOW… are they bad? I’ve heard they sting, especially as they get older…

  4. retro_girl69
    retro_girl69 says:

    The bushes around my office are covered with these cats. We had no idea what kind they were, so my son & I decided to catch a couple and see what they turn into.

    As I was pulling the branch off the bush the caterpillar touched my hand. I would have to equate it with stinging nettle (don’t know if you have ever touched that). It hurt badly for a bit, then it went away. No permanent damage done. 🙂

    Are these the cats that you don’t boil? And approx how much longer til they cocoon?

    W. 🙂

  5. admin
    admin says:

    Yowch! I’ll stay away from the IO moths. Let me know, though, if they make silk!! I’ve heard that they cocoon, but I’ve never heard whether it’s useable silk. I imagine that the prickliness factor alone would make them a challenging choice for home sericulture.

    Yes, these are the no-boil cats. I’ll have to simmer the cocoons, but the moths will hatch out first. I’m guessing at this point we’re about C-minus two days, maybe as many as four… we started getting the shift to the fifth instar on Sunday, and it’s supposed to last five to seven days. I’m rearing them slightly warm, which tends to speed things up.

  6. admin
    admin says:

    Thanks! I just wish it would BEHAVE for pictures!!

    I really do think that round spools will be at least part of the answer… it’s much easier to catch the light that way, than with the flat cards. I experimented with a couple of shots of it wrapped on my fingertip, but they came out blurry.

  7. nickdangerous
    nickdangerous says:

    I think this is fascinating stuff… being in control of the essential elements and seeing them through to finished product. Few people are aware of how the world works on this scale. This is part of the appeal of my audiophilia, since I can witness how electricity becomes sound every step of the way.

  8. admin
    admin says:

    Cool! I’ll add you back. Note: the only stuff that’s on my friends-only posts usually involves dreams that are personal, violent, or sexual… just don’t read ’em if that icks you out.

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