21 July 2010

Eat it

7 Small Shawls: T - 165 days and counting down.

My friend Karen has worms. Silk worms. :) When I visited the other day to pick up yarn, she was just feeding them, and I could hear them munching. They sounded like Rice Crispies cereal right after the milk goes in. So yesterday, when she asked if I would stop by the local fiber pusher enthusiast's (who taught me to spin) and pick up some mulberry leaves on the way down to her place, of course I said sure! To be honest with you, I wasn't quite prepared for the volume of mulberry leaves she had in mind. This is the back of my chow wagon car. It looked like I had a tree in there!
Apparently, this will barely get them through the weekend. They are eating machines! They aren't really very charming pets. But a puppy or kitteh doesn't spin silk, so I think they're even. Here is one tray of them hanging out before feeding.
Here's one that has already started to spin its cocoon. Pretty wild, eh?
The best part? The look on the face of one of the swim fathers when I showed up at practice to pick up the boys, and told him what I had been doing. Priceless.



Blogger Anni said...

Interesting to see the silk worms. Love silk. My dauther wants more pets. she's tryign to persuade me to get a rabbit, an angora rabbit may be okay or perhaps silk worms.

1:15 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Priceless indeed! I've got to admit, I thought you were going for another song reference with the title of this post: as soon as I read it, I immediately flashed to Weird Al Yankovic! LOL

5:43 AM  
Blogger Laura Sue said...

May I be the first to say: Wierd Al Yankovich? I didn't have pre-teens in 1989 for nuthin'.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

May I just say its probably a very GOOD thing silk worms aren't charming pets, as it would be pretty awful to kill something you've gotten attached to! I mean, you DO kill silk worms to harvest the silk, don't you?

8:42 AM  
Blogger Turtle said...


10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, "feeding the worms" sounds dirty to me. Perhaps it's just me (and the other swim dad).

Those worms are ugly, yet silk is so pretty. How interesting life is.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Those leaves are supposed to last through the weekend? That's not what the worms are saying. We'll get through Friday. Fortunately, the worms eat for a short amount of time (5-6 weeks), or there'd be no Mulberry leaves left in the county. I will choose about 2 dozen of the most robust looking for breeding stock, then I will stick the rest in the freezer. Sounds heartless I know but each female lays 300-500 eggs. You could get yourself into big trouble real easy. The best silk does come from "stiffled" cocoons because the mile long strand of silk is not broken. The cocoons that the moths have come out of are "broken." And that is what the silk turns out to be, broken into short segments. In the mean time they are cool little special caterpilars.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Aaaaiieeeeeeeee! Weird little worms!!! And, like Tara, I was thinking Weird Al.

You really have to be into self-sustaining fiber production to have those little...wormies...hanging around the house...really...

8:10 AM  
Anonymous twinsetellen said...

I love it. Even if knitters are supposed to hate moth larvae.

7:02 PM  

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