upon returning from my week away, i found the silkworms had in fact been very busy.
their transparent silk hammocks held beautiful white cocoons, this kibisu surrounding each cocoon, looking like a hazy ring around the moon on a not so clear night. isn’t it beautiful? if you have been following along since the beginning, you will remember that these silkworms began hatching on the full moon on may 27. while some entertained my idea of spinning their cocoons inside the egg trays provided, others had ideas of their own and set out into the wilderness of the inside of my display cabinet slinging up hammocks willy-nilly! see for yourself-

-some of my left brained silkworms, the more organized and logical ones

-perhaps this one enjoyed a little music to spin by. it attached itself to the glass door.
definitely a right brainer!

-this one found some security in a special little cup. part of my grandmother’s chocolate set. i was only allowed to look at this and never touch when i visited her. it’s in perfect condition from the 1920’s-perhaps a wedding gift? made in japan. looking on is a special toy of my father’s from when he was a kid. yup, that’s popeye in the cup. this shelf has a few family souvenirs. the silkworms seemed comfortable there.

others threw up hammocks in various corners-
more right brainers. (do silkworms even have brains?)

i’ll admit, i wasn’t very happy going off to the woods and leaving my worms behind to spin without me so i took a few along for the trip…in a little bug container with some sticks of mulberry twigs. they had stopped eating so no need to pack any leaves. anytime we stopped i hauled them around with me- too hot in the car!

i enjoyed watching them and wondered how the rest were doing back at home.

as you can see here, they were doing just fine-

for comparison-
shape and size ranges:

i have sorted off a selection to keep for breeding and await their emergence- a slight rocking back and forth and one end of the cocoon showing dampness is the apparent signal and dawn seems to be the preferred time.

the remaining cocoons have been stifled (killed) using best practices as outlined by Micheal on his Wormspit site as well as advice given on the Catherders yahoo group. i can’t recommend that group enough-if you think you want to try this- join the group. the pupas inside the cocoons are dried and will be removed after degumming for reeling or mawata (hankie) making.

i have been giving more thought to souvenirs. how we collect and keep them. they are memory keepers, tokens that remind us of something, someone, or the past. i have decided to offer some of my hand raised cocoons as souvenirs in my bigcartel shop. just a token of the process. a reminder of where some of the fiber we work with comes from. it feels good to me to know the source of things. here is what it will look like- one single cocoon in a small hand stitched indigo shibori drawstring bag:

if there are any left i’ll take them to the show in long beach, but really i think they have more meaning here, for those of you who have been following along, encouraging their progress, and mine as well.

for now, there are a few offerings in the shop, until i get more prepared for the show.

10 thoughts on “souvenirs

  1. aracne

    How fascinating to follow the development of the silk worms. It has been ver interesting, thank you.

    By the way, I love the shibori bag (I am moving my first steps into shibori) and admire your work.


    1. shiborigirl Post author

      yeah- i thought it was funny that i fussed over the egg crates- ordering some, then trying to figure out the best stacking method, cutting holes in some, only to have them figure it out on their own.
      my worms were smarter than i!


  2. Dorie

    how interesting this is and yuo have documented it with great photo’s. I’am wondering if there are any others hidden in your house, would be like Santa Claus when you sometimes hide the presents too..


    1. shiborigirl Post author

      no other hidden moths…i kept them pretty well contained. they do have a desire to wander a bit though when they are beginning to spin their cocoons and looking for a suitable spot. the moths can’t fly-



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