Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Tiniest Fiber Animals

are not baby doll sheep or angora rabbits.  The newest livestock at the world headquarters of Smoky Mountain Fibers are silkworms!  I took a silk class back in January, and was given a small number of silk worm eggs.  I took them out of hibernation (the refrigerator) on April Fool's Day.  I wasn't even sure that they would wake up, but on April 15th, they started showing signs of life.  They looked like tiny snips of thread.  As son as I put a few mulberry leaves in their home, they started to eat.  Over the next 3 or 4 days, they all  woke up and now I have to harvest mulberry leaves about every day.  The biggest ones have already started to shed their first skin.

Here they are in their new home - a lettuce tub lined with paper towels.  I put the leaves in about 5 minutes before taking this picture. Next time I'll add a coin for scale.

Say hello to Mary, Harry, Larry, Terri...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Knitting Away

It's been a knitterly spring.  Because winter ended so early I have been disinclined to finish the 2 sweaters that I theoretically on the needles.  I say theoretically because one is complete, but I'm not happy with it.  Its Eloise - a yoke sweater, but the sleeves are a bit short and tight, so I think I'll snip the thread at the armholes and then re- knit them down, both at the same time, so I can use up every stinking inch of yarn.  Like just about every Raveler, I knit it in one piece.  Why would you seam a yoke sweater?

I have another UFO sweater that I love, but needs a collar and front band - a few evenings on knitting, but since it is quite heavy, the warm weather doesn't drive me to finish it.  It too is a cardi in the red family, but it is of a more rustic character.  Its made from Christopher Sheep Yarn that I bough many years ago at Earth Guild.  I started with Green Mountain Spinnery's Maureen cardigan, but I added the cables and made a few other mods.

Yet another cardi - the Knitting Pure and Simple top down cardigan,  I purchased the red yarn above and this pattern at the same time, but I ended up making it from Some Peace Fleece in a sage green tweed named 'Grass Roots.'  I picked up the yarn at a yard sale last summer, pulled out the sweater that someone else had begun and started knitting.  This one is actually finished and I've worn it a few times and I just love it.

I promise I'll be back - I've actually finished 3 summer tops, though in reality 1 was finished, but the neckline was a wee bit off and needed some adjustment.  Another was also stalled at the neckline, but both are now well and happy and can be worn whenever I want.  The third is a wee bit odd, but it is done and I'll likely wear it.  I must admit, it's not really my style.  Time for a change? After all, maybe I need wacky clothes to go with the new haircut!