Friday, November 24, 2006

Harvesting the silk

I'm reading: Harvesting the silkTweet this!

Splinter can be a very sensitive boy, so I wasn't sure how he'd react to harvesting the silk from the cocoon, an act which inevitably involves the death of the pupa. They are either killed during the process or in preparation for it (think about that before you buy a silk purse or shirt). I chose the latter method, baking the cocoons in a 200-degree oven for 20 minutes prior to boiling (and while the kids were out of the house). Those puffy white cocoons looked just like a sheet of meringues.

The actual harvest only held his interest for about 3 minutes, leaving me to spend the better part of an hour untangling the cocoons. It's definitely an art I have not mastered. Sometimes I got a very fine, single thread and other times I found myself winding a much thicker thread- something that looks like dental floss. In theory, Splinter is going to embroider a cloth which will be my Chanuka present. Of course, this gift can only be made with a great deal of my help....(Super DH, you want to take this on?)

Hopefully the next, and perhaps final, silkworm report will be about moths hatching out and creating new life in the form of hundreds of eggs. I say hopefully, because I'm not sure I found a dark or quiet enough place for the pupa to morph. We should know by the time December rolls around.

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