Of silkworms and socks

The very last silkworm went to silk yesterday, so there’s an end to silkworm updates for this year.  I can’t pretend to be sorry.  There have been a lot of weeks of feeding the hungry caterpillars multiple times a day and foraging on their behalf, and I’m happy to wait until next September to do that again.  I found an extra two cocoons under the guitar case on the floor below the silkworm raising station.  They must  either have crawled there to pupate (music loving caterpillars?) or fallen after chewing off the piece of leaf that connected them to the rest of their mates. Happily, I don’t think we  lost a single silkworm, which is good, since stories of silkworm tragedy came back to me from some of the people who took them home from the Guild! 

Meanwhile, a breakout of meetings and presentations at work has enabled the completion of these socks in Naturally Waikiwi Prints.


I have only had them on the needles since August!  While the other hemisphere is celebrating Wovember, here we have had our first days over 30C.  These socks will be waiting a while to go onto a foot. They contain possum fur, which makes them delectably soft, while making use of the oversupply of possum fur in New Zealand/Aotearoa. Possums are incredibly cute, and as an Australian I am in a good position to know this because the possums in Aotearoa are feral.  They are native to Australia.  Without intervention, they would be well on their way to denuding those lovely islands and making life impossible for the plants and animals native there.  Since Australia also struggles under the weight of feral animals (including cute ones like rabbits and cats), the damage that can be done is very obvious even if the sadness of having to cull them is equally clear.  My apologies to any Kiwis who might be reading, for the introduction of our cute but damaging possums to your lovely land!


Filed under Fibre preparation, Knitting

6 responses to “Of silkworms and socks

  1. Pia

    I didn’t know possums were also invasive like rabbits and other imported european animals. I once petted a possum when I was in NZ, it was waiting for tourists I think and just sitting there in the forest looking cute and begging for lunch (well, that’s the vibe I was getting LOL, and he happily ate the core from my pear). I haven’t touched anything as soft since!


    • I am glad it all went well… My father tried to pick up a young ringtail possum once and it bit him… all the way through his fingernail and his finger! We saw a possum tonight running along the back fence. Cute as a button.


  2. “Your” possums are certainly cuter than the ones here in the Americas, which are rather creepy and rattish and tend to behave like the one that took on your dad! Although when you see a mom with all the little ones hanging on her back it’s still an “awwww” moment.


    • Creepy and rattish? Glad the babies are stil cute. I have to admit I feel sad for endangered species-which possums are not-that aren’t cute. The campaign to have Australians think of the Easter bilby and not the Easter bunny has been very revealing about human reactions to animals!


  3. Pingback: What to do with silk cocoons 4: Spin degummed cocoons | Local & Bespoke

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