Friday, 21 July 2017


Early in the afternoon, I went to release the butterfly that eclosed this morning and the second one had eclosed, too!! How exciting!!
It, too, is a female. I took the castle outside and unzipped the opening. I had to encourage them to fly out.
I was so busy trying to video it that I didn't see where the first one went. The second one flitted over to the neighbour's Rose of Sharon tree where it stayed for a while.
Other chrysalises are getting dark so there will be ongoing releases over the next few days. By then, we'll have some more pupae.

Our First Eclose

This morning the pupa had still not emerged. But the wings were clearly visible through the casing.
Skip and I went out for breakfast and found this when we got home.
The wings were still a bit crumpled/ripple-y so it hadn't be out for very long. It has been exactly 10 days since it pupated and 3 weeks since I found the larva and brought it inside. The wide veining and absence of scent glands on the hind wings indicate that this is a female.
On the back right, another darkened chrysalis indicates that it will probably eclose tomorrow morning.
I'll release her in a few hours once her wings are well dried and strong enough. It does her no harm to stay in the castle until then.

Only 60+ left to go. Oh yeah, and I found 3 more eggs this morning.

Monday, 17 July 2017

One Over One Done

I finished the stitching. I just noticed I have a couple of stitches to finish crossing.
Yesterday, Skip and I went into The Big City to see the musical about Carole King, "Beautiful".
The performances were excellent, particularly by Chilina Kennedy, a Kingston ON native, who played Carole. Particularly impressive was her piano playing and that of others on the stage. Such good memories are evoked by hearing the tunes she co-wrote with her first husband, Gerry Goffin. It's remarkable that her first big song,  was produced when she was only 16 years old.

Thanks, Skip, for that excellent birthday present of tickets to the show.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Another One Over One

I started this little ornament last night.
It was a freebie from Gitta's back in 2007, A Blue Ribbon  pattern "A Star On Top' designed by Belinda Karls-Nace.

I don't have all the colours so am doing some substitutions. I screwed up some of the spacing as I was watching TV (a couple of episodes of the Great British Baking Show that I had PVRd) so I've picked out almost as much as I've stitched. And that's hard to do when stitching over one thread.  It is a 53 x 56 stitch piece, stitched with one strand of floss over one thread on 32 count linen.

Population Explosion

Yesterday I had 5 pupae and 5 larvae in various stages of development. This morning I found 3 eggs and this larva which I'm guessing hatched a couple of days ago.
Then this afternoon I went looking for more eggs and found 9 more (possibly 10 - I'm having trouble keeping track.

I have relocated all the pupae that were in containers to the top of the caterpillar castle. Basically, I peeled their silky attachment off whatever they were attached to

and stuck them on the roof of the caterpillar castle. The masking tape didn't work well so I sewed them on. They'll be fine there and hang there once they're hatched and their wings are strong enough for flight - usually several hours after emerging from the chrysalis.  One larva at the back is going to pupate in a few hours.
It is possible to determine the gender of the chrysalis but I haven't really had a good look.

With all the new eggs I've found, I've had to put them in various containers. All the pupae and big caterpillars are in the castle. Each little larva will be in its own container until it's big enough not to eat other little ones.
The open containers each contain a milkweed leaf with eggs on it. I don't have to worry about them crawling away until a day or two after they've hatched. I'll know when they're about to hatch when I see the black dot at the top of the egg. There are 23 or 24 monarchs altogether as of now.
I still go out several times a day and check for more eggs or larvae. I'm not sure what my maximum capacity could be. Every larva or egg I find could be one more that makes it down to Mexico to begin the 4 generation cycle all over again.

My biggest concern will be finding enough fresh milkweed to feel the larvae after they hatch.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Ornie Rerun

The weather has been craptastic these past few days so I've had lots of time to cross-stitch. I finished the 'Silent Night' ornament yesterday while binge-watching "The Handmaid's Tale".
Despite the smallness of the project, there's a LOT of stitching and beading. All the stitching is with one strand of floss. All the beading was done with 2 strands and as I mentioned in a previous post, I went through the bead one way (/) and back through the other (\) which makes the beads lie horizontally.
With some nifty Christmassy fabric or music note fabric as a coordinated backing, this will make into a really nice ornament.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Stitching Update

I finished the last bit of the 'fruit' in the tree last night. I think I'll put my name and the date on either corner at the bottom and then get an 8" x 10" frame for it. It would easily make into a cute pillow, too.
I finished this little one stitched one over one and need to put my initials on it somewhere, then do a nice ornament finish.
This one was stitched a long time ago and I just unearthed it. It's a Lizzie Kate design from the 2002 Just Cross Stitch (JCS) Christmas ornament issue. I plan to stitch it again over one thread to make an itty bitty ornament. This was stitched with DMC colours substituted for the Gentle Art Sampler Threads (GAST) called for in the pattern.
I have stitched this Silent Night ornament a couple of times before. It's from a JCS ornament issue from over a decade ago. The beads aren't Mill Hill but are a good substitute and seem to be accepting the non-beading needle quite well. So far I haven't had any beads that had too small of a hole.
The beading is going slowly as I was stitching it in a reclining position and had to carefully pick up and put down the beading tube every time to add a bead. I'm also crossing through the bead both ways so it stays in a horizontal position rather than slanted when stitching it only one way. I'm also correcting the incorrect second flat position in the clef sign in the pattern. (I'm picky about stuff like that.)

I may even have a previously stitched one of these kicking around that I can also finish. This particular one will be a gift.