I'm home.. early. I wasn't feeling well, so I sadly skipped Tyrell and the Badlands, switched my flight plans and came home 3 days early. Luckily, I got most of the course done and didn't miss much. The Olds campus is incredibly beautiful. It's huge, somewhere around 680 acres, including extensive manicured grounds which show the talent of their horticulture department and even a full working farm. Photos of the grounds another day though...
The course was interesting. I wish the instructor had been a tad more prepared earlier in the week. By the day she was being evaluated, she had gotten her bearings and the day was a really enjoyable one. On Wednesday, we reeled silk. It was a pretty fascinating experience.
The first step is to plop the cocoons into hot water and cook them for a while
They were pushed down a bit. We could hear the air expelling as the seracin softened.
When they started to float low in the water, a brush was used to start picking up the strands. The goopy strands on the brush are the outer layers of thicker, broken and slubby strands. We had to wind those off until we came to the true start of the silk strands. We had about 8 - 10 strands of silk there.
The true strands of silk were then wound through a rack with eyelets and pulleys. The thread wound back through a loop made by picking up an earlier part of the thread, which allowed the water to be squeegeed off before it hit the silk reel. Even with that many threads, we could hardly see the strand of silk. We each got to pick up another silk strand from a soaked cocoon, wind off the trashy bits and then learned how to add it into the strand.
This is the resulting reeled silk! It was a very interesting afternoon.