I knitted velvet foot fungi as one of the species of my Succession installation for START Norman this month. The exhibition, Threshold: the promised land, incorporated several site-specific installations at the Old Lumber Yard on Main St in Norman, OK. I wrote more about the background of the project and my installation in my introductory post.
Velvet foot fungus is an interesting one. It is commonly cultivated for culinary use, but the cultivated mushrooms look completely different from the ones that grow in the wild. I already knitted the cultivated version last year - the enoki mushroom. On a side note, I finally tried cooking with them and I highly recommend it! We used them in Tom Kha Gai, a favorite recipe in our household.
Anyhow, according to Mushroom Expert, this species was also the FIRST MUSHROOM TO ENTER OUTER SPACE. That's right, these guys were taken on a shuttle mission to study how fungi would react in low gravity. Pretty cool, huh? Beyond that, they grow in clumps on decaying stumps and the caps tend to look a little rubbery.