52 Forms of Fungi || #35

Dung bell, a charming name, isn't it?  These cute little guys are often associated with cow manure and grow in masses.  I thought about throwing some dog poo in the photos for effect, but when I realized that meant I would be crawling around in the grass with my camera next to dog poo, I decided against it.  These were fun and simple to make.  I might churn out some more for a small piece, which I've been working on a collection of.  Just in time for the holidays!
This structure was knitted as part of my 52 Forms of Fungi project. Check out more of the forms from this project.

Niche / 52 Forms of Fungi || #24

I really love the shaping the forms of knitted boletes.  Perhaps it's the two-toned coloring that contributes to this, but they are just plump and cute and are fun to look at in a big pile of leaves.  More on that later.  This is violet-gray bolete, which I made for the indoor installation of Niche at Martin Park Nature Center.
Violet-gray bolete is mycorrhizal, which means that it exists in a symbiotic relationship with a nearby tree root system, usually oak or some other hardwood.  The fungus' mycelia assist the tree with absorption of water and minerals, while the tree provides nutrition for the fungus.  These mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of the mycorrhizae which help it to reproduce.
Find out more about Niche, on exhibit at Martin Park Nature Center
View more from the 52 Forms of Fungi series.

52 Forms of Fungi || #21

Words cannot express how excited I am to be back on this project again!  I've definitely missed it.  The next few forms for the 52 Forms of Fungi series also include a bit of exciting news... Berroco offered recently to provide yarn for some of my mycological creations, and I shortly thereafter received a nice little package of Ultra Alpaca (one of my most favorite yarns!) in multiple gauges and a variety of colors, as well as a couple of other yarny surprises.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the support, and want to say a big "THANK YOU!" to Norah Gaughan and the Berroco team.
Thanks also to all of you who have followed along with the project and reached out along the way - it means a lot.  Momentum Tulsa sidetracked me a little bit, and with the current first time homebuying milestone it's looking like completing all 52 forms by the end of the year is most likely not going to happen.  However, this just means that the fungi will keep on coming for a while longer, so I'm okay with this!  I hope you'll keep checking back to see more.
Now, what do we have here?  This is Lactarius indigo, which exudes a dark blue milky substance when cut.  Sounds like a fantasy novel, doesn't it?  How incredible that these things exist in real life.  The range apparently passes through my state, but I have yet to see one in person.  Are there any tricks on where to look for these beauties?  **Edit: I had previously reported that this is a good mushroom for dyeing wool, but Alissa Allen from Mycopigments has clarified this for me and I'm sad to find out that the blue milky cap does not really transfer to a dye very well.  I would still love to see one, however!
To create these blue milky cap fungi, I used Berroco's Ultra Alpaca yarn in Pastel Blue and Azure Mix.
This structure was knitted as part of my 52 Forms of Fungi project, through which I will knit a different type of fungi for every week of 2013. Check out more of the forms from this project.

Weekend Workspace || 7-28-13

One of the projects I've been hard at work at (instead of posting on the blog) is this giant Mario Brothers toadstool.  I just dropped it off this afternoon at Istvan Gallery in Oklahoma City for a show called "Art of Bits/Bits of Art", celebrating classic video games.  If you're in the area, the show sounds like it will be a lot of fun.  It's an all day event starting at noon on Saturday, August 10th with live music and video game demos.
I will post some photos of the piece in the gallery later on, but here's a little peek at it.  Strange going from tiny mushrooms to huge ones, but it was a nice change.  I'm finishing up a couple of other pieces as well for another showing at Coffee Slingers in Oklahoma City for the month of August.  More on those later...