fabulous fungi knits

Here’s a picture of Sam Ristich wearing a sweater made from mushroom dyed wool. I got this from a friend in the Maine Mycological Association, and Sam’s daughter Ruthie (who did the Sam website, what a great job!) said I could share it with you. The wool was dyed and the sweater knit by a mother and daughter in NJ, using fungi that Sam supplied.

Fungal Dyes_sweaterSam

I only met the man briefly, but anybody who knew him spoke of him with great fondness. He was known as the “mushroom guru”! I suspect his infectious enthusiasm, boundless curiosity, and gift as a natural teacher inspired many of his students, colleagues, and friends.

Looks like he’s holding Dyer’s polypore, Phaeolus schweinitzii, in his right hand (the fungus I used for my gold sweater) and Chaga, Inonotus obliquus, in his left (I used this to overdye a sweater). I would suspect that the gold (and maybe brown) stripes are from Phaeolus, the brown or gray from Chaga, and the purple/magentas from a lichen. Ruthie says she has a list someplace, and I’ve asked her to forward it to me… so if you’re really interested in what gave what color, let me know, and I’ll share that info with you when I get it.

Here’s another photo, from a mycologist on the west coast. His wife (also a mycologist!) made the sweater out of wool she dyed using 16 species of fungi to get 46 different colors!


It’s a Kaffe Fassett pattern, looks like Stone Patch (ravelry link).

Whole wide world of fungi fiber possibilities out there!

time for that experiment

I have a big jar! It’s a 1 gallon mason jar…
mason jar

What I need: about a quart of urine; that shouldn’t be too hard.

What I don’t know: ferment it before adding the lichen or put the lichen in with it and let it all ferment?

Here’s the lichen that’s going in with the experimental liquids. One day I want to be wearing something absolutely fabulous that I make with this dyed yarn and have somebody say something nice about it, and then I can respond “oh thanks, I pissed all over it“.

Recent bit of knitting, for my Spanish teacher,
fastfuriousmitts (2)
Fast & Fearless Fingerless Mitts (Ravelry link) by Ellen at Purl Diva.

Christmas… not.ready.
Cortisone… finally, and yay, maybe I’ll get some knitting done.

At least I washed my balls

Even if they are still a little hairy…

lopi hat third felt
But the “hat”? I think it’ll be better for a cat bed. Now to find a cat...

Maybe I’ll find a laundromat with hotter water, but it’s becoming work.

another mushroom overdye

wool hat overdye wool hat overdye (1)

wool hat overdye (2)
More madness with Phaeolus schweinitzii.

wool hat overdye (5) wool hat overdye (4)
Clearly I became something of a movie star during…

This is what I’ve always called an Afghani Freedom Fighter Hat. No idea where I actually got it, probably the Goodwill or similar. It’s warm and comfy. When it was newer to me it would smell like goose poop when it got wet… so it got a good and long wash. I had no idea until just a moment ago that I’m wearing it all wrong. Oh. Well. Call me a fashion criminal.

Now it almost goes with the maplewing shawl!

fun at work

I found more than a little of this around my computer before Thanksgiving…
mouse at work (2)
And around the microwave. But not where we keep food.

The answer? (not Mine!)
mouse at work mouse at work (3)

So far nothing, and really, I hope it stays that way. I used these sticky traps once for some awful rat problem we had in Syracuse… and the sticky trap caught an 8 inch long tail. So. Disgusting. We moved on to rib crusher traps, and eventually (after the beasts chewed through concrete patches) pouring a new floor with a steel mesh under it.