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!

2 Responses so far

  1. 1

    kmkat said,

    December 26, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

    This whole fungi-dying thing is so perfect for you, a naturalist and a knitter. I love seeing your experiments and results.

  2. 2

    Chris said,

    December 27, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

    I especially like that you can get purple from fungi. :)

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