Friday, April 17, 2015

Lichen of the Wichita Wildlife Refuge



Lichen is my favorite things to observe anywhere I go.  The Wichita Wildlife Refuge has a stunning array of lichen, and I'm always really drawn to the brightly colored crustose species covering the granite rock faces there.  So beautiful.  We went out and hiked for a day recently, and I spotted some beautiful foliose and fruticose lichens as well.  These are just some images of what I observed.  Happy Friday!










Wednesday, April 15, 2015

52 Forms of Fungi || #45



Craterellus fallax, black trumpet.  I find the dark color of these to be striking!  They are widely distributed, but apparently difficult to spot and like to grow beneath oaks through mycorrhizal relationships.  It seems that black trumpet is also very fragrant!  I'm not sure what they smell like, but how strange to spot a mushroom on a walk because of its olfactory properties!  

This species was knitted as part of my 52 Forms of Fungi project.  See more forms for the project here.  





Wednesday, March 11, 2015

52 Forms of Fungi || #44





Little nest polypore.  I remember observing some of these on a fallen branch in a natural area a year or so ago, alongside some bitchin' lichen.  They were much smaller than these polypores that I knitted, but the rings of color were pretty distinct.

These polypores were knitted for my project, 52 Forms of Fungi.  You can see more phases from this project here.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Artwork at 108 Contemporary in Tulsa




I am really excited to announce that I now have artwork available for purchase in the gift shop of 108 Contemporary, a gallery in the Brady Arts District of Tulsa, along the perimeter of Guthrie Green.  Some of my individual knitted mushrooms and photo prints of installations are available.  In addition, a couple of small sculptures (pictured above) are in the shop as well.  These are of a concept that I have wanted to develop for quite some time, and I'm really excited about how they turned out.

All of these items are available to gallery visitors, but a couple of my items (namely the above sculptures) are also online for all of you non-Oklahomans!  (Click on my name - Leigh Martin - in the list at the top and it will take you to my section).  Thanks for checking it out and be on the lookout for more one-of-a-kind sculptures as I continue to work on them.




Friday, March 6, 2015

52 Forms of Fungi || #43



As I'm beginning to write this, it's occurring to me that I have not knitted very many conks for this project.  I made ganoderma in the beginning, but that was quite a while ago.  I suppose it's only fitting that I squeeze one into the final 10!  

This is red belted conk.  I had hoped to post this a week ago, but we've had crap weather as of late (as you can tell from the white remnants of roadway torture substan--- I mean, snow, that's in the background there.  I have attached the little guy to a sad little apple tree in my back yard that had a heck of a fight with fireblight last year, has a pretty gnarly cavity at the base, and served as a nice host for some split gill fungi that I observed all last summer.  We will probably have to remove the tree in the near future, so I wanted to make sure her legacy carried on.... in the form as a host for knitted fungi in a photograph.  With that being said, I don't think this conk actually grows on apple wood, though if I'm wrong about that please correct me.  I have seen it on Juniperus in the past, or at least what I believe to be this species.  Very beautiful.

These mushrooms were knitted for my project, 52 Forms of Fungi.  You can see more phases from this project here.






Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Off the Needles || Still Light Tunic



Still Light Tunic-- the "third heat" (so to speak) in my Rule of Threes, Veera Valimaki edition.  (First: Whispers, Second: Twenty Ten).  This pattern sat on my queue for a couple of years before I started working on it this past summer.  I'm always hesitant when it comes to straight figured dresses, because they often tend to catch in the wrong places which just leads to annoyance and discomfort.  I'm glad I decided to go ahead and cast on this project though, because despite my initial doubts the fit actually flatters.

Another fingering weight, stockinette project, it takes a while to feel like you're really getting anywhere, but it's also a pretty easy, mindless pattern that doesn't take much concentration.  The deep front pockets are a nice feature that make me reminisce on the days when I lived in hoodies.  The pattern recommends that you stitch them in place, but I decided not to do this and have had no problems with the pockets riding up.

My favorite aspect of the design is the boatneck - I would love to make a normal length sweater with this construction.  Instead of using a button at the top of the keyhole in the center of the back of the neck, I stitched it together.  My only other modification was in needle size.  I had a hard time finding the US 2.5 size of needle when I was about to start the project, so I swatched with a size US 2 instead and based on my swatch determined that I could knit the Small size of the pattern to fit.  After blocking, it turned out just right!

I used Knit Picks Gloss in the Robot colorway.  The yarn is 70% wool, making for a warm and cozy garment, plus 30% silk.  I wore it on Christmas Eve in a room full of my huge family and about burned up!  It's funny looking at the pattern page now, because I somehow unconsciously chose a yarn color and styled my outfit for the photos to look pretty much the same as the model.  It seemed like a good idea to make a neutral colored garment for once, so I can pair my brightly colored accessories with it!  I've been a colored tights girl since college, but don't have much of an opportunity to wear them anymore so I'll embrace it when I can!

So, which designer would you pick for a Rule of Threes?









Friday, February 27, 2015

On My Needles || Twenty Ten




Twenty Ten is a short sleeved, asymmetrical cardigan designed by Veera Valimaki.  Project number three that I have knitted in the past year from her designs.  I'm going to call this my "knitting rule of threes".  First, my obsession with Hannah Fettig's knitwear wonders, now Veera.  I wonder who will be next?

In any case, I began this project as an early summer knit - actually, I'm pretty sure I cast on for the flight to see my niece graduate from high school in Denver last May.  Sadly, Featherweight took priority over it after my return and I didn't pick it up again until this fall.  That's okay, since the turmeric colorway of Knit Picks' Billow yarn really put me in the autumn mood.  I had been starry-eyed over this smooshy-looking, bulky cotton since they debuted it - was that last year?  And for the record, it's just as smooshy as it looks.  They have a way with product photos, those Knit Picks people.  If you haven't seen the recent release of kettle dyed Hawthorne, prepare to lust.

When I first saw this pattern, I was really drawn in by the asymmetrical button band, again by the moss stitch texture, and the cowl neck really did me in.  The model is shown wearing it over a long sleeve top, and looks about as comfortable in it as I look curled up on the couch in my fluffy robe watching Gilmore Girls on Saturdays (while knitting, of course).  

I finished it over Christmas and it's been blocked already.  I think it might end up fitting a little bit large, but I'm waiting to attach some buttons before I determine that for sure.  It's possible that I may sew the buttons on further onto the front panel from the hem than they are meant to go, partly to add a little fabric to restrict airflow, and partly for a more snug fit.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Moss stitch is my new jam, folks.  I've been using it on other small projects since finishing this one, just because I enjoyed looking at it so much. 

Happy Friday!  I'm going to mope around because the weather is supposed to be gross AGAIN, but March begins next week so I know I have something to look forward to.  :)

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