Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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.












Friday, November 7, 2014

A Place For Discovery



Discovery Park in Seattle is the urban nature lover's dream come true - right in the middle of town, trails to get lost on, a view of the Puget Sound, plus a beautiful forest.  I could have spent an entire day there! Here are a few photos from the time I got to indulge.  

No matter where I am, I find that there is so much to be seen.  The Pacific Northwest contains some of my favorite ecosystem types so it's easy to be amazed by what's present there, but even in my own backyard I find that nature inspires me.  Always keep your eyes open… you never know what will move you.











Wednesday, November 5, 2014

52 Forms of Fungi || #34



In Washington, we hiked in the Snoqualmie-Mt. Baker National Forest in the North Cascades, which was pretty much heaven for me in terms of the ecosystem and diversity of fungi.  One of the most striking species we came across had a cap of deep purple that had somewhat of a shimmer to it (perhaps from moisture on the tiny hairs?).  The rich, dark color was easy to overlook in the shadows of the trees, but was truly beautiful to behold.  As I was going through my new guidebook that I mentioned in the last post, I knew as soon as I flipped to the page that this is what I had seen.  Violet cort.  I also thought it funny that this species has been on my list for a while, as I was drawn to it in earlier research.  I really had no idea how much it would impact me to see it in person, but feel fortunate to have had the opportunity.  The bottom photo shows one of the mushrooms that I observed.  The setting is vastly different, but in November in Oklahoma, you work with what you can!  

This structure was knitted as part of my 52 Forms of Fungi project. Check out more of the forms from this project.





Monday, November 3, 2014

52 Forms of Fungi || #33




While in the Paxton Gate store in Portland, OR last month, I picked up a field guide to western mushrooms entitled All That the Rain Promises, and More, by David Arora. If you take a look at the cover, you'll see why it caught my eye - it depicts a trombone player in concert attire, sneaking around harvesting mushrooms before a gig.  I laughed, and then opened it up to discover that it's actually a pretty informative and user friendly guide and then decided to buy it as a souvenir.  

While looking through and spotting many of what I believe to be the species I saw in the North Cascades during the same trip, I was also inspired by some of them for this series and added to my list of fungi to knit.  The first is velvety black earth tongue.  The dark color and dainty form stood out to me, since it's pretty different from most of the species I've incorporated into this project.  

This structure was knitted as part of my 52 Forms of Fungi project. Check out more of the forms from this project.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Seattle



I started to go through my photos from our trip out west and got a little overwhelmed, so here are just a few from Seattle.  Our friends that we stayed with live in Ballard, just down the street from the Locks so we took a walk down there on the first day.  I'm told that we arrived just as the rains began, so the weather varied between mist, clouds, and intermittent sunlight.  I can't say I was bothered by any of it; the landscape is so lushly green and covered with huge trees, ferns, moss and lichen that would probably not thrive were it not for that temperate climate.  

This is pretty much the extent of my urban photography on the trip, as most of my photos are pretty much of the aforementioned incredible landscape, the North Cascades in particular.  One great thing about visiting in the fall is the abundance of fungi, which I must admit is the reason I became overwhelmed when starting to go through photos.  So many different types!  I would love to share them all with you.  It will take a while, but I'm going to break them up into a series of posts over the next several weeks -- small pleasures.  

I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween and a lovely weekend.  More knitted fungi is coming next week!






Thursday, October 30, 2014

Off the Needles || Foliage Wrap



The Foliage wrap (by Anne Thompson).  If you saw my previous post about this, you'll remember that I received some Crazy Sexy Wool from Wool and the Gang to try out in one of my projects.  Since I already have an abundance of scarves and cowls, I decided to do something a little different with it and found this pattern on Ravelry.  I had a little less yardage than the pattern called for, however, so I made some modifications on the number of rows which was made up by the larger gauge, in measurements.  Before blocking I wasn't really sure how it would turn out, but it flattened nicely and spread out a little for a fit with a little more ease (though not much more).

The belt is what makes it work.  This is a pretty bulky knit, and drawing the garment in at the waist gives it a bit of a peplum look, in my opinion.  I like it with the black pants, but it could easily be paired with a  dress as well.  The pattern page shows it worn upside down, with the leaf edging as the collar.  I   didn't notice that until just now or I may have tried it that way for some of the photos as well, but I'm curious about it now-- on the next wear, definitely.

Since I normally work in pretty small gauge, this is by far the bulkiest piece I have made to date (aside from accessories).  The speed is a nice change from what I'm used to - talk about instant gratification!  It may have taken a while to get some final photos of the project, but this was finished within days of the previous post.  

What gauge do you knitters prefer working with?  Are chunky knits your thing, or do you get wrapped up in tiny gauges like myself?  I might have been won over to projects like this one, just every once in a while...






Monday, October 27, 2014

Witch's Hair

 


When we started planning our recent trip to Washington state, I knew that I wanted to take advantage of the landscape for at least one small installation.  Time was not abundant, so in the end it turned out to be pretty minimal.  After getting my lichen feet wet through collaborating with Sarah Hearn this spring, I've spent much of the summer planning out some new work that branches into lichen territory.  I love knitting fungi, but also find lichen to be extremely fascinating the more I learn about it.  And the more I observe it I find that I just can't help stopping to get up close and take in every one that I spot.  It's hard to pull away at times!  

This piece was inspired by Witch's hair (a rather magnified version of witch's hair).  I wish I could have made it larger, but I do intend to continue exploring this species for a larger body of work that I've begun, so if you like it then stick around! 

Just after I took my last photo, I heard a creak and glanced over to see a large snag tip and crash to the ground across the trail about 50 feet away.  No one was nearby, thankfully, but it was magnificent to see.  It's strange how an incident like witnessing a giant fall to the ground like that can make you feel so small, when it also brings you to realize that the giant itself is minuscule in comparison to the magnitude of the world.  Nature is so vast.  We are but one tiny component in this, yet we as humans feel that we control it all.  It's a nice reminder that the world keeps spinning, trees keep growing and falling and the Earth will continue to nurture everything on it until the end of time.  I feel refreshed and inspired with each moment that I spend in the wild.




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