Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Niche / 52 Forms of Fungi || #26

It seems there's so much variation in turkey tail and false turkey tail; any differentiation between them would not be made apparent by my knitting in this instance.  From what I've read, the main difference between the two species is that turkey tail has a pore surface on its underside, while false turkey tail is smooth.  According to Mushroom Expert, it's actually a crust fungus rather than a polypore.  Yarn isn't so crusty, but you get the idea.  I'm calling these false turkey tail because that was the species of the images I modeled these after, and because I've already made a version of turkey tail.  It's interesting to me how algae can contribute to their coloring by producing a green hue on the brackets.  It makes for some nice fiber contrast!  This is another species that inspired an outdoor installation at Martin Park Nature Center for Niche.

I also wanted to announce - I have added a lot of new products to my Society 6 shop, so if you like my work but aren't interested in having an art print, there are other ways you can have it in your life! New products include tote bags, iPhone cases, wall clocks, greeting cards, throw pillows, laptop skins, shirts, etc.  Just click on the image you would like to purchase products for and scroll down to see what's available… or use the item menu on the left hand side of the shop page to see what images are available in those items.  I hope this makes my art more accessible for more people!  Thanks for checking it out.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Niche / 52 Forms of Fungi || #25

Stalked scarlet cup is the first of the three outdoor installations included in Niche at Martin Park Nature Center.  Given that this is a 52 Forms of Fungi post, I will just show you some close-ups, and will post full scale photos showing the entire view of all three outdoor installations later on.  This one is located along Trail C in the park, which is the one furthest south across the bridge to the creek.  This species of fungi is pretty tiny, and quite remarkable to see.  I've only come across it once, but was mesmerized by the tiny red cup (which was actually much smaller than the ones that I created here).  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Niche / Devil's Urn Revisited

I made some Devil's Urn fungi last year after observing many on a weekend at Beaver's Bend State Park.  To be truthful, I wasn't ever that happy with how it turned out and decided to make it again as a component of the indoor installation for Niche.  One interesting aspect of Devil's Urn is how the brownish hue on the outside of the cup almost seems transparent.  The deep black exhibited on the inner cup really shows through - it's almost like the outer brown layer is just dusted on.  I tried using color work to show for this the first time around, but it just didn't look quite right.  This time I used some lace weight yarn with a larger needle to knit an outer cup that would appear really open and let the inner black layer show through the stitches.  I think this meets my expectations much better!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring in the New Home

The first spring in our new house, it's been fun watching the yard come to life.  Between finding the golden currant and more recently some lilac out there, I'm always intrigued when I spot something new for the first time.  We somehow have tons of wild violets lining the back porch, and new plants are sprouting in the bed along the side of it.  I can't wait to see what else shows itself, and to add to it myself.

Monday, April 14, 2014

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.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Off the Needles || Cardoon

A while back I wrote about some recycled yarn in a review for Love Knitting, Rowan's Purelife Revive.  It's a cotton and silk blend, made from recycled garments that are stripped down and respun into a new yarn.  Each colorway is named for a different stone, and if you get a close look at the yarn you can see why - despite one major color overtone it is covered with tiny flecks of color, just like you would see in a slab of granite.  The colorway you see here is Pumice.

To go along with this summery, eco-friendly yarn, Rowan came out with a collections of patterns called  the Purelife Recycled Collection.  I've been working on Cardoon for a little while now and finally recently finished it.  The pattern itself is fairly simple, with a rib stitch making up the entire garment.  It does require seaming, but the gauge was large enough that I did not find it too cumbersome.  

One thing I will recommend about this pattern is to make one size smaller than you would normally wear.  Mine is a size medium because I wanted a little bit of ease (my normal size is on the small end of the medium range), but it ended up quite a bit looser than I anticipated.  I'm still happy with the oversized sweater look that I got (since that's what I was going for), but if I had wanted a more fitted sweater the outcome would not have met my expectations.

The sleeve would tend to slip off my shoulder in the sleeveless dress I wore it with, but when styled with a t-shirt and unbuttoned it seems to stay in place pretty well.  

The Purelife Recycled Collection is full of down to earth knits for a transitional season such as spring.  I admit, the beautiful photos of the country make me itch for a little excursion out of the city.  I too want to frolic in a field of native grass wearing a delightfully chunky tunic!  Several of these are probably going onto my queue...

 Check out Purelife Revive and the pattern collection.

Dress: Fleet Collection (purchased from Collected Thread) | Necklace: Kalee Jones W

T-Shirt: Bombs Away | Jeans: Banana Republic | Sandals: Chaco

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Niche / 52 Forms of Fungi || #23

Eastern cauliflower.  A big ruffly mass of long, slender, contorted branches all growing from the same base.  Probably typically more tightly frilled than this one here, though some of the forms I observed in my research were a little sparser in their branching.  Clearly, I went with that.  The really dense fruiting bodies remind me of labyrinths, or those ribbon-like hard candies your grandma used to have in her candy jar.  You know the ones I'm talking about - usually multicolored?… Anyway… This piece is part of a small indoor installation at Martin Park Nature Center, along with a couple of other species that I will save for another post.  This makes species one out of six included in Niche, which will be up in the park for the duration of April.

Check out more forms from the 52 Forms of Fungi project
Learn more about Niche

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