Sunday, November 20, 2016
Saturday, November 5, 2016
So, a couple of weeks back, I was able to dye all my yarn for knitting up the sweater I have dreamed about for over a year. I harvested all the mushrooms for the dye from right here in Fort St. James.
These mushrooms are Cortinarius smithii, which I used to make the pink and orange colours.
Dried out Cortinarius smithii, ready to make dye.
Look at all my pretty colours!
Aftur for the basic pattern, but I am changing the yoke design to make my own pattern in it. I've also had to adjust the number of stitches I cast on, because I am such a loose knitter, I can't get the gauge right. You can read about my project notes here. I am already done knitting the main body to the armpits, now I have to knit the sleeves before I can get on to the fun part of knitting the colourful yoke. It is taking shape!
Monday, October 3, 2016
I'm not the only one thinking that! The squirrels have been picking mushrooms and putting them in trees to dry, to save for winter eating.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
I may have mentioned on this blog a few times that I have been organizing a mushroom dyeing workshop for our small town of Fort St. James. Well, it actually happened! Alissa Allen, from Mycopigments, flew up here and taught us all about mushroom dyeing for a whole weekend. And not only that, but I got to spend time with her foraging during her week-long visit. It was so much fun and I learned so much!On some of our forage walks, we were lucky enough to spot Hapalopilus nidulans, the most exciting and sought after dye mushroom in the world! I have since found a few more specimens for my collection. It dyes a gorgeous purple. It grows on decomposing birch logs (but not too decomposed!).
After Alissa went home, we have been going out mushroom foraging and having some great success! I have two very eager helpers! Rain doesn't stop them in their "banana suits!"
We have found quite a few Cortinarius semisanguineus or smithii, used for making red dyes. It is always such a thrill to turn over a dull brown cap to find brilliant red gills underneath.
And we lucked out and found another little log covered in Hapalopilus! It feels like such a treasure hunt whenever we go out!
Have you ever tried dyeing with mushrooms? Did you even know that it was possible? You will find that after you discover mushroom dyes, you will start looking at the forest in a different way. You'll be noticing all sorts of fungi everywhere!