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Wednesday, 5 February 2014
this and that and knitted fungi
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: The Fungus AmungUs

Still waiting for the arrival of my first grandchild. He/she is sure taking his/her time.  And I am happy to report that the whole "settling up" business finally feels under control.  We have decided to do some fixing up before selling the place -the only real decision is whether to do it ourselves or to hire people. My vote is hire people! I'm hoping to bring a few pieces of furniture home this weekend -a bookshelf and maybe a dresser for Ben -a night table for myself and that sideboard in the basement. With a dresser and new book shelf we can clean out his room and get rid of a couple things. He still has track suits from grade six in his closet.  Back then he was under five feet tall -now he's well over six feet tall. With his Asperger's autism change is very difficult for him and the only way to convince him to get rid of the old is to give him something new.

I have a few links to share today.  I don't spend much time cruising around the web anymore as I spend most of my web time on sewing and craft boards helping people. I'm not big on the whole "pinterest" thing where you post pictures of things other people have done and then add the caption "must try this some day!" or "looks Easy!" These people are so busy pinning I doubt they try anything and it only looks easy because the person who wrote the original blog post is a professional or very skilled craftsperson.  Like the things people pin from my blog. I try not to inflict the "must try" crap on all five of my blog followers because there's more than enough of that elsewhere.

So it will surprise all five of you to see me say this: I found this blog entry on making a braided neck t-shirt like the kind you buy at Banana Republic.  It looks easy (or at least not too difficult!)  and I have an old t-shirt so I must try this!

This is the original.  The caption calls it a looped braid shirt but it isn't a braid at all. It's obviously a bunch of chain stitches worked from slits in the shirt. One blog had the instructions to cut the hem off the bottom and use that to make a braid and then sew it to the neck. No. there was none of the cute gathering. The second blog knew it was a chain and had elaborate instructions for cutting off the hem and making a chain and then using elastic to gather up some of the neck and then sew the chain to the neck... No. Not easy. Not trying.  Then I finally found workable instructions that do it the way the original was done: By cutting slits in the shirt at the neck and chaining those!In the original it appears that an extra row of these chains are added -possibly sewn on to cover the raw un-sewn neck edge.




Here's the tutorial I plan on using as a starting point:  this one has the braid coming from slits cut in the neckline.  If I combine that with this one:  I should get one with the two rows of chains.  I plan to use an ordinary fruit of the loom type t-shirt  and cut down the sleeves so they are more cap shaped and more feminine.  Unlike the blog tutorial I will be brave and cut off the neck ribbing and cover it with a row of chains.

I also recently found a really cool artist's blog.  She is in the process of making 52 knitted fungi. She is obviously a fungophile because she's attempting to make them look as realistic as possible. They are absolutely enchanting!  Here's the blog: forms of fungi  today's entry is purple clavaria coral.  If you've ever seen finger like things breaking through the forest duff they could be one of the many corals and clavaria fungi -among others.  Sometimes you can trample a whole bunch of these as your fruitlessly search for boletes and chantrelles.  This isn't fair -just because they are tiny doesn't mean they are only good for trampling.  They are worth looking at and admiring for their serene beauty BEFORE trampling in order to get to the boletes. 

There's also a total OMG!!!!! MUST TRY!!!! On this blog. A small silver knitted mushroom pendant. I love mushrooms. I enjoy knitting. I make jewelry. this is relevant to my interests.  This does not look easy -knitting embroidery floss on tiny needles is a challenge simply because of the scale. Nevertheless is looks adorable, I have some different colors of metallic floss and pearl cotton (and serger yarn) lying around so I do want to try this and make an adorable mushroom necklace for myself.

It's been a very cold and snowy winter so I find myself battling cabin fever. on a recent very cold day Ben and I decided to go to the mall.  I needed new jeans and rather than wait for spring and pay full price I went to check out the end of the season last chance sales.  I'm happy I did.  I got two pairs of dark wash jeans from the Gap at half price. One pair was my go-to perfect boot" cut and the other was the "sexy date night straight" cut they introduced in the fall and are not continuing in the spring.   And over at Old Navy I got a pair of lighter wash straight legs and as I was coming out of the fitting room I passed the final markdowns rack and I saw a pair of super skinnies in my size and 75% off - the final price was a whole 10$ to be exact. I tried them on and they fit. And they didn't look hideous!  So I now have a pair of super skinnies in a not-so-skinny size number. It's a philosophical victory! I am still super skinny!!!!!! Yay me!  -or at least my jeans are. 

You know what this means -now that I have bought a pair of skinny jeans they will immediately go out of style. 

It also leaves me with lots of old jeans that have holes, rips, thin spots and more.  So I'm going to take these old jeans and a couple denim skirts I no longer wear and make some patchwork denim yardage and turn the yardage into a pair of pants and a skirt.  I have to sew the patches together with as little bulk as possible because I don't want seam intersections to be excessively bulky and unworkable -especially since I am making jeans.  If one of these patchwork seam intersections ends up at the crotch seam intersection I might end up with 8+ layers of denim to sew through.  Even my industrial 20U gags on that.   And I have to figure out the size of each patch and whether I want it to be even squares or off-set squares or sort of quilt-y inspired patches.  I might do quilt-inspired nine patches offset with larger basic boring squares.  Or I might do lots of simple basic 5X5 inch squares with fancy thread flat-locking done on the serger. 

And that is a picture of a pudgy little baby foot of a very late grandchild!  I also have a profile picture that I won't make public and it appears as baby already has hair on the head. Doesn't surprise me -Dan was a very hairy baby when he was born!

And that's it for now.  I hope to see my grandkid soon. more than just his/her foot.  Until then I will knit a few shrooms and cut up a t-shirt and some jeans and then maybe make something. 

Edit: the "make links" tool wasn't working yesterday so none of the links worked.  They do today. This morning I did all the link coding the old fashioned html way. Now they should work.  If you look at the hover titles they are all captions people have used while pinning stuff from my blog onto pinterest. 

Posted by lincatz at 10:37 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 6 February 2014 9:58 AM EST
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Monday, 8 August 2011

Topic: The Fungus AmungUs

more tatted lace and mushroom fabric


I've been doing a bit more tatting.  I wanted to make a couple tops from this beige ribbed knit fabric I got in the 99¢ a yard bin at Len's and I made one using machine made modern lace...and it looks okay...not great but okay.  I decided to trim the second one with some tatted lace that I had been working on.  Back Story: the Mary Maxim store in Paris has a fine needlework department and they had tatting cotton in different colors.  This is unusual as most places sell tatting cotton in black, white and cream. There were blues, pinks, browns and all sorts of amazing color combos.  I got a few of these balls of thread and Began making some edgings and medallions.  

The results of one of these balls is above.  There's a large medallion that's made by spiralling a siple edging aorund itself, a complex edging down the front and a simple 2 shuttle edging along the neck.  I'm quite happy with the results.

This is a simple one shuttle flower.  Subsequent flowers can be attached at the picots.  I once say an entire 12x24 table runner done with dozens of this tiny flower motif.

This medallion is an edging that's been sewn into a ring.  The top picots had a thread drawn through them seeral times and then pulled inot a small ring.  The thread was covered with a variation of the bvuttonhole stitch that looks like the double stitch of tatting.  It's quick and easy to turn edging inot medallions.

This is an edging being worked in a variegated blue and black thread.  It's still unblocked to it's all bunched together. The is a thicker gauge thread than the previous medallions and edgings. I'm making a few yards of this and a couple medallions so I can make a blue top similar to the pinky beige one.  I think a blue top with tatted details will look really nice with denim jeans.

I got some really cool fabric with mushrooms on it.  It's really hard to find fabric with fungus prints, so when I found this I bought lots.  There's enough to make a bunch of kitchen accessories, oven mitts, towel toppers and maybe even some kitchen cafe-style curtains. Or I can make a mushroom dress!


Here is swatch one.  I have the most of this fabric.  I can identify all the shrooms and all are choice edibles!

This is the accent fabric.  I'll probably cut this into bias binding for pot holders and stuff.  Thse ae just your basic agaricus bisporus and A bisporus var "cremini"  It's rather bland and boring...much like store bought mushrooms.

This is what I am making first: A potholder that doubles as an oven mitt!  And then it's this:  oven mitt  and then it's place mats:  there's dozens of patterns on allcrafts! And then maybe check out a few of freeneedle:

Kitchen accessories are quite easy and I will probably make up a few as I go along, too.  A

And that's all for today!

Posted by lincatz at 11:10 AM EDT
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Monday, 18 October 2010
Time Lapse Fungi, molds, and slime molds
Topic: The Fungus AmungUs

From facebook:  Here's a site with the best time lapse videos of Fungi and others that you'll ever see. As a bonus: they feature several stickhorns:

It doesn't get any better than time lapse pics of a dog stinkhorn is all it's fungal glory. Mother nature has a very strange sense of humor. 

Posted by lincatz at 11:02 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 31 August 2010
The Mushrooms of Haliburton Area.
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: The Fungus AmungUs

We spent a week in haliburton.  It rained for a couple days which totally bummed me out, especially when I woke up to a damp pillow and a damp sleeping bag.  But I felt 100 times better when it stopped raining and the mushrooms came out. Who needs sun when there's mushrooms brightening up the forest floor? Yellow mushrroms...white musrooms and lots of brilliant black mushrooms. Let's take a look at some of the pictures I took!

These are tiny little ascomycetes that covered large areas near the tree house.  They look like little jelly baby candies.


 This is a close up of a big white mushroom with a moist cap and large persistent ring. The moistness on the cap was from the rain, when the rain stopped more of thee fruited and none had a moist cap.  They did, however have large sacs (called Volvas by mycologists) just under the first layer of leaf litter. A check of several keys and reference books tells me that these magnificent specimens are likely amanitas, the Destroying angel type.  The ones that kill you slowly. The kids and adults were all warned not to eat the white mushrooms that look something like the ones in the stores. 

Here's my favourite picture of the trip!  This mushroom has seen the light!  It's been blessed by the glory of the sun god!  It emerges from the darkness into the light while his companion struggles to erupt from the earth. This was taken with me on my stomach and the camera right on the ground.  I got dirty and wet, but it was totally worth it!

This is a pretty petite coral mushroom.  They were so plentiful that by the end of the day we were trampling hundred of these to get to the boletes and waxy-caps

Anyone fancy some delicious chanteralles?  I did...until I realized that the slugs got to them first. These smelled like slightly over ripe apricots or nectarines.

It's easy to overlook the tiny little shrooms such as the mycenas, yet they are some of the prettiest in the forest.  This one absolutely glowed in the gloom.

Scaly chanterelles.  Inedible, but they are still incredible. Once again I'm on my tummy and the camera is on the ground.  I had to fiddle with the shutter speed and aperture setting so the picture would show up in natural colour.  The flash made the mushroom change to a weird color that looked nothing like the real thing.

Same shrooms from above. The tall one was full of rain water.


This is a bunch of boletes.  I wish the bright reddish purple brown, orange and yellow would have showed up betterm but it was getting late in the day.  Yes, I am very aware of the fact that they look like dicks. When the veil breaks they have yellow pores and the flesh is very soft.

A fresh Slipper Jack (Jill?) rupturing through the dead leaves.  this guy grew so fast we could almost see it getting bigger in from of our eyes.

This slimy lump of fungal flesh was so slimy that it was dripping off the cap.  We can plainly see a large fleshy white volval sac at the base and we can also see that this thing lifted the compacted leaf litter right off the ground.  This was on the path to the dock.

I'm King Of The Boletes! I'm King of The Boletes!  I'm King of the Boletes!  And I aid you just watched Will Smith as Ali, didn't you?  Too bad the slugs to got to him and his friends nearby. And I know that it wasn't a bitter bolete, it didn't taste like the bitter bolete farther down the path.

This is a very pretty amanita.  I have a few pictures of it erupting from the soil, breaking the volva and spreading its cap. this one is also poisonous. Not all amanitas are poisonous, there's one called "the grisette" that's edible.  What does it look like you may ask... Let me answer!


The grisette!  One of the few edible amanitas.  I did not eat this one because I wasn't 100% sure what type of grisette it was, or if it was some other amanita...but it had all the important identifying characteristics.  I've seen these before and know pretty much what to look for, but amanitas are simply not worth the risk. 


These guys remind me of a song!  Ahem...lalala mimimi!  "one of these things is not like the other! One of these things just doesn't belong!  Can you guess which thing is not like the others by the time I finish my song?  Did you guess that the black fungus at the top was not like the others?  Good for you!  You are far more observant than I was when I took this picture!  The cluster of three in the foreground is a groups of Black Chanterelles and the lone guy in the back is not a chanterelle, it's an URN mushroom. 

And that's all the shrooms for today.  i have even more of them, I'll post them on either facebook or flickr.  Oh yeah...the stickhorn...can't have a collection of mushroom pics without a stinkhorn:

And that's the shrooms for today!  Later!

Posted by lincatz at 11:08 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Mood:  a-ok
Topic: The Fungus AmungUs

I really haven't been doing much that's blog worthy lately.  My only sewing projects for myself are a few pairs of "jorts" jeans+short=jorts. No, I haven't lost my sense of style, these are not for wearing around the city, these are for hiking and camping far away from the city.  Denim is more durable and is less likely to rip when caught on branches or sharp rocks.  The only problem is that jorts are neither challenging to sew nor interesting to discuss.

On the weekend i got to the annual Rock, Mineral and Gem show. I got some really nice banded agates and some small nautaloid fossil discs with holes drilled in them. I also got a couple freebies, an amethyst crystal point, a clear quartz point, a pair of moonstones, and a pair of uncut rough diamonds from the Herkimer mine is the US. There was a large polished, round herkimer diamond that was hollow and contained water.  Imagine that!  Water the way it was 500 million years ago!   I learned a bit more about drilling rocks, the tools to use and to not use.   Standard drill: bad.  Dremel mounted on drill press: good. Drilling dry: bad. Drilling using baby oil or bath oil: good. And it smells nice too.According to New Age Crystal guides Herkimer diamonds are supposed to enhance the dream state and to facilitate astral (out of body) travel. I don't know about that, but they will be nice wrapped in silver wire and enhanced with some swarovski beads.

We've had a very early spring this year, It is barely May and the tulips are almost over, the late season purples are now in bloom.  This of course means it's Morel time, so here's this years Morel Mushroom Newspaper article:  this article tells of how a government agency went wayyyy overboard to protect people.  It's not that difficult to tell a false morel from a true morel, usually the smell is enough, but for those with olfactory challenges here's a simple rule: If it's the heat of summer it's a false morel.  The end.  The mushrooms grow in entirely different seasons. Spring is for morels, summer for false morels.  And for further identification, false morels look like brains, and when cooked they smell harsh and metallic.  It's the rocket fuel in them; cooking releases the rocket fuel in the steam. Raw False Morels have a slight metallic chemical smell, again it's the rocket fuel in them.

In other food news: why isn't broccoli canned? Some one has answered this:  It would emphasize the yucky metallic taste, turn out slimy like canned green beans, and it would enhance the gas factor.  I freeze broccoli: it takes about five minutes in the blancher and i can freeze enough to last all winter.  I do, however prefer fresh because freezing and then re-ccoking makes it soggy and you loose some vitamins.  Like Asparagus and Spinach it is best fresh. And just because you CAN can something doesn't mean you should: see canned chicken: And of course the classic campfire favourite Cheeseburger in a can:

All this food talk of morels and cheeseburgers and chicken has made me hungry! Time for lunch!

Posted by lincatz at 11:27 AM EDT
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Monday, 22 March 2010

Topic: The Fungus AmungUs

Our recent blast of warm almost summer like weather is now officially over.  The last two weeks of winter were unseasonably warm and sunny, until the day spring officially arrived, when it started to snow. Isn't it ironic Alanis? Like sno-oooh-ooow on the first day of spring?  Like getting the meaning of a word wrong and using it as the title and theme of a song? Friday was spectacular, the high was 20C (normal is 6C) and the sun was brilliant all day.  Ben and I did plenty of walking around and I feel like some of my winter weight is going away.  I also planted a bunch of spring multiplier onions so in a few weeks we will be enjoying the first crop from the garden.  It's also seed starting time and I have a couple trays of peat pots ready to go.  I need a couple more trays and then I will have enough plants for my flower gardens.

I've been working with my beads and I remembered something important!  I have to make some of those hoodies with the mushrooms!  I have the tie dye fabric, I have the under fabric, all I need is the sweatshirt fleece.  it's being a surprisingly difficult fabric to find. They have the fleece at Wazoodle, but they are out of the dyed to match ribbing that I need.  I'll order the fleece and hope the ribbing arrives soon. 

I have the pattern mostly cut, all I need to cut is the hood.  can't have a hoodie without a hood.  I think that when we look back on the number one fashion fad item of the 00's the one item that has transcended age, culture, gender and income level will be the hooded shirt, now and forever known as The Hoodie. 

I also need to work on my denim and leather jacket.  it would have been perfect for a few of the days when it was so warm.  But since it wasn't done, I couldn't wear it.  I need to put down the beads and pick up the sewing machine.  Okay, not literally pick up the machine as it's quite heavy, know what I mean! There are several things I need to complete, and one is nothing more complicated than sewing on buttons and then buttonholes.

I just had a chance to listen to the new MGMT album "congratulations"  it's good. Quite different than Oracular Spectacular, but still good.  It leaked a few days a go so the band streamed it on MySpace for everyone who doesn't know about torrents or binaries. Next on the list of new releases I want is "Arcade Fire" I figure this one will be the one that can't ever expect to live up to the advance hype.

And that's all that's happening in the old litterbox.  Not much, just a few things.  Maybe this week will be better. 

Posted by lincatz at 11:51 AM EDT
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Saturday, 5 December 2009

Topic: The Fungus AmungUs has a mushroom photoshop thread.  Lots of adorable, creepy, and trippy pictures of shrooms:  In my not-so-humble opinion...too many Mario Brothers shrooms.  I like the toad-in-the-toadstool the best. 

Posted by lincatz at 10:07 AM EST
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Friday, 13 November 2009

Topic: The Fungus AmungUs

Not a lot to say today.  It's been one of those weeks where I would like to declare it a write off and try again next week.  Not anything serious, just a combination of stupid little things that made me feel like crap all week.  The only good thing is that today I feel fine.  So the week has bee 80% crap rather than 100% crap.

I did remember how to properly insert clear elastic into the coverstitched neckline of a stretch top.  Yay!  Now i can wear it with the jeans and skirt that i made... the ones with the mushrooms on them.  it's made with a stretch lace that has a real 1974 colour scheme, brown rust, how about a swatch?

That's the lace at the top, at the bottom is some bamboo rayon knit, some ribbon festooned with coils and beads that make a pleasant jingle, and some sequined lace.

And that's to top I made.  The bamboo knit is under the lace right up to the sweetheart lines just above the boobs. The original had nothing in the back, just the lace and it was bit too much. The original also had elbow length sleeves that looked either a bit too long or a bit too short. I like the retro yet modern look of this piece.

Project Runway season one winner Jay McCarrol now has fabric available on his website:  His stuff is all quite retro-cool, whimsical, and unique.  Because this entry is titled "the FungusAmungus, I need to mention that his woodland friends collection with the mushrooms is available. 

A depressingly common story: Family in hospital due to mushroom poisoning.  without reading the article I will make a few un-psychic predictions: The shroom in question is an amanita.  They are from a country where foraging is common.  They mistook the amanita for an edible species common in their home area.  they weren't aware that there are toxic shroom the superficially resembles their prized delicacy.  To the article....

Yup, oh yeah, of course, and no surprise.  The first rule that all mushroom books drill into the heads of North American collectors is "Learn to recognize the tell-tale characteristics of the Amanita family before you eat a single mushroom"  Surprisingly, once you become informed and learn what makes an amanita an amanita, it becomes easy to recognize them, and easy to tell an amanita from an agaricus, a russala, or a hygrophorus.  It's like being able to tell the difference between spinach, lettuce and cabbage and know that these three aren't poison ivy.  All green, all plants, but all are unique.

I never ever risk eating anything I am not sure about or anything that someone's grandma in Europe or china or japan ate everyday and lived to 119 years old.  There are many toxic north american natives that look superficially like wild treats from elsewhere.  Since most people don't travel with a microscope or take spore prints, they fall victim to mushroom poisons that vary from stomach upsets to liver failure.

There is one big error in the article, They say they ate "death caps" and identify them as Amanita phalloides,  yet further down they describe the appearance of a Amanita Virosa/bisporga, the two commonly called "destroying angel."  which is it?  the white one or the green one?  Death Caps are quite green, while the angels are white and can appear green or brown depending on age, decay or lighting.

I know all about mushrooms.  MYcology is better than YOURcology!

One last thing, courtesy of The Fail Blog:

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

These, people, are what we in the fashion world call "jorts" And that's all for today.  I must be feeling tons better, I have the urge to go do laundry! Must Fight Urge!

Posted by lincatz at 11:03 AM EST
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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Topic: The Fungus AmungUs

Glow in the dark Mushrooms.  Another to add to the list of glowing shrooms including Jack o Lanterns and FoxFire from Honey Mushrooms. Glowing is quite odd behaviour from Mycenae's, but the Mycenae's are the most under-rated group of mushroom out there.  They may be tiny but they are infinitely fascinating.  Oh...and scroll down for the link to the "phallic mushroom" It's really cool reticulated stinkhorn something like this one that grew in our neighbour's yard and was once my top hot-linked image:

second look:

This picture was taken later in the day after it's slime was dispersed by millions of buzzing flies. 

And that's all for today!

Posted by lincatz at 10:08 AM EDT
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Monday, 28 September 2009

Topic: The Fungus AmungUs

It's been a while, hasn't it?  I took a bit of a break to work on other things. I finished the wide legged high waisted jeans from the August burda magazine.  They look nice.  I added lots of piping and leather trim. In mushroom shapes of course!

Here's a guy who made shelves from shelving mushrooms.  Here's the article:  I love that he has a skull on one shelf. He can decorate my house any day.  These are all very common and easy to find bracket and hoof conks.

The mushroom guy at the market had Chicken of the Woods.  Yummy!  Tastes like chicken! 

I've also gone back to the beads.  For a while i managed to resist them...I mayhaps should have resisted them last night when I came ~|~ this close to super-gluing an aqua aura crystal to my thumb. Note to me: Never ever use super glue when tired!

Rachel molted.  She's still got a bit of exo left near her spinnerets, but all the important organs are clear.  Her lungs are at the intersection of her head and her abdomen.  That part is clear and so are her pedipalps and her fangs, so she's good to go. I now know more about tarantula anatomy than I ever thought possible.

Otherwise, things aren't really interesting around here. Better luck tomorrow!

Posted by lincatz at 11:53 AM EDT
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