Monday, November 22, 2010

Dyer's Polypore

Well it turns out that the mushrooms in my yard (from the post below) aren't good for much, not for eating and not for dyeing according to my local mycologist (mushroom expert). However, on a recent mushroom walk around the UC Berkeley campus, which I took with my organic gardening classmates, I did find something useful. It was a day or two after some fresh rains so the coolest mushrooms I've ever seen were very lively. During our walk the fabulous mushroom experts hand me this, because I mentioned I have dyed with mushrooms:

It was clinging to an old eucalyptus stump.

And this mushroom (common name: Dyer's polypore) made an awesome gold dyebath:

Which turned this white scarf and white roving into this:

The colors are actually a bit brighter, with the scarf on the right being a little more yellow.

It's pretty common for one thing you're dyeing to hog all of the dye in the dyebath and that's just what happened here. These were both in the dyebath at the same time. I never really know which one will take all of the color.

Like I said, I have dyed with mushrooms before, but it was in a class.
Here is some yarn I dyed:

It should actually be a bit more of a vibrant salmon color. (I just can't seem to get the pictures right on this overcast day).

This yarn took most of the color from the dyepot, which my classmates and I were not expecting.

Maybe it was because of the nylon content in this sock yarn (75% wool, 25% nylon). I think for some reason it takes up a lot of dye, quicker.

I also dyed this silk scarf:

It was white (as were all of these items I dyed), then I put it in a mushroom dyebath. When I took it home it was more of an olive green, but after ironing it, the heat changed it to this sage color.

It's one of my favorite scarves.

Hoping for more good rains and fresh mushrooms to spring forth!

Mushrooms are such fascinating forms of life. If you ever get a chance to read up one them, you will not regret it. They are increasingly becoming an interest of mine. A friend recently gave me bags which I have been keeping moist and when the time is right Oyster mushrooms will come through the holes I've made in the bags. Yum! I'll let you know when this happens!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Winter Garden

Another season of gardening in a natural and organic way. After looking at the same garden all year, I finally get to see some new plants. Yay! Here are my new babies plus some old favorites:
Kale is one of our favorite vegetables, so I wanted to make sure to grow plenty of it.
We love it cooked in a little olive oil with garlic or onion, and raisins or pine nuts! Yum!

We are starting Broccoli, Sweet Peas, Beets, and winter greens from seed. Egg cartons are great for starting seeds.

Here are some lingering Tomatoes. I took a canning class recently and made Plum-Cardamom Jam and pickled Green beans. I am freezing these tomatoes whole in a bag as soon as they're ripe. I am hoping to make a tomato jam with them.
My first experience with tomato jam was at am potluck. It was served with homeade goat cheese and bread. It was Amazing!

I love the color these cacti and collard greens? bring to the garden in winter. And there are even more colors to be had:

Coreopsis~If I had enough it'd be great for dying wool

My good friend Aloe Vera. Thank you for helping me through my sunburn this summer. And for the help last week with the poison oak, which I unforntunately had to tussle with for a research project on Oak trees.

P.S. I'm sorry you are outgrowing your pot. I promise give you a new home for your roots.

Not sure at all what these mushrooms are, but they sure look like Fun-Guys!
They spontaneously sprouted from our neglected backyard lawn (which, if we actually owned the place, would not be there, and instead be more garden). Wonder if they're any good for dyeing!

Wishing everyone a successful gardening season!

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Yay! This Wedding Blanket for my brother and sis-in-law is finally finished (about 8 months after the wedding)

It is made from a washable merino wool, Swish Superwash, the color is closest to the middle pic and it's about the size of a queen bedspread.

It took about a year to complete and I learned a lesson: I will never knit on such small needles with such fine yarn again, it takes much too long, plus with such a simple pattern...zzzzzzz

But It looks pretty nice :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Free Rice

I found an awesome website today:
You answer vocabulary questions and for every question right 20 grains of rice goes to feed starving people around the world, while boosting your smarts!

There is also a ravelry group on Free Rice.

So check it out!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm on Ravelry!

Hey y'all,
I'm on, a knit & crochet community!
And it's awesome (and addicting). My user name is shelbyknitz Look me up and add me if you can :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

What kind of knitting needles are you?

You are bamboo.Warm, cozy, and thoughtful, you take your time and enjoy how things feel, smell, and taste. You love the craft and beauty of traditional things, and you value the comfort and experience of knitting as much as the results. But while you are reveling in your warm cozies, don't get stuck. Warm is wonderful, but so is the whole wide world!
Take this quiz!

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