Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

27 October 2009

Yeah. Well.

The thing about not having been deployed over the last eight years is that the deployable pool has gotten shallower over each of those years. By this time, we've been aware that this was going to happen at some point. But the last word was "Probably within the next two years" and "Most likely Afghanistan."

Now it's "Probably within the next six months" and still "Most likely Afghanistan." Which, given the news in the last couple of days, makes me sick to my stomach. Not that it's ever been that safe of a place.

So let's talk about something else, like mushrooms.

I grew up with a shelf of field guides and a mom who knew how to use them. Her interest was mainly trees and wildflowers, so by the third grade I knew trees by sight the way most kids learn the words for chair and table.

When I went to college, I considered getting an English degree. But then I had a flash of myself standing in a school trying to teach English, and the instant I got to college, I changed my major to horticulture.

By the end of my degree studies, I could rattle off the scientific names of a couple of hundred cultivated plants, everything from Asparagus esculentus to Zinnia elegans.

When I got married, I married a guy with a family tradition of foraging for edible mushrooms. Not just the easy obvious morels, which you have to work very hard and delude yourself greatly to get wrong, but the tasty stumpers or honey fungus, Armillaria mellea.

We joined a not-so-local mycological society, with a lot of knowledgeable mushroom experts, and learned more of the edible and yes, deadly species that grew in our often damp and rainy state.

For a while we were on the local hospital's list of people they could call if someone brought in a case of suspected mushroom poisoning.

It was a great group, and we enjoyed their forays (and their potlucks!) greatly. Sad to say, the group disbanded about four years ago.

So it's always interesting to come across a species that we don't immediately recognize.

And oh, yeah, knitting.Almost to the end of chart B. Which is boring. (I can say that now that I am almost done with it.)

And I'm up to a dozen needles in this one. I'm using pieces of wide rubber band on the ends, a tip I learned from knitting designer Diane Willett at our last lace group meeting.

I have longer circ.s on order from Knit Picks. Until they get here, I'll just add needles until I run out.

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Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

Oh boy. I'm sorry to hear that things are sounding that way; waiting for news like that is hard. The mushrooms seem like a good distraction for the moment -- you are most definitely brave! (But mushrooms, mmm....) And the knitting is looking lovely, congratulations for making it past the boring bit :)

10:01 PM  
Blogger Silver Palace Soaps said...

Something about Polish people and mushrooms, eh? Both of my inlaws were good mushroom finders. I love the taste. They don't love me...
Six months until deployment? Sheeeesh. I hope not.
Your knitting is beautiful, as always.;D

10:31 PM  
Blogger Bells said...

That's worrying. I'm sorry. I really hope it doesn't come to deployment.

Pot luck dinners with mycologists? Oh my idea of heaven!

1:34 AM  
Blogger Hobbygåsa said...

Ok, we talk mushrooms - but I still will keep my fingers crossed for you. Problem is I don't know anything about mushrooms, so I prefer lacetalk :-) I love that lace! But how do you knit with all those needles - hope your long circular is not far away, because that looks really difficult. And I must say, I still love the colors in the colorful one - and I am amazed how long that little skein is lasting.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Roxie said...

The lace is looking lovely. Spread across the chair arm is a great way to show it off.

Did you say earth stars are poisonous? thanks to you, I am keeping my eyes open every time I walk through the woods, and I'm seeing lots more funguys.

Afghanistan? Well, crap. Would you like my pattern for a willie warmer? If he does go, can we all send him cards and treats and stuff? I want to adopt someone over there and make mail call more of a treat for him or her.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Geek Knitter said...

I'll be thinking of you and your family, keeping happy calming thoughts.

Mushrooms... nomnomnom!

The lace is, as you well know, amazing.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Virginia said...

Oh goodness... That is tough news.

I'll be keeping all of you in my thoughts.

(and gotta love the mycology. There is actually a full-on NYC mycology society full of eccentric old ladies who run around Central Park in pith helmets.)

1:15 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'm starting to acquire field guides myself, they are wonderful to have around, and so much more portable then the internets. It seems to take longer to learn these things at 46, but they are beginning to sink in!

@Virginia, I love the visual imagery of the eccentric old ladies in pith helmets and I have to admit, I can see myself joining their ranks one day. Way to crone!

11:08 AM  

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