Ep. 031 Knitting and Life-long Learning and your Brain: The Nun Project

Welcome to Episode 31:  Knitting, Life-long Learning, Your Brain:  Data from the Nun Project

Brainy Thing starts at:                              Behind the Redwood Curtain:

What we’re learning from our Knitting

Catherine gives an update on the Vanessa Ives Mystery Shawl  By Bunny Muff  and how even Michael’s  Big Box store failed in providing Japanese beads that would work for it.
shiny vanessa_
While she’s waiting for her delivery of beads, she’s working on Baby Socks by Bianca Boonstra for the Afghan for Afghans project.  The socks are made from Treadsoft Yarns that Catherine dyed with Dharma dyed goods._

She’s also been working up some scrubbies for the Dishcloth group she belongs to.  The pattern is baby socks orange_Little Scrubbie by Arctic Trails Abstract   and made out of leftover Knit Picks Lindy Chain and AllHemp 6 lux.

Margaret tells the “amazing” story of finding a hand dyed indigo boucle cotton at Amazing Yarns in Emerald Hills, CA.  She knit the Miami Vice pattern  by 3 bags fulled or Hillary Designs and learned of ways to fix the dye from John Marshall of John Marshall Works in Fabric who was at the Natural Fibre Festival in Arcata in September.
miami vice full miami vice line_

Brainy Thing

Another reason we crafters should continue to learn?  Catherine talks about the Nun Study, a longitudinal study of Sisters of Notre Dame which indicates that lifelong learners have a lower rate of symptoms of dementia even if there are pathological signs of it in the brain after death.  Also, those with stronger language skills fared better in terms of preventing dementia.

Behind the Redwood Curtain

Margaret shares information about the mission of the Friends of the Dunes’ Humboldt Coastal Nature Center.
dunes display

Hands-on display at Humboldt Coastal Nature Center

display dunes

More hands-on opportunities at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center

dunes trail

Path leading to the trails at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center

dunes house

Stamps House at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center.

exterior dunes

Walk outside of Stamps House at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center.

_

Knitting Tips   (technical problems prevented the recording of this.)

Learn more about indigo from the “word of the Week” on Indigo expert John Marshall.  http://johnmarshall.to/blog/category/japanese_word_of_the_week/

Podcast Business

The incentive to sign up for the Teaching Your Brain to Knit Ravelry Group_ continues.
opulent_

Ep. 026. Is There a Connection Between Happiness-Producing Gamma Brain Waves and Knitting

Welcome to Episode 26:  Gamma Brain Waves and Knitting and Crochet

Brainy Part: 18:02

Behind the Redwood Curtain: 28:53

What We’re Learning from Our Knitting and Crochet

Procion dyes

Catherine took a class from Patti Subik, dyer extraordinaire and owner of Great Adirondack Yarn.   On Ravelry here.  She experienced one of those great insights that opened up her world using procion dyes.

She also made a cute pair of Baby Uggs designed by Autumn Street (Baby Lee) whose websit is Thingsforboys.com Catherine used the leftovers from her Fantasy Red Cardi project. (see Episode 26)

Baby uggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret sings the praises for Kira K Designs who is Kira Dulaney who designed the Belle Epoque crocheted shawl.   Good for a new-ish crocheters, the design is extremely well laid out on the page and therefore easy to follow. Margaret used Lotus Yarn designed by crocheters Designing Vashti, Vashti Braha and Doris Chan that is half cotton, half rayon and features a Z twist.

 

Brainy Thing:  Gamma Brain Waves

Catherine tells us about Gamma Waves which are associated with learning, memory, linguistic processes and other cognitive ability.   Maybe even consciousness itself.  But the research she find suggests that it also accounts for increased happiness.   She makes her own hypothesis (and I love it) that if meditation increases Gamma Waves (and it does) and knitting has meditative qualities (which is does) that knitting might increase Gamma Waves too   — therefore increasing happiness.   We’re just waiting for some brain scientists to wire up our brains while we knit.  Check out this site  for an infographic on gamma brain waves.

 

Behind the Redwood Curtain:  Samoa Dunes

Margaret talks about the Samoa dunes It’s a narrow strip of land that forms the north spit of Humboldt Bay.   Among the curiosities are the dolos, that look like giant jacks that help prevent erosion.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolos

528PPdolos-650

Dolos, designed to prevent erosion

IMG_1933 IMG_1935

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1936IMG_1934IMG_1937

Knitting Tip

Catherine talks more about Life Lines.

A Little Podcast Business

Winners were announced for the Berroco Origami yarn try out and for the membership incentive for members 301 to 400.

Fiesta Rayon boucle Catalina colorway

Fiesta Rayon boucle Catalina colorway

origami

 

Ep. 024 Muscle Memory and Knitting

Welcome to Episode 24:  Let Muscle Memory make your Knitting and Crochet easier.

Brainy Stuff:  17:17

Behind the Redwood Curtain:  27:10

What We’re Learning from our Knitting

Margaret took a class from JC Briar on Multi-Directional Knitting and made these two wristers.  (Although she couldn’t find a pattern by JC on Ravelry)   She really enjoyed this technique and plans to do more.    Inspired by the Beaded Waves Scarf, Margaret also made the Mudra Cuff  by Laura Nelkin.

wristlets

Sample wristlets from JC Briar’s Multi-directional Knitting Class.

wrister

Mudra Cuff by Laura Nelkin

Catherine continues to work on her second Fantasy Red Cardi  by  Kathryn Foster using a skein of Goth Socks from  Rainy Day and Wooly Dogs yarn company.    She can’t carry along with her either Meadowlark Shibori Jacket  by  Gina Wilde  or   Among the Wildflowers  by  Sasha Ball Rives.

Baby cardigan

Fantasy Red Cardi blocking

Brainy thing:   Muscle Memory and Knitting

Margaret talks about Muscle and how we can apply the ideas worked up by coaches of athletes and musicians to Knitting.  Take a look at these.

Behind the Redwood Curtain

Catherine describes an iconic figure of the Northcoast:  The Humboldt Honey  The poster, immortalizing the Humboldt Honey was designed by Ingrid Hart (Ingrid DaSilva at the time) who was a journalism major at Humboldt State University.  You can Link to article and image.  You can still buy the poster at Picky Picky Picky  in Eureka, CA.

Hippie girl

Are You a Humboldt Hippie poster by Ingrid Hart photography by Patrick Cudahy

Knitting Tip

Margaret suggests that to help anchor your knitting and build muscle memory of the new technique you can make small projects:   wristlets, coaster or coffee mug cozy might be some possibilities.   Then you would have reinforced your learning and have something to show for it!

A Little Podcast Business

The incentive prize for a randomly selected winner of the next 100 people who join our ravelry group is ongoing.

Fiesta Rayon boucle Catalina colorway

Fiesta Rayon boucle Catalina colorway

Ep. 019 Growing Brain Cells with Physical Activity

Welcome to Episode 19: How physical activity grow brain cells.

Brainy Thing starts at 15:26
Behind the Redwood Curtain starts at 24:13

What We’re Learning from Our Knitting (and Crochet)

The Fantasy Red Cardi is now Catherine’s carry-along knitting although she’s having a little sock knitting withdrawal.  This baby cardigan is by Knitting Kate or Katherine Foster.

Fantasy Red Cardi

Fantasy Red Cardi

The wool is “purple neutral” by Steinbach Woole Strapaz and an identified ball of yarn which is probably from Three Irish Girls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the "charms" in the Dogwood Scarf

Some of the “charms” in the Dogwood Scarf

Catherine is also starting the Dogwood Scarf a Charm Crochet project by Suzann Thompson   She’s using a variety 100% cotton Ti Di by Knit One Crochet Too and leftovers.  She’s ordered a number of plant fiber yarns from Knit Picks to try them out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret is trying our knitting on 12 inch and 9 inch circular needles.   She knit hat (premie size) as a sample to show new knitters one way to finish up a hat.hat2

preemie hat with "folded" top.

preemie hat with “folded” top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brain Thing:

Dr. Arne May’s research showing juggling makes your brain grow.  Catherine asks could the physical activity of knitting and crochet also make brain cells?

Behind the Redwood Curtain

We talk about clams, clamming and Clam Beach.

Clam Beach, California but no clammers clamming.

Clam Beach, California but no clammers clamming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Knitting Tip

Margaret suggest trying to enter “Beginner’s Mind” with no expectations and trying tools that challenge you.   She’s trying 12 inch and 9 inch circular needles right now and certainly feels like a beginner.

Podcast Business

The incentive prize, a gift for a randomly selected person out of each 100 people who join the group on Ravelry continues.   Also, the people are jumping into the Learn-along.   The Ravelry Group is here.

Ep. 015 Knitting, Meditation, and Changing Your Brain (for the better)

Welcome to Episode 15:  Knitting, Meditation, and Changing Your Brain for the better

Brainy Stuff: 14:05

Behind the Redwood Curtain: 28:20

What We’re Learning from Our Knitting and Crochet:

Meadowlark progressCatherine is still persisting with her Meadowlark Shibori Jacket by Gina Wilde.  The beautiful Alchemy yarn requires some attention.  She also found a new pattern to work on — the Clapo-ktus by Loredana Gianferri. She’s knitting it with Goth Sock.

It’s a mix between the clapotis and the Baktus patterns and it’s free on Ravelry.

Clapo-tus1

Catherine’s Clapo-Ktus

Margaret created a drop stitch scarf (her own free-style design) out of Sari Silk Handspun.   Although she describes the yarn as being plied, what she meant that the yarn was twisted.  She mentions that a long while ago, she saw a drop-stitch scarf on Knitting Help.com

Drop stitch closescarf steps

Brainy Stuff

Amygdala -- less grey matter here means a person is less reactive

Amygdala — less grey matter here means a person is less reactive

Catherine reports on research that shows that the grey matter of the brain — that part of the functioning brain cells — actually increases when a person meditates.  She mentions an article printed in the Harvard Gazette that features the  research of Dr. Sarah Lazar of Massachusetts General Hospital.  Lazar’s  Ted Talk on the topic iseasy to understand and has with lots of diagrams.  Drawing on prior research (reported in earlier podcasts)  that shows that knitting produces meditation-like brain waves, Catherine hypothesizes that knitting would then also increase grey matter.  There’s no specific research that supports that link yet, but we hope scientists explore it soon.  She concludes with a report on a program called Knitting Behind Bars started by Lynn Zwerling for prisoners at Jessup prison in Maryland.

Behind the Redwood Curtain

Margaret talks a little about the logging history of redwoods.  When a redwood is cut down, smaller “sprouts” grow out of the stump (if they are not suppressed by herbicides).  Check out the National Geographic Article on the Redwoods.

redwood cluster

Many “sprouts” coming up from a cut redwood planted too close to Margaret’s house which undisturbed would turn into the following photo.

Second Growth Redwoods. near Orick, CA

The “sprouts” have grown up in this tree. Second Growth Redwoods. near Orick, CA

A Knitting Tip

Catherine reminds us to to change up the needle size of different projects we have going at the same time to help promote good ergonomics and hand health.

A little podcast business.

The incentive to sign up in our Ravelry group for the second one hundred members is a skein of Venezia Sport –70% merino

Incentive for second 100 members who sign up in the group.  The color is a little more green.

Incentive for second 100 members who sign up in the group. The color is a little more green.

and 30% mulberry silk, 307 yards.