Ep. 022 Kinesthetic Learning Mode in Knitting

Episode 22:  The Kinesthetic Learning Mode in Knitting and Crochet

Brainy Thing starts:  22:17

Behind the Redwood Curtain starts:  30:45

What we’re learning from our knitting.

With her Fantasy Red Cardi by Katherine Foster (see prior posts) behind her and her Among the Wildflowers by Sasha Ball Rives on hold, Catherine turns to two bits of production knitting.  She is working on Failyn Fox Cowl fox cow progressby Heidi May in Lion Brand Thick and Quck for a friend’s child and the Chain Mail Hood and Cowl offered by the Utah Shakespeare Festival (Chain Mail Techniques).  With a re-envisioned yarn choice (Patons Metallic in Pewter), Catherine is making this  for a local production of Plays in the Park for the play The Unprincess.

Chain Mail Hood pattern by Utah Shakespeare Festival

Chain Mail Hood pattern by Utah Shakespeare Festival






















Margaret talks about Laura Nelkin’s Beaded Waves Cuff and why Margaret sometimes like buying a kit instead of gathering all the elements of a project herself.

Beaded Waves Cuff by Laura Nelkin

Beaded Waves Cuff by Laura Nelkin


Brainy Thing:   Kinesthetic Learning

The last element of the VAK (Visual Auditory Kinesthetic) learning style discussion (but not the end of the topic itself), Margaret shares general and personal experiences of learners who take in information kinesthetically.  She mentions Heather Ordover’s research on Cognitive Anchoring.

Behind the Redwood Curtain

imagesCatherine talks about the Natural Fiber Fair which is held in Arcata, CA.  For more information, click here.


Knitting Tip

Margaret shares that designers (Laura Nelkin, for example) and yarn companies often have wonderful tutorials on their sites.

Podcast Business

Incentive for the random chosen winner of the next 100 members of the Ravelry Group.

Fiesta Rayon boucle Catalina colorway

Fiesta Rayon boucle Catalina colorway

Episode 18 Auditory Learning Style and Knitting

Brainy Thing Starts at 24.25

Behind the Redwood Curtain starts at 32:55

What We’re Learning from our Knitting.

Margaret is on a quest to find the perfect cotton sock yarn.   In the past she’s used Regia Cotton but it still has a lot of wool content (41%) for her beloved Monkey Socks.     (After a search on Ravelry, it looks like most of the Regia’s Cotton fingering has been discontinued.).


Recently, she tried Skacel’s Hi Koo CoBaSi in Carrot and Cream. She made up her own pattern but recommends Nigel Pottle’s Tom and Ethel Socks.

CoBaSi Socks in Carrot and Naturalorange socks 1

Catherine is using the yarn she just frogged (A mystery skein without the ball band but which is probably something from Three Irish Girls) and is using it in the Fantasy Red Cardi  by Knitting Kate (Katherine Foster’s Ravelry Store.)  The contrasting borders are in a “lavender neutral” Steinbach Woole Strapaz.

Fantasy Red Cardi in progress

Fantasy Red Cardi in progress

Brainy Thing

Margaret talks about Auditory Learning preference (the “A” in the VAK learning style) and how it might apply to knitters and crocheters.  She also explains more fully how we all use all senses in our learning.  Links to test out your learning preferences:


Behind the Redwood Curtain

Catherine celebrates the California state flower:   The California Poppy.


California Poppy

California Poppy

Lots of California Poppies

Lots of California Poppies

California Poppies asleep after sundown in Margaret's yard

California Poppies asleep after sundown in Margaret’s yard







For more information on the California Poppy festival, check here.

Podcast Business

Check out about the Learn-a-long and the incentive prize for new members at the Teaching your Brain to Knit Group on Ravelry.

Self Striping Cankon Hand Dyes in "Lover's to bed'  'tis almost fairy time" colorway.  It's a bit brighter than photograph suggests.

Self Striping Canon Hand Dyes in “Lover’s to bed’ ’tis almost fairy time” colorway. It’s a bit brighter than photograph suggests.




Metacognition and how it helps you knit

Welcome to Episode 11

Brainy Stuff starts at:22:40

Behind the Redwood Curtain starts at: 32:05

What we’re learning from our knitting:

Margaret contrasts two scarf patterns –both of them beautiful and well written but one that was her perfect low concentration knitting and the other requiring high concentration.   The one she completed was the free pattern  Gallatin Scarf by Kris Basta  whose company is KrisKrafter.   She used Hanalei Hand Dyed   Merino/bamboo worsted.


The scarf pattern that she is saving for another day when she has lots of high concentration time is the Silk Curved Scarf by Iris Schreier which was a Craftsy knit-a-long. Catherine loved the charts on this pattern.

Catherine is swatching (!) for her Meadowlark Shibori Jacket  by Gina Wilde in Alchemy Pagoda and Silk Straw yarns.   And she’s trying out different knitting stitches that will work with her vision of the ideal cowl for the Great Adirondack yarn.      She’s also working on her Sock Yarn Blanket, mitered squares

a free pattern by Shelley Kang, the Heathen Housewife.  She has used leftovers and swapped for scraps including Knit in Color Smooshy, Socks that Rock, Opal,and  Zauberball.

Brainy Thing:   Metacognition

Metacognition is defined as thinking about thinking and when you use what you know about your learning process then you can learn new things more easily — like kitchnering lace or doing intarsia.  Jennifer Livingston wrote about it in this paper and of course, Wikipedia always has something to say on everything including metacognition.

Behind the Redwood Curtain:  The First Street Gallery

1st street

If it’s raining (and it often does here) or you want to take a break from spectacular natural vistas, then Margaret recommends the First Street Gallery in Eureka located on — First Street.  The most recent time she visited she saw two exhibitions: small painting from the Cheech Marin collection,  Chicanitas and Arte para la raza collected by the Royal Chicano Air Force.

chica-announcement-image RCAF-announcement


Bay from Boardwalk

Of course, you can’t get far from beautiful vistas.   Across the street is the Eureka boardwalk, along Humboldt Bay.

Eureka board walk

Knitting Tip:

Catherine offers a knitting tip:  when wet blocking your knitting, allow it to soak a full 20 minutes first.

Podcast Business:

As an incentive to join our Ravelry group, we are randomly selecting one of the first 100 members to win a skein of 400 yards of Cephalopod Bugga! sport weight  70/20/10 superwash merino/cashmere/nylon in Fishing Spider Colorway.




Ep. 010 Reviewing your Knitting

Welcome to Episode 10:  Why is it worthwhile to review and categorize your knitting learning?

Brainy Stuff starts at: 25:40

Redwood Curtain starts at: 37:40

What we’re learning from our knitting:

Catherine learned a lot (and had fun) knitting Josh Ryks’ Scarfy Shenanigans.  She got more of a sense of the sculptural understanding of knitting. She used two colors of Sanguine Gryphon (one was Cotton Stainer colorway) and some Becoming Art in the Twilight colorway

scarfy 4


She also knocked out a pair of Magic 28 socks by Norma  that she made for charity. She used scraps.



And she completed a second knitalong — Laura Aylor’s mystery knitalong that is now name Outlier .  She used Noro yarn.

outlier 2 outlier


Margaret made a black and white striped hat for her grandson to coordinate with the pair of zebra socks she made for him earlier.  She attached fringe along the back with a crochet hook and then un-plyed the fringe to make it more fluffy.  She used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick.

zeb hat

She also made him a pair of Morehouse Farms owl mittens.

Beckett's owls

And she made an irregular ribbed scarf out of Lion Brand cashmere.   She learned that at least in cashmere, the trick of picking up and weaving up a dropped stitch has its limits.   The pattern was inspired by the Professor’s Scarf by Gina Waters but don’t blame her for the results.  Margaret was riding an exercise bike while knitting and early on lost track of the pattern.
Bill's luxury


Brainy Stuff:

We talked about the Review and Categorization aspects of learning and how that applies to knitting.   We re-categorized and reviewed the Brainy segments in our past episodes.


Behind the Redwood Curtain:Arcata Waste Management and Wildlife Sanctuary


220px-Arcata_MarshPhoto from Wikipedia

People from all over the world come to see and study the Arcata Waste Management Plant and Wildlife Sanctuary.   It is a great place to walk, bike ride or bird.  (P.S. it’s healthy and doesn’t smell bad.)

sandpprPhoto from Friends of Arcata Marsh website

Also check out the Friends of the Arcata Marsh, a local group who are very involved in the marsh.  The site has lots of beautiful photos.

Knitting Tip:

You can get your paperback books spiral bound at Kinko’s (now FedEx Office) — Particularly useful for technique heavy books like Lara Neel‘s wonderful Sock Architecture.

Episode 7: Skill or Concentration?



What We’re Learning from our Knitting:

Margaret is knitting and crocheting long strands of beads to wear as necklaces or as wrapped bracelets.

On top:   Laura Nelkin‘s Ribband (knitted)

In the middle: a failed attempt at a crocheted strand:  no fault of the pattern– the yarn was too fine for the size of beads. Check out Wrap Around Crochet bracelets for lots of successful projects and Yuli Nilssen for her other designs.

On the bottom:  improvised icord with beads.

strands icord strand fail


Catherine is learning from the PANEM Katniss cowl wrap by Dahlia in Bloom whose Rav name is DevilintheO.

panem yarn panem progress 4 panem progress 3Yarn is Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick.

Brainy Stuff:  What determines your success or ease with a project — the level of difficulty or the level or concentration?

Many knitting and crochet patterns are labeled by skill level:  beginner, intermediate or advanced or easy and challenging.  But what do these terms mean?  If you are an expert lace knitter, does that mean you’ll find cables easy?  Catherine and Margaret discuss what the differences are and how they may or may not impact your experience creating a particular project.

Redwood Curtain:   Table Bluff, CA.

From the South Spit looking up to Table Bluff

dunes up table bluff looking up table bluff

From Table Bluff looking down: Humboldt Bay to the Right (East), Pacific Ocean to the Left (West)

table bluff 2

Viewing to the East, Humboldt Bay.

table bluff 1541

Beauty in the sand:

dunes on spit

Knitting Tip:

Use a Kitchen scale to determine amount of yarn you have left.


Number of yards in total skein            X (number of yards left) —————————    =    ——————–

Number of grams in total skein            Number of grams left in skein

X equals number of yards in total skein (times) Number of grams left in skein (divided by) number of grams in total skein.


Episode 5: Layers of Visual Learning

Welcome to Episode 5

What We’re Learning from Our Knitting:


full slice wedge

Citron by Hilary Smith Callis the enormously popular (12,024 posted projects on Ravelry as of December 3, 2014)  half circle shawlette, free on Knitty.  She learned you probably won’t notice that the increases don’t line up (not the pattern’s fault — she stopped counting.)  Can you see them?

She used

Noro Taiyo Sock colorway 30 and

Wild Orchids Fiber Arts Amore, colorway Lavendar


Catherine continues learning from

fabrege 1 Fabrege 2    Catherine ep 2 1

Faberge’ by Laura Aylor

She’s using

Classic Elite Yarns Mountain Top Vail yarn in two colors.

Brainy Stuff:  Layers of Visual Learning

According to some theories, people who identify as visual learners, usually find it easier to take in information visually, but they use auditory or kinesthetic means to process and integrate that information.  Therefore, probably the best learning occurs when all three modes are used.   More about this in upcoming episodes.  This link has other links including one for a self-assessment.

Laura Nelkin’s Craftsy class:  Mastering Lace Shawls  gives step-by-step and frame-by-frame instructions for making two shawls:  Skywalker and Clarus. 

Duolingo is a free app that teaches Spanish, French, German and other languages.   It uses visual, auditory and kinesthetic approaches.

Behind the Redwood Curtain:

One of the Northwest’s most famous denizen is the legendary Bigfoot.


Smalfutfrom Wikipedia.  http://www.jcu.edu.au/wiledpack/modules/fsl/JCU_090460.html  Frame 352 from 1967 Patterson–Gimlin film, alleged by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin to show a Bigfoot, was a man in a gorilla suit.[1

Knitting Tip:

Needles of the same size but made from different materials will give you different gauge.

What’s your VAK?


Brainy stuff starts at around 24 minutes

What Catherine is learning from her knitting:

The Coraline father sweater (no pattern):


How not to finish your sweater

C sweater finish 2


What Margaret is learning from her knitting:

Turning socks inside out for stranding:  Margaret’s modified Kirklees


Kirklees Socks by Tian Foley

Friday’s Studio Sock

Margaret’s cut and reknit Hermione’s Everyday Socks


Margaret’s original Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Leuder



Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel socks book (well worth getting) and Youtube

Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock

Is your preferred learning style visual, auditory, or kinesthetic?

About visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles here.

Free VAK test here.

Behind the Redwood Curtain

North Country Fair

Catherine talks about the alpaca or llama people who have a booth.   They are the Tyler Family who have Arcata Bay Llamas which includes llama, alpacas, angora rabbits and Icelandic sheep.

Knitting Tip

Check your gauge throughout your project.   It can change.