Ep. 036 New Research on Muscle Memory May Help Knitters and Crocheters

Welcome to Episode 36:  New Muscle Memory Research May Help Knitters and Crocheters

Brainy Thing:    22:00                                Behind the Redwood Curtain:  38:45

What we learned from our knitting:


Crocheted Heart (called “guest Lapel Pins” in Ravelry) designed by Jennifer E. Ryan.

Margaret played with  crocheted hearts from  DIY Wedding by Jennifer E. Ryan either in Interweave Crochet Summer 2015 or as a special collection on the Interweave Website.  They were cute, quick and fun. They are called Guest Lapel Pins on Ravelry. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/guest-lapel-pinshearts

Catherine shares Towashis  she received from her swap. One was made of a  worsted cotton, the second from sugar and cream and the third was sugar and cream with a portion from the specialized yarn, Sugar and Cream Scrubby  which is more specialized to be “scrubbier.”

received tawashi

Tawashis Catherine received from the scrubbie swap.

more scrubbies

Scrubbies Catherine made using hemp yarn.

Catherine continues to knit baby socks for Afghans for Afghans.   She modified the Kate Atherley Baby Sock http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-socks-23   to have ribbing on the top of the foot.

baby socks 3

Another pair of baby socks using Kate Atherley’s pattern but with continued ribbing on the top of the foot.

Brainy Thing:  New Research Finds Way to Speed up Muscle Memory Learning

John Hopkins’ researchers find keys to speeding up learning for patients with neurological conditions, including post stroke.   Could these techniques work for knitters and crochets?

Behind the Redwood Curtain:  38:45

Margaret talks about the “scientific” and the oral  history of the native tribes still thriving in the Humboldt Bay area. Much of her research is based on  Two Peoples, One Place by Ray Raphael and Freeman House.  http://www.amazon.com/Peoples-Place-Freeman-House-Raphael/dp/1883254019.

Book Cover Two Peoples, One Place by Ray Raphael and Freeman House

Two Peoples, One Place by Ray Raphael and Freeman House

Podcast Business:

The incentive for joining the Ravelry group  Teaching Your Brain to Knit  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/teaching-your-brain-to-knit  and the contest for Knitting Tips continue  (five past pompom magazine issues).  opulent
pom pom smallest





Ep. 030 What is the Distributive Spacing Effect and How does it help us to learn fiber arts?

Brainy Thing:   15:47           Behind the Redwood Curtain:  25:35

Welcome to Episode:  How the Distributive Practice Effect or Spacing Effect can help you learn skills in the fiber Arts.

What we’re learning from our Knitting
Catherine got a lot of satisfaction by completing Laura Nelkin’s Butin Collar.

Catherine's butin collar

Margaret created felted bangles from Mags Kandis’ Bevy of Bangles pattern, from the book Gifted, Lovely little things to knit and crochet by Mags Kandis or get them for free from the Interweave website.

Brainy Thing:  The Distributive Practice Effect
Catherine talks about the Distributive Practice Effect, first described by Hermann Ebbinghaus.   In psychology,it is talked about as the Spacing Effect.   Essentially, practicing something a little bit every day is more effective in learning than practicing for a long time for one day a week.

Behind the Redwood Curtain:   Ferndale, CA, the Victorian Village

Catherine introduces us to Ferndale, CA which has a large number of well preserved Victorian buildings.   It is very well decorated around Christmas time.


Knitting Tip:
Margaret shares a tip from No Sheep for You by Amy Singer:   When knitting socks in Cotton or a yarn with little memory, use ribbing to help the sock

Podcast Business

The incentive prize for signing up for the Teaching Your Brain to Knit Ravelry Group:



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.