Ep. 071 Choose from five types of meditation; Gather more insights from teaching crochet; Fine a home for charity knitting; explore the bounty of Minus Tides in Humboldt

Brainy Thing:   25:07   Redwood Curtain:  45:31

What We’re Learning From Our Knitting and Teaching (crochet.)

Catherine focuses on her charity knitting , finishing her Socks for the Homeless and trying to find a good charity to donate some older projects:  a child’s cardigan, an adult raglan sweater, and some baby socks.

Catherine’s Charity Knitting:  Fantasy Red Cardi by Catherine Foster  
generic baby socks

worsted weight sweater The Incredible Custom Fit Raglan Sweater  by Pamela Costello   woolworks.

Catherine’s Charity Knitting:  Fantasy Red Cardi by Catherine Foster  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fantasy-red-cardi
generic baby socks, and a worsted weight sweater The Incredible Custom Fit Raglan Sweater  by Pamela Costello  ( woolworks)  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/incredible-custom-fit-raglan

Margaret shares some more insights she’s gathered from teaching a small group how to crochet Hats for the Homeless.  Simple Single Crochet Hat  by K T and the Squid  (  Katy Petersen.)  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/simple-single-crochet-hat

Brainy Thing

Catherine gives a broad view of Meditation describing five categories of meditation outlined  by Jules and Michelle Levey  in Luminous Mind  http://www.wisdomatwork.com/.     Chopra Center  7 myths about meditation  http://www.chopra.com/articles/7-myths-of-meditation
blog   Live and Dare   Giovanni Dienstmann  http://liveanddare.com/

Behind the Redwood Curtain

Catherine and Margaret recount their adventure during a Minus Tide in Humboldt.

Links

website https://teachingyourbraintoknit.com/ for show notes, photos of our knitting and crochet projects, Behind the Redwood Curtain places and things and anything else we decide to post.
In this episode of Teaching Your Brain to Knit, we offer 5 basic styles of meditation with scores of specific types in each category;  we share an update on lessons learned from teaching; And Some experiences with Charity Knitting; and we explore the bounty of the minus tide in Humboldt.

Ep. 47 Does Knitting Impact Your Brain like Breathing and Meditation ?

Welcome to Episode 47 of Teaching Your Brain to Knit

Brainy thing:      11:29   Behind the Redwood Curtain 21:56

What We’re Learning from Our Knitting

Margaret has been looking for modifications of the Afterthought Heel to prevent (or reduce) those strained stitches in the corner.   She found Afterthought Heels Revisited (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/afterthought-heels-revisited) by Laura Linneman of the Knitgirllls (yes, three “l”s) Podcast fame and the Knit Better Socks blog by RMD (http://knitbettersocks.blogspot.com/2011/12/improving-afterthought-or-forethought.html).  She used Vesper yarn  in a color way she calls “Neopolitan ice cream with blueberries”— pink, blue white and blue.
neopolitans
Catherine finished up her Double Lattice Dishcloths by SmarieK (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/double-lattice-cloth).  She used various leftovers from Knit Picks and Peaches and Cream.  dish-cloth-swap

The Brainy Thing: Breathing and the Brain

Margaret was inspired by this topic by Memletics writer Sean Whitely which unfortunately had no references.  So she looked for some research the (self evident) idea that breathing would help your brain function.   She started with Breathing and the Brain (http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2013/05/14/breathing-and-your-brain-five-reasons-to-grab-the-controls/#2e5150ae52aa) then found a MIT study from 2005 headed by Sara W. Lazar, et al (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361002/)  (she also has a Ted Talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8rRzTtP7Tc.

Behind the Redwood Curtain:  Trees of Mystery

home-02Catherine focuses on the giant interactive Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox of Trees of Mystery in Klamath, CA.  https://www.treesofmystery.net/ Hear the radio show This American Life report on the Trees of Mystery:  http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/506/secret-identity

Knitting Tip: decreases on the edges of garments

Catherine shares a tip for making neater knitting decreases along the edges of garment.

Links:

website https://teachingyourbraintoknit.com/ for show notes, photos of our knitting and crochet projects,  and indexes for Behind the Redwood Curtain places and Brainy things and anything else we decide to post.

Ep. 017 Knitting Projects That Help you Meditate

Welcome to Episode 17:  Knitting Projects That Can Help You Meditate

Brainy Stuff starts:  23:17

Behind the Redwood Curtain starts:  32:22

What we’re learning from our knitting:

Catherine had a mystery skein of yarn — likely Three Irish Girls — that she used to start The Putney Shawl  by Angela Tony until she  ripped it out.

putney close putney shawl

Now she’s using it to work on a baby cardigan:   Fantasy Red Cardi.    by Katherine Foster.

clapo-ktus finishedShe’s finished the Clapo-ktus by Loredana Gianferri out of Goth Sock’s “Find your Happy Place.+   And she even had a little bit left to make a square for her sock yarn blanket.

blanket square

Margaret crocheted the Quotidian Bucket or Flapper Bucket Hat designed by Jennifer Hansen of the Stitch Diva.   It uses hat

Quotidian Hat

Quotidian Hat

Feza Alp Natural yarn, an interesting skein that combines different types of yarns together, in this case mostly black.    She’s also trying to find the right pattern for the Hemp for Knitting AllHemp6 dk.   She’s thinking of Doris Chan’s All Shawl pattern but she’s going to do the grown up thing and make and wash a swatch.

Brain Thing:  Projects that help you meditate:   The Prayer Shawl Ministry

Catherine shares the long tradition of making a wrap for people are were ill or moving or going on a long journey.  A recent expression of that is the Prayer Shawl Ministry started by Janet Servenu Bristow and Victoria Galo after taking a class with Sister  Miriam Terese Winter.   The non-religious website describes the many traditions that use of wraps that are known as Prayer Shawls, Comfort Shawls, or Mantles.  There’s also a lot of nifty tips on this site from knitters and crocheters.

Lion Brand has a lot of information on Prayer Shawls including gift cards you can use for them.

Behind the Redwood Curtain:

Margaret talks about the Arcata Community Forest.  There’s links to a video and other information.

path Forest forest Community forest sign Forest and ferns

Knitting Tip:

Using a larger needle can help loosen up tight edges of cast-ons and bind-offs suggests Catherine.

Podcast Business:

Learn-a-long

We’re starting our first “a-long.”  It’s the Learn-a-long running from June 1 to August 1.   To qualify, learn something new in your fiber practice  – – a new technique, skill or type of fiber.  (New Patterns don’t count because we try those all the time but if a new pattern has a new-to-you technique then that works.)  Go to the Ravelry Page to post your picture and tell us what you learned.

Next Incentive for Joining our Ravelry Group:

Canon Hand Dyes self striping Charles Merino Sock in the “Lover’s to bed; ’tis almost fairy time.”   Join the group here.

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.

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.

Ep. 013 Knitting and Brain Lobes and Waves

Welcome to Episode 13:  Knitting and the Mechanical Brain or Brain waves on knitting, meditation, TV, reading and listening to audio books

Brainy stuff starts at:

Behind the Redwood Curtain starts at:

What we’re learning from our knitting:

Margaret shares that she’s learned a lot about following a chart and doing patterned knitting with knits, purls, twisted and cable stitches with two of Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting patterns that were featured on Webs’ Ready, Set, Knit Charity KAL back in 2008.  Margaret has knit two of the four squares (in seven years!) :  Twin Trees and Candle tree.  Find them on Ravelry here.  Margaret used Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Copper and Squirrel.

candletreetwin trees

Catherine finished her cowl made of  Great Adirondack Yarn Company’s Well Dressed Sheep (cotton/rayon/metallic in chunky weight) in the Beach House colorway.   She adapted a border design “Cabled Lace”  from Leisure Arts’s 50 Fabulous Borders by Rita Weiss that she found at the Foggy Bottoms Yarn Store in Ferndale.

cowl3 cowl2 cowl1

Catherine is working on Meadowlark Shibori Jacket by Gina Wilde in Alchemy Yarns Pagoda, Silken Straw and Sanctuary.

meadowlark beg4 meadowlark beg3 meadowlark beg2 meadowlark beg

 

Brainy Thing: Brain lobes, brain waves and knitting

10402043-lobes-of-the-brain

Catherine focuses on the mechanical aspects of the brain while knitting and reviews the different kind of knitting (from focused to meditation) and then she goes over some of the different lobes of the brain that are activated while knitting.  She lists different brain waves that are activated during different activities including knitting, watching TV, meditation, reading and listening to audio books.   Lots of fascinating material here and it raises many questions but we just need more research to answer them.  Here are some links to look at:  here and here.

http://www.eruptingmind.com/effects-of-tv-on-brain

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-neuroscience-of-your-brain-on-fiction.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Behind the Redwood Curtain:  where the Arts are Alive

One evening a month, the businesses of Eureka, CA (First Saturdays of the month)  and Arcata, CA (Second Fridays of the month) hold an open house featuring the arts — mostly visual and musical.   Some places have bands or other music, snacks and wine.   These celebrations are on different nights of the week so you can go to both each month.

Arts Alive in Eureka has a Facebook Page

and Arts! Arcata does too.

Knitting Tip

Catherine shares with us designer Josh Bennet’s tip that seams make good structured garments that will last.   Also, 1×1 ribbing is more long wearing for heirlooms projects.

0bf82c7

 

A Little Podcast Business

Catherine and Margaret want to start a campaign for a Bring Your Knitting to Work Day, complete with a “permission slip” that will explain to bosses and co-workers the benefits of knitting.  Please go to the Ravelry Teaching Your Brain to Knit group page to nominate your suggestion for a good day to make it (preferably during when school is in session.)

Also, as an incentive to join the group, we are giving away a skein of Cephalopod Bugga! hand-dyed, sport weight 4 oz (400 yards) 70% superwash merino/20% cashmere/10% nylon yarn randomly to one of the first 100 members, randomly selected.

cephalopod