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


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.



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.



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.


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.