Ep. 014 Knitting Right or Left Brain

Welcome to Episode 14:  Is Knitting right or left brained?

Brainy Stuff starts at: 17:50

Behind the Redwood Curtain begins at: 32:20

What we’re learning from our knitting:

Margaret talks about her (right brained) knitting for the Crazy Triangle Crochet Shawl.   She verrrrry loosely adapted the Sweet November Shawl by Guylaine Godin.   The goal was a wide triangle with less open mesh but in fact, the shawl turned out deeper and less wide.   Well, maybe next time.  She used Crazy Zauberball in some unknown colorway.

crazy closeAfter the podcast was recorded and after Margaret took photos of both shawls together, it seems clear that the two shawls are pretty much the same in width.  However, the Sweet November is much more stretchy and uses about half the amount of yarn.


crochet triangles 2

The Sweet November shawl (on top) compared to Margaret’s adaptation on bottom.



Meadow lark 4.18

Catherine’s progress on her Meadowlark as of April 18, 2015

Catherine is making progress on her Sock Yarn Blanket by Shelley Kang and her Meadowlark Shibori Jacket (by Gina Wilde with Alchemy Yarns.)  She also mentions her Rockefeller shawl by Stephen West.







Brainy Thing:  Right and Left Brain


thMost scientists dispute the older theories of the right and left brain (that the right hemisphere is creative, free-flowing, big picture and the left hemisphere is linear, logical and temporal)  but think they might be useful metaphors.   Margaret explains what they are and how they relate to our knitting.  Some knitters identify as Left-brained knitters and delight in the math and the linear process.   Others see themselves as Right-brained and enjoy spontaneity and free-form patterns or else something that allows them to be more in the flow mode.  Even though everyone is using both sides of their brains, one mode may be more dominant than the other.  Catherine mentions The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron as a seminal book on creativity and Right-brained function.


Also note, that in observance of  National Stress Awareness Month, the Yarn Council of America has some special features on their website and a pattern for a Lemon stress ball by Twinkie Chan.  Follow the action on #StichAwayStress.

Behind the Redwood Curtain:  Blue Ox Millworks


Blue Ox Millworks in Eureka, CA

Blue Ox Millworks at number 1 “X” street in Eureka, CA is more than a place that uses 19th century tools to create authentic millwork for historic houses and business.   It has a school for artisans, a program for veterans, and a community gathering place for special events and theatre.  Recently it replicated the main carriage for Abraham Lincoln’s funeral hearse.

Photo of the original hearse used for Abraham Lincoln

Photo of the original hearse used for Abraham Lincoln








Check out the Blue Ox here

and a video about it here.

A Knitting Tip

Catherine advises us to build a library of cast-ons and bind-offs that we can draw from for different projects:  maybe a general medium stretch, a very stretchy and a firm version of each.   She offers some ideas.

A Little Podcast Business

Our incentive for joining our Group on Ravelry continues.  For the second 100 people we offer this skein of Venezia sport weight 70% merino and 30% mulberry silk, 307.5 yards from Cascade Yarns in Colorway 178 in a dusky teal.   And don’t forget to put in your nomination for the date for “Take Your Knitting to Work Day”  (and we’ll figure out something special for people who work at home.)  Should it be Ravelry’s Birthday?  Perry Klass’ birthday?   (EZ’s birthday is in the summer when most students and teachers are off.)

Incentive for second 100 members who sign up in the group

Incentive for second 100 members who sign up in the group

Episode 6 Staying Awake

Welcome to Episode 6: Staying Awake

Brainy Stuff Starts at 15:00

What we’re learning from our knitting:


Fab braid

Catherine learns about the need for sharp tipped needles for the braid (the horizontal line of stitches above the brown pleats)  on Laura Aylor’s Faberge’ using Classic Elite’s Mountain Top Vail.


Margaret learned  that a SKP (slip the first stitch, knit the next stitch, pass the first stitch over the just knit stitch) is difficult for her to unknit.  She didn’t do the pattern as written (only did the first row of the two row lace pattern) Mel Ski’s hat Drizzle  but plans to do it as written the  next time.

hat back hat front hat side

Drizzle by Mel Ski.  Her webpage is here.

Elsebeth Lavold designs Silky Wool  03 Grey color


Brainy Stuff:  Staying Awake


Dr. Perri Klass, M.D.:  her page on knitting with links to articles.  This pediatrician writes about her 2008 article in Knitter’s Magazine  “Knitting is my internal symbol. It represents me.”  One of her books is Two Sweaters for my Father.  Catherine describes Klass’ writing on how knitting helps her stay focused.

Heather Ordover who has the Craftlit Podcast is writing a book on Cognitive Anchoring which explores the same phenomenon.

Behind the Redwood Curtain:  29:20

Blooming mushrooms on the bluff over the Mad River.

mush 2 mush 1

mush 3mush 7 IMG_0587 mush 5

Knitting Tip:

If you’re out shopping without a specific pattern and want to know the approximate amount of yarn you need for a project, these should help.

The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd

The Knitter’s Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements by Ann Budd

Knit Handy app

Stashbot:  A comprehensive guide to building a useful stash by Hannah Fettig

Stashbot app by Hannah Fettig