Ep. 048 How to Learn the Holistic Way

Welcome to Episode 48:  How You Can Learn the Holistic Way

Brainy Thing:   22:20      Behind the Redwood Curtain:  29:50

What We Learned From Our Knitting

Margaret learns a lot about her knitting by not knitting.

sweater-with-buttons

Cotton baby sweater knit by Jacque of Foggy Bottom Yarns in Ferndale, CA. She included a set of blue and pink buttons to customize it.

jacques-sweater

Close up of Jacque’s sweater with the blue sail boat buttons.

smartwoolBelow is the hand knitted baby sweater that she bought.   It was expertly knit by Jacque of Foggy Bottom Yarns in Ferndale, CA  (https://www.yelp.com/biz/foggy-bottoms-ferndale)  The other item is a pair of Smart Wool socks Margaret  bought for her physical therapist.  Not as nice as hand knit socks but a whole lot faster.

Catherine confronts some of the challenges of long term knitting projects, this time the Meadow Lark  Shibori Jacket http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/meadowlark-shibori-jacket by Gina Wilde out of Alchemy yarns.  meadowlark-2

Brainy Thing:  Holistic Knitting

When is learning like a piece of knitting?  When it’s holistic and interconnected.  Margaret shares the theories of Shawn Whitely from his now out-of-print book Memletics.

Behind the Redwood Curtain:

Sumeg Village in Patrick’s Point State is a recreated Yurok village that is not a museum but a living location for local native events.

Sweat lodge of Sumeg Village from the Redwood Coast website.

Sweat lodge of Sumeg Village from the Redwood Coast website.

Knitting Tip:

Danica53  from our Ravelry group shares a new loose bind off:   Lori’s twisty bind off  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWS77BKk5NQ
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.

Ep. 024 Muscle Memory and Knitting

Welcome to Episode 24:  Let Muscle Memory make your Knitting and Crochet easier.

Brainy Stuff:  17:17

Behind the Redwood Curtain:  27:10

What We’re Learning from our Knitting

Margaret took a class from JC Briar on Multi-Directional Knitting and made these two wristers.  (Although she couldn’t find a pattern by JC on Ravelry)   She really enjoyed this technique and plans to do more.    Inspired by the Beaded Waves Scarf, Margaret also made the Mudra Cuff  by Laura Nelkin.

wristlets

Sample wristlets from JC Briar’s Multi-directional Knitting Class.

wrister

Mudra Cuff by Laura Nelkin

Catherine continues to work on her second Fantasy Red Cardi  by  Kathryn Foster using a skein of Goth Socks from  Rainy Day and Wooly Dogs yarn company.    She can’t carry along with her either Meadowlark Shibori Jacket  by  Gina Wilde  or   Among the Wildflowers  by  Sasha Ball Rives.

Baby cardigan

Fantasy Red Cardi blocking

Brainy thing:   Muscle Memory and Knitting

Margaret talks about Muscle and how we can apply the ideas worked up by coaches of athletes and musicians to Knitting.  Take a look at these.

Behind the Redwood Curtain

Catherine describes an iconic figure of the Northcoast:  The Humboldt Honey  The poster, immortalizing the Humboldt Honey was designed by Ingrid Hart (Ingrid DaSilva at the time) who was a journalism major at Humboldt State University.  You can Link to article and image.  You can still buy the poster at Picky Picky Picky  in Eureka, CA.

Hippie girl

Are You a Humboldt Hippie poster by Ingrid Hart photography by Patrick Cudahy

Knitting Tip

Margaret suggests that to help anchor your knitting and build muscle memory of the new technique you can make small projects:   wristlets, coaster or coffee mug cozy might be some possibilities.   Then you would have reinforced your learning and have something to show for it!

A Little Podcast Business

The incentive prize for a randomly selected winner of the next 100 people who join our ravelry group is ongoing.

Fiesta Rayon boucle Catalina colorway

Fiesta Rayon boucle Catalina colorway

Ep. 016 Knitting and the Need for Novelty

Welcome to Episode 16:  Knitting and the Need for Novelty or one reason we don’t finish our projects

Brainy Part:  Starts at 22:00

Behind the Redwood Curtain:  34:07

What We’re Learning from our Knitting:

ninja StarMargaret is playing around with different motifs to use her Lanaknits Hemp for Knitting #102 allhemp6 dk weight.  She found her copy of Kristen Omdahl’s Seamless Crochet:  Techniques and Motifs for Join-as-you-go Designs to figure out the Ninja Star motif shawlette.  While she was able to figure it out, she didn’t think the hemp was a good choice for the very open motif.  In the past, she had done the Radiance motif Sparkling Skinny Scarf in left-over sock yarn.  radiance

skinny 2

Catherine is still working on her Meadowlark Shibori Jacket by Gina Wilde in Alchemy Yarn and has fallen in love with the Paint Brush colorway.   She is nearly finished — the Clapo-ktus by Loredana Gianferri. clapo-ktusclapo-ktus unblocked

She’s knitting it with Goth Sock.  She was also motivated to finish the Some Pig dishcloth by Emily Guise who works at Knit

Picks and also likes to design dishcloths.

pigSome pig

Brainy Thing:  Knitting and the Need for Novelty

Margaret speculates that one of the many reasons we cast on a new project before we’re finished the one we’re working on is for the human need for novelty.  She discusses some of issues of novelty and how they relate the knitting.   Keith Hillman of Psychology24 has some interesting posts on this topic and other brain related ones.

Behind the Redwood Curtain

hudsonian-godwit-21895577 Catherine talks about the end of Godwit Days (celebrating one of the birds that migrates through the area) and the Arcata Zen Group.

A Knitting Tip

Margaret recommends trying different yarns and suggests that they (like the Hemp she was trying out) might require different tensions and yarn holding techniques

A Little Podcast Business

The incentive to join the Teaching Your Brain to Knit Podcast Group on Ravelry continues for each new 100 members.   The current incentive prize for members 101 to 200 is a skein of Venezia sport weight 70/30 merino/silk yarn by Cascade. Beginning with member 201, the prize is the Canon Hand Dyes skein in 80/20 merino/nylon sock yarn.

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.

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. 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.

crazy

 

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

640px-Eureka_CA_Blue_Ox_Millworks_Museum

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

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

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.

gallatin

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.