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.


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