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. 040 Is the Negativity Bias Affecting Your Knitting? Ideas to Help.

Welcome to Episode 40   Is the Negativity Bias Affecting Your Knitting?   There are ways to counter the negative

Brainy Thing:   20:35                Behind the Redwood Curtain  32:40

What We’re Learning from Our Knitting

Margaret  was inspired by Catherine’s project to try Sasha Ball Rives’ wonderful pattern Among the Wildflowers  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/among-the-wildflowers  with her own “learning opportunities”, of course.
mtk wildflower

For a Ravelry swap, Catherine completed the Crochet Flower Potholders pattern by Jennifer Martin  Blue J  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/flower-potholders using scraps of cotton she had leftover in her stash!

potholder 2 potholder

Brainy Thing:  Negativity Bias:

Studies have shown that are brains are hardwired toward the negative which is a great advantage on the Savannah but probably not now.  Check out:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200306/our-brains-negative-bias  and
For ways to counter that bias, try  Marelisa Fabrega  http://daringtolivefully.com/overcoming-negativity-bias.

Behind the Redwood Curtain:

Catherine tells us about the historical Phillips house in Arcata built in 1853/4 in the  Greek Revival style which is open Sundays 2 to 4  http://www.arcatahistory.org/phillips_house_museum_arcata .
 hc-arcata-phillipshse-calendar phillips_house_arcata_california_thumb

phillips spinning phillips 3 phillips 2 phillips quilt

Knitting Tip

One of our Ravelry Members, puffygriffinclaw, offers some tips on Felting.

A Little Podcast Business

Listen for the winners of the membership incentive and the tips contest next episode.  In the meanwhile, become a member of our Ravelry Group  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/teaching-your-brain-to-knit,  and check out our 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.   Also, join our Facebook Group  https://www.facebook.com/Teachingyourbraintoknitpodcast/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

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. 019 Growing Brain Cells with Physical Activity

Welcome to Episode 19: How physical activity grow brain cells.

Brainy Thing starts at 15:26
Behind the Redwood Curtain starts at 24:13

What We’re Learning from Our Knitting (and Crochet)

The Fantasy Red Cardi is now Catherine’s carry-along knitting although she’s having a little sock knitting withdrawal.  This baby cardigan is by Knitting Kate or Katherine Foster.

Fantasy Red Cardi

Fantasy Red Cardi

The wool is “purple neutral” by Steinbach Woole Strapaz and an identified ball of yarn which is probably from Three Irish Girls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the "charms" in the Dogwood Scarf

Some of the “charms” in the Dogwood Scarf

Catherine is also starting the Dogwood Scarf a Charm Crochet project by Suzann Thompson   She’s using a variety 100% cotton Ti Di by Knit One Crochet Too and leftovers.  She’s ordered a number of plant fiber yarns from Knit Picks to try them out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret is trying our knitting on 12 inch and 9 inch circular needles.   She knit hat (premie size) as a sample to show new knitters one way to finish up a hat.hat2

preemie hat with "folded" top.

preemie hat with “folded” top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brain Thing:

Dr. Arne May’s research showing juggling makes your brain grow.  Catherine asks could the physical activity of knitting and crochet also make brain cells?

Behind the Redwood Curtain

We talk about clams, clamming and Clam Beach.

Clam Beach, California but no clammers clamming.

Clam Beach, California but no clammers clamming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Knitting Tip

Margaret suggest trying to enter “Beginner’s Mind” with no expectations and trying tools that challenge you.   She’s trying 12 inch and 9 inch circular needles right now and certainly feels like a beginner.

Podcast Business

The incentive prize, a gift for a randomly selected person out of each 100 people who join the group on Ravelry continues.   Also, the people are jumping into the Learn-along.   The Ravelry Group is here.

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. 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. 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