Ep. 030 What is the Distributive Spacing Effect and How does it help us to learn fiber arts?

Brainy Thing:   15:47           Behind the Redwood Curtain:  25:35

Welcome to Episode:  How the Distributive Practice Effect or Spacing Effect can help you learn skills in the fiber Arts.

What we’re learning from our Knitting
Catherine got a lot of satisfaction by completing Laura Nelkin’s Butin Collar.

Catherine's butin collar

Margaret created felted bangles from Mags Kandis’ Bevy of Bangles pattern, from the book Gifted, Lovely little things to knit and crochet by Mags Kandis or get them for free from the Interweave website.

Brainy Thing:  The Distributive Practice Effect
Catherine talks about the Distributive Practice Effect, first described by Hermann Ebbinghaus.   In psychology,it is talked about as the Spacing Effect.   Essentially, practicing something a little bit every day is more effective in learning than practicing for a long time for one day a week.

Behind the Redwood Curtain:   Ferndale, CA, the Victorian Village

Catherine introduces us to Ferndale, CA which has a large number of well preserved Victorian buildings.   It is very well decorated around Christmas time.


Knitting Tip:
Margaret shares a tip from No Sheep for You by Amy Singer:   When knitting socks in Cotton or a yarn with little memory, use ribbing to help the sock

Podcast Business

The incentive prize for signing up for the Teaching Your Brain to Knit Ravelry Group:



Episode 8: Happy Brain Chemicals

WELCOME TO EPISODE 8:   Does Knitting Make Your Brain Chemistry Happy?

Brainy Stuff:  28:25

Behind the Redwood Curtain: 44:50

What We’re Learning from Our Knitting:

Catherine is finished with Dahlia in Bloom’s PANEM Katniss Cowl Wrap. 

panem wrapped cropped panem 2 cropped

She also completed Maryann Walsh‘s Two Toned Tawashi.

single tawashi tawashi

Now she’s in that challenging (for her, delicious for Margaret) place of choosing her next project.

Margaret mentions how after she washes her handmade socks, she dries them on a Towel Warmer because the Arcata climate is so humid otherwise they don’t dry before they mildew.   Towels in her house don’t dry after they are used, so she uses the towel warmer for them — and why not for socks.

sock dryer

Margaret continued her exploration of long stranded bead necklaces/wrap bracelets.  She’s getting the hang of the Wrap Around Crochet Bracelet by Yuli Nilssen:  she’s using heavier weight yarn and a smaller crochet hook than last time.   Probably a little tighter stitch after the beads would help even more.  The last photo is a comparison of the first attempt and the second.  (It’s all about learning, right?)

industrial strand industrial wrapindustrial compare

She also started the Kaitlyn Necklace Rose Kit by Javori Designs.  She was having some problems figuring out some the pattern details but thinks she’ll enjoy the finished project.

Kaitlyn piece Kaitlyn

Catherine says that Cat Bordhi would be proud of her for cutting her knitting.

She discovered she prefers stringing beads with a dental floss threader dental-floss-threader-1rather than a beading needle.



Finally, she talks about the Gatsby Necklace by designer Shaina Bilow and taught in a class by Laura Lamers at NorthCoast Knittery.  


Brainy Part:  Does knitting make your brain chemistry happy?

Catherine offers a basic foundation on the brain chemical serotonin.  She discusses Dr. Barry Jacobs’ work.   She also mention EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and how eye movement plays a role in Knitting’s calming effect.   She then talks about Betsman Corkhill and her organization Stichlinks whose mission is to use knitting and other activities to improve health.

Behind the Redwood Curtain: The Mad River

The Mad River in California (there are other Mad Rivers elsewhere) runs 113 miles from the Trinity mountains to the Pacific between McKinleyville and Arcata.


Knitting Tip:   Flipping your Blocking Board

If finding enough space is an issue when you block your knits,layout your knitted item on your blocking board (or a piece of plywood or sturdy cardboard, pin it securely, then flip the board upright and lean against the wall.


Episode 5: Layers of Visual Learning

Welcome to Episode 5

What We’re Learning from Our Knitting:


full slice wedge

Citron by Hilary Smith Callis the enormously popular (12,024 posted projects on Ravelry as of December 3, 2014)  half circle shawlette, free on Knitty.  She learned you probably won’t notice that the increases don’t line up (not the pattern’s fault — she stopped counting.)  Can you see them?

She used

Noro Taiyo Sock colorway 30 and

Wild Orchids Fiber Arts Amore, colorway Lavendar


Catherine continues learning from

fabrege 1 Fabrege 2    Catherine ep 2 1

Faberge’ by Laura Aylor

She’s using

Classic Elite Yarns Mountain Top Vail yarn in two colors.

Brainy Stuff:  Layers of Visual Learning

According to some theories, people who identify as visual learners, usually find it easier to take in information visually, but they use auditory or kinesthetic means to process and integrate that information.  Therefore, probably the best learning occurs when all three modes are used.   More about this in upcoming episodes.  This link has other links including one for a self-assessment.

Laura Nelkin’s Craftsy class:  Mastering Lace Shawls  gives step-by-step and frame-by-frame instructions for making two shawls:  Skywalker and Clarus. 

Duolingo is a free app that teaches Spanish, French, German and other languages.   It uses visual, auditory and kinesthetic approaches.

Behind the Redwood Curtain:

One of the Northwest’s most famous denizen is the legendary Bigfoot.


Smalfutfrom Wikipedia.  http://www.jcu.edu.au/wiledpack/modules/fsl/JCU_090460.html  Frame 352 from 1967 Patterson–Gimlin film, alleged by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin to show a Bigfoot, was a man in a gorilla suit.[1

Knitting Tip:

Needles of the same size but made from different materials will give you different gauge.