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.
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.


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. 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:


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.