Episode 9: The Therapeutic Benefits of Knitting

Welcome to Episode 9:  What are the therapeutic benefits of knitting?

Brainy Stuff begins at: 22:30

Behind the Redwood Curtain begins at: 39:00

What we’re learning from our knitting:

Catherine is attracted to Mystery Knitalongs.    She was first snagged by Laura Aylor’s Mystery Shawl and then Josh Ryks’s Scarfy Shenanigans caught her eye and which has proven to have interesting techniques.(His studio is listed as geoknittrix on Ravelry)

scarfy 4scarfy 3

scarfy 2

The two yarns used are Sanguine Gryphon Bugga (an old, beloved skein) in Cotton Stainer colorway.   (The Studio is no longer in business.)   Plus Becoming Art Dye Studio in the Twilight colorway.

Margaret is learning from three pairs of children’s socks.   She knit a generic toe up sock for her granddaughter (after getting an outline and making a template of her feet.)  The yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper Rainbow Love.

rainbows on feet 2


The first pair of zebra socks was Cat Bordhi’s pattern Cat’s Zebra Socks from her book Sweet Tomato Heel.   The yarn is one black and one white skein of Jang Yawool superwash    The sad story here is that the socks got accidentally thrown in the pile of Christmas wrapping debris and then thrown out.



The second pair used another sweet tomato heel and Knitter’s Brewing Company Sockaholic yarn made especially for “zebra-ing.”  Wendy’s    pattern offers a technique to really gets distinctive zebra patterning and you can buy the kits — one for children and one for adults.


zebs 2

Brainy Thing:   Therapeutic Benefits of Knitting

Catherine talks about how knitting changes brain chemistry to offer actual therapeutic benefits to the knitter.  You might be surprised how many actions of knitting help.   She references Betsan Corkhill and her (and others’) research documented on Stitchlinks.  For the chart Catherine references, check out this page which links to a pdf titled Knitting Engagement which lists benefits including patterns of movement, hand position, enriched environment plus social engagement.

Behind the Redwood Curtain:   Goat Cheese

There’s something special about the climate of the Pacific Northwest (including the Redwood Curtain)  that allows for the making of fantastic goat cheese.   Our most famous artisan goat cheese companies is Cyprus Grove. 





Knitting Tip:  Stitch markers

Margaret’s knitting tip is to help prevent yarn-overs from slipping before or after stitch markers, find stitch markers that are close to the size of the needles.  One of many Etsy sellers that has very small stitch markers is The Knitter’s Helper Another tip, especially for wrap and turns and the sweet tomato heel, is to mark the turning stitch by using very short bobby pins.

What’s your VAK?


Brainy stuff starts at around 24 minutes

What Catherine is learning from her knitting:

The Coraline father sweater (no pattern):


How not to finish your sweater

C sweater finish 2


What Margaret is learning from her knitting:

Turning socks inside out for stranding:  Margaret’s modified Kirklees


Kirklees Socks by Tian Foley

Friday’s Studio Sock

Margaret’s cut and reknit Hermione’s Everyday Socks


Margaret’s original Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Leuder



Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel socks book (well worth getting) and Youtube

Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock

Is your preferred learning style visual, auditory, or kinesthetic?

About visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles here.

Free VAK test here.

Behind the Redwood Curtain

North Country Fair

Catherine talks about the alpaca or llama people who have a booth.   They are the Tyler Family who have Arcata Bay Llamas which includes llama, alpacas, angora rabbits and Icelandic sheep.

Knitting Tip

Check your gauge throughout your project.   It can change.