Teaching Your Brain to Knit (general)
Brainy Thing:    14:14              Behind the Redwood Curtain:  22:40
 
What We Learned from our Knitting
Finish up Party
Margaret finally finished her grandson’s socks (for the second time (no pattern— the first time it was too tight) and Catherine finished up two projects.    Margaret mulls over the product versus process question with the help of some famous knitters:  
Catherine’s finishes another baby sock recipe that she usually donates to Afghans for Afghans and two little cowls for a friend’s children — on of a fox and the other a teen aged ninja turtle.  Heidi May of Velvet Acorn Designs is the designer  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#query=heidi%20may%20&page=1&view=captioned_thumbs&sort=best
 
Brainy Thing:
Two new-ish studies explore depression and agin looking at the brain split front and back.  
 
Behind The Redwood Curtain:  
Arcata’s Sister City, Camoapa, Nicaragua,  supported in part by the I Street Party  https://www.facebook.com/sistercityproject/
 
Links:
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.
 
 
Today in Teaching Your Brain to Knit we find two studies that focus on the front of the brain one on depression, the other aging;  , in knitting synchronicity both Margaret and Catherine finish-up- languishing projects,  we share the story of  how the little  town of Arcata helps a sister city in Nigaraguan with a big party, Catherine gives us a knitting tip from her hard earned wisdom, and don’t forget the Learn-along where you try some new technique, pattern, yarn or craft to sharpen your brain and maybe win some prizes.    Check out the details on Teaching Your Brain to Knit Page on Ravelry
 
 
Direct download: episode_56_working_-_2_17_17_7.36_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11pm PDT

Brainy thing:   17:11  Behind the Redwood Curtain:  30:42
 
Catherine was deep into the production of Pussy hats by   Jayna Zweiman and Krista Suh https://www.pussyhatproject.com/knit/ .   Bunches more patterns on:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#query=pussy%20hat&view=captioned_thumbs&page=1&sort=best  Margaret steals, uh, appropriates one of them.  Catherine took this opportunity to repurpose a cowl that was beautiful —Cuppa Java Cowl  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cuppa-java-cowl  by Sarah Wilson or The Sexy Knitter http://www.ravelry.com/designers/sarah-wilson— but didn’t quite work for her.   She loved the yarn, though: A Gothling merino cashmere blend by Rainy Days and Wooly Dogs Goth Sox in the colorway "Home Coming Queen’s got a gun.”  She made other hats out of Cascade 220 and some mystery yarns from her stash.
Margaret features some knitting made by other people and shares her delight with the Faberge’ egg-like ornament designed by Laura Lamers’ (http://www.ravelry.com/people/northcoastknit)  of the Northcoast Knittery.  
 
Brainy Thing:
Catherine describes the “Love Hormone” Oxytocin and some recent research that shows bonding between dogs and their owners.  There are lots of studies on this including several by Jessica Oliva.
 
Behind the Redwood Curtain:
A paved, multi-use trail just south of Bay Shore Mall and along the Eastern Edge of Humboldt Pave meets lots of needs.   It’s the Hikshari’ trail   http://www.redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=5666
 
Podcast Business:
There’s an ongoing incentive to sign up for the Teaching Your Brain to Knit Podcast Ravelry Group and a current contest for the 2017 Learn-along.  
 
 
 
 
How the hormone Oxytocin can increase happiness, How knitting can unite sides in activism, The discovery of a new stitch which brought joy,  Finding a new humboldt trail that accommodates a range of needs, Repurposing yarn for a -not-quite-right finished project
Direct download: Ep._055__Increasing_Oxytocin_to_Increase_Happiness_-_2_2_17_5.11_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:58pm PDT

Brainy Thing:   15:59             Behind the Redwood Curtain:  23:56
What We Learned from Our Knitting:
Margaret finished Laura’s Lamers' Silken Straw Kerchief (unpublished) which was a long term but pleasant pattern. The yarn is challenging but so worth the extra attention it needs.   The pattern includes beads and silk — what more could you want?
Catherine finished her  Age of Brass and Steam shawlette by Orange Flower http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-age-of-brass-and-steam-kerchiefwith a self striping skein from Canon dye works.
 
Brainy Thing:
Margaret reports on “Neurosociety," the immersion/interactive theatre experience currently in Menlo Park, California that explores how our brains influence our perceptions and how our perceptions impact what we believe.  It was created by David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar.  http://www.pacegallery.com/exhibitions/12834/the-institute-presents-neurosociety and runs through March.
 
Behind the Redwood Curtain:
Catherine talks about how Arcata’s Big Scoop ice cream shop is an excellent example of a locavore business and one that reflects the owners’ values.
 
Knitting Tip:
Margaret got feedback from listeners about more information on Color Dominance.  Here is some  particularly helpful information she found:   
 
2017 Learn-along:
The 2017 Learn-along runs from January 1 to May 1.   There are two threads on the Teaching Your Brain to Knit page of Ravelry:  one for the finished projects and one for chatter — to admire, offer advice and muse.
 
Links:
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.
 
Today on Teaching Your Brain to Knit, an interactive theatrical event that teaches you about your brain; a new strategy for dealing with challenging yarn, having fun with self-striping yarn, how an Arcata ice cream shop supports the locavore movement, More on color dominance and a reminder about the 2017 Learn-along.
 
 
 
 
Direct download: Ep._054_Immersive_Theatre_Teaches_About_Our_Brains_-_1_18_17_6.18_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:29pm PDT

Brainy Thing:   13:02    Behind the Redwood Curtain:
 
What We’re Learning From Our Knitting:
Catherine returns to an old favorite, The Age of Brass and Steam by Orange Flower http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-age-of-brass-and-steam-kerchief
Margaret tries a new tool, Embellish-Knit https://www.amazon.com/Caron-20293-Embellish-Knit-Machine-Kit/dp/B003W0AUQ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483493507&sr=8-1&keywords=embellish-knit+machine+kit which makes a wicked-fast i-chord to create some Wreath Ornaments by Lorna Miser.
 http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wreath-ornaments-3  and the Fino necklace by Laura Nelkin.  
 
Brainy Thing:  Gut Instinct and the Brain
Scientists are showing a direct link between the human gut and the brain which accounts for those “gut feelings we get. 
Switzerland science researchers at ETH in Zurik,  Urs Meyer  German and his team at the  Swiss Federal insititude of technology,  research gut brain afferance   https://www.ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2014/05/how-the-gul-feeling-shapes-fear.html
 
Behind the Redwood Curtain:  Sequoia Park Zoo
A small but sweet zoo in Sequoia Park in Eureka concentrates on education and species preservation.
 
Knitting Tip:  Prevent Repetitive Stress Syndrome
Keeping your hands in a C shape with your palms facing upward helps to prevent repetitive stress syndrome
 
Learn-along
Our all-new Learn Something New Incentive with randomly selected prizes.   See thread on the Teaching Your Brain to Knit Ravelry page.   One prize will be a skein of 650 yards of Kristin Omdahl’s  B so Fine yarn  (in bamboo)   by Kristin Omdahl Yarns.   Other prizes to be announced.  
 
Links:
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.
 
Is there anything to  “gut feelings” that people are always talking about, We return to an old favorite   Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief, using a new tool dramatically speeds up making i-chord, Spot lighting Eureka’s small but educational zoo, a way to prevent repetitive stress syndrome, and the beginning of a new Learn-along  
Direct download: Ep._053_Gut_Feelings_and_the_Brain.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am PDT

Brainy Thing:   11:37  Behind the Redwood Curtain:  24:21
Catherine has declare “Hat Day” by knitting Marsha McCormack’s “Easy Watch Cap With A Twist” http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/easy-watch-cap-with-a-twist.  Marsha designs under the name of Lena’s Legacy Hand Knits, honoring her grandmother who taught her to knit.   The pattern is free.
 Catherine also knit the "Countless Baby Hat”  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/countless-baby-hata free top down pattern by Cindy Davies that features a little i-chord twist at the top.
Margaret practiced working with double pointed needles on a free eyeball pattern http://www.knitpicks.com/patterns/Eyeballs__D55679220.html  featured on the Knit Picks site and designed by Stana D. Sortor.
 
Brainy Thing:  Gratitude Changes Your Brain
For some time people have recognized that actively practicing gratitude can improve our moods but Catherine has found research that shows that gratitude practice can change our brains for the better.     Research by Glenn R Fox et al reports their research:  http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01491/full.  Also cited by Catherine is this research:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4588123/
 
Behind the Redwood Curtain:  Bull Kelp  aka Bull Whip Kelp etc.  
Margaret tells the tale about how sharing her grandson’s “screen time” of the Octonauts, she learned more about the plant life behind the Redwood Curtain.  Giant Kelp Forest episode on Octonauts:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szJd0rGJUTA  and source on what it looks like when it washes up on shore:  http://www.seaweedsofalaska.com/species.asp?SeaweedID=47
 
 
 
Knitting Tip:     
You can stuff tiny places in your knitting with a mosquito clamp.  http://www.surgical-instrument-pictures.com/instrument-index-kelly-mosquito.html
 
A Little Podcast Business:
Learn-along 2016
 
Links:
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.
 
 
Today in Teaching Your Brain to Knit how gratitude not only changes your attitude but changes your brain, Catherine declares Hat Day, Margaret learns knitting techniques by knitting eyeballs, how a children’s television show can lead to understanding your own environment, and repurposing surgical instruments into knitting tools.  
Direct download: Ep._052__How_Gratitude_Impacts_the_Brain.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:04pm PDT

BrainyThing:  27:30     Behind the Redwood Curtain: 32:45
 
What We Are Learning from Our Knitting:
Margaret was inspired by the  Maya hat and mittens  designed by Theresa Schabes
Viking Norway Nordlys which is a thick fingering weight 75% superwash wool 25% nylon single loosely plied yarn.  What is striking about the yarn is the intense colors.   They have long irregular stripes that are what I call a true gradient  — they seem to blend into each other unlike some gradients that just seem to strop abruptly and switch to a different color.
 
Catherine finished her small projects and started another  Bunnymuff’s Mystery Knit-along for September  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sept-mkal-2016.   She's using Wolle’s Yarn Creations gradient yarn in peach and sand color which she finds easier to knit than she did before.   Practice makes better!
 
Brainy Thing:  
In addition to increasing oxygen to the brain, exercise bolsters brain health in a number of ways.  Margaret reports on this.
 
Behind the Redwood Curtain
The city of Arcata in 2012 taxed excessive utility use as a measure to reduce illegal marijuana grows in residential houses.
 
Knitting Tip:
Rolenstone on our Ravelry group says that you can use recycled bleach wipes container to hold yarn (be sure to rinse out thoroughly.)
 
Links:
Ravelry Teaching Your Brain to Knit Group  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/teaching-your-brain-to-knit
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.
 
Today on Teaching Your Brain to Knit: Learn how Exercise can improve your brain in many ways, Do you always need a class or a tutorial  to learn new techniques, will repeated practice with a challenging yarn can increase your skill, How the city of Arcata found an innovative way to increase the availability of housing, and a tip on how you can upcycle a wipes contain to become a useful yarn tool
 
Direct download: Ep._051_Exercise_and_the_Brain.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm PDT

Brainy thing:  12:46              Behind the Redwood Curtain: 26:38
What We’re Learning from Our Knitting:  
Twice Margaret made the ribbed brim of the Top Down lace beanie from lion brand http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lace-beanie-70177 too tight.  She tells how Lori’s Twisty bind off https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWS77BKk5NQ saved the day.  She used Plymouth Kudo yarn in cotton and silk.  And Catherine enjoys the pile of washcloths that she received from her Ravelry washcloth exchange — all in cotton yarn she’s never used before.
 
Brainy Thing:
We’ve probably all  heard of the left brain/right brain concept what about the top brain/bottom brain paradigm?  Take the quiz here:  http://www.gwaynemiller.com/test.html#.WC4GXls5yPU.  Look into the theory at:  http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304410204579139423079198270
 
Behind the Redwood Curtain.
Catherine shares how Humboldt Bay clams not only star in the 7th best Food Festival in the country but also help clean up the bay.
 
Knitting Tip:
Catherine finds an answer to an annoying (for her) Knit Three Together stitch from Barbara Walker and speculates that just about any problem you’re having with your knitting, someone else has too and has found a solution and shared it.
 
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.
 
Direct download: Ep._050_What_We_Learn_From_Slicing_Our_Brain_into_Top_and_Bottom.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:27pm PDT

Brainy Thing: 18:46                 Behind the Redwood Curtain: 24:36
 
What We’re Learning From Our Knitting:
Catherine scores a spectacular finish to the Vanessa Ives Knit-along by Bunny Muff or Mona8pi http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vanessa-ives
Margaret struggles with a crocheted stuffy, Aitches by Brenda K. B. Anderson  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/aitches
 
Brainy Thing:
Catherine find a study that specifically links “mood repair” or depression relief from knitting done at the Arizona State University Well Being lab study by Ann Futterton Collier  http://www.jkp.com/jkpblog/2012/02/interview-ann-futterman-collier-using-textile-arts-and-handcrafts-in-therapy-with-women/
 
Behind the Redwood Curtain
A pretty, yellow  stalk like glandweed flower unexpectantly  pops up in Margaret's back yard.  http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PAVI3
 
 
Knitting tip  — round out curved edges
Catherine offers a solution for those awkward stair-step like edges on parts of your knitting that is supposed to be curved.
 
 
 
Today in Teaching Your Brain to Knit A spectacular ending to the Vanessa Ives Knitalong;  how to fudge a troublesome crochet stuffy, learning to appreciate surprises in the garden and finding a way to improve a jagged edge on curved knitting.
Direct download: Ep._049_Knitting_Helps_Depression_--_Another_Study.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:07pm PDT

Welcome to Episode 48:  How You Can Learn the Holistic Way
Brainy Thing:   22:20      Behind the Redwood Curtain:  29:50
What We Learned From Our Knitting
Margaret learns a lot about her knitting by not knitting.   Catherine confronts some of the challenges of long term knitting projects, this time the Meadow Lark  Shibori Jacket http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/meadowlark-shibori-jacket by Gina Wilde out of Alchemy yarns.
 
Brainy Thing:  Holistic Knitting
When is learning like a piece of knitting  Whhen it’s holistic and interconnected.  Margaret shares the theories of Shawn Whitely from his now out-of-print book Memletics.
 
Behind the Redwood Curtain:
Sumeg Village in Patrick’s Point State is a recreated Yurok village that is not a museum but a living location for local native events.  
 
Knitting Tip:
Danica53  from our Ravelry group shares a new loose bind off:   Lori’s twisty bind off  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWS77BKk5NQ
 
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.
 
Coming up in Teaching Your Brain to Knit we examine how to learn about your knitting by not knitting, the dangers of multi year projects, how learning might be like knitting and crochet fabric, how sumeg village helps Yurok Indians walk in two worlds and another solution for loose bind-offs.
Direct download: Ep._048_How_You_Can_Learn_the_Holistic_way.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm PDT

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 Kinitgirlllls (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
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 
Catherine focuses on the giant interactive Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox of Trees of Mystery in Klamath, CA.  https://www.treesofmystery.net/
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.
 
 
Direct download: Ep._047_Breathing_meditation_and_your_Brain_-_10_3_16_11.25_AM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:55pm PDT