Teaching Your Brain to Knit
 
Brainy Thing:   23:50  Behind the Redwood Curtain:  45:03
 
What We’re Learning from our Knitting and Crochet
CatherIne continues on the lacey Absolutely Essential Shawl  by Bunny Muff.  She talks aboutLace Knitting versus Knitted Lace.   Here’s a resource for knowing the difference.    http://theknittingbuzz.typepad.com/the-knitting-buzz/2011/03/knitted-lace-vs-lace-knitting.html
Margaret completes the Queen Anne’s Lace crochet scarf with a lot of help from Sue Perez’ blog, Mr. Micawber’s Recipe for Happiness http://mrsmicawber.blogspot.com/  
 
Brainy Thing:     Natural Happy Brain Chemicals
Sourced from Christoper Bergland’s The Athlete’s Way:  Sweat and the Biology of Bliss and The Athlete’s Way:  Training Your Body and Mind to Get Joy Out of Exercise, Catherine briefly reviews seven natural brain chemicals that make us happy.  
 
Behind the Redwood Curtain:  Queen Anne’s Lace Wildflower
The ubiquitous wildflower/weed has many uses and ties to the fiber world.
 
Knitting Tip:
Door Stopper advises that when knitting a sweater, knit a sleeve as the swatch.
 
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, what you need to know about natural happy brain chemicals, Continuing progress on the Absolutely Essential lace shawl, what to do when you’re stumped on the crocheted Queen Anne’s lace pattern, and the versatile Queen Anne’s Lace wildflower.   
Direct download: Ep._060_Natural_Happy_Brain_Chemicals_-_4_19_17_10.57_AM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am PST

Brainy Thing:  20:45     Redwood Curtain:
 
What We’re Learning from Our Knitting:
Margaret is learning Intarsia, a technique she’s been wanting to learn for a long time.  She presents her experiences so far and a variety of sources for learning intarsia from books, videos, You tube, Craftsy  
You Tube
 
 
Catherine has been struggling to find knitting time but sneaking in a row or two of Absolutely Essential by Bunny Muff. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/absolutely-essential
 
Brainy Thing: 
The Dana Foundation supports Brain Research and education about the brain.   Dana foundation  http://www.dana.org/
 
Behind the Redwood Curtain:
 
Knitting Tip
Crochet more foundation chains than you need and count your stitches in each row as you finish them.
 
A Little Podcast Business
Winners for joining the Ravelry Group announced.
 
2017 Learn Along:
Ends on May 1st.   Get those projects done and post them on the thread in the Teaching Your Brain to Knit Ravelry Group.
 
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.
 
Summary
Today on Teaching Your Brain to Knit learn how the Dana Foundation supports research and education  about the brain;  Margaret offers sources and tips for learning intarsia; Catherine discovers how absolutely essential knitting is for her while she works on Bunny Muff’s shawl:  Absolutely Essential, Get the details on the Redwood Craft Stomp April 27 -29, Learn two crochet tips from our listener thread and finally find out who wins prizes for joining the Teaching Your Brain to Knit Group on Ravelry.
Direct download: Ep._059__The_Dana_Foundation_Supports_Brain_Research_-_4_3_17_2.58_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm PST

Brainy Thing:   25:25    Behind the Redwood Curtain:   35:25 
What We Learned From Our Knitting
Catherine knit not one, but two Poncho Perfectos by The Knit Cafe Toronto for a production of Julius Caesar.   Listen to her tale.   
The pattern is no longer  available but Catherine used raveler raplib’s Pacific NW Poncho notes as a guide.   http://www.ravelry.com/projects/raplib/poncho-perfecto  She used Jenny’ super stretchy bind off
 
Margaret has been playing with a number different projects but she finished two crochet ball ornament covers.  The directions are free and are:  Joy M. Prescott's  Elegant ornaments:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/elegant-ornaments  in #10 orange cotton thread and Teresa Richardson's Thread crochet ornament   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/thread-crochet-ornament---christopher  The video tutorial  is  at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL0i4TTlGyM
 
Brainy Thing:  
Catherine tells us that receiving appreciation and giving appreciation fire the same parts of the brain as offering gratitude does and it does great things for our well being.  She mention the O T Tanner company, Positive Psychology Researc, Psychiatry Seven, Dr. Tard Khastan from George Mason University and Dr. Robert A Emmons, the world’s leading expert on Gratitude.  He’s at UC Davis and is the founder of the Journal of Positive Psychology.
 
Behind the Redwood Curtain:
Today Margaret Explore the Temperate Rainforest, the ecosystem of the Redwood Forest.  
 
Knitting Tip:
Seven7seven (one of our group members) gives a tip that to keep track of yarn care instruction, take a photo of it when you’re photographing the yarn to add to the Ravelry stash pages.
 
The Learn-along
The Learn-along continues.   It ends May 1.  There’s prizes and learning to be had.  
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, how you can improve your quality of life with gratitude and appreciation;  Catherine takes a journey in knitting for the theatre;  Margaret enjoys the plasticity of crochet;  We learn what a temperate rain forest is, we get a tip about how to never lose your yarn’s care instruction, and we give a reminder about the 2017 Learn along.
 

Brainy Thing:  17:29           Behind the Redwood Curtain:  27:00
 
What We’re Learning from Our Knitting:
Catherine rages against the bulky yarn she’s using in some mystery yarn she’s using and returns to a more comfortable yarn she used for but the Funky Baby Kimono by Melilab   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/funky-baby-kimono  
 
 
Margaret muses about several shades of black after finishing a generic top down,   Fish Lip Kiss Heeled generic sock with Soft Like Kittens yarn from independent dyer, Annette M Russell in Auckland, New Zealand (now on indefinite hiatus)  http://www.softlikekittens.com/  
 
Brainy Thing:
Catherine takes a playful (but probably not scientific approach) to playing with color, first on Facebook and then with Pantone’s color of the year, greenery.    Check out the color and personality quiz on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Teachingyourbraintoknitpodcast/ and see the information about the color “greenery” from Pantone:  https://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2017
 
Behind the Redwood Curtain:
Margaret shares the story of the Little Sailboat Who Could, The Golden Rule which is a project of the Veterans for Peace to teach the world about the dangers of nuclear war and testing.   
 
Tip:
Our Ravelry board is a great source of information.   Check out what BeadWeasel has to say about Beads on our Episode 54 thread.  
 
Learn Along
Remember, there are prizes and fun on our 2017 Learn-along.  Check out the thread on our Ravelry page.
 
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.
 
This time on the Teaching Your Brain to Knit Podcast we explore probably a not very scientific view of how personality and mood impact color and vice versa, Catherine rages against bulky yarn but gets comfort from baby yarn, Margaret muses on several shades of black, she also tells the story of the Little Sailboat Who Could, a veterans for peace project teaching about the dangers of nuclear war and testing and then there’s a tip from one of our listeners, bead weasel about beads.  
 
Direct download: Ep._057_Personality_Mood_and_Color_-_3_5_17_3.48_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:35pm PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST