Teaching Your Brain to Knit
Brainy 16:20. Behind the Redwood Curtain. 25:00
What We're Learning from Our Knitting
We're appreciating the community spirit behind swaps and knit-a-longs as Catherine participates in the annual Dishcloth Swap and Sivia Hardings Bright Sunny Day knit-a-long
Bright Sunny Day shawl. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bright-sunny-day
Brainy Thing:
The Brain Gut connection goes both ways and food can positively effect your moods.
video re Brain gut condition. podcast.
Behind the Redwood Curtain
We report on the special delights of Fall and Winter Gardening: lettuce, spinach, sprouting broccoli, Chinese cabbage, bok choi among other treats.
And don't forget the role of the vagus nerve ( check out Episode 110.)
Behind the Redwood Curtain:
We report on the special delights of Fall and Winter Gardening: lettuce, spinach, sprouting broccoli, Chinese cabbage, bok choi among other treats.
Today on Episode 119 of Teaching Your Brain to Knit we discuss the latest research on the brain/gut connection and how it can affect our moods; we report on the community spirit of swaps, in particular Catherine's dish cloth swap and her continuing progress on Sivia Hardings Knit-a-long; Margaret talks more about bird knitting and in addition, leaf knitting; and we share experiences of fall and winter gardening on the North Coast of California.
We hope you can tell we are making progress with our distant sound quality but we're still hoping for great improvement.
Thanks for listening.

Brainy thing:     17:09   Behind the Redwood Curtain:  24:36
What We’ve Learned from our Knitting:
Margaret finished Sarah Schirra’s Mystery Knit-along named Nice to Gnome you.   Knitting with two strands of yarn was challenging — especially with the nose and the center double decrease but she enjoyed watching how the various doubled yarns of different colors worked together.    https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/nice-to-gnome-you
https://www.moderndailyknitting.com/double-vision/?mc_cid=c289c548d9&mc_eid=f7638ac441    She used a combination of colors from Leading Men Fibers. https://www.leadingmenfiberarts.com/ Afterwards, she knit Susan B. Anderson’s Peas in a Pod, a tiny amigurumi project where she made small balls with ease.   Finally, she discovered and knit an Izzy Doll, to be donated to charity https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/summer-veggie-charm-set    sethttps://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#sort=best&inline=&query=izzy  https://cmea-agmc.ca/story-izzy-dolls#:~:text=During%20his%20first%20peace%2Dkeeping,dolls%20and%20Mark%20distributed%20them.
Catherine is steadily knitting and enjoying Bright Summer Day, a shawl designed by Sivia Harding as a Mystery Knit along. Catherine is using Canon Hand Dye by Amy Lee in colors of yellow and maroon.  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bright-sunny-day
Brainy Thing:
One of the most under-appreciated senses, smell not only is key in our sense of taste but also helps us form emotional links with others.
Behind the Redwood Curtain:  
Catherine discovers that a small local creek has a big history and has landed right in the middle of the Cancel Culture debate.
Today in Episode 118 of Teaching your Brain to Knit, we explore the sense of smell and how it connects us to others; We report on knitting projects — the Bright Sunny Day shawl, a mystery gnome, peas in a pod, and Izzy, the charity doll, and we discuss the small neighborhood Janes Creek which is now embroiled in local politics.  As has been the case with the last few podcasts, we’ve recorded this on zoom which suffers from occasional sound distortions.  We are continuing to search for solutions which will work with our antiquated digital equipment.  Thanks for your patience and thanks for listening to Teaching Your Brain to Knit.

Brainy thing: 19:33    Behind the Redwood Curtain (and beyond):  34:15
What We’re Learning from our Knitting:
Catherine finished hosting 2020 Potholder exchange which she said was successful.   She has been doing some dyeing with procion dyes which she says was  fun but messy and recommends kool aid dyes (acid)  for beginners.   Her current project that she’s making for the Dishcloth Exchange is Log Cabin Dishcloth by Mary Anne Dinsmore  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/log-cabin-dishcloth.   She also working on the Bright Sunny Day Mystery Knit Along by Sivia Harding Using Canon Hand Dyes by the Other Amy Lee but going slower than the clues are coming out.  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bright-sunny-day
Margaret finished the third Potholder for the exchange using Chicken Potholder  by Erangi Udeshika https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chicken-potholder-6 .  She also finished two projects in Laura Nelkins Kit Knit along.  First was a very pleasurable two color Stranded hat call Proto Lola https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/proto-lola  in green and white, Berroco Catena and Istez Lettlopi.   She’s was challenged by the combination of yarn (JaggerSpun Zephyr wool/silk laceweight yarn and small sharp needles.   The pattern is Cassio Collar  and the beads and findings are lovely.   In fact the whole thing is lovely now that it’s done.   I have an extra kit that I’m happy to send to a listener who is the first one on this thread (Episode 117) on our Ravelry Group  Teaching Your Brain to Knit.  
Brainy Thing:
Catherine discusses the difference between Empathy, Compassion and Pity and the role genetics and the brain plays on compassion. https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/study-finds-that-genes-play-a-role-in-empathy  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/the-neuroscience-empathy#:~:text=This%20specific%20part%20of%20your,the%20the%20right%20supramarginal%20gyrus.&text=This%20area%20of%20the%20brain,responsible%20for%20empathy%20and%20compassion.She also shares some compassion quizzes and recommends George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100171h.html  and Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin.   
Behind the Redwood Curtain
The local Natural Fiber Fair is going virtual this year http://www.naturalfiberfair.com/  so all can attend free this year.   Watch out for other local fiber events that may be going online.  Stitches has had virtual events https://stitches.events/  and Vogue Knitting will be putting on Virtual Knitting Live by Vogue Knitting on September 10-13 and October 8 through 11 https://www.vogueknittinglive.com/portal   Marketplace:   https://www.handspunhope.org/events?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwf3OmdbV6wIVxcDACh0OzQ0cEAAYASAAEgI2p_D_BwE.  
Welcome to Teaching Your Brain to Knit, episode 117 where we explore the genetic and brain links to Compassion, report on Catherine’s progress on Potholders and Sivia Harding’s Mystery Knit along and Margaret’s completion of two of Laura Nelkin’s kits.  We share that our local Natural Fiber Fair is going virtual and encourage everyone to check out their own local fiber events as well as national fiber shows that are happening online.    

Brainy Thing: 25:48       Behind the Redwood Curtain:  36:28
What We’re Learning From Our Knitting:
Margaret got caught up in casting on projects but not finishing them.   She did complete three Chicken Potholders  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chicken-potholder-6  by Erangi Udeshika using Knit Picks Dishy and Dishy Twist in silver and orange and Naturatura organic yarn in pale yellow.   She hopes to finish some of those projects she started.    Catherine also finished potholders,  named “Potholder for my Mother”  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/potholder-for-my-mother by Ellinor Wideen.  She also used Knit Picks Dishy Twist and a number of leftover  cottons in a variety of colors from  her stash.
Both are anticipating Myster Knit a longs.
Brainy Thing:
We’re familiar with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but some scientists are studying Post Traumatic Growth that we can experience after we process the discomforts of the trauma.  

Brainy: 16:00    Behind the Redwood Curtain: 25:42
What we’re learning from our Knitting and crochet:
Catherine’s comfort knitting is the Socky Slouchy Hat  by Lauren Sanchez.   She’s using a Canon Hand dye sock yarn in a deep black and periwinkle.  Lauren Sanchez  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/socky-slouchy-hat.  And she continues her search for the best gauge to use for a potholder with the Knit Picks Dishie Twist.
Margaret is also searching for comfort and returned to Arne and Carlos for their basic bird.  
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/basic-bird.  And she picked up the black bird project she tried from Nikki Figikoska’s book:   Knitted Birds.  She started it a couple of years ago but put it aside when she stuffed it and it looked more like a rat than a bird.   She was prepared to rip the whole thing out but as she began to take the stuffing out she noticed it began to look more like a bird so with a little shifting around she has a beautiful bird in a bright aqua and stellina scrap yarn.  
She also discovered a list of collective nouns on the wiktionary collective https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Glossary_of_collective_nouns_by_subject    
Brainy Thing: 
Even just planning a vacation helps our brains    
Applied research and quality of life 2010
Behind the Redwood Curtain:
Margaret discovered the many benefits of yhe sweet smelling intensely blue ceanothus  
Today in episode 115 of Teaching Your Brain to Knit we learn how to get the brain benefits of traveling, without traveling;  Margaret and Catherine report on their comfort knitting , and Margaret discovers the many benefits of the native shrub, ceanothus.
Recorded on zoom with all the vicissitudes that platform presents.
Deadline for the 2020 Potholder Swap is August 1

Brainy thing:  17:42      Behind the Redwood Curtain:  28:36
What We’re Learning from Our Knitting:
Margaret gains an even greater appreciation for well written directions.  Two great patterns, in particular  that she’s worked on lately is Wooly Sheep by  Lucy of Attic 24 https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/woolly-sheep-2.  She used scrap yarn.    She added a touch of embroidery on the sweater/blanket for the sheep.  Also, she’s working on the Baker’s Twine potholder out of  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baker-s-twine  two strands of dk cotton, one black and one white.  The designer is Catherina Duden.   Her company is Ducathi.  
Catherine is working away at her Socky Slouchy Hat by Loren Sanchez  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/socky-slouchy-hat.    She’s also trying to find a gauge she likes for a potholder for her potholder exchange:  the 2020 Potholder Exchange:  https://www.ravelry.com/groups/2020-potholder-swap
Brainy Thing:  Countering the Stress of the  Pandemic
Experiencing sheltering-in-place and isolation creates stress for most of us.  Margaret shares many strategies for helping to ease your way through the crisis. https://www.businessinsider.com/what-coronavirus-covid19-pandemic-stress-is-doing-to-your-brain-2020-5
Behind the Redwood Curtain:
The Humboldt Open Studios allows visitors and patrons to see artists where they work.  This year’s event is cancelled but we hope it continues in the future.
Welcome to Episode 114 of Teaching Your Brain to Knit.   Today we shares many strategies for helping you ease your way through the isolation and separation of the Pandemic.  Margaret gains a new appreciation for well written directions and mentions two projects with excellent directions that she’s been working on.   Catherine continues working on her Socky Sloucy Hat and struggles to find a perfect gauge for her potholder.   And she also reports on an annual event in Humboldt, the artists’ Open Studios which sadly has been canceled this year but that we hope you can catch in the future.
Many thanks to KnittyBarb of the Two Knit Lit Chicks Podcast who shared her tips on recording remotely with me.   Unfortunately, both Catherine and I have very old devices and so the sound quality here continues to be less than ideal.   But we’re working on it.  
Thanks for listening to our podcast.  We’re going to increase the frequency of our podcasts to a bit more than once a month.   If you subscribe — we’re on most podcast apps and aggregators — you’ll be sure not to miss our episodes.   

Brainy: 21:26  Mind/Body Depression, Pain and the Brain Behind the Redwood Curtain:      28:04
What We’re Learning from Our Knitting
Both Catherine and Margaret (without consultation with each other) made hats for themselves.  Catherine knit the Socky Slouchy Hat by Lauren Sanchez https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/socky-slouchy-hat Margaret’s was the Churchmouse Yarns and Teas Boyfriend Watch Cap https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/boyfriend-watch-capMargaret also tried out the famous and infamous ball band washcloth pattern but she extended the length into a towel.   She used Knit Pick’s new twisted Dishie in Black and White with the contrasting yarn in matching solid black.   https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ballband-dishcloth  It was a fun pattern to do.  And Catherine is taking up the gauntlet and hosting the 2020 Potholder exchange.  https://www.ravelry.com/groups/2020-potholder-swap.
Brainy Thing:
Catherine leads us into a deep dig into the Mind-Body phenomena, specifically the relationship between pain and the brain.  
Behind the Redwood Curtain.
In our little town and probably yours, dozens of businesses are joining the campaign to protect our communities.   Here are some we mentioned:
North Coast Repertory https://ncrt.net/
Today in Episode 113 of Teaching Your Brain to Knit we dive deeply into the mind/body phenomena specifically  Pain and Depression and how you might improve both;  We discuss our new knitting:  Hats and a dishtowel plus Catherine takes up the challenge to host the Potholder swap.  And in Behind the Redwood Curtain, we celebrate the local business who are making masks, face guards, and sanitizers to help protect our community.   We’re sure there are businesses in your community that are doing the same thing.  
And before we begin, I just want to note that I’m not happy with the sound quality in this episode.  We spent a lot of time and some money trying to figure out a way to record remotely with our older computers but this was the best we could do this time.   Rest assured that we will continue to experiment and hopefully have a better quality next time.   Until then, stay well.  

Brainy Thing:  21:11    Behind the Redwood Curtain  29:33 
What we’re learning from our knitting:
Margaret participated in Sara Schira’s MKAL3 for a new Gnome "Gnome is Where you Hang Your Hat" https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/gnome-is-where-you-hang-your-hat.  This one features stranded colorwork.   Margaret also got caught up in other cute projects including Henry’s Bunny https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/henrys-bunny by Sara Elizabeth Kellner and Susan B. Anderson’s Spring Charm set https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/spring-charm-set.   Despite the cuteness of these projects, they have been good skill builders.  
Catherine points us toward the March 2020 edition of Better Homes and Gardens which features beautiful visible mending https://www.bhg.com/better-homes-and-garden-magazine/.   She also completed an embellished Jellyfish bath scrubby https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jellyfish-bath-scrubbies by Julie Tarsha.  
Brainy Thing:
Margaret discovers how “cute” things impact our brains and stimulates dopamine and how an overdose of these neurochemicals can cause aggression.  
Behind the Redwood Curtain:
Catherine shares with us the features of the Lady Bird Johnson Grove a superb old growth trail spot.   
Today in Teaching Your Brain to Knit, we discover how cute things trigger happy brain chemicals and how too much cute can cause aggression.   We explore how cute projects can also build skills and then share one of the most popular hiking trails in our area:  The Lady Bird Johnson Grove.  

Brainy Thing:  23:31     Behind the Redwood Curtain:  34:16
What We Learned from Our Knitting
Catherine has found the perfect combination of yarn, needles and pattern in the Baker’s Street Scarf https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baker-street-scarf  by Joan of Dark  and on Knitty http://knitty.com/ISSUEff15/index.php.   She used Brittany birchwood needles and Blue Moon Fiber Company’s yarn in the Evermore colorway.  
Margaret is proclaiming Sarah Schira the Queen of the gnomes after  investigation into gnome-dom.   
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#query=sarah%20schira&sort=best&view=captioned_thumbs&page=1  Margaret knit two of them for gifts and is joining Sarah’s newest mystery knit-a-long for Gnemo:  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/gnome-is-where-you-hang-your-hat.   There are scores, maybe hundred of other gnome options.  Margaret mentions the Jolly Wee Elf by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jolly-wee-elf 
She also knit one of the five designs in Holiday Trees pattern by Yellow Cosmo.
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/holiday-trees-2  She bought the kit on Bluprint and used its Cloudborn Superwash in dark green and white. 
Brainy Thing:
Chocolate just doesn’t taste good, it has a host of natural chemicals that are good for our bodies and minds and she’ll reveal the secret of why it is a particularly good choice for Valentine Days Gifts.  
Behind the Redwood Curtain:
We visit a boutique craft chocolate company in Humboldt, Dick Taylor,  that ships all over the world. (We got to sample all of their products.) 
If you want to join Sara Schira’s gnome-a-long  that starts February 12, check this out:   https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/gnome-is-where-you-hang-your-hat.  

Brainy thing:  23:46   Behind the Redwood Curtain:   37:07
What we’re learning from our knitting:  
Margaret’s knitting this time focused on small items.    She was amazed at the design originality of Rebecca Langford’s Little rustic pumpkin https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/little-rustic-pumpkin that she started in
in Kelbourne Woolens, Germantown, Gold but sadly didn’t have enough to complete. Just to be able to complete something she took up the crocheted Fall Leaves Pattern https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fall-leaves-3 by Michelle @ the Painted Hinge.  She completed the  Caps for Kids Swirled Ski Hat
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/swirled-ski-cap by Caps for Kids from the organization but also included in Knitting for Peace by Betty Christiansen.  Finally, her favorite, most fun, quick, quick project this time was the Pint Sized Pines by Julie Tarsha  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pint-sized-pines made from scraps of Mission Falls 1824 cotton.
Catherine worked on crocheted cotton Rainbow Flower Scrubby Dishcloth
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rainbow-flower-scrubby-dishcloth by Tamara Kelly but sadly her new puppy loves them and took a bite out of one.  She has fallen love with some yarn that she will work up as a scarf.
Brainy Thing:  The Vagus Nerve
Labeled the “queen of nerves” the Vagus Nerve plays a major role in connection between the trunk of the body and the brain and seems able to affect a host of conditions from inflammation to depression.  Margaret outlines the remarkable connections the Vagus Nerve makes and how to stimulate it for good health.  
Behind the Redwood Curtain:  Utility Boxes As Art
Who would have thought of using outdoor Utility Boxes as a canvas for art?   The City of Eureka did and the results are fun and engaging. 
Today in Episode 110 of Teaching Your Brain to Knit, we outline the many ways the Vagus Nerve connects the brain with the body and the many ways you can stimulate it that will improve your health.  Margaret shares the small  but satisfying projects she worked on, Catherine talks about crocheting scrubbies and her excitement about new yarn , and she reports how the city of Eureka used its Utility Boxes as canvases for outdoor art.