Teaching Your Brain to Knit
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.