Building Dendrites

I’ve often heard (and I think the research shows) that staying mentally active and learning new skills help to stave off signs of early dementia and Altzheimers disease by building brain cells. If that’s true, I’ve banked a lot of brain power through my knitting!

If you follow my blog, you know that I’m in a knitting frenzy of holiday gifts and currently have five projects on needles! My cut-off date for completion of all the gifts is December 23rd — that’s when our son and his family arrive for Christmas. So that leaves only 62 more knitting days! And it’s not like I’m knitting all easy stuff.

Here are a few of the new things I’m learning as I work on these projects —

#1.

Tuesday Morning Lined Mittens
Tuesday Morning Lined Mittens

I really learned the importance of accurate measuring on this one. Since the outer mitten of the first one is a bit smaller than the inner mitten, I must frog to below the decreases on both the mitt and the thumb to get a comfortable fit. Next time I knit this pattern I’ll count and record  rows as well as measure!

#2.

Finn's Sweater
Finn’s Sweater
Russian Join
Russian Join

This sweater is knit in the round from top down. So there are no seams at all. I decided to make finishing really easy and not need to weave in ends when starting new skeins of yarn. Two master knitters, Pat and Claudia, showed me how to do a Russian Join and I watched a video on line. I finally got it right!! Although I must admit it was fairly easy with this Cascade Eco Cloud yarn! Love this yarn!

3.

Habitat by Jared Flood
Habitat by Jared Flood

This hat project is a real challenge for me in many ways!

  • my first cables with a cable needle
  • my first M1 (Elizabeth Zimmerman style)
  • My first ever knitting from a schematic or pattern chart (I’m more of a word person!)

I must say that it is going fairly well after a very rocky start. After the increase row I was supposed to have 120 stitches. But I got a different number every time I counted — 5 times! I was ready to throw it across the room at Tuesday Morning Knit Group when Mona (my idol) came to the rescue and counted 120 the first time she did it! I trusted her count and went with it. Then I kept looking at the chart and saying “I don’t get it!” Until finally DeeDee said, “Just shut up and do it! It will be fine!” She was right!

I’ve grown so many brain cells this week that it’s a wonder my head hasn’t exploded!! For complete information on these projects please visit my Ravelry site. For the free Tuesday Morning Lined Mittens pattern by Claudia see Apple Yarns.

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