Baby Knitting

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A friend is having a baby!  Which means I get to knit baby surprises!  I will reveal the finished project later, but I am having fun creating it!  Have a list of things I want to get done for her, it’s been awhile since a brand new baby was arriving!  If anyone has any retro 1940’s style patterns, shoot me an email!

Happy crafting!

Craftsy Sale

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Between the busy holiday season and the first flowers of spring lies the perfect time for creativity. Celebrate with BIG savings on supplies at Craftsy, at up to 50% off! Get great deals on art supplies, fabric, yarn, baking tools and more. Sale ends tonight, so browse the sale prices now before the best products are gone!  I am definitely taking advantage of this!  Ends tonight at midnight…

*contains affiliate links.  See disclosure statement.

 

 

Crafting On

This is the pattern I am working on right now, Drachenfels by Mairlynd.  (My progress will be noted below).

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I found this pattern on Craftsy.  This is an excellent site for crafters like myself.  Great online classes for all different types of arts and crafts, patterns, ideas, etc.  You can buy whole kits or just the patterns themselves, and not just knitting.  Seriously, when I say all types, I mean all types.  A sampling of some of their current classes:

Craftsy was founded by 4 tech guys; John Levisay | Founder & CEO, Josh Scott | Founder & COO, Todd Tobin | Founder & CTO, and Bret Hanna | Founder & VP of Engineering.  According to their “About Us” page:

“Craftsy was founded in the spring of 2010 by four tech guys who wanted to create a new high-quality approach to online learning, and it launched in May of 2011. Our founders hoped to create a convenient education platform that captured the magic of a live classroom, including interaction with an expert instructor and fellow students.

Some of the first months were spent building a video player that would deliver the kind of in-class experience they dreamed of. After the founders first gave wine tasting and economics classes a whirl, John’s mother-in-law, an avid quilter, suggested trying quilting instruction, and from there, it was history!”

Sites such as Craftsy really inspire me.  I love learning new techniques and having a community of people to ask questions and share triumphs with!    If you haven’t discovered this site yet, you really should!

So for the update on my progress…here is where I am at with the scarf.  Setting a goal to have it done by the end of the month, and yes, it’s for me! (If my image is showing upside down, I apologize….for some reason is wants to post like that!)

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Your Brain On Knitting

Our brains are fascinating creations.   We have this complex computer system in our head essentially running our entire body.  Most of this is done with neurons.  Neurons are nerve cells that transmit nerve signals to and from the brain.  The pathway along which information travels through the neurons (nerve cells) of the brain is a neural pathway.  Some of these pathways are hard wired from birth…breathing, hunger, heart beating, etc..  Many are formed as we experience life.  Driving the same route everyday to work is a good example.  We tend to stick to what is familiar because of these neural pathways.  If we change up our route, it seems unfamiliar until we make it a habit, basically developing a new neural pathway, and soon that new route is the familiar one.

The more we do and experience the more we learn and grow.  For the most part these learnt experiences are beneficial to us, even if at the time it doesn’t feel like a positive experience. After it is over we often express how we learned from the experience and have grown to be a better person as a result.  Some experiences in life have taught us “bad habits” however, such as emotional eating, avoiding confrontation, etc…  So we need to do something new and different to change these pathways and develop new ones.

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Your brain grows and strengthens through forming new neural pathways, an effect that can be achieved by learning new skills–like knitting.  Knitting not only creates new neural pathways as we develop the skill, but also keeps your neural connections growing, banishes stress, and improves our moods.  It causes dopamine, the happiness hormone, to be released by helping you lose yourself in an activity.  Your brain can only focus on so many things at once, so when you occupy it with learning a new skill like knitting or figuring out how to perfect that sweater sleeve, it doesn’t have space or energy to dwell on the things causing you stress and anxiety.  How cool is that?  These are the things I think about when I work with kids and knitting.  Forming those positive pathways early!

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Don’t worry if you are a winter knitter and stop for awhile.  Those connections do not just disappear during the summer.  May take a little bit of practice to make it familiar again, but you don’t lose the skill.  So banish the blues and pick up the needles.  I can attest first hand it does a brain good!

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Knitting Club!

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A couple months ago, a friend of mine and I were chatting about me coming over and teaching her children how to knit.  We had been talking about it for awhile and could never make the timing work.  She homeschools and has a lot of friends who homeschool, but there wasn’t any knitting classes that she could find.  Lots of educational things and fun ones at that!  So, out of that convo the birth of the Lake Travis Kids Knitting Club came to pass.  We started with just my Xiola and my friends little girl.  I was surprised when another showed up that day who knew Valentina (my friend) and was also a homeschooling mom.  Luck would have it that Xiola knew her too from gymnastics!  Well, this little thing wasn’t sure if she really wanted to knit at all, mom had obviously dragged her to the library that Thursday morning.  But as the hour wore on and she picked up the knit stitch with ease, laughter and play with needles in hand changed her mind about it all.  And she enthusiastically said she would be back for the next class!  Huzzah!

Since this first class, the group has grown and the fun continues.  I love how the girls all sit around, needles and yarn in hand and chat like a bunch of old ladies.  LOL  I call it our Hen party now and honestly can’t tell you how much fun we have.  The library has gotten used to us and makes us feel right at home each and every time.  The girls are learning a new skill and are proud of their work and friendships.  And according to this article, they are also building new neuropathways in their brains!  That’s another post!  😉

If you are local and would like to join our merry little group, we are meeting every other Friday, the first meeting for 2016 will be on Friday, January 15th at 4PM at Lake Travis Community Library.  We either meet in the meeting room if it’s empty or the childrens’s area.  You can’t miss us…we are the group with tons of yarn and tons of laughter!  I love these kids so much and am so privileged to be a part of this little club with them!

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Quotable Sunday

Thank you Kyrie for starting this fun tradition!

Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below-average intelligence.  Of course, superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage.”  ~Elizabeth Zimmerman

Peace!

Poncho, Spider and Creativity

So here is a project I finished for my little Farm Girl.  We were completely inspired by Shelley over at Waldorf Mama and her creation for her little one.   The pattern is about as easy as it gets and was really fun to knit.  Lola saw the rainbow colors on Shelley’s site and had to have one.  The only real change I made on this pattern was to crochet a yoke as Lola has narrow shoulders and a long lean torso, so even the smallest size was slipping off her shoulders.   I also added a couple extra rows per color to compensate for the extra length she needed.  The success of this project was shown last week when my darling one just had to wear it everyday to school, and came home exclaiming that her friends now wanted me to knit for them.  We’ll see how far I get with my other holiday gifts..shh…


 
 
Spider projects were on the agenda tonight.  Lola had to research a spider, make a model and find 8 facts to present to her class.  She chose the Jumping Spider .  We researched and found our facts over the last couple of days, and so tonight was all about the model.  We made our own clay and she created her spider based on pictures we found online.  Then it was baked and painted.  Lola wrote out her 8 facts on strips of paper which I then attached to the legs of her model after the paint was dry.  What fun it was to create!  She had a blast not only with the clay, but practicing her presentation and learning about her creepy crawly friend.  I’m very proud of how she threw herself into this project.
Lola wasn’t the only one expressing her creativity, Xi got in on the action too.  These are her creations, which since have been baked and will be painted tomorrow.  The small one is her interpretation of a bee and the larger one is a funky giraffe.  Hah!  I love them!
 
The girls had so much fun with this project, that I do believe I have some ideas for them for the holidays and expressing even more of their gift giving creativity.
Hope you are having a creative, warm, happy week! 
Peace!