Saturday, January 21, 2012

Striatum-dependent knitting

There's been some progress made on the fair isle project:
The first motif on the body is finished.  I changed the colors in the center to add further contrast in the background.  It looks a bit loud here, but the red-orange color will brighten up the sweater without being too overwhelming (I hope).  It's been so much fun getting re-immersed in fair isle knitting.  I love how the pattern evolves on every row, even though each row takes forever (364 stitches, #2 needles).

I've also been working on the Virgin sweater:
I started with the sleeve because I was too lazy to do a swatch.  Luckily my gauge is right, although the yarn I am using (Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport weight on size 3 needles) is not producing as dense a fabric as the pattern calls for.  The safety pin is placed at the point when I felt I was not using my prefrontal cortex excessively to keep track of the pattern.  The next marker, where I stopped knitting to take this picture, is where I felt the knitting became primarily striatum-dependent.  By that I mean that I could knit without paying much attention.  I had developed the habit necessary to following the pattern without having to keep it in working memory.  As each row was worked I was able to recognize that I was changing the yarn appropriately, getting a little pulse of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens each time.  I put it away to play with the fair isle sweater, so I'll need to use my prefrontal cortex for a few rows when I get back to it.  I'll need to reclaim it from Mr. Brown, who has recognized its value as a pillow.

1 comment:

Oogyknitter said...

Smart kitty!! And he's got great taste - what a beautiful sleeve-swatch! Occipital lobes everywhere are exploding with all the fair isle color possibilities!