Episode 13

The theme of Episode 13 is Thanksgiving, as we celebrated this holiday here in the U.S. on Thursday.  I talk about President Abraham Lincoln and the circumstances under which he created the Thanksgiving holiday.  I also chat about  snail mail news, Craftsy classes, my knitting progress, and the book I’m currently reading.  Give a listen!

Welcome to new and returning listeners!  And hello to everyone who has joined the Ewe University group on Ravelry, an erudite group of extraordinary people who are experts in food and nutrition.  We do NOT eat 4,500 calories in one day like the average American consumed on Thanksgiving!  You should join us, if you haven’t already!  Thank you so much to everyone who contacted me this week.  I love hearing from you!  You can subscribe to the show on iTunes or on this web site by clicking on the “Follow” tab at the bottom of the page and entering your email address.  For the show’s RSS feed, look on the right sidebar menu — scroll down until you see the “Entries RSS” link and click on it.

Thank you to show sponsor Halcyarn Knitting Accessories.  I’m having a holiday sale in the shop where you can get 20% off your purchase by using the coupon code HOLIDAYS13.

And thank you to our sponsor Evermore Studios, specializing in hand dyed, hand painted, and kettle dyed luxury yarns.

 Listen to the Show:

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

For those participating in the Pen Pal Pair Up Project, watch your Ravelry mail for a message from me containing your pen pal’s information.  You should receive it by December 1.  If you don’t, contact me and I will get back to you.

Post your finished objects for November in the November Graduating Class thread on our Ravelry group by November 30 to be entered in this month’s prize drawings.  I will use a random number generator to select two valedictorians for November, who will each receive a prize.  One person will get to choose any project bag from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories, and the other person will get to choose any yarn from Evermore Studios.  If you miss the November graduation, don’t worry — I will open up a thread for the December graduating class on December 1.  You must be a member of the Ewe University group to participate.

Around Campus

This week I chat about feeding the birds and a lot of snail mail news.  Some friends and I made cards to donate to Operation Write Home, which is an organization that sends cards to military personnel so that they can use them to write to their loved ones back home.  I also joined Postcrossing, an outfit that organizes post card exchanges around the world.  Another fantastic snail-mail supporter is the Letter Writers Alliance, where you can get stationery and other super-cool supplies.  They also host letter-writing socials, which sound really fun!  Along those lines, my friend Lauren has organized a letter-writing social here at our public library on December 9 from 6:00-7:30pm.  Join us if you’re in the area!

In the show I talk about the awesome Craftsy classes I’ve been taking.  I am addicted to Craftsy!  I love the class topics and the teachers.  You watch the instruction and demonstration videos on your computer, plus you get handouts and materials that you can download.  You can even post your questions on the discussion board, and the instructor will respond and help you.  If you are interested in checking out Craftsy, now is a good time because all their classes are on sale for $19.99 or less until Monday, December 2!

Thank you to Cayenne for turning me on to a new audio podcast, Black Isle Crafts, hosted by Sheila.  I am really enjoying listening to her talk about her knitting, spinning, and life on a farm in the Scottish Highlands.

I end this segment by telling about a point of interest in my town, Monmouth, Illinois.  It is a plaque commemorating a speech delivered on that block by senate candidate Abraham Lincoln on October 11, 1858.  Although it wasn’t one of his famous speeches (he talked for three hours but there is no record of exactly what he said), afterwards he stopped in at the local photographer and had his picture taken.  This photograph was unknown until the 1980’s because it was in the possession of the photographer’s family here in Monmouth until then.  Now it is housed at the Smithsonian.

 

Plaque commemorating Abraham Lincoln's speech in Monmouth, Illinois on October 11, 1858

Plaque commemorating Abraham Lincoln’s speech in Monmouth, Illinois on October 11, 1858

Picture of Lincoln taken at the local photographer in Monmouth

Picture of Lincoln taken at the local photographer in Monmouth

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

No projects graduated this week, not even the sock circle socks.  :(  But here is a picture of all the socks — everyone in the sock circle put on their socks at knitting group Wednesday evening, and we took a picture.  Don’t they look great?!

All the sock circle ladies wearing their socks

All the sock circle ladies wearing their socks

SOPHOMORE:  Neon Frog Socks

I’m doing these socks for the Ribbit Knit-along with the Dramatic Knits podcast.  They are in Leading Men Fiber Arts — Show Stopper yarn in the Lightning Bug colorway.  The project is on a Ciaogoo 9-inch U.S. size 1 circular needle.  I’m using the Basic Ribbed Sock pattern by Kate Atherley.

This week I turned the heel and knit about 4 inches on the foot

This week I turned the heel and knit about 4 inches on the foot

FRESHMAN:  Raven Pullover Sweater

This is a Christmas present for my husband, if I get it done in time.  I need to speed it up a little!  This pattern is out of the Knits of a Feather book by Celeste Young.  I’m using Cascade Greenland yarn on a 32-inch U.S. size 8 circular needle from my Hiya Hiya Interchangeables.

I knit a couple more inches on the sweater -- you can see my progress as indicated by the blue stitch marker where I left off last week

I knit a couple more inches on the sweater — you can see my progress as indicated by the blue stitch marker where I left off last week

FRESHMAN:  I made a teensy bit of progress on my super-secret gift project.

At the Library

I continued listening to We the Living by Ayn Rand this week and am currently on Chapter 6.  Although this book is one of my all-time favorites, I think I am going to set it aside for now and start a different book that is more cheerful!  The past few books I’ve read have been very melancholy, and I’m in the mood for something a little more upbeat.

In the Classroom

For this week’s lesson I read an essay that I wrote about Abraham Lincoln several years ago when I was the keynote speaker at a student honor society’s initiation meeting.  Hopefully you will find it inspiring, motivating, and appropriately related to Thanksgiving.

 

 

Episode 12

Episode 12 features my experience with the terrible storms that hit Central Illinois on Sunday, several knitting projects I’ve been working on, the interesting book I’m currently reading, and a lesson about the research on trauma and resilience.

Welcome to new and returning listeners!  And hello to everyone who has joined the Ewe University group on Ravelry, an erudite group of fabulous people who are astonishing chemists.  You should join us, if you haven’t already!  Thank you so much to everyone who contacted me this week.  I love hearing from you!  You can subscribe to the show on iTunes or on this web site by clicking on the “Follow” tab at the bottom of the page and entering your email address.  For the show’s RSS feed, look on the right sidebar menu — scroll down until you see the “Entries RSS” link and click on it.

Thank you to show sponsors Halcyarn Knitting Accessories and Evermore Studios.

Listen to the Show:

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

Tomorrow (Friday, November 22) is the deadline for joining in on our Pen Pal Pair-Up Project.  If you’re interested in having your very own pen pal, go over to the pen pal thread on our Ravelry group, get the questionnaire that I have posted there, and email me your answers asap.  If you’re a day or two late, still email me because I can probably still include you.  I will review everyone’s information and match you up with a pen pal.  You’ll get your pen pal’s information by the end of the month.

Remember to post a picture of your finished object(s) in our November Graduating Class thread.  You must be a member of the Ewe University group to participate, and you can post as many objects as you finish.  The more you post, the more chances you have to win!  At the beginning of December I will draw two random posts to be our valedictorians!  One person will get a project bag of their choice from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories.  The other person will get a skein of yarn of their choice from Evermore Studios.  Thanks to all who have posted their beautiful and inspirational finished objects so far!

Around Campus

You’ve probably already heard about the horrible storms we had here in Central Illinois on Sunday.  In the show I talk about the storms as they passed through my town.  We were under a tornado watch all day but we were lucky that the tornadoes didn’t form until the storm crossed the Illinois River, about 60 miles east of here.  However, others were not so lucky, and the town of Washington, Illinois was severely damaged by an EF4 tornado.

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

SENIOR:  Sock Circle Socks

I completed my section on Gail’s socks in one week!  I even knit a few inches extra (5 inches instead of 2 inches) so that they would be ready for Gail to start decreasing for the toe.  The yarn I used for my section is Crazy Zauberball, which is 75% wool and 25% nylon, in the Fliederduft colorway.  I think  fliederduft means lilac.  It is a transitional yarn in different shades of purple.

I knit a 5 inch section on the foot (bottom section of the socks) and then passed them back to Gail, who will finish her socks this coming week!

I knit a 5 inch section on the foot (bottom section of the socks) and then passed them back to Gail, who will finish her socks this coming week!

Last night at knitting group I got my own socks back from Rose, and this coming week I’ll be knitting and finishing up the toes on both socks.

FRESHMAN:  Raven Pullover

This is the sweater I’m making for my husband for a Christmas gift.  I only got about an inch done.  The 2 x 2 ribbing is already tiresome, but I’m plugging away!  This pattern is the Raven Pullover from Knits of a Feather by Celeste Young.  I’m using Cascade Greenland yarn, which is 100% superwash merino in black.  You can listen to the show to find out my opinions about this yarn.  This project is on a 32-inch U.S. size 8 circular needle from my Hiya Hiya interchangeables.

The blue stitch marker indicates where I left off last week, so I only completed about an inch more on the sweater this week.

The blue stitch marker indicates where I left off last week, so I only completed about an inch more on the sweater this week.

ADVANCED FRESHMAN:  Ribbed Socks

I’m joining the Dramatic Knits podcast Ribbit knit along.  For this KAL you knit any pair of ribbed socks, and you have until the end of the year to finish.  I should be able to do that!  I’m using my favorite ribbed sock pattern, Basic Ribbed Socks by Kate Atherley.  I’m using fingering weight yarn by Leading Men Fiber Arts in the Show Stopper base in the Lightning Bug colorway.  It’s a nice sock yarn — 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon.  I’m using a 9-inch U.S. size 1 circular needle (Ciaogoo).

You might need your sunglasses to look at this yarn!

You might need your sunglasses to look at this yarn; it’s pretty bright!

FRESHMAN:  I also started a super secret gift project that I can’t tell you about or show you yet!

 At the Library

This week I started listening to the audiobook We the Living by Ayn Rand.  So far I’m only on Chapter 2.  In the show I talk a bit about the background of this book, introduce the setting and the characters, and discuss a little about the author.

In the Classroom

The storms and devastating tornadoes which hit close to home this week made me think about how people cope with disasters.  So in this week’s lesson I cover the research on resilience of people who have suffered all sorts of trauma.  Caveat:  I am not a clinical psychologist or a therapist.  I am an informed consumer of research, and in this episode I simply summarize what we know about resilience based on scientific studies.  I talk a lot about the research of Dr. George Bonnano, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University in New York City, who is one of the foremost experts on psychological resilience after disaster.  He has conducted dozens of studies on topics such as bereavement, serious illness, and the terrorist attacks on September 11.  Listen in to find out answers to questions like How prevalent is resilience? and What makes people resilient?  

Episode 11

In Episode 11 I discuss the research on belonging, which explains why it is so important to us knitters (and spinners and crocheters and weavers) to be a part of a supportive community like our local knitting groups and/or our groups on Ravelry.  I also talk about the snow we’ve had since Monday, my Etsy shop update, new yarn, progress on my knitting projects, and the “fun” books I’m reading.  Click on the media player below to listen to the show!

Welcome to new and returning listeners!  And hello to everyone who has joined the Ewe University group on Ravelry, an erudite group of fabulous people who are sharp mathematicians.  You should join us, if you haven’t already!  Thank you so much to everyone who contacted me this week.  I love hearing from you!  You can subscribe to the show on iTunes or on this web site by clicking on the “Follow” tab at the bottom of the page and entering your email address.  For the show’s RSS feed, look on the right sidebar menu — scroll down until you see the “Entries RSS” link and click on it.

Thank you to show sponsors Halcyarn Knitting Accessories and Evermore Studios.

Listen to the Show:

 

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

Please join us for the current class project, the Pen Pal Pair-Up.  Complete the questionnaire on the Pen Pal thread on Ravelry and email me your answers no later than November 22.  You will receive your pen pal’s information by the end of November.

Also, remember to post pictures of your finished objects for November in our November Graduating Class thread on Ravelry.  You can enter as many projects as you finish this month.  At the beginning of December I will be drawing two random posts to be our November valedictorians!  One winner will get a knitting project bag of their choice from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories, and the second winner will get a skein of yarn of their choice from Evermore Studios.  Links to both Etsy shops are above.  P.S.  You must be a member of the Ewe University group to participate.

Around Campus

It snowed on Monday!  The snow has stuck around all week.  The fall foliage peaked last week and now the trees are pretty bare or are otherwise looking brown and dried up.  I talk about sewing on my new, dreamy sewing machine.  I did a small update in my Etsy shop this week with some holiday-themed bags and am working on more (not necessarily holiday-themed) bags to add in upcoming days.  I am excited to be doing a trunk show at Knit 102, a yarn shop in Galesburg, Illinois, from December 4-7.  If you are in the area, stop by and say hi — you can look at all the project bags in person and do some holiday gift shopping!  This week I also got some new yarn from Leading Men Fiber Arts, which is gorgeous and I can’t wait to knit with it.

Snow!  View down the alley next to our house

Snow! View down the alley next to our house

And the front yard

And the front yard

 The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

GRADUATED:  Charity Hat

This is the fifth hat I’ve finished this month.  That just goes to show you how easy and fast this hat pattern is.  It’s the Four Hour Hat–Bulky by Marilyn Clark.  It’s a free pattern on Ravelry.  I’ve been using Cascade 220 Superwash held double to emulate a bulky yarn, and it works great.  The hat I finished this week is black, and I’m planning to do as many more as I can for the rest of this month.  The hats are knit on a 16 inch U.S. size 11 circular needle.

Black hat for charity

Black hat for charity

SENIOR:  Sock Circle Socks

I finished my section of Laurie’s socks and passed them on to Gail.  Can you believe I did this in one week’s time?!!  I used Pagewood Farm Alyeska in the lavender fields colorway on 9 inch U.S. size 1 circular needles

Laurie's sock circle socks

Laurie’s sock circle socks

FRESHMAN:  Raven Pullover

This week I started a sweater to give my husband for Christmas.  The pattern is from a new book Knits of a Feather by Celeste Young.  I’m making it out of Cascade Greenland yarn in black on a 32 inch U.S. size 8 circular needle.

So far I have about 3 inches done on this sweater

So far I have about 3 inches done on this sweater

FRESHMAN ORIENTATION:  Ribbed Socks

I’m going to join in on the Ribbit KAL with Dramatic Knits, where you knit a simple pair of ribbed socks by the end of December.  I think I can do that!  :)  I’m going to use my new Show Stopper yarn I got from Leading Men Fiber Arts in the Lightning Bug colorway.

 At the Library

I finished The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.  Listen to the show to find out my reaction to the surprising sinister ending.  And find out what book I decided to read next on a whim.

In the Classroom

This week I cover the research on the concept of belonging, from the seminal research paper published in 1995 to more recent research.  You might be surprised at some of the fascinating new studies linking social and physical pain.  No wonder we are motivated to seek out meaningful friendships with our knitting companions both in person and in virtual communities like Ravelry!  Listen in for all the details!

 

Episode 10

Episode 10 features the announcement of our October prize giveaway winners, my recent activities, and a local point of interest.  You’ll also find out about my knitting progress this week as well as my thoughts on the new audiobook I’m listening to.  In the classroom, we’ll be discussing knitting and economics.  Listen in to find out how they are connected!

Welcome to new and returning listeners!  And hello to everyone who has joined the Ewe University group on Ravelry, an erudite group of fabulous people who are outstanding geographers.  You should join us, if you haven’t already!  Thank you so much to everyone who contacted me this week.  I love hearing from you!  You can subscribe to the show on iTunes or on this web site by clicking on the “Follow” tab at the bottom of the page and entering your email address.  For the show’s RSS feed, look on the right sidebar menu — scroll down until you see the “Entries RSS” link and click on it.

Thank you to show sponsors Halcyarn Knitting Accessories and Evermore Studios.

Listen to the Show:

SHOW NOTES

Awards and Scholarships

This week marked the end of two giveaways:

  • Teacher Tribute:  All the tributes were touching and heartwarming!  Two entries were randomly selected from all the posts on the Ravelry thread.  The winners are annm99 (Ann from Illinois) — she wins a project bag of her choice from  Halcyarn Knitting Accessories, and alaksamama (Lani from Alaska) — she gets to select a skein of yarn from Evermore Studios.  Congratulations to both winners!
  • Free e-book, Wrapped in Color: Stranded Knitting in the 21st Century by Deborah Tomasello:  One post was randomly selected from all the entries on that thread, and the winner was amybernhardt (Amy from Columbus).  She said she would like to knit the Snowflake Stranded Shawl in teal or a darker color with bright white snowflakes.  That one was my favorite pattern, too!  Congratulations, Amy!

Reminders and Announcements

The Pen Pal Pair-Up project continues — sign up to get your very own pen pal and correspond with someone new!  Go over to the pen pal thread on Ravelry, get the questionnaire and instructions, and email your responses to me.  The deadline is November 22.

Announcing a new monthly thread for finished objects on our Ravelry group!  Post a picture of your graduated projects for November, and after November 30 I will randomly draw two entries to win (1) a knitting project bag from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories and (2) a skein of yarn from Evermore Studios.

Around Campus

I muse about the fall weather and preparations for the coming winter.  I also talk about two workshops I’ve attended lately as well as my new sewing machine — squeeeeee!!

Our Japanese Maple tree seems more vibrant than ever this fall

Our Japanese Maple tree seems more vibrant than ever this fall

This week’s local attraction is the small town of Oquawka, Illinois, which is the final resting place of a circus elephant who was struck by lightning on the town square in 1972.  Listen in for the whole story.

The Norma Jean Elephant Memorial in Oquawka

The Norma Jean Elephant Memorial in Oquawka

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

GRADUATED:  My fourth charity hat.  The pattern is Four Hour Hat–Bulky by Marilyn Clark.  I’m knitting these hats with Cascade 220 Superwash held double on a 16-inch U.S. size 11 circular needle.

My fourth charity hat this month!

My fourth charity hat this month!

SENIOR:  Sock Circle Socks!  This week I finally finished my section of Pati’s socks and also knit more than two inches on Cheryl’s socks, so I’m all caught up now.  For Pati’s socks I turned the heel using Tough Love yarn from Knit and Fiber Creation in the Bill Weasley colorway.  For Cheryl’s socks I used some Malabrigo sock yarn in the Persia colorway that was left over from a previous project.

This week I received Laurie’s socks and will be working on the foot of those.

Pati's socks -- I turned the heel and then passed them on to Gail

Pati’s socks — I turned the heel and then passed them on to Gail

Cheryl's socks -- I knit several inches in stockinette on the foot

Cheryl’s socks — I knit several inches in stockinette on the foot

At the Library

This week I started listening to The Turn of the Screw, a ghost story by Henry James.  I talk about some historical tidbits about the book and author as well as my thoughts on the novel and the audio reader.

In the Classroom

Today’s lesson relates knitting to economics.  I got interested in this topic when I read an article in the New York Times entitled Laid Back Labor by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt.  In the article they talk about the bewildering practice of people spending so much of their time doing “menial labor” like growing vegetable gardens or doing gourmet cooking or hand knitting.  Why do we do these things as hobbies when we can go out and buy the products inexpensively at a store?  Listen in to find out what economists have to say about how Americans spend their time and how to fairly calculate the cost of making something by hand.  Is there anything more motivating than financial incentives?  What are you waiting for — listen to the show!  :)