Episode 15

In this episode, get caught up with what I’ve been doing for the past two weeks, including my knitting projects and other things that have kept me busy.  Today’s lesson is about responses to stress, which seemed an appropriate topic during the stressful holiday season.

Welcome to new and returning listeners!  And thank you to everyone who has contacted me these past couple of weeks.  If you haven’t already done so, you should join our erudite Ravelry group made up of fabulous people who are impeccable historians.  They know that, although the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 started in the barn of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, it was not caused by their cow kicking over a lantern.   😉

I welcome your feedback — you can post comments here on the blog or in our Ravelry group.  You can also send me email on Ravelry or regular email.  It would be great if you sent me a card or letter via snail mail.  All of my contact information can be found on this site — click on the “About” tab at the top of the page.

This podcast is sponsored by Etsy shops Halcyarn Knitting Accessories and Evermore Studios.  Thank you so much to both sponsors!

You can subscribe to the show on iTunes or you can listen on the audio player below.

Listen to the Show:

SHOW NOTES

Awards and Scholarships

We are currently celebrating the Twelve Days of “Kris-mas” with daily prizes of yarn and other little surprises.  Each day’s winner is randomly selected from the Ewe University group on Ravelry.  We have two more days of giveaways — today and tomorrow.  So if you haven’t joined our Ravelry group yet, be sure to do that right away so you get included in the prize drawings!  Congratulations to all of our winners thus far!

Reminders and Announcements

The thread for the December graduating class is open on our Ravelry group.  You can enter as many finished objects as you complete this month — the more you post, the more chances you have of winning.  At the end of the month I will be drawing two random posts to be our December valedictorians!  One person will get a project bag of their choice from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories, and the other person will get a skein of yarn of their choice from Evermore Studios.  You must be a member of our Ravelry group to participate.

The Timber Ridge Winter Retreat is a wonderful one-day knitting retreat that will be on Saturday, January 4, 2014.  We will be there starting at 9:00am and will stay until probably around 5:00pm or whenever people start to dissipate.  This is a low-key retreat where you can simply come and hang out and knit with a great group of people.  There are no classes or vendors, only the nicest people and the birds and deer we watch from the window.  Lunch is pot-luck.  If you’re in the area and want to come, let me know and I will give you directions for getting there.

Around Campus

In this episode I talk about the snow and what I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks which has kept me away from the recording studio.  I also update you on my snail mail news and the bittersweet closing of a local yarn shop.  As the end of 2013 approaches, I am thinking of my goals for this year, new goals for next year, and my personal theme for 2014.  As I discuss in the show, for my personal theme I focus on one of my Signature Strengths.  You can find out about your Signature Strengths by taking an online test (click on the “Questionnaires” link at the top of the page, and you’ll need to register), which takes a little while but it’s free and interesting.

For our mini-segment  highlighting a local point of interest, I talk about one famous native son of Monmouth, Illinois who was born in this house:

Wyatt Earp Birthplace

You’ll have to listen in to see who it is!

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

Not much knitting progress this week.

JUNIOR:  Neon Frog Socks

neon frog socksThese are the socks I’m knitting for the Dramatic Knits podcast Ribbit KAL (you knit any pair of ribbed socks by the end of the year).  I’m using fingering weight yarn from Leading Men Fiber Arts in the Show Stopper base, which is 75% superwash  merino and 25% nylon.  The colorway is called Lightning Bug.  I’m doing the Basic Ribbed Socks by Kate Atherley and using U.S. size 1 needles.

SOPHOMORE:  Raven Pullover Sweater

raven pullover

I’m considering giving this to my husband as a tube top!  Just kidding.  :)  This is the Raven Pullover pattern from the Knits of a Feather book by Celeste Young.  I’m  using Cascade Greenland yarn, which is 100% superwash merino in black.  The needles are a 32-inch U.S. size 8 circular.

At the Library

Even though I didn’t accomplish a lot of knitting since the last episode, I did finish two books!  The first one is A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg.  It was excellent; I loved it.  I listened to the whole thing in one or two days.  It is one of those books you don’t want to end because you enjoy the characters so much.  It was heartwarming, wholesome, funny, and touching.  It made me laugh out loud and get tears in my eyes.  I highly recommend it.

The second book is The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith.  It is one of the books in the Number One Ladies Detective Agency series, which I like a lot.  The book is good, and the audiobook reader is excellent.  I give this book a thumbs up, too.

 In the Classroom

Today’s lesson is about responses to stress.  I discuss the research on the prevalence of chronic stress in Americans as well as what types of life events are considered stressful.  Listen in to find out answers to questions like:

  • How do people cope with stress?
  • Is the fight or flight response universal?
  • Why are stress responses so important?

I’m sending out glad tidings to all of you for a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Winter Solstice, Happy Festivus, Happy Boxing Day — whatever you’re celebrating, I hope you have a super fabulous holiday!

 

Episode 14

In Episode 14 I have a lot to chat about!  I announce the valedictorians for the November graduating class, announce some new giveaways for December, and talk about a bunch of miscellaneous topics.  You’ll be happy to see that I got some knitting done!  In the classroom, we discuss self-control and its importance in everyday life, not just during the holiday season when everyone is in a shopping frenzy.

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 specialists in the gastrointestinal system.  We know that swallowed chewing gum does NOT take seven years to digest!  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 Accessorieswhere you can get fun project bags.

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

Awards and Scholarships

For the November Graduating Class, we had a total of 129 entries!  Using a random number generator, I drew two numbers to determine the November Valedictorians, and the winners are:

  • Twinimama from Austria, who wins a project bag of her choice from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories (post #118–a beautiful pair of red felted slippers)
  • Kansanatheart from Florida, who wins a skein of yarn of her choice from Evermore Studios (post #16–a gray balaclava for one of her grandsons and worn in the picture by an adorable model)

THANK YOU so much to everyone who participated in the November Graduating Class, and CONGRATULATIONS to our valedictorians!

Reminders and Announcements

Those who are doing the Pen Pal Project, you should have received a message from me with your pen pal’s information.  Contact me if you didn’t get it.

The December Graduating Class thread is now open on Ravelry.  Post your finished objects for December — the more items you finish/post, the more chances you have of winning our December Valedictorian prizes!  At the end of the month, two random posts will be drawn to win.  One person will get a project bag of their choice from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories, and one person will get a skein of yarn of their choice from Evermore Studios.

TWELVE DAYS OF “KRIS-MAS” GIVEAWAY!  The real Twelve Days of Christmas starts after Christmas, but ours starts before.  Beginning on December 13 and continuing until December 24, each day I will randomly select a member of the Ewe University group on Ravelry to win a yarny prize.  There are all kinds of yarn included–fingering weight, sport weight, lace weight, worsted weight–and from many great companies like Malabrigo, Louisa Harding, Asland Trends, Plymouth, Cascade, Kraemer, Blue Sky Alpacas, Elsebeth Lavold, and more.  Here is a picture of the Yarn-a-Palooza:

Prize Yarn donated from my stash

Prize Yarn donated from my stash

Each of the yarns is in a different zip-lock bag, and I will randomly pull out one bag to be the prize each day.  Watch your Ravelry email daily to see if you won!  Please respond within one week and give me your mailing address information.  If I don’t hear from you within a week, I’ll draw another person to win that prize.  Obviously, you must be a member of the Ewe University group on Ravelry to take part in the Twelve Days of “Kris-mas” giveaway, so be sure to join us if you haven’t already!

Letter Writing Social:  If you’re in the local area, you should come to a Letter Writing Social on Monday, December 9 from 6:00-7:30pm.  We’re meeting at the Warren County Public Library in the second floor meeting room (same place we meet for knitting group on Saturdays).  We will provide stationery and envelopes.  You bring postage stamps, your address book, and your favorite pen.  Thank you to Lauren (tskmstr on Ravelry) for organizing this event!

Craftsy Class Giveaway:  The Quiltmoxie Podcast is having a giveaway for a free Craftsy class!  You should definitely check out the podcast, which is hosted by a delightful Ariana, and join her Ravelry group.

Free Online College Courses:  Check out Coursera if you are interested in taking a class just because you enjoy learning.  There are hundreds of courses to choose from in pretty much the entire range of topics, and they are taught by professors from some of the top universities in the world.

Around Campus

I talk about the Timber Ridge Winter Knitting Retreat, which is going to be on Saturday, January 4.  If you’re in the area, let me know if you want to come and I’ll give you the information.

I’ve received several inquiries as to whether the podcast will continue after my sabbatical ends, and the answer is YES.  :)

My first Postcrossing post card was received in Germany (yay!).  I still have four other post cards in transit to China, Indonesia, Russia, and The Netherlands.  Check out this organization if you want to send and receive post cards from around the world.

Postcrossing members can also get a 15% discount on post card printing from Moo.com.  I love Moo because they use super nice paper — heavy card stock — and a very nice finish.  They also allow you to upload as many different images as you want within a single order.

I sent out over 60 hand made greeting cards (donated) to Operation Write Home.  This organization provides the cards to military personnel stationed overseas so that they can use them to write home to their friends and loved ones.

I did some sewing this week and made a little flannel snuggler blanket and pajama pants for my friend Angela’s one-year-old son.  But I forgot to take pictures of the finished objects before I wrapped them up!

This week I’ve done a small amount of Christmas decorating.  Here is our mini tree:

Our pretty little table-top Christmas tree.  This is the table I got for $10 (or less...I don't remember) and painted.

Our pretty little table-top Christmas tree. This is the table I got for $10 (or less…I don’t remember) and painted.

This was the table when I got it...ugh!

This was the table when I got it…ugh!

I talk about these fabulous Smell of Christmas wax melts by Aromatique that I am in love with!

The best smelling Christmas scent ever

The best smelling Christmas scent ever

 The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

GRADUATED:  Sock Circle Socks

FINALLY they graduated!

FINALLY they graduated!

JUNIOR:  Neon Frog Socks

Hooray!  One sock is finished!

Hooray! One sock is finished!

SOPHOMORE:  Raven Pullover Sweater

Christmas gift for my husband, if I get it done in time!

Christmas gift for my husband, if I get it done in time!

This project is living in my new Kikiboo Bag from my friend and pen pal Denise, host of the Knitting Den podcast (one of my favorites).  She also has an Etsy shop — check it out!

I love my Kikiboo bag!

I love my Kikiboo bag!

In the Classroom

In this week’s lesson I talk about the research on self-control, and in particular, the Strength Model of Self-Control.  This model says that self-control is like a muscle, and if we use it a lot it gets depleted.  Just like muscles get tired the more they are used, each time we exert self-control (or willpower), it uses up some of our self-control energy.  If we engage in a lot of self-control, our energy resource gets depleted and then we lose our willpower.  I discuss the research on self-control failure resulting in drug addiction, school underachievement, obesity, personal debt, violent crime, and unprotected sex.  I also cover the research supporting the Strength Model as well as some interesting studies confirming the advice, “Don’t go shopping when you’re tired or hungry!”  Listen in to find out the source of our self-control energy and how to replenish it.