Episode 32: The Driftless Zone

In Episode 32 we go on a little field trip to the Driftless Zone, a wonderfully unique region encompassing parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois in the northern plains of the U.S. Midwest.  Before the field trip, however, you’ll hear a couple of new segments, find out what I’ve been up to during the past week, get caught up with my knitting projects and the audiobooks I’ve recently finished.

Welcome  to both new and returning listeners!  I invite you to join our amazing Ravelry group so you can participate in all the activities and contests and be eligible for prizes.  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, and 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 Mountain Meadow Wool.  Thank you so much to both sponsors! Listeners’ support of these sponsors is truly appreciated, and through them you are supporting this podcast and making it possible.

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

Listen to the show:

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

  • The December Graduating Class thread is open through today — post your finished objects for a chance to win a project bag and a skein of yarn
  • A Contest Celebrating Transition has been extended to the end of January — post your story about a transition in your life where one door closed but another one opened.  The prize is a free copy of the pattern Another Door Opens by Sara Bauer.
  • 2015 is the Year of the Sheep!  We’ll be focusing on Merino wool for January, so get ahold of some yarn/fiber and join us in knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, or otherwise experimenting with it.
  • Donations are currently being accepted for Operation Sew Smart — fundraiser to raise money to buy a sewing machine for the home ec class at one of the local middle schools.  Even $5 or $10 will help us reach our goal of $300.

Around Campus

I have decided not to make any New Years resolutions or goals for 2015, but I am going to have a personal theme:  Appreciation.  I talk about the VIA Inventory of Strengths, which tells you about 24 different values or character strengths.  Click on the link to take the test if you’re interested.

I chat about Christmas, our Christmas tree and decorations, and my upcoming trip to Nevada to visit family.  I also share a couple of Etsy purchases:

1. Project bag from CozyCraftingShop:

CozyCraftingBag

2. Star quilt wall hanging from 3TalentedWomen:

quilt

I also talk about some “generation gap” moments that I’ve experienced recently.  I really, really need you to tell me that I’m not the only person to whom this kind of thing happens!  Listen in for the humorous details.

I baked some pumpkin bread for the ladies at the post office.  On Saturday I had lunch with my friend Kristyne where we talked a lot about my knitting journal that I started in 2008.  Tonight is New Years Eve, and John and I will be at home hanging out and hoping we can stay awake until midnight.  🙂

Knitting Batrachology

This is a new segment which gets its name from batrachology, a branch of zoology that involves the study of frogs.  What does this have to do with knitting?  Knitting and frogs?  Well, this segment is about projects that are getting frogged!  Listen to the show to find out some surprising and some not-so-surprising frogged projects.

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

  • Graduated:  Hat for Charity I
    Pattern is 4 Hour Hat–Bulky by Marilyn Clark
    Yarn is Perfection by Kraemer Yarns in the Alligator colorway
    Needles are US size 10 (6mm)

greenhat

  • Graduated:  Hat for Charity II
    Same pattern as above
    Same yarn but in the Leather colorway
    Same needles

brown hat

  • Freshman:  Cabled Scarf
    Pattern is Chunky Braided Scarf by Jimenita
    Yarn is Serenity by Premier Yarns in Pristine colorway
    Needles are US size 11 (8mm)

white scarf

  • Freshman Orientation:  Hapa Shawl, 2nd Iteration
    Pattern is Hapa by Mskiknits
    Yarn 1:  Leading Men Fiber Arts Show Stealer in the Concealed Elixir colorway
    Yarn 2:  Wolkenspiel by Zitron in the Abendrot colorway
    Needles are US size 6 (4.25mm)

Fire&Ice

Home Ec for the Reluctant Cook

This is another new segment which features a super easy recipe that even I can do.  Here is the recipe:

Freezer to Crock Pot Barbecue Pork Ribs

Put in a gallon freezer bag:
2-1/2 lbs pork ribs (may need to cut so they will fit into crock pot)
1-1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1-1/2 tsp seasoned salt

Put bag in freezer until you are ready to cook. Thaw in fridge 24 hours, then dump everything into crock pot. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. YUM!

At the Library

I finished three audiobooks recently:

  1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows — 4 stars
  2. Masked Ball at Broxley Manor by Rhys Bowen (short story) — 4 stars
  3. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson (classic fairy tale) — 4 stars

Listen to the show to hear my reviews of these books.

In the Classroom

Today we go on a field trip to The Driftless Zone, a region of rolling hills, forest, and rocky bluffs which represents what the northern and eastern United States were like before the last glacial period.  You see, the Driftless Zone is so named because it is the only part of the northern plains that was not covered by glaciers during the last Ice Age.  It is called “driftless” because it doesn’t have the sediment or drift that was left by the receding glaciers.  In the show I talk about a lot of the features of this region and discuss two specific preservation areas:  The Mines of Spain State Recreation Area and The Effigy Mounds National Monument.  Tune in to find out about the natural beauty and the history of this unique area of the American Midwest.

Happy New Year!!

Episode 31: Comfort Food

After a little hiatus, Ewe University is back with Episode 31.  This episode features a classroom segment including an ethnographic analysis of the American Thanksgiving celebration and research on comfort food.  Along the way, I announce the October and November valedictorians and other prize winners.  I also chat about what I’ve been up to, the weather, new yarn and project bags, a new video podcast, and my favorite audio podcasts.  I did manage to finish a few knitting projects, despite my knitting behaving very, very, very, very naughty.  And I review some fabulous yarn from Mountain Meadow Wool.

Welcome  to both new and returning listeners!  I invite you to join our awesome Ravelry group so you can participate in all the activities and contests and be eligible for prizes.  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, and 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 Mountain Meadow Wool.  Thank you so much to both sponsors! Listeners’ support of these sponsors is truly appreciated, and through them you are supporting this podcast and making it possible.

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

Listen to the show:

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

  • Post your finished objects in the December Graduating Class thread on Ravelry for a chance to win valedictorian prizes.
  • The Dean’s List Giveaway has been going on from December 12-23.
  • A Contest Celebrating Transition will be open until the end of January — post your entry to win a free pattern called Another Door Opens by Sara Bauer.
  • 2015 is the Year of the Sheep — check out the list of sheep breeds we will be focusing on in 2015 on the Ravelry discussion board.
  • Operation Sew Smart is a fundraiser to raise $300 for the purchase of a new sewing maching for the home ec class at one of our local middle schools.  I deeply appreciate donations small or large.

Awards and Scholarships

October Valedictorians:

  • KCONNORS (Kathleen from New Mexico) with post #74 — wins a skein of yarn from Mountain Meadow Wool
  • SALLYFROMIADHO (Sally from Idaho) with post #153 — wins a project bag from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories

November Valedictorians:

  • LMECOLL (Linda from Pennsylvania) with post #29 — wins a skein of yarn from Mountain Meadow Wool
  • GRANDMABUCK (Diana from Savannah) with post #96 — wins a project bag from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories

Spooky Read-Along Prize Winner:

  • CASCOTT (Carla from South Dakota) with post #57 — wins a set of ghoulish stitch markers donated by Sara from Yarns at Yin Hoo

Anomalous Knit-Along Prize Winner:

  • KUMBUKTU7 (Kym from ??) with post #23 — wins a set of Knitter’s Pride Nova Cubics Platina Deluxe Interchangeagle Needles

Congratulations to all of our winners!

**If you didn’t have a chance to read The Yarn Woman with our Read-Along in October and you want to, let me know and I will send you my copy of the book.**

Around Campus

  • Last week was finals week, and I have all grading done — yay!
  • Thanksgiving celebration
  • My dad fell and broke his hip 🙁
  • Weather was super-cold and snowy in November but has warmed up a little in December
  • Gail is spending the winter in the balmy California/Arizona desert
  • Kudos to the USPS for all their hard work during this busy season
  • Don’t forget to buy Hanukkah and Kwanzaa stamps!

Project Bag Purchases:

1.  Matching set from Chicken Soup Designs on Etsy:

2. Notions Pouches purchased from The Sampler Girl on Etsy:

pouches

3.  Lovely project bag received as a gift from my friend and pen pal, Denise (host of The Knitting Den podcast and owner of Kikiboo Bags on Etsy):

kikiboo bag

Yarn Purchases:

1. Plucky Knitter Classics Club Subscription

December 2014 colorway -- Heartstrings

December 2014 colorway — Heartstrings

2. Voolenvine Yarns Nouveau

Sweet Potato Honey Pie colorway

Sweet Potato Honey Pie colorway

New Video Podcast:  Cozy Crafting Podcast with Abby (she also has Cozy Crafting Shop on Etsy)

My Favorite Audio Podcasts:

 The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

Several projects graduated:

babysweater2

hat2

  • Bluebird of Happiness (pattern by Sara Elizabeth Kellner)
    Yarn:  Misc. scraps
    Needles:  US size 4 (3.5mm)

bluebird1

A Review

In this segment I review Mountain Meadow Wool’s Laramie base.  Listen in to hear about my thoughts.

laramie yarn1

In the Classroom

In today’s classroom segment, I start by talking about an interesting ethnographic study on consumption rituals of Thanksgiving.  Then I go into various studies of comfort food from descriptive research to physiological and psychological investigations.  What is comfort food?  What are the most popular comfort foods?  Does comfort food make people feel less stressed?  Listen to the show to find out the answers to these questions.

Episode 30: Four Types of Introverts

Episode 30 comes after a month of being swamped with job responsibilities, so thank you all for your patience in waiting for this episode to be released.  Today’s lesson is on a topic that I’ve probably received the most requests to do a show about, and that topic is introversion.  Before we go into the classroom, I chat about my birthday last month, attending the Bishop Hill Spin-In last Saturday, the recent lunar and solar eclipses, snail mail news, and some new video podcasts I’ve been watching.  I wasn’t able to include a list of my favorite audio podcasts because of time constraints, but I’ll plan on doing that next time.  I also talk about the one knitting project I’ve worked on this month, review a new set of interchangeable knitting needles, and discuss an audiobook that I recently finished.

Welcome  to both new and returning listeners!  I invite you to join our fabulous Ravelry group so you can participate in all the activities and contests and be eligible for prizes.  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 Mountain Meadow Wool.  Thank you so much to both sponsors! Listeners’ support of these sponsors is truly appreciated, and through them you are supporting this podcast and making it possible.

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

Listen to the Show:

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

  • The October Graduating Class is growing, and you have until October 31 to get your finished objects into this month’s graduating class.
  • Thanks to everyone who shared their county fair entries in the County Fair Countdown thread this year.
  • The Anomalous and Spooky KRAL (knit- and read-along) is going on right now.
    • Read-along:  We’re reading The Yarn Woman by Brooks Mencher — ends October 31
    • Knit-along:  Make something unusual — extended to November 30

Prizes for the KRAL include:

ghoulish stitch markers

Ghoulish stitch markers which will go to one person who contributes on the discussion board for the Spooky Read-along, which were generously donated by Sara of the Yarns at Yin Hoo podcast.

Cubics Prize

A set of Knitter’s Pride Nova Cubics Platina interchangeable knitting needles, which were generously donated by the fabulous Knitter’s Pride company.

 

  • 2015 is the Year of the Sheep in the Chinese Calendar.  I’ve opened a thread on Ravelry to discuss breeds of sheep you would like to see featured on the show next year.

Awards and Scholarships

September Valedictorians:

  • VALSUE with Post #72 (Val from Michigan) — she knit a gorgeous Harvest Cardigan and wins a project bag of her choice from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories
  • CASCOTT with Post #37 (Carla from South Dakota) — she knit an adorable little stuffed toy and wins a skein of yarn from Hansen Hand Dyes

August Valedictorian:

  • IRIBEIRO with Post #110 (Isa from Portugal) — she knit a beautiful baby hat and wins a skein of yarn from Hansen Hand Dyes

Around Campus

I talk about my birthday — thank you for the many lovely birthday wishes from listeners.  Gail knit me an awesome toy monkey that I love with all my heart:

My new monkey with my old monkey (from my childhood)

My new monkey with my old monkey (from my childhood)

On my birthday, John took me on an adventure up the Mississippi River to Fulton, Illinois.  Here is the full-sized and fully operational Dutch windmill that is the major landmark in Fulton:

2998513230_8865211591_o

Last Saturday I attended the Bishop Hill Spin-In and purchased some new yarn.  Here are some pictures:

100% Superwash Faulkland Wool from Dyenamic Duo Hand Painted Fiber and Yarns

100% Superwash Faulkland Wool from Dyenamic Duo Hand Painted Fiber and Yarns

Cormo Wool from Clear View Farm

Cormo Wool from Clear View Farm

New video podcasts that I’ve been watching and enjoying:

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

  • I’m giving up on my Painter’s Palette that I was doing for the Anomalous KRAL — frogging it and picking out something else to knit
  • When I can, I’ve been working on a new project, the Hapa Shawl which is making my heart sing.  A huge thank you to Cayenne for gifting me this pattern!
    • Pattern:  Hapa Shawl by Mel mskiknits on Ravelry
    • Yarn:  Leading Men Fiber Arts Show Stealer in the Concealed Elixir colorway; Another Crafty Girl Strong Sock in the I am not a Moron colorway
    • Needles:  US size 6 (4mm) from my new Knitter’s Pride Carbonz interchangeable set that I got for my birthday

Hapa1

Hapa Yarn

A Review

I review the Knitter’s Pride Limited Edition Karbonz Interchangeable Circular Needle Set and the Knitter’s Pride Karbonz Double Pointed Sock Needles.

Karbonz Interchangeables

At the Library

I finished listening to the audiobook version of The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.

In the Classroom

In this episode I talk about a new model of introversion which includes four different types of introverts.  Listen in to see what they are and answer some questions to get an idea of your primary introverted type.

Episode 29: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sleep

Episode 29 features a lot of information about sleep, including some interesting new research on different sleep patterns.  Before we get to the classroom, I have several reminders and announcements, talk about how my semester is going, go over some knitting that I’ve been working on, and review two audiobooks that I’ve recently finished.

Welcome  to both new and returning listeners!  I invite you to join our fabulous Ravelry group so you can participate in all the activities and contests and be eligible for prizes.  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 Hansen Hand Dyes.  Thank you so much to both sponsors! Listeners’ support of these sponsors is truly appreciated, and through them you are supporting this podcast and making it possible.

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

Listen to the Show:

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

  • Post your finished objects in the September Graduating Class thread on Ravelry for a chance to win valedictorian prizes.
  • Post pictures of your county/state fair entries in the County Fair Countdown thread on Ravelry so we can see your wins!
  • During the month of October we are doing a KRAL (knit-along/read-along) — it will start October 1

I’ll be knitting the Painter’s Palette by Ilga Leja with some yarn I got from Newton’s Yarn Country booth at Stitches Midwest last year.  It is over 1000 yards of fingering weight yarn, 60% cashmere and 40% merino.  It’s orange, but I’m going to overdye it, keeping some of the orange but also adding some other fall colors.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out ok!

This is the yarn I'm going to overdye in fall colors.

This is the yarn I’m going to overdye in fall colors.

Around Campus

I talk about some school stuff, including the Dance Your Ph.D. competition that I was talking to my graduate students about.  I thought we should do something like that for their master’s theses and came up with the idea of Your Thesis as a Limerick.  Later, when I was in my office, I took some time and worked on a limerick summarizing my dissertation, and I share it on the podcast.  Do you have a thesis or dissertation?  If so, you should share your scholarly limerick on the Episode 29 thread on Ravelry.  🙂

I talk about snail mail and recent cards I’ve received from fabulous listeners, including a package from Heidi in California — thank you so much!  I also received the best Postcrossing I’ve ever gotten from a young lady in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia (Russia).

Over the past few weeks I’ve watched several new-to-me podcasts:

Additionally, in this episode I review my favorite video podcasts:

Next time I’ll talk about my favorite audio podcasts.

2015:  Year of the Sheep
Next year is the Year of the Sheep in the Chinese calendar.  It’s sheep, people!  I really want to have a sheep of the month where, starting in February (Chinese New Year), I talk about a different breed of sheep on the show each month and we all get fiber or yarn from that type of sheep to knit or spin with.  It will be a fun way to learn about and experience wool we might not have used before.

Upcoming Events

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

  1. GRADUATED:  Six dishcloths in Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloth pattern out of Peaches & Cream yarn on a U.S. size 6 (4mm) needle
Four regular dishcloths

Four regular dishcloths

Two dish cloths I sent for September swaps; these have the scrubby corners made with Needloft nylon cord

Two dish cloths I sent for September swaps; these have the scrubby corners made with Needloft nylon cord

2. GRADUATED:  Waffle Hat by Gail Bable out of Alpaca with a Twist Highlander on U.S. size 8 (5mm) needles

Nami Hat

3. GRADUATED:  Slouchy Hat with Picot Edge by Jan Wise out of Araucania Aysen on a U.S. size 6 (4mm) and size 8 (5mm)

hannah hat 2

4. JUNIOR:  Cotton Kisses Baby Cardigan by Joanne Turcotte out of Plymouth Cotton Kisses yarn with U.S. size 5 (3.75mm) and 7 (4.5mm) needles

baby sweater

At the Library

I finished listening to two audiobooks which I review on the show.  They are:

In the Classroom

Today I cover research on what we know about sleep.  People spend 27 years, on average, sleeping throughout their lifetime.  However, scientists still don’t know the exact reasons that we sleep or dream.  I go over a few theories that are receiving some empirical support.  I also talk a bit about insomnia.  Then I turn to some recent research indicating that a good night’s sleep may not necessarily come from a continuous 8-hour block of sleep.  There is mounting evidence that segmented sleep might be one alternative sleeping schedule that can work for people.  Tune in to hear more about it!

 

Episode 28: Human Aesthetic Preferences

I was able to squeeze some recording time for Episode 28 in my full calendar now that school has started up again.  In this episode I talk a lot!  This month we’ve got our graduating class and we’re preparing for a new read/knit along that starts October 1.  I announce prize winners for August and then chat about what’s been going on in my life, the knitting projects I’ve been working on, and the audiobooks I’ve been listening to.  When we get into the classroom, I cover some interesting research about human aesthetic preferences  like preferences for colors, shapes, and spatial structure.

Welcome  to both new and returning listeners!  I invite you to join our fabulous Ravelry group so you can participate in all the activities and contests and be eligible for prizes.  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 Hansen Hand Dyes.  Thank you so much to both sponsors! Listeners’ support of these sponsors is truly appreciated, and through them you are supporting this podcast and making it possible.

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

Listen to the Show:

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

  • Post pictures of finished objects that have graduated off the needles in our September Graduating Class thread on Ravelry.
  • In October we’re doing the Anomalous and Spooky KRAL (knit- and read-along).  I will try to remember to open new threads in our Ravelry group to discuss book suggestions and pattern ideas.  I talk about some of these in this episode.

Awards and Scholarships

August Valedictorians:

  • KANSANATHEART (Esther from Florida) — Post #4
  • KNITSNPEARLSGAL (Michelle from Wisconsin) — Post #75

Podiversary Prize Giveaway Winners

  • SARAPOMEGRANATE (Sara from Pennsylvania) — Post #20
  • AJANEKNITS (Jane from Canada) — Post #27

Congratulations to all winners — PM me on Ravelry and I will get your prizes out to you asap.  Thank you to everyone who participated!

Around Campus

School started last week, so that has been consuming much of my time lately.  The semester is off to a good start, despite my procrastinating.  🙂  The weather has been sweltering, ugh!  This week is our annual town festival here in Monmouth, and it’s called the Prime Beef Festival.  The parade was today, and I always enjoy that.  I talk about snail mail news, including beautiful postage stamps available at the post office — you should check them out at your local post office.  I also chat about the Timber Ridge Knitting Retreat, which was on August 23, and the upcoming Bishop Hill Spin-In on October 18.

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

Graduated:  Plain Vanilla Socks in Hand Dyed Yarn

  • Pattern is Plain Vanilla Socks by Keri McKiernan
  • Yarn is 100% superwash merino that I hand dyed
  • Needles are US size 1 (2.2mm)

Freshman:  Outlander Mystery KAL with Jimmy Beans Wool group on Ravelry

  • Pattern is Outlander MKAL by Rachel Roden
  • Yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport, 100% superwash merino in Beauchamps and Fraser colorways
  • Needles are US size 5 (3.75mm)

At the Library

I’ve finished listening to two audiobooks since the last episode:

  • Gulp:  Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
  • Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

In the Classroom

The study of human aesthetic preferences is one of the oldest topics in psychology, dating back to 1876.  I talk about some recent research on questions such as:

  • What is the most preferred color by adults?
  • What is the least preferred color?
  • What is the most preferred shape?
  • What are some characteristics of liked physical structures?

Listen to the show to find out more!

 

Episode 27: Chemistry of Wool Yarn

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve recorded, so Episode 27 features a lot of catching up with my travels to Nevada and Stitches Midwest. information about our new Podiversary Giveaway, some current and upcoming knit-alongs, and my knitting progress.  In the classroom, you’ll get an overview of the chemistry of wool and its resulting properties, which are pretty spectacular.

Welcome  to both new and returning listeners!  I invite you to join our fabulous Ravelry group so you can participate in all the activities and contests and be eligible for prizes.  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 Hansen Hand Dyes.  Thank you so much to both sponsors! Listeners’ support of these sponsors is truly appreciated, and through them you are supporting this podcast and making it possible.

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

Listen to the Show:

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

  • Enter your finished objects in our August graduating class by posting pictures of your FOs in this thread on Ravelry.  At the end of the month, two valedictorians will be selected via random number generator.  One will win a project bag from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories, and the other will win a skein of yarn from Hansen Hand Dyes.
  • Show off your projects that you entered into your local fairs along with your ribbons in this thread on Ravelry.
  • August is our podiversary month for Ewe University!  Enter our new Podiversary Prize giveaway by posting something in this thread on Ravelry that we can learn from you and/or something that you have learned from listening to Ewe University over the past year.  Prizes include:
Tosh Tea Cakes Kit

Tosh Tea Cakes Kit

cambio cowl kit

Cambio Cowl Kit

  • KnittingDaddy (Greg) is hosting the August Charity KAL for the Itty Bitty Knits group on Ravelry.  This month they are knitting preemie hats for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Women’s Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina.
  • RachelUnraveled (Rachel) is hosting the Outlander Mystery KAL with the Jimmy Beans Wool group on Ravelry.  The first clue was released on Saturday, August 9, so you still have plenty of time to join in.
  • October 1 marks the start of a new Ewe University Anomalous and Spooky KRAL (Knit-and-Read-Along).  For the knit-along part, your assignment is to knit something anomalous or unusual.  I’m thinking about knitting the Painter’s Palette Scarf by Ilga Leja.  Post your ideas in the Anomalous Knit-Along thread on Ravelry.
  • For the read-along part, we need to decide on a spooky, creepy, but not utterly terrifying book to read for October.  Some contenders I’ve been considering:
    • The Hundred Year House by Rebecca Makkai
    • A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson
    • Summer of Night by Dan Simmons
    • The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
      Have you read any of these?  If so, what did you think about them?  Let me know if you have any other suggestions for moderately scary books.  Post your thoughts in the Spooky Read-Along thread on Ravelry.

Awards and Scholarships

Our July valedictorians (drawn with a random number generator) are:

  1. NICOLES (Nicole from Saskatchewan) with post #25 — a pair of gorgeous socks.  PM me on Ravelry to claim your prize, a project bag from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories
  2. KUNZKNITS (Karen from Iowa) with post #111 — a pair of beautiful socks for her husband.  PM me on Ravelry to claim your prize, a yarn/pattern kit from Unraveled Designs and Yarn

Congratulations to our July valedictorians, and thank you to everyone who participated in our graduating class!

Around Campus

I talk about my visit with family in Nevada.  I also got to meet several Ewe University listeners, including Danielle (tahoegurl), Janis (wildponies2) and Rachel (rachelunraveled).  We had a fabulous time; pictures are posted in the Chat thread on Ravelry.

I also visited the local yarn shop in Reno, which happens to be the one and only Jimmy Beans Wool!  In addition to the podiversary prizes shown above, I got a beautiful sock set by Vice Hand-dyed Yarns and another set of Madelinetosh Tosh Tea Cakes for myself in the Mojito Mint color set.  Oh, and I picked up the yarn (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport) for the Outlander MKAL.

Beautiful Sock Set

Beautiful Sock Set by Vice Hand Dyed

Tosh Tea Cakes in Mojito Mint

Tosh Tea Cakes in Mojito Mint

Lorna's Laces Shepherd DK for the Outlander MKAL

Lorna’s Laces Shepherd DK for the Outlander MKAL

I fell in love with the beautiful lake, the location of my morning walks while staying in Sparks:

sparks marina

Stitches Midwest Recap:  On Saturday (August 9) I attended Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg, Illinois.  It was an amazing, wonderful, and super busy day.  People I met:

I also met and chatted with and hung out with Mary Jo from Ohio and Heidi from California.  Pictures will be posted on our Stitches thread on Ravelry.

Here’s the yarn I got at Stitches:

Miss Babs Yowza in the Cloak colorway

Miss Babs Yowza in the Cloak colorway

Gnome Acres House Gnome sock yarn, Stars Hollow colorway

Gnome Acres House Gnome sock yarn, Stars Hollow colorway

Knit Circus sock yarn in Fireflies colorway

Knit Circus sock yarn in Fireflies colorway

Another Crafty Girl sock yarn in the I am Not a Moron! colorway

Another Crafty Girl sock yarn in the I am Not a Moron! colorway

Upcoming Events that I’ll be attending:

  1. Timber Ridge Knitting Retreat — August 23
  2. Bishop Hill Fiber Guild Spin-In — October 18

Newly Discovered Podcasts:

  1. Dairyland Knits — fun videocast with Josh from Wisconsin
  2. Knitting at Tiffany’s — lovely videocast with Tiffany from Canada

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

Graduated:   8 dish cloths for my mom and sister (I made 2 of each color but only took pictures of one of each)

DSCN2288

 

Yarn:  Sugar & Cream
Pattern:  Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloth
Needles:  US 6 (4mm)

Junior:  Plain Vanilla Sock in My Own Hand-dyed Yarn

vanilla socks

Yarn:  100% superwash merino fingering weight that I hand-dyed myself
Pattern:  Plain Vanilla Socks by Keri McKiernan
Needles:  US 1 (2.25mm)

Sophomore:  Garter and Rib Basketweave Blanket

blanket closeup

Yarn:  Cascade Pacific Chunky
Pattern:  Garter and Rib Basketweave Blanket by Lisa Davis
Needles:  US 10.5 (6.5mm)

Freshman:  Ombre Socks

Vanilla Socks in Ombre

Yarn:   Blurred Lines by Vice
Pattern:  My Knitted Heart Vanilla Socks by Elizabeth Suarez
Needles:  US 1 (2.25mm)

Freshman:  Outlander Mystery Knit-along

Outlander_Clue1

Yarn:  Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport
Pattern:  Outlander MKAL by Rachel Roden
Needles:  US 5 (3.75mm)

Follow-up on Graduated Project

The Muzati Shawl that I finished last month is featured on the designer’s pattern page!

At the Library

I finished listening to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.  It starts out bizarrely but then turns into a heartwarming tale of human kindness and the transformation of people.  I gave it 4 stars and recommend it.

In the Classroom

For this episode I delved into the textile chemistry and industrial chemistry literature — whew!  It is enormous and pretty demanding.  But my goal for this segment was to give an overview of yarn chemistry with a focus on animal fibers, specifically wool.  I talk about both the physical and chemical structure of wool and how they are responsible for the many beneficial properties of wool which have led to its long history of use.  I hope you’ll come out with a better understanding of why people talk about wool as “nature’s wonder fiber.”  Give it a listen!

 

 

Episode 26: Knitting on a Circular Sock Machine

In Episode 26 I chat with my friend Ann about her circular sock knitting machines — she is an expert on these machines and can knock a pair of socks out in a little over an hour!  If you’ve ever wondered about sock machines or even if you’ve never heard about them before, you don’t want to miss this episode.  Before we go into the classroom, I announce the June valedictorians, catch up with what I’ve been doing for the past several weeks, talk about the knitting projects I’ve been working on, and review two books I recently finished.  I am heading out to Nevada for the next couple of weeks, so there won’t be another podcast episode before August.

Welcome  to both new and returning listeners!  I invite you to join our fabulous Ravelry group so you can participate in all the activities and contests and be eligible for prizes.  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 Unraveled Design Yarns.  Thank you so much to both sponsors! Listeners’ support of these sponsors is truly appreciated, and through them you are supporting this podcast and making it possible.

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

Listen to the Show:

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

I invite everyone to share pictures of all your graduating projects for July in the Ravelry thread for a chance to win valedictorian prizes.  At the beginning of August, I’ll draw for two valedictorians who will receive prizes:  One will get a project bag of their choice from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories, and the other will win a project kit from Unraveled Designs and Yarn.  The July kit will consist of yarn and pattern to make the Modicum Mitts by Rachel Roden.   In order to participate in our activities and giveaways, you must be a member of the Ewe University group on Ravelry, plus we would love to have you be a part of our community!

We also have a Ravelry thread called County Fair Countdown, where we are talking about our plans for entering knit, crocheted, handspun, woven, sewn — whatever fiber arts projects you’re working on — into our local or state fairs.  We have to do our part to keep the fiber arts categories alive at these fairs!  So join in on the conversation and let us know what you have entered or will be entering.

Awards and Scholarships

At the beginning of July, I closed the thread for the June graduating class and used a random number generator to pick two June valedictorians.  They are:

  • Post #44 from SMITHMKS, who is Margie from Maine!  Margie knit a lovely child’s hat in white and turquoise blue.
  • Post #56 from KRISLUVSWOOL, who is Kristy from Illinois!  Kristy finished an adorable red cape, which was one of her Camp Loopy projects.  [By the way, Kristy is one of the co-hosts of the In a Sknit video podcast, which is awesome and you should be watching if you aren’t already!]

Congratulations to Margie and Kristy, and thank you to everyone who participated in the June graduating class!

Around Campus

I talk about our beautiful weather with the summer version of the Polar Vortex this past week.  John and I went to a Burlington Bees baseball game and had fun.  We had a nice July 4 holiday.  I’ve been sewing a lot, dyeing some yarn, making greeting cards, and having dinner with Gail and Lauren.  I’ve also had a lot of stuff going on at/for school.  I’m done with physical therapy for the plantar fasciitis in my foot (yay).  Postcrossing just celebrated its 9th birthday, and through that site I’ve been sending and receiving post cards to/from all over the world.  I just received my first post card from Cambodia!  I send out a huge thank you to my pen pal Chris from Australia, who sent me this stunning tote bag made of aboriginal-patterned fabric:

bagfromchris

I already have a knitting project in it!  🙂

Upcoming Events

  • I’m going to be in Reno, Nevada from July 21-30, so PM me on Ravelry if you are in that area.  I would love to meet you!  I will definitely be visiting Jimmy Beans Wool — their brick & mortar shop is there.
  • Stitches Midwest — I will be at Stitches on Saturday, August 9.  Our bus will get to the convention center at around 10am and I’ll be around the marketplace until 4:00pm.  We have a Ravelry thread going for Stitches Midwest, so let us know if you’ll be there and we can meet up!  I haven’t heard anything about a formal podcaster meetup, but hopefully there will be one.  I’ll let you know when I hear anything about that.
  • Timber Ridge Knitting Retreat — I will be at the Timber Ridge retreat on Saturday, August 23.  This is a very low-key, relaxing, day-long retreat — no marketplace or classes — just a day of fun knitting with friends.  Timber Ridge Farm is near Aledo, IL.  I hope you can join us; if you want to come, PM me and I will give you directions and more info.

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

Graduated:  Muzati Shawl

muzati1

Pattern:  Muzati Shawl by Brian Smith
Yarn:  Louisa Harding Kashmir Baby
Needles:  U.S. size 10 (6.0mm)

Sophomore:  Plain Vanilla Socks

socks_handdyed

Pattern:  Plain Vanilla Socks by Keri McKiernan
Yarn:  100% merino, light fingering weight, hand-dyed by me!
Needles:  U.S. size 1 (2.25mm)

At the Library

I recently finished two audiobooks and review them on the show.  They are:

  • What is Visible by Kimberly elkins
  • Euphoria by Lily King

 In the Classroom

Last week I visited my friend Ann, who is an avid sock machine knitter.  I had the opportunity to ask her about sock knitting on a machine, and we recorded our conversation so we could share it with you.  I think you will enjoy learning about knitting with a sock machine just as much as I did.  Here is a picture of Ann’s favorite sock machine:

Ann's favorite sock machine:  Steampunk Annie

Ann’s favorite sock machine: Steampunk Annie

Ann (aka crankysockmaker on Ravelry) with Steampunk Annie and some of her tools

Ann (aka crankysockmaker on Ravelry) with Steampunk Annie and some of her tools

Enjoy the show!

 

Episode 25: Synesthesia

Episode 25 includes a fun afternoon at Gail’s swimming pool.  Regular listeners will know Gail (Sidweena on Ravelry) as one of our Ewe University moderators.  In the classroom, I discuss the research on synesthesia, the experience where one sense is simultaneously perceived by one or more additional senses.  The most common form of synesthesia occurs when someone always sees a particular color in response to a certain letter of the alphabet or number.  Because some of this week’s segments were recorded in the studio and some were recorded in Gail’s back yard, you will notice differences in the sound quality and volume, even though I did my best to level it.

Welcome  to both new and returning listeners!  I invite you to join our fabulous Ravelry group so you can participate in all the activities and contests and be eligible for prizes.  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 Unraveled Design Yarns.  Thank you so much to both sponsors! Listeners’ support of these sponsors is truly appreciated, and through them you are supporting this podcast and making it possible.

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

Listen to the Show:

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

  • Graduating Class Thread on Ravelry — post your finished objects for June by the end of this month for a chance to win valedictorian prizes!
  • County Fair Countdown Thread — tell us what you are thinking about entering into your county/state fair this year!

Around Campus

Gail and I talk about our adventures in yarn dyeing, where we had a ton of fun.  Here are some pictures:

We spent the afternoon at Gail's Pool

We spent the afternoon at Gail’s Pool

We started with undyed yarn in a fingering weight merino/nylon blend.

We started with undyed yarn in a fingering weight merino/nylon blend.

We mixed up some cake frosting dyes

We mixed up some cake frosting dyes

Yarn in the crock pot

Yarn in the crock pot

Yarn dyeing in progress

Yarn dyeing in progress

Finished yarn!

Finished yarn!

We talk about other things we’ve been up to, and I review some scrumptious yarn I got from Unraveled Designs and Yarn on Etsy (our show sponsor for June and July).

Unraveled_Designs_Yarn

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

Junior Status:  Gail’s socks for hubby in Lang Yarns Jawoll Color Aktion, colorway 132.0433 (mostly grays and blues) done in Gail’s own vanilla sock pattern in her head

gails_socks

Senior Status:  My Muzati shawl by Brian Smith, which I am knitting in Louisa Harding Kashmir Baby yarn.  The colorways are #19 (orchid), #11 (dusty rose) and #12 (eggplant)

muzatishawl

At the Library

Gail talks about the books she’s recently read:  The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig and The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman; and she is currently reading The Vacationers by Emma Straub.

I am currently reading What is Visible by Kimberly Elkins and am enjoying it.

In the Classroom

Last week I was listening to the Knitting Pipeline podcast (Episode 175), and Paula was talking about her own experience of perceiving numbers as associated with particular colors.  This is one form of what is called synesthesia.  I know some other people who experience synesthesia, too.  In her show, Paula talked a little bit about synesthesia in her life and mentioned that there isn’t a lot of research on this topic.  That was intriguing to me, and I wondered what studies were out there and what the scientific community currently knows about synesthesia.  So this segment was inspired by Paula, and listen in to find out what I discovered.

 

Episode 24: Fiber Arts and the Writing Process

In Episode 24 I announce a lot of prize winners for our May activities, so you should definitely listen to see if you are one of them.  I catch up with what I’ve been doing lately as well as the knitting and spinning projects I’ve been working on lately.  And I review the latest audiobook I finished.  In the classroom, we have a guest who discusses her research integrating the visual and textual arts.

Welcome  to both new and returning listeners!  I invite you to join our fabulous Ravelry group so you can participate in all the activities and contests and be eligible for prizes.  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 Unraveled Design Yarns.  Thank you so much to both sponsors! Listeners’ support of these sponsors is truly appreciated, and through them you are supporting this podcast and making it possible.

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

Listen to the Show:

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

  • Graduating Class for June — post pictures of your finished objects in this thread on Ravelry for a chance to win valedictorian prizes:  a project bag of your choice from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories, and a project kit from Unraveled Design Yarns featuring the yarn and pattern to make the Ripple Effect Shawl.
  • Bus to Stitches Midwest — let me know if you want to join us for a day trip to Stitches Midwest on August 9.
  • County Fair Countdown — be thinking about what you could enter into your county fair or state fair in the fiber arts division.  We need to keep these categories alive at the local fairs!  We have a discussion thread going to talk about ideas.

Awards and Scholarships

The valedictorians for May are:

  • LMECOLL, who is Linda from Pennsylvania (Post #97)
  • KNITTERCHOW, who is Cathy from Michigan (Post #60)

Congratulations, ladies!

Three prizes for the Back Burner KAL were awarded:

  • CTHULULOVESME, who is Jen from New York (Post #6)
  • WINDYBROOKSPINS, who is Cayenne from Utah (Post #17)
  • SOBAHIME, who is Ryoko from Colorado (Post #2)

Congratulations to all of you!

Prize winners, please contact me at your earliest convenience and we will make arrangements to get your prizes to you.

Around Campus

I talk about our city-wide spring cleanup, my ongoing aches and pains, trying to get back into walking and biking, and catching up with snail mail.  Oh, and my internet service has been horrible lately, and I’m switching to another provider next week.

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

Graduated:  Black and Blue Striped Socks

  • Pattern:  Knitmore Vanilla Socks by Jasmine Canty
  • Yarn:  Wandering Cat Studios Barn Cat Self-Striping in the Witching Hour colorway
  • Needles:  US size 1 (2.25mm)

black&bluesocks

Graduated:  Handspun Hat

  • Fiber:  80/20 merino/silk blend that I got at Fae Ridge Farm near Iowa City
  • 2-ply aran weight, a little less than 200 yards
  • Black Currant colorway

handspun_mediumI made a hat out of the handspun:

  • Pattern:  Nostalgic from Hattitude book by Cathy Carron (well, at least up to the brim)
  • Needles:  US size 10.5 (6.5mm)

handspun hat

Sophomore:  Throw for Dad

  • Pattern:  Garter and Rib Basketweave
  • Yarn:  Cascade Pacific Chunky in the Navy Blue colorway
  • Needles:  US size 10.5 (6.5mm)

throwfordad

 

At the Library

I recently finished listening to The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley.  This book is set in Scotland and is a story within a story.  The modern-day setting revolves around an American writer who is in Scotland researching and writing an historical novel about a 1708 rebellion and failed attempt to return King James to the throne.  Listen to the show to find out my thoughts about the book.

In the Classroom

This week I discuss writing and the fiber arts with a friend and colleague, Kristyne Gilbert Bradford, who just finished her master’s thesis study of fiber artists and their writing process.  I think you’ll find her study very interesting.  Listen in to find out more about it!

Episode 23: Social Snacking

In the classroom segment of Episode 23 I talk about the concept of social snacking.  Before we get there, however, you’ll hear about my amazing encounters with nature here at Woman Lake in Minnesota, where John and I are staying for the last two weeks in May.  I also talk about the knitting projects that I’ve been working on lately.  I recorded the show inside our cabin with the windows open, so you’ll hear lots of birds chirping in the background.  I don’t know about you, but I love the sounds of nature!

Welcome  to both new and returning listeners!  I invite you to join our fabulous Ravelry group so you can participate in all the activities and contests and be eligible for prizes.  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 January Yarns.  Thank you so much to both sponsors! Listeners’ support of these sponsors is truly appreciated, and through them you are supporting this podcast and making it possible.

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

Listen to the Show:

SHOW NOTES

Reminders and Announcements

  • May Graduating Class — post your finished objects in this thread on Ravelry for a chance to win valedictorian prizes at the end of the month.
  • Back Burner KAL — post your finished objects in this thread on Ravelry for a chance to win a yarn bowl from Summerscrafts Etsy shop.  There will be a second (surprise) prize, too.
  • You must be a member of the Ewe University group on Ravelry to participate in our giveaways and be eligible for prizes, so go join right now if you haven’t already!
  • Charter Bus to Stitches Midwest — We will be going to Stitches Midwest for the day on Saturday, August 9, 2014.  The cost is $70.  PM me on Ravelry and let me know if you want to join us.
  • County Fair Countdown — I’m encouraging everyone to enter one or more objects in the fiber arts categories for your county fair.  I’ve opened this thread on Ravelry so that we can chat about when our county (and/or state) fairs occur and what we are planning on entering!

Around Campus

I recorded this episode on location at beautiful Woman Lake, Minnesota.  Here is the view from our cabin as the sun set last night.

woman lake

In this episode I talk about the amazing wildlife encounters I’ve had while walking with the dog(s) in the mornings.

Sunny and his girlfriend, Babe

Sunny and his girlfriend, Babe

I also talk about my venture over to Grand Rapids, the birthplace of Judy Garland, where I visited The Yarn Gallery and joined the Wednesday knitting group.  I had such a nice time and am going again this week.

I’ve been catching up on podcasts, and I’ve started listening to two new (to me) knitting podcasts:

  • Down Cellar Studio — hosted by Jen from Boston, who talks about her knitting, photography, and travels
  • Actually Knitting — hosted by Michelle from Charlotte, North Carolina, who is a high school teacher, crafter, and actress.  The show segments have a theatrical theme, and she discusses knitting, cooking, books, music, movies, and productions that she’s in.

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

Graduated:

  • The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief
    Pattern:  Age of Brass and Steam by Orange Flower Yarn
    Yarn:  Freia Yarn Ombre in the Cloud colorway
    Needles:  U.S. size 8 (5mm)
    age of brass and steam
  • Three Squares for a Community Blanket
    Pattern:  One square is Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloth pattern, one square is the chevron pattern from Elphaba (knit flat, though), and the third square is a “mistake rib” pattern from inside my head
    Yarn:  Cascade Greenland in brown and taupe colors
    Needles:  U.S. size 8 (5mm)
    blanket squares
  • Dishcloths and Scrubby
    Pattern:  Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloth
    Yarn:  Sugar & Cream + Needloft Nylon Craft Yarn
    Needles:  U.S. size 6 for the dishcloths; U.S. size 3 for the scrubby
    dishcloths
    needloft craft yarn
    scrubbie
  • Maya Necklace
    Pattern:  Maya Necklace by Shaina Bilow
    Yarn:  Lucci Cotton Tape in the Gold colorway
    Needles:  U.S. size 3 (3.25mm)
    maya necklace in gold

Senior:

  • Black & Blue Striped Socks
    Pattern:  Knitmore Vanilla Sock Recipe by Jasmin Canty
    Yarn:  Wandering Cat Yarns Barn Cat Self-Striping
    Needles:  U.S. size 1 (2.25mm)
    socks
  • Egg to Alligator Toy
    This project is on hold until I get home.

I also brought my spinning wheel (Ashford Traditional) and am eager to do some spinning this week!

In the Classroom

Our lesson for today is about social snacking, which doesn’t have anything to do with food but rather our relationships with friends and loved ones.  Much like having a snack eases our hunger when we don’t have the opportunity to eat a full meal, social snacking on reminders of our social connections through photographs, emails, text messages, videos, and valued mementos eases our social hunger when we are feeling lonely, excluded, or rejected.  Social snacking is good snacking!  It doesn’t have any calories, and it soothes loneliness, hurt feelings, emotional pain, and even physical pain.  Tune in to the show to find out more!