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:


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:


2. Star quilt wall hanging from 3TalentedWomen:


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)


  • 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)


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!!

One thought on “Episode 32: The Driftless Zone

  1. I love this. I just bought roledex cards for my mom and I have tons of spray starch!!! There are tons of these moments. Even with my children I have these moments where they look at me like I am insane. I know your postoffice was soo excited for the bread. They love getting treats because most people are not quite as lovely at the USPS.

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