Episode 36: Textile Therapy

I recorded Episode 36 tonight because I really, really wanted to squeeze in a show before the end of April and before I leave for a conference tomorrow morning.  In this episode we revisit arts, crafts, and psychological well-being as I review new research on Textile Therapy.  Before we get to the classroom, I announce some prize winners for March and give a little update on Yarn Grant #1, as well as announcing a new yarn grant competition. In celebration of National Card and Letter Writing Month, I talk about some new postage stamps and discuss several other snail-mail related items.  You’ll hear a little bit about Targhee, our sheep of the month for April.  I finished a couple of knitting projects, one of which is a world record for me!  If you are looking for a new book to read, try The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain.  I review it on the show and really liked it.

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.  It’s always a pleasure to connect with listeners online as well as via snail mail.  I’m a huge fan of old-fashioned handwritten correspondence.  If you’re interested in writing to me, 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 A Riot of Color.  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.

Listen to the show:


Reminders and Announcements

  • Post pictures of your finished objects to the April Graduating Class thread for a chance to win valedictorian prizes.
  • Join in the discussion in our Year of the Sheep thread for April — our sheep of the month is Targhee.
  • Find out about other sheep breeds that aren’t in our regular Year of the Sheep list; look at the Year of the Sheep: Random thread for that.
  • Let me know if you want a Year of the Sheep button — I’ll send you one!

Year of the Sheep Button2


Awards and Scholarships

March Valedictorians

  • Post #108 — TWINIMAMA (Sabine from Austria) — wins a drawstring project bag from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories
  • Post #93 — WINDYBROOKSPINS (Cayenne from Utah) — wins a skein of yarn from PHD Yarns

March Year of the Sheep Winner

  • Post #24 — KIMBUKTU7 (Kim from New York) — wins a skein of 100% Corriedale yarn from HPKY

Yarn Grant News

  • WUPPERSTRICKER (Steffi from Germany) won our first yarn grant and is now a celebrity knitter.  She has been posting her progress on the Persistence is Key cardigan.  You can go over to the Reporting for Yarn Grant #1 thread and cheer Steffi on as well as see her beautiful sweater progress.
  • Proposals are being accepted through the end of May for Yarn Grant #2, which is for 8 skeins of Misti Cotton — 10-ply worsted weight yarn in a blend of 83% Peruvian pima cotton and 17% silk.  Each skein has 191 yarns or 175 meters, for a total yardage of 1531 yards or 1400 meters.

Misti Cotton Yarn


Around Campus

In this segment I talk about all the reasons why I haven’t recorded an episode earlier this month.  I have three graduate students finishing their theses and two honors students finishing their honors thesis.  I am headed to Chicago for a conference and will be gone from Thursday-Saturday.  My car has been in the shop for three weeks getting a new transmission.  🙁

In brighter news, we have a finch nest on our front porch.  Here is a picture of what house finches look like (male in front with red head and breast):


In snail mail news, April is National Card and Letter Writing Month.  This week is National Stationery Week, too.  In celebration, check out the new stamps which are available at the U.S. Post Office called “From Me to You.”  In addition to the postage stamps, they include little stickers around the edge of the sheet which say things like “happy birthday,” “thank you,” and “congratulations.”


I also talk about how I organize my correspondence in a correspondence register.  Here is a picture of it:

Correspondence Register1 Correspondence Register2If you want a copy of the Correspondence Register page that I created (pdf format), you can download it here:  Correspondence Register.

Here is how I display the cards I receive from friends in my craft room:

Card Display

In the correspondence theme, I talk about my new favorite pens, the Uniball Signo BLX (black infused colored ink):

BLX Pens


Lastly, it’s never too early to think about Stitches Midwest.  We are once again doing a bus trip up to Schaumburg for the day on Saturday, August 8.  Contact me on Ravelry if you are interested in joining us!

Year of the Sheep

In this segment I provide some historical and descriptive information about the Targhee sheep and their wool.  Listen in for the details.

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

Since the last episode, I graduated two projects:

  • Kaleidoscope Socks
    Pattern is Vanilla Socks by Elizabeth Suarez
    Yarn is Vice Blurred Lines in the Family Jewels colorway
    Needles are U.S. size 1 (2.25mm)

kaleidoscope socks

sock blank sock

One completed sock alongside the beautiful sock blank

Completed Socks

Completed Socks

Freshman Status


At the Library

In this episode I review an audiobook that I recently finished entitled The Silent Sisters by Diane Chamberlain.  I thought it was really good.  Listen in for the details.

In the Classroom

Today’s topic is Textile Therapy, which was inspired by an email I received from my BFF Gail which linked to a popular press news story about new studies on Textile Therapy and the mental health benefits of knitting.  After I read that article, I went and found the original research reports from those studies as well as some others.  So in this segment I revisit arts, crafts, and psychological well-being.  Listen to the show to find out about the research on the therapeutic benefits of the textile arts.


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