Episode 16

Episode 16 comes to you after fighting the bitter cold weather, internet outages, and a broken furnace.  I announce the valedictorians of our December graduating class and the winners of our last two days of “Kris-mas” last month.  I also talk about some new prize giveaways, a new class project, and chat about my goals and personal theme for 2014.  I am excited about my knitting again since I’ve let myself cast on some new projects with the New Year!  This episode also features an interchangeable knitting needle set review, and in the classroom you’ll hear about some really interesting research on how automatic skills are learned, using knitters as participants.

Welcome and thank you to 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 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!   Listeners’ support of these sponsors is truly appreciated, and through them you are supporting this podcast and making it possible.  Ewe University listeners can get 14% off their purchase from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories until January 31 by using coupon code HAPPY2014.

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

Listen to the Show:



Awards and Scholarships

Winners of the last two days of “Kris-mas,” which we celebrated from December 13-24 last month:

  • 11th Day Winner:  Amy from New Jersey
  • 12th Day Winner:  Celia from South Carolina

Both winners won beautiful yarny prizes.  Congratulations to both ladies and thank you to everyone who is a member of our Ewe University group on Ravelry!

December Valedictorians:

  • Post #90:  Kathleen from New Mexico, who wins a project bag of her choice from Halcyarn Knitting Accessories
  • Post #38:  Diana from Nebraska, who wins a skein of yarn of her choice from Evermore Studios

Congratulations to our valedictorians, and thank you to everyone who entered the December graduating class!

 Reminders and Announcements

Post pictures of your finished objects for this month in our January Graduating Class thread on Ravelry for a chance to win prizes.

When our Ravelry group reaches 199 members, we will have another membership giveaway.  One person in our group will be randomly selected to win a skein of lovely Zitron Unisono yarn in Color 1280!


The Ravellenic Games are coming up — February 7-23!  We won’t be having a separate Ewe University official team, but I will be opening a thread on Ravelry so we can share our ideas for what we want to knit for the Ravellenics.  Once the games start, I’ll open up another thread so that you can post your finished objects and be entered for an awesome prize:  a beautiful ceramic yarn bowl from Shady Lane Ceramics.

yarn bowl

A Class Project

With the New Year we’re starting a new class project called U-Turn.  This is where you go through your UFOs and decide if they are an

  • Oooooooh, as in “How could I have put this down?  I really want to finish it!”  And then you finish it.


  • Ewwwww, as in “Yikes!  What was I thinking?  I don’t want to finish this.”  And then you frog it.

Each month during 2014 we’ll have a thread for the U-Turn Project.  The thread for January is already up.  The U comes from U in UFO — we are trying to turn those unfinished objects into finished ones.  From all the posts made during the month, I will draw one random winner, who will win a small pottery bowl (I have different colors of these) from Lizkitzerow on Etsy along with a set of stitch markers!

small pottery bowl


Around Campus

It is cold here.  My furnace went out today — luckily it got fixed but the house was down to 58*, whew!  The benefits of living in a small town include getting a service person over to your house practically immediately even when you call after 5:00pm.  The internet has also been in and out for the past few days.

In this episode I talk about my 2013 knitting goals and how I did with those as well as my goals for 2014.  My personal theme this year is CURIOSITY, which capitalizes on one of my Signature Strengths.  If you are interested in finding out about your Signature Strengths, you can take the free test on the University of Pennsylvania’s web site.  Click on the “Questionnaires” tab.

I also talk about the Timber Ridge Winter Knitting Retreat that I attended this past Saturday.  It was awesome.  I give an update of my Postcrossing cards.  If you want me to send you a post card of a picture I took around my town, PM me and give me your address, and I’ll send you one!

New-to-Me Podcasts

My Coursera class called Drugs and the Brain started on Saturday and I’m enjoying it so far.  It’s really HARD, though!

Thank you thank you thank you to Helga from Switzerland for gifting me the Halia Shawl pattern by Anna Sudo!!!

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:  I’m going to start recording on a biweekly schedule.  So look for a new Ewe University episode every other week.

The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects

GRADUATED:  Neon Frog Socks

neon frog socks

Yarn:  Show Stopper from Leading Men Fiber Arts in the Lightning Bug colorway (75% superwash merino and 25% nylon)

Pattern:  Basic Ribbed Socks by Kate Atherley

Needles:  Hiya Hiya Sharps, U.S. size 1, 9-inch cable

JUNIOR:  Ankle Warmers


Yarn:  Wacky Wool Homespun from my friend Chris in Australia (95% wool, 5% bamboo) — bottom portion of ankle warmer; Aslan Trends Del Cerro in light blue (100% merino) — top cable ribbed portion

Pattern:  Spick and Spats by Madeleine Pippa Bartlett

Needles:  Dreamz Interchangeables in U.S. sizes 6 and 8

SOPHOMORE:  Twisted Edge Shawlette

Twisted Edge ShawletteYarn:  Marigoldjen MCN (80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon) in the Ninja colorway (400 yards)

Pattern:  Twisted Edge Shawlette by Cayenne DaBell (who is a member of our Ewe University group on Ravelry!)

Needles:  Knitters Pride Dreamz Interchangeables (3.5-inch tips), U.S. size 4

FRESHMAN:  New Years Sunrise Socks

new years sunrise sock

Yarn:  Cascade Heritage Sock, 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon in color 5641

Pattern:  Serendipity Socks by Ellie Putz

Needles:  Hiya Hiya Sharps in U.S. size 1, 9-inch circulars

On these socks I’m not liking the short row heel so am going to try the new Fish Lips Kiss heel instead.

A Review

I review the Denise Interchangeable Needles set, which was the first set of interchangeable needles that I bought.

denise needles


I’m planning on reviewing other interchangeable needle sets in upcoming episodes.

In the Classroom

Today I cover a little more about automatic processing, particularly how it relates to acquired motor skills like walking, driving, and knitting.  Not much is known about how these types of skills become automatic.  I discuss one study out of the University of Montreal in Canada which used knitters as participants in a brain imaging study.  A BBC documentary entitled Out of Control included this study.  You can watch the documentary here, and if you’re especially interested in the knitting segment, fast forward to the 34 minute mark.


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:



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.