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.

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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.