Saturday, September 29, 2007

My Reviews of Knitting Podcasts

Through our teenage son, I have been introduced to MP3 players. Initially I did not see the benefit of such devices, but during the last month I have joined the ranks mp3 pod-listeners. To be fair, I have listened to Cast On with Brenda Dayne for a year, but on my computer, not an mp3. She is great! I am glad I can listen now without fighting ambient noise in the house. Podcasts put me on an island of knitting and fun friends (when they're done right!)
KnitPicks I started with KnitPicks podcast because I have been a die-hard KnitPicks yarn fan since their inception. The podcast, however, is lacking. Kelly's speaking voice in the podcast is difficult to listen to. It does not flow and interferes with the delivery of information. For some reason she feels she should not use the podcast to 'advertise' KnitPicks yarns. Why is beyond me as the podcast wouldn't exist if it weren't for the success of the yarns. weird. I do love, however, her interviews with some knitting notables. Her speaking voice changes somewhat and the interviewer is the focus. I will give these podcasts credit for continuing to feed my interest in spinning. It also confirms my suspicions that I am a pretty good knitter because Kelly says the noobiest things sometimes.
Lime & Violet OMG, I LOVE this show. What a riot! Dogs barking, lots of banter between friends. Good reviews and information, but I wish they would give the sites and books they are discussing more clearly. Often they are looking at something and gushing, but the listener is left out. I feel left out when they discuss some people as well. I'm not certain if it's a shop, a shop owner, an online seller or friend. Maybe I'm just too noobie to know? :) I would LOVE to be intereviewed by them though!
Stash and Burn is IT. Friendly banter, excellent information given in clear terms, good speaking voices and cadence and good interviews. It doesn't get any better (yet, I'm still new to this). These women seem to share my sense of knit style. The discussion about knitting books you love, but never knit from as well as issues with patterns, fit and schematics sold me on this duo. I want to meet them. Hell, I want them to interview me about Left Handed Knitting!!!
Socks in the City this one is a challenge. Perky and upbeat to the point of wondering if perhaps she should cut back on the espressos, she speaks at a rapid-fire cadence that leaves listeners reeling. That said, her love of all things-sock-fiber is inspirational. As a firm sock lover, I can hang in there and get some serious sock-spiration from this one. But the singing kid at the beginning? I just use the fast foward key. If the intro were shorter, I would listen to it all.
Pointy Sticks
I know there are more. Send me links in the comments section. At least they're cheaper than yarn :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Knitting quiz, apparently (big shock) I'm a purist!

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Purist. You are an accomplished knitter producing beautiful pieces with a classic feel. You sometimes lament losing half of your local yarn shop to garish novelty yarns. Perhaps you consider fun fur scarves the bane of knitting society and prefer to steer new knitters towards the wool and cotton blends. Some might call you a bit of an elitist but you know that you've been doing this craft long enough to respect the history behind it and honor it with beautiful piece that can last a lifetime.
Take this quiz!

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rambling, knitting and sick dogs

The boys have a sleep-over guest last night. One of our kids went to bed as instructed. The other two stayed up until 1:40 when we busted them watching some Halo thing. One of the dogs had been sick (and sweetly on a washable rug, then on his sister's blanket) so we were cleaning up and kicking kids into bed. This morning, amidst the laundry and trash, I began to "see" a new sweater. I have two scarves that I'm slogging away on, but I also have some PayPal money that could be used for secret yarn (avert your eyes Ginger). I have been listening to KnitPicks podcast. I like some of the content, but Kelly Petkun needs to get her speaking voice cadence smoother. She has an odd, paused, exceptionally enunciated, speaking pattern and after 14 podcasts, I'm ready to strangle her! Actually I'm ready to start my own flipping podcast! But I digress. Listening to the podcasts has solidified my yearning for spinning (again, Ginger, avert your eyes). I am not a huge fan of colorwork, but I am also toying with making a Fair Isle jumper/pullover sweater. Maybe just a Fair Isle yoke. I'm yarn shopping, thinking of fleece, wondering where a spinning wheel could be stashed in our already packed home and low and behold another freaking stole/scarf jumps into my line of sight. As if I didn't have enough on my plate! Focus, I've got to focus. Paypal, spending limits, actual projects already OTN (that I'll admit to) and time. Paypal limit is 50. OTN projects: 2 scarves, 2 sweaters. Promised projects: dress for Bjarka, mittens for Mimi. A reasonable person would not purchase yarn for anything else, even if it was this nice stole or a top down, fair isle sweater. I'm sure I'd make the sweater up like i do everything else. But I like this color pattern. The big question is how to smoothly increase and decrease over this pattern without disrupting it over the yoke

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Molly, Fudge and friend visit the beach

Even a dog day in Paradise is great! Fudge, Molly and their neighbor, Charlie girl, went for a stroll on the beach this morning. The surf was too much for anyone to swim, but Molly checked it out.

Surf Burger, Pensacola Beach, FL

Yep, just another day in Paradise. Medium rare with bacon, cheese, jalapenos and surf sauce. Fabulous sticks! (fries)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Knitting on the beach

Here are the beach projects this year. I'm slogging away on Mimi's scarf and occasionally picking up the Bess lace scarf. I think I'll finish Mimi this week. That leaves Bess for the next 2 weeks. Hopefully I'll finish that as well. I tried shooting some photos for the book, but ended up scrapping them all. I'll try again later. Wouldn't it be neat if the next DVD had surf sounds for transition in between shots and if the intro were shot on the beach!

Kayaking in the Gulf of Mexico

When the surf isn't too choppy, we can make it past the surfzone and kayak. The water is clear, you can see way down and watch schools of fish, jellies and crabs. I usually paddle from in front of our home up to the behemoth that is Portafino and back. One of these days I'll paddle down to the pier and back, but generally the tide is such that I make the way out hard and the way back easy and that is heading east. Max went out as well. Good thing as it's his kayak! He foolishly chose to stay in the surfzone and got swamped. Twerp. I got swamped coming back in one day, a wave broke over me, without a spray skirt I was swept out of the 'yak. Good thing it was so shallow. William is a little nervous to paddle in the gulf, or anywhere for that matter, but he had a go briefly. He took in a lot of water passing the surfzone his next time out so I don't think he'll be trying it again soon. He's busy with Kendo anyway, we probably need to keep paddling just for Max and I.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Flounder's Chowder and Ale House

With Margaritaville radio streaming through the open restaurant, this is often another family favorite. Not because the food is phenomenal. It's good, it's reliable as are the drinks. The weekly drink specials are GREAT. The volleyball scenery varies and can be incredible as can the live music, but eating in the section of the restaurant that is open to the Sound is really why we go. We hopped over for an early and indulgent bite tonight. Two Patron margarita's later we had dinner, were stuffed, but some how I said "yes!" to Key lime pie. I love key limes. And here comes the waiter with this THREE LAYER pie. It's freaking THREE pies stacked on top of each other. They must cut it into 4 pieces per pie and call it done. Four previously stuffed people managed to make a sizeable dent in that pie. Don't think Max did most of it (though he did) he was just the one opposite the camera.

Dogs first trip to the beach

We stole away to the beach in the early morning hours and took the dogs. It was a grey day and rained not long after we arrived. neither dog was thrilled with the surf. I suspect they'll like the gulf on a quiet post-card kind of day, but we haven't had one of those yet. Molly has never been near water aside from a bath, but we know Fudge LOVES water as he is a sailor. We brought his life vest in case he wants to escort me on a morning kayak paddle.

Busy Beach Boys

We have the BEST neighbors! We hadn't even finished unloading last Saturday before the neighbors were welcoming us back, kids coming over to play. The XBox was plugged in, the dogs were walked and playing. This is the best neighborhood on the beach. Later Rose came and brought Tyler. We listened to the pathetic steel drum band on Quietwater sound. No trip to the pier would be complete without teenage boys trying to toss one of their lot into the sound, right? So here we have William and Tyler trying to heave Max in. I am happy to say they were unsuccessful.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just another day in Paradise

We've been at the beach 3 days and a friend is complaining that I haven't posted photos. Instead, here are some very compressed videos of a mediocre steel drum band from Sunday then Ginger, Max and William playing in the surf today.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Joe Patti Seafood, a family tradition

No trip to Pensacola (however short) would be complete without at least one foray into Joe Patti Seafood. We generally go to Joe Patti's on "rain days" as it entails a trip over two bridges so in addition to expensive, it's time consuming. We have watched this Pensacola institution expand, endure public attention and rebuild. Currently they have a sushi bar which was mediocre on this visit, but has been fabulous on other visits, a wine shop complete with Left Hand beer and, of course, various fresh seafood both local and from other waters. Today's catch was bay shrimp for $3.39/lb at about 20-25 count. We bought 3 lbs. When we got home I realized we didn't have any crab and shrimp boil in the cupboard. I rummaged around and threw together a semblance of a home made boil. Here is the result. It was great! Would have been better if we'd had some cajun sausage or other sausage.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Working for a living

William got McDonald's for breakfast (I think it was a store Jim owns) on this day. JJ was sweet and let him work for some more Kendo travel money. He swept floors, moved appliances and generally helped out. He loves working renos with her. See those can lights? wouldn't they look great in out living room? Ginger says no. She's so mean. This is 2000 Young and it's been given a new lease on life thanks to investors. It looks phenomenal! Great job JJ and team!
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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Pink Palace Crafts Fair 2007

The boys joined Crafts' Fair President, Claudia Stenberg, and others not pictured, to distribute yard signs and posters for the Crafts Fair. Go, eat, visit, enjoy!
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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Kendo Cookies part 2

(This is an email, sent out by my fabulous wife, in one of our last-ditch-all-out-efforts for fund raising and the now bordering-on-infamous "Kendo Kookies by William" You've got to read all the way to the end. hilarious!)

For those of you who don't know, William is studying the art of Kendo which is a form of Japanese martial arts. Japanese fencing is how it's usually described. He's participating in a tournament and testing event in October in Atlanta and is going to try out for the National Team in his age bracket which, if successful, will require a great deal of travel including Japan. (Comment from Diane: okay, she's a little off the map, it's Las Vegas. He only wishes it were Japan!)
He is also home-schooled and as such, we are trying to teach him about math, business and finances and are requiring him to raise most of the money himself which brings me to the shameless and brazen solicitation. He has started his own business named "Kendo Kookies". He makes them, tracks costs, is learning accounts receivables and payables and customer service.
What he raises goes to the cost of equipment, travel and entry fees. It also goes to mitigate the mental and emotional damage that might otherwise cause his parents to be institutionalized. See, it's a win win for the Thornton-Leonard family. He gets to participate and we don't poke our eyes out with ice picks. Or his.
Attached is an order form. No pressure but I have to say that I've personally taste tested each kind of the cookies and must say that they are the BOMB. My personal favorite is the No-Bake but the peanut butter is running a close second with it's new and improved formulation.
Every order will be placed in a bucket for a drawing. Grand prize is a dog. Or maybe a child depending on his behavior on any given day.
Kidding about the prize.
Kendo Kookies takes cash, checks and paypal. He also accepts donations if you are averse to sugary snacks.

Mimi's scarf

Knit from recycled yarn in a wool, alpaca, cashmere and angora blended from 2 different sweaters. This is knit on size 3 needles and the "Alternate broken ribs" pattern from Vogue Knitting copywrite 1989 p 156. This is hopefully going to be a very soft, but durable and functional scarf for the mild Memphis Winters. NO fringe, no tassles :) Tailored, right Mimi? A gigantic hug and thanks to Mimi who designed the cover for the DVD and logo. She wants a scarf, mittens and a pair of Trekking ProNatura socks in the Blue Ginger pattern as payment. What fun! The mittens will have to be swish or something equally washable though and not this luxury blend. I'll have to figure a way to make them coordinate. I guess the socks will have to be the Red Hot Mimi's!
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