Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gearing up for the upcoming holidays

Sure, the solstice has passed, and December 25th has come and gone, but in our house, we're not only getting ready for the New Year, but for La Befana and for what our family calls Russian Christmas.

We usually make a passel of turkey piroshki.

Happy New Year, and enjoy the holidays to come!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I made these awhile ago for Jonah, and I'm afraid that it took me so long to give them to him that Mr. Panda, or another of his friends, will end up wearing them instead!

The pattern is Ruth's perfect baby booties, and they took just a tiny bit of Schachenmayr nomotta Regia stretch color yarn.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Elephant surprises

So I'm watching the Colbert report on radical knitting, and, suddenly, there's my elephant:

The original that they obviously grabbed from Flickr:

It would have been nice if they had asked.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mending again

We've had some mornings with frost, and near freezing temperatures near the Bay, so I've wanted more wool layers for my bike commute. But I don't want to spend a lot of money--it's not just the economy being in the toilet, it's wanting to have some money to spend on Christmas presents, on paying off debts, and, dare I dream, a vacation? So, luckily, there's Goodwill, with darling wool sweaters for $5.00. This one had many holes in it, and I didn't do extensive darning--if I can get it decent-looking so it lasts for one winter, I'll be happy.

So I just ran horizontal stitches across the holes to cinch the knitted fabric together:

Many holes were mended in about ten minutes, and then I replaced the buttons, since a few were missing. And, voila! A very warm, darling cardigan, suitable for biking & wearing to work.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Foccacia and wine

My darling friends had given us Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan, and I gave the foccacia recipe a try. It's absolutely delicious. The bread comes out with a dense, moist texture, perfect to hold up to cheese, a dip in wine, or even sliced horizontally to make a sandwich. I cut down on the salt quite a bit (2 teaspoons rather than a tablespoon, and no salt on top), and topped it with only 1/8 cup garlic olive oil (made with sliced garlic sauteed in extra virgin olive oil) mixed with 1 tablespoon water. I cut the fat and salt since I like to top the warm foccacia with cheese (like a Point Reyes blue), or dip it in red wine.

The wines are two of my absolute favorites, the carignane and mourvedre from Cline Cellars. Grown in Contra Costa County, these wines are surprisingly affordable, and with every sip I feel lucky about what the phrase "buy local" means for me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pumpkin scones

The Joy of Baking's pumpkin scones recipe is wonderful. I've modified it a bit; I only use 1/4 c. organic vegetable shortening (rather than 1/2 c. butter), use lowfat milk or soy milk rather than buttermilk, and like them a little less sweet, so I substitute 1/4 c. agave syrup (rather than 1/3 c. sugar). I also omit the egg wash at the end to cut down further on the fat & cholesterol. I then bake them as directed on on ungreased cookie sheet--no need for parchment paper if you aren't using the glaze. They come out great!

And they're even good for lunch the next day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Schmap Napa

Slightly Daft Cedric is slightly famous! His photo from his trip to Copia in Napa has been selected for the 5th ed. of the Schmap Napa Valley entry on Copia.

He was very modest about it, speechless, in fact.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Adventures in commuting

I met a bus newbie named Dave, who took a photo of me with my bike at the bus terminal.

Why is the little airplane a pigeon chaser? The hum of the propeller spinning in the wind isn't just whimsical, it's enough of a sound that pigeons (and even gulls) hear it and walk out of the way before the bike and I are near them!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Men's Book

The booklet that has the pattern for Paul's sweater is actually for sale at Summer Breeze Books. And the price seems very good! I've never ordered from them, and don't know them, but they have a lot of interesting knitting items under "Vintage 10 cent items, etc."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A sleeve begins

It's another stage in the Journey of the Fine Gauge Sweater: the beginning of the first sleeve! When I started this sweater, out of sock yarn, over a year ago...


It's the beginning of a sleeve!

I've finished the front, which looks almost exactly like the back, and I'm so happy to have started on the sleeves because they're going so much faster. Being a "vintage pattern," the instructions for the entire sweater are very brief; the pattern assumes a lot of knowledge. For the sleeves, I've written out row-by-row instructions for myself--in the original pattern, the instructions for the sleeves (above the cuff) consist of seven lines, and I've filled an entire sheet of binder paper with rows 1-45. And I'll be writing out the rest. Because that's the kind of knitter I am.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008


We love this challah, and make it often. It's the King Arthur Flour's "Challah" pretty much as written, with the exception of using agave syrup instead of sugar. I let the braided bread have its final rise on a parchment paper covered baking sheet, because the glaze can make a royal mess out of the baking sheet, and don't have an instant-read thermometer--I find one can tell when the bread's done without one!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Timson is kind enough to appear as my avatar on Ravelry, and Casey was kind enough to create the code that makes the parrots appear! I'm particularly impressed, because Timson's parrot appeared perched on his (Timson's) "frogged" shot glass. (Timson has been known to tipple.) Timson is a gnome of few words, but on the subject of Talk Like a Pirate Day, he says very quietly, if you lean in close, "Arr."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Vegan or not, lowfat or not, cormeal scones

Timson loves his cornmeal scones. (Well, Timson loves just about any type of scone!) These are really easy to prepare--the recipe below is for the lowfat, vegan version, but if you're an omnivore with healthy cholesterol levels, substitute milk for soymilk, and butter for shortening--heck, substitute cream for soymilk! (Or slather them with butter. Mmmmm.)

Mix: 1 cup flour, 1 c. cornmeal, 3/4 tsp. baking powder, and a pinch of salt.

Cut in 1/4 cup shortening.

Optional: mix in 1/4 cup raisins, dates, nuts, or whatever
Mix together 1/3-1/2 cup soymilk with 1 tbsp. agave syrup (or honey, or sugar, etc.).

Mix wet and dry ingredients together; you want enough wet ingredients to moisten the dough, yet to leave it dry enough to handle.

Pat it out onto a floured counter about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick, cut into eight wedges, and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 425F for 12-15 minutes.

After a nice scone, Timson can't resist a wee tipple in his favorite shot glass.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Free Tibet bracelet pattern

This is as close to politics as this blog will ever get; Timson is rather uncomfortable about public political discussions, but he had a lot of fun making this bracelet, and would like to show it off:

I came up with this bracelet because I was looking for something I could wear frequently that conveyed this message but all I could find were those plastic message bracelets, and I'm trying to reduce the amount of plastic in my life--I couldn't find anything so decided to get creative.*

The pattern's very simple--I've made it available as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file, for free here, but if you like it, please contribute to either The Tibet Fund (U.S.), Free Tibet (U.K.), or the organization of your choice that supports Tibet or Tibetans.

*For just one reason to reduce your purchasing of plastics, see the Discover magazine article, The World's Largest Dump: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The turtle moved

Have you ever seen one of your favorite authors in the whole world next to something you made for them? Someone whose books have made you laugh out loud no matter how bleak the world had become? Someone who had crafted something that always brought you joy, even when your heart was shattered? If so, you know how I feel today.

I made one, wee square, the turtle from Barbara Walker's treasuries. Thanks to an amazing amount of hard work and incredible talent on her part & all those who participated, Shirley presented the Pratchgan to our PTerry. I hope so much it keeps him warm and brings him a even fraction of the joy he's brought all of us. Read all about it on her blog, Ramblings of a Yarn Junkie.

To see some of the squares in detail, check out the Flickr group, or if you're on Ravelry, start with Shirley's project page.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

He went to...

Copia! He toured the gardens...

...and really liked making some friends.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Water lilies

I got some film back from our trip to the UC Botanical Garden which included this unexpectedly lovely shot of the water lilies. Cedric was there, but water makes him very nervous, especially this water which is the home to snakes and turtles--they're not known to eat gnomes, but when you're a very small gnome, you don't take those sorts of chances.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It's a top, no, it's a bathing suit

What do you do when you can't wear synthetics, and you want to go swimming? Sure, tshirts and shorts are an option, but what about wanting something pretty? Enter the Citrus Sun Top, from Knitting Lingerie Style.

Even thought my gauge was spot-on, and my measurements brutally accurate, the cups turned out huge (even though they're the "A cup" size)--since the pattern didn't offer a "demitasse" size, I had to think of a way to get the cups to fit. Enter i-cord drawstrings:

I laced them through the trim: one i-cord through the top, tying at the back of the neck, and one i-cord through each side, fastened just where the cup meets the midriff (near the underarm), fastened in the back.

The i-cords not only keep the top from looking way too big, they will keep it on in the water!

And, yes, since the yarn is Louet MerLin, which is merino and linen, it does smell a bit like a wet dog when wet, but I'm hoping the chlorine will mask that.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Polaris

Cedric and his pal Fergus also had a great time visiting the Polaris, and you can too! She's beautiful, built in 1906, a carvel-built pumpkinseed sloop. (OK, I have no idea what that means, but it sounds so cool that I'll be looking it up.)

The crew was so friendly, and answered all our many questions, and even took special care helping Cedric and Fergus enjoy their visit, too.Fergus' pal Debbie was there, as were other pals, and we had such a good time we hope we can visit
The Spaulding Boat Center where the Polaris is based. (They're a California non-profit, 501(c)(3), so give early and give often.)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Niña

We had a fantastic time during the week at the Festival of Sail, and so did a lot of other people! There are some fantastic photos and a great video of the Parade up at Yachtpals. Favorite part of the parade? The cannon fire. The boom of cannon on the Bay is always delightful. We were watching in front of the Firehouse at Fort Mason Center, and the wind was just right so that the smoke emerged from behind the end of the pier before the Bounty in all her glory.
Cedric loved his visit to the Niña with Fergus. The crew was so friendly and knowledgeable, and very patient with their smallest visitors. They loved exploring the model:

And were so surprised that the ship was so small (the full-sized ship, that is, not the model. Although the model was a tiny miracle of craftsmanship.). It's hard to imagine sailing across the Atlantic in it, but if you're curious, check out the crew application at their website.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Less talk, more work

As the artist Chuck Close said: 'Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.'
--Jon Carroll, column for Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007

Just finished a novella. (Damn, that sentence was fun to write.) I don't write much about writing--it seems silly. I'd rather just go write novellas and novels (and lions and tigers. Oh my.)

But check out Jon Carroll. He's one of my favorite writers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I'm lucky to know a very talented photographer, who takes great pictures of me like this one with my latest fabric purchase.

Friday, July 4, 2008

UC Botanical Garden

Today we visited the UC Botanical Garden, and Cedric's favorite spot was the dye plants bed in the herb garden. The flowers were still stunning, and the indigo pods were lovely.

We also saw lizards, many robins and towhees, and even a roufus-sided towhee. In the quiet, California garden, we watched a small, gray mouse, no bigger than a quarter, foraging. We also stopped into the tropical house to see Odora, and I was happy that she wasn't stinky! Next to Odora is Titania, setting fruit, and another plant in the leaf stage. It's quite something seeing a flower almost as big as you, and a leaf taller than you are.

Monday, June 30, 2008

San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

We went there this weekend, and I loved it. I was most interested in Beyond Knitting: Uncharted Stitches, but enjoyed every single exhibit.

In Beyond Knitting, some of my favorite pieces were Mark Newport's hand-knit costumes; you can see some of them at the Greg Kucera Gallery website, but the images don't convey their presence--they're actual size, as if knit for a tall, powerful man, but they're adorable! I really loved Argyle Man and Sweaterman 4--and if I had $7000.00 (each, according to the gallery site), they'd be mine. I would love to come home and make believe that this is just my secret identity--in reality, I'm Sweaterman 4, and together with the other three Sweatermen, we're mustering the power of the knit cable to fight the agents of evil!

I was very surprised by how taken I was with the figures in "In Javanese Moonlight: Sha Sha Higby in Transition." They're haunting. And the "Crocheted Reef and Anemone Garden" is fantastic--look for the sweet and well executed crab and rays.

Of course, Cedric was there, but photography was not permitted in the museum. His favorite piece was the knit capitol building. And consider a membership--with it, you can bring in two guests!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cedric's pal Fergus

We get the most interesting researchers at work. This week, Cedric came in to work with me to meet his pal, Fergus, who's researching his family history--like many of our researchers, Fergus wanted to look up the ship that carried some of his ancestors in the registers. It was quite a challenge for him, since he's only a fraction of the the size of the Lloyd's Registers--even the small ones!

We were struck by their resemblance to each other--they may be cousins, but they won't be sure until Fergus gets further in his research. (It's Cedric on the left.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


This is my first batch of bagels! I used the recipe in the The King Arthur Flour baker's companion (which is also on their website) because it was the lowest fat version of the recipe in all of my cookbooks. (It's beyond lowfat--the only fat I used was to grease the bowl that held the rising dough.) I also substituted agave syrup for the sugar in the dough--I didn't see any reason to go hunt down exotic ingredients like "non-diastatic malt powder," if what I had in the cabinet would work--and also substituted rice syrup for all the sugars in the water bath. Worked like a charm.

They came out great and according to my neighbor, "they are real bagels." I'll be making them again!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sam and Max

Sam and Max, freelance police, outlasted the tshirt onto which I had embroidered them. Now they will be bringing their particular brand of aggression to a Christmas tree near you.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Los Angeles

Cedric has had a fantastic time visiting LA in the past two months. He loves LA--everything about it. The first trip down he posed, as you can see, with some of his favorite new acquaintances. (I keep telling him there's nothing like a dry martini, and he finishes every single one I offer him, then orders another single malt.)

This last trip, he helped out on the set of Gary Mairs' Hemingway Night. We couldn't get a picture of him on set because he wouldn't keep still--that's our story and we're sticking to it. Paul put some pictures of the shoot up, and maybe next time we help Gary out with a movie, Cedric will sit still long enough for us to get a photo of him!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Old Foghorn

Anchor's Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale is Cedric's new favorite beer. This is really saying something. Cedric enjoys his beer and is partial to ales, and has been trying many of the brews available from around the world at his new favorite store, Ledgers Liquors--he had heard Ledgers called the adult Disneyland, and they weren't wrong. (He's also amazed by Ledger's selection of single malts--in fact, he gets emotional about the single malts, and can't yet speak openly about them.)

In his quest to not only support local businesses, he, like any traveler, has been trying to experience a new culture through the local food and drink. So he had a martini made from Anchor's Junipero Gin, and was transported. When he watched the online video of the bottling of Junipero Gin, he wept openly. It may have been the martini, but he's been walking around with a suppressed joy ever since.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Baking soda to the rescue

The merino wool sweater that I found at Goodwill for $4.99 has become my favorite biking sweater--it fits well while allowing full movement while biking, looks decent at work, and, most of all, keeps me warm around dawn while biking into a headwind on the Embarcadero. I found, though, that it was spending more time at the dry cleaners than at home.

So I decided to try washing it. Some gentle detergent, cool water, and no agitation, and I had a soft, lovely sweater. Mostly. Because I wear this sweater for heavy exercise, the armpits were, shall we say, still seeming fresh off the bike.

I tried searching the Ravelry forums, and a few of my usual online resource haunts, but everything that talked about deodorizing wool seemed to be concentrating on unfortunate incidents involving pets and wool rugs. Keeping in mind the few weeks I spent in chemistry, I didn't think that methods for removing odors from mammal excrement could be used for removing odors from human sweat--maybe I was wrong--I hope I'll never know!

So I turned to the manual for all things domestic in my abode: Home comforts : the art & science of keeping house by Cheryl Mendelson. Her recommendation: baking soda.

Keeping my chemistry in mind, I double-checked: baking soda is alkaline, and my detergent is alkaline. How does it work? As with everything in the book, she explains:

As a deodorizer, [baking soda] works neither by perfuming or masking odors nor by absorbing them. It chemically neutralizes odors ... most unpleasant odors are caused by strong acids ... or strong alkalies ... Baking soda reacts with the odor molecules to bring them to a more neutral pH ... the deodorant effect is also present when baking soda is dissolved in water ...

Of course I have no idea if that's what actually happened in my basin, but with a much-darned sweater from Goodwill, I was willing to experiment. (I would never try any of this with my handknits--those go straight to Sam's Cleaners!) A few tablespoons of Bob's Redmill's baking soda and some cool water in my small basin, and about ten minutes of soaking, followed by adding some gentle detergent for another soak, and, voila! A completely deodorized, fluffy, soft, sweet smelling sweater!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's a back

Introducing the completed back of Paul's sweater! Of course, it won't look that shapely on Paul--my dress form isn't set up for his shape--but pinned on the dress form you can really see the detail of the vertical stripes.

This sweater is different from others that I've made in that the neck is knit onto the pieces, so the seams will extend from the shoulders up the neck. So this also shows the real neck height.

I've started the front, and am almost finished with the bottom ribbing!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Poem in my pocket

Happy first national Poem in Your Pocket Day! I love carrying around poetry--usually favorites such as Byron's "She Walks in Beauty" or Carroll's "Jabberwocky." Today, though, I wanted to discover something new, and since one point of today's celebrations is to share, check out e.e. cummings' "the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls"--it mentions knitting.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

And the yarn

This is the wonderful 2-ply worsted Jacobs yarn that I bought at the Meet the Sheep day from Robin at Meridian Jacobs. It's wonderfully tweedy-looking, due to the colors of wool on the sheep that she's woven together--it's not dyed--it's as the sheep grew it. I bought a bit of a darker color in case I don't have enough of the gray.

And this is the beautiful Fiber Creations yarn from Colleen; I'm thinking a big, warm scarf for winter bike rides to work along the Bay, and to wear in the repurposed warehouse where I work, and where the heat fails as often as the wind blows.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Meridian Jacobs

We had a great time at Meridian Jacobs' Meet the Sheep & Fiber Fun 2008 in Vacaville. After two really intense weeks, we didn't make any commitments or any plans for today; we decided that if we woke up feeling like going, we'd go. It was a beautiful spring morning, so after waffles, we went.

I was not only interested in meeting the lambs, but after reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and hearing Michael Shuman on Alternative Radio discuss local economics in his book The Small-mart Revolution, I've been more interested in finding local yarn. Meridian Jacobs is only 54 miles from home, and the drive up there was almost worth the entire trip; the hills are not only green from the recent rain, but they're not sprinkled, they're sprayed with colorful flowers--the deep, red-purples surrounded the brilliant orange California poppies before fields of mustard yellows.

Robin was there telling us all about the sheep and the goats, and the kids who were there got to help bottle feed the baby goat (who, I believe, is two weeks old). The goats were incredibly friendly, licking and nibbling your fingers while you pet them, and her dogs Bonnie & Rusty were lovable, too. Some of the sheep didn't mind some attention and some petting, but some were shy. Robin's sheep are all Jacob sheep, and her friend Colleen was there with incredibly fluffy Romney and CVM sheep (Mopsy and friend!). Cedric loved watching the sheep in the open field, the sheep and goats in the barn, and even the two pigs.

Near the shop spinners and weavers were patiently explaining their craft to kids and adults alike, and Colleen was there with her Fiber Confections yarn. Many folks hung out there also with their picnic or takeout lunch. Did I buy some yarn? Oh, yes, thanks to the fortuitous arrival of our tax refunds (taking the sting out of having overpaid our 2007 taxes!).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

How to not put the elephant's trunk in its ear

I had been mystified; the first time I knit this elephant, as you can see, the trunk was where its left ear should be! (The little legs are supposed to open at the inseam.) I had no idea what had gone wrong, and ended up frogging the whole head and starting over. This time I paid close attention, and the elephant's nose is going to be right where it should.

In the pattern, when you put the legs on to the needles, in the section called, "Body," there's this little bit: "Join double strand of main yarn with RS facing to the beginning of one needle." I'm working on dpns, and already had the yarn attached to one of the legs, thank you very much. That's the problem! The yarn is attached where the elephant's "family jewels" would be (or "gates of Venus"--these are very private elephants, who only reveal their gender post-adoption to their new caretakers, so I have no idea what gender they will turn out to be). The yarn should be at the hip--in the middle of one of the legs.

The solution? No need to clip yarn and reattach it. When knitting the head, just knit row five 75% of the way around--stop over the right shoulder. You're all lined up for the rest of the head, and the nose will show up where it's supposed to be.

Pattern source: "Lovable toys," In: Last-minute knitted gifts / Joelle Hoverson.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pillow case, finished

It's done! Timson thinks it's very comfortable. I'm not letting anyone get too close, because then you'll see all the mistakes that were made on my first cutwork embroidery project.

I learned a lot; next time I'm going to try cutting out the eyelets before embroidering (and using a running stitch around the cut-out circle before embroidering the buttonhole stitch). Likewise, I'd like to cut out the areas that will take bars first, then embroider in the bars--maybe that way I won't cut so many bars!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cutting the cutwork

The cutting was going so well--too well. It took a long time to feel comfortable; I had cut out about a quarter of the design before I was able to feel the scissors against the purl edge of the embroidery, and I thought I was able to feel the difference between cutting the thickness of the threads of the material versus the threads of the embroidery. I was so wrong--so overconfident! Timson is showing you just one place where this wasn't so, where I cut a bar.

So now I get to learn how to mend cutwork. For this project, I've been using Margaret Pierce's Cutwork (Heirloom Sewing v. 4) which luckily includes a paragraph called, "Repairing Bars." This gives me some comfort. Otherwise, except for the few areas where I've cut my bars (there are more!), the cutting out is going pretty well. It's going slowly but it's going--I don't find it as enjoyable as stitching. Next time I may follow some other directions I've read, to cut out certain sections ahead of time, like the small circles and the smaller areas that will be crossed by bars, and embroider them after the cutting.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Armhole shaping at last

One thing my husband and I have in common is a love for the look of fine gauge knitting, so the sweater that I began for him late last summer is on 3.0mm needles, out of Louet gems. I love the feel of the wool, but it's not the most evenly spun--there are fuzzies every so often, and sometimes it's thicker, sometimes thinner. I'm hoping because it's so fine, no one will notice the differences in thickness, and after it's blocked, I'll try to work the fuzzies to the back. (If you click on the image to see the larger version, on the lower left, you can see a rather large fuzzy.) Now that I'm ready to do the armhole shaping, you can really see the ribbing pattern; from one edge to the other, the number of stitches is:

So far the pattern has been easy to follow, which I've heard is unusual for a vintage pattern; it doesn't seem to assume any special knitting expertise. Finding a suitable yarn was a challenge, though, since I couldn't find any information anywhere on the original yarn's yardage per ounce, and it took a lot of swatching to get the correct gauge. I didn't set out wanting to knit from a vintage pattern, but we had no choice--we couldn't find any contemporary men's patterns that were both in a fine gauge and for a 38" chest. It seems that all the men nowadays besides mine are large, like a loose fit in their sweaters, and want them knit from worsted or chunky yarn.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Art or craft?

Episode 2 of Y Knit, Art or Craft? is asking a fascinating question. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to their interview with Sabrina Gschwandtner, and a lively discussion is going on in the Y Knit Ravelry group about what people think of their own handwork: is it art, or is it craft? (Send them your opinion and enter the contest!)

Since I'm not really interested in the contest prize (sorry guys--I have really limited bookshelf space, so I'm big on using the public library!), I thought I'd ask the question that I think of whenever the "art vs. craft" question is raised: why do you ask? We inherited this distinction from Victorians who were compelled to classify everything into hierarchies. Is even asking yourself this question useful? Are you engaging in the marketplace, so need to think to think about whether to sell your creations in a boutique (craft) or gallery (art)?

I spent untold hours considering this question until I gained a little historic perspective by reading Rozsika Parker's history of women and their embroidery, The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine. Why do most women give their handwork away? Why are female-dominated creative endeavors usually seen as "craft" rather than "art?" If these questions interest you, read this book. And if you haven't heard it, Philosophy Talk's What is Art? is well worth a listen.

Of course, Timson doesn't care about such distinctions. He has a more Eastern approach. Rather than if his knitting is "art" or "craft," he asks himself if he's finding joy and fulfillment in the work.