the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

I Love Knitting Bloggers


I love Sophia.   She is smart.  She if funny.  She knows how to make very good French toast.  But she’s not perfect.

“When are you going to learn to knit?”  I asked.

“I’m not interested in knitting.”

“Knitting is very hot now as a hobby.”

“Shhh.  I’m reading about playing Texas Hold-em.  That’s what I’m interested in.”

“The house is drafty.  You can knit me a willie warmer.”

“Why don’t you just wear pajamas?”

“It’s just not the same.”

“Use a sock.”


My new approach to life is to look at everything in a positive way.   I need to accept the fact that Sophia was not put on this Earth to knit me a willie warmer.  

Maybe the gods are teaching me a lesson.

“Stop being a man with such a dependent personality structure!” bellows one of tough-ass gods.  “You can’t depend on Sophia for everything!”

How true.  Luckily, I know so many wonderful knitting bloggers — Dagny, Psychomom, Caron, Ellen Bloom, Katie, etc… (did I forget anyone?)

One of these knitting bloggers is Laurie.  She writes the popular Crazy Aunt Purl.   Her blog is about knitting and cats… but mostly about her life.   She’s very funny.  On paper, I have as much in common with her as I do recent guest poster NSC.  But that’s what makes the blogosphere such a special place.   You learn to relate to all different types of people with all different types of interests, and you can connect in ways that would never occur in real life.  

Recently, I’ve been bad-mouthing blogging as “inferior” to actual real-life interaction, but I’m changing my mind.  On Monday night, I had dinner with Hilly and Karl.  We had a wonderful time, and I had to remind myself that I wouldn’t even KNOW these friends, or even had met them if it weren’t for blogging.  And I wouldn’t have “met” Laurie, even though we live in the same city.

Laurie just wrote a book that is now in pre-order at Amazon.  It is titled Crazy Aunt Purl’s Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair: The True-Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split. 

Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair is the irreverent first-person narrative of a contemporary, displaced Southern woman facing life after her husband leaves her to “get his creativity back.” With infectious humor and heart, she explains how she gets her groove back after finding herself alone in a rented house with four cats, a mountain of boxes and a slightwine-and-Cheetos problem. Reeling from the sting of divorce, it is the hobby of knitting — and the adventures it leads her to — that keep her from “directing traffic in her nightgown.”

Readers will laugh and cry with her as she gets dumped, makes new friends, gains weight (aka The Divorce Diet), travels abroad, and navigates the ins and outs of the modern dating scene. With her sense of humor and broken heart, she chronicles how “picking up sticks” helps her to pick up her life.

Most of you know how much I hate pimping my blog out to promote someone else, so you can just imagine the huge crush I have on Laurie.  I will even make a one-time unique promotional offer — the first person who tells me in my comments that they have ordered Laurie’s book through Amazon, will also get a special gift.  I will kick my dependent personality in the butt and I will KNIT YOU A WASHCLOTH by myself!  That’s right, although I have no idea how to do it, I will learn!  Neilochka of “Citizen of the Month” will use his hands for something other than typing on the keyboard and uh…uh… well, whatever — to knit you a first edition “Citizen of the Month” washcloth.  Imagine — you can be the envy of all your friends. 

Right now, I am just offering one washcloth, since it will probably take me three months to do it.  Once I get really good at it, then I will open up my online store.


  1. Hilly

    “Use a sock”…awesome.

  2. sizzle

    want me to knit you a willie warmer? i bet sophia might love me more if i do!

  3. psychomom

    I preordered it but don’t have an Amazon account so it isn’t paid for.  Does that count?  I would love a handmade object from you and it will probably be a one-of-a-kind original that I can sell on ebay when you get famous.  Let me know if you need help casting on.

  4. Bre

    As a fairly new knitter, Laurie’s blog is a favorite of mine, too! As soon as she posted about it I called my sister and conned her into pre-ordering it as a birthday gift for my (june 15th!!) birthday. I can’t wait to get my hot little hands on it! 🙂

  5. heather anne

    Damn Google Reader. Too slow! I wanted the homemade washcloth. Please, Neil! PUH-LEASE!

  6. e.

    I think that willy warming you posted is crocheted, just FYI….

  7. Karl

    How about a Neil-made willie warmer? That I’d go for.

  8. Hilly

    Oh by the way, because I was tired earlier…I forgot to mention that I got a knitting kit for my birthday last year and am trying too….I am soooo not good at it, LOL.

  9. Ellen Bloom

    Neil Doll, I’m happy to help you honor your pledge to knit a washcloth. I will coach you or Sophia (or both) in the mysteries of knitting OR crochet so you can complete the washcloth project. Come by the West Hollywood Stitch ‘n Bitch any Thursday night, 7-9pm, upstairs dining area at the Original Farmers Market, 3rd and Fairfax for your lesson!

  10. Eileen Dover

    Would that be an acrylic, mohair, or cashmere face washer?

  11. Eileen Dover

    Face washer, washcloth…

    Sorry, my Aussie language had the best of me.

  12. Not Fainthearted

    I’m confused. I’ve pre-ordered. With an account on Amazon, so I think it’s paid. Does that mean I win the first FO by Neilochka? (that’s knitting lingo for “finished object.” as opposed to the UFOs that usually inhabit most knitting baskets.)

    Uh, yeah. Knitter here. In fact there are a couple of really good recent pictures of FOs over at This Journey. Just saying.

  13. Neil

    PsychoMom — You were first, even if you haven’t officially “paid” for it yet! I trust you. What is your favorite color? And what do you mean by “casting on?” Isn’t that a term from fishing?

    Bre, Heather Anne, Not Faint Hearted — as the three runner-ups, there is a consolation prize — You each get a copy of Stitch ‘N Bitch 2007 Page-A-Day Calendar: The Knitter’s Calendar. Just email me your address.

  14. Katie

    Neilochka, good on ya for supporting Laurie! The washcloth I made you is the Ball-Band washcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting. It’s pretty easy and could be a good first project (and you can make it all one color). Did I say easy? Technically easy, sure, but I *slaved* over yours, with good thoughts for you in every stitch. And I’m happy to help you out too though realistically and geographically Ellen Bloom is closer.

  15. laurie

    Not Fainthearted, you are a STUNNING knitter.

    Neil, j’adore right back atcha. Said in twang of course. Thank you. Thank you so much.

  16. Neil

    My Spam Karma-thing is really going crazy the last few days. If you post a comment and it gets blocked, it isn’t some vendetta against you. I will unblock it later. Things are getting serious when it starts blocking MY OWN comments, like it just did.  Meanwhile, I’m going to try to figure out what’s going on.

  17. psychomom

    You trust me? Wow, I am so honored and promise I will never, ever sell the masterpiece you create.

    As for a favorite color, I don’t have one but something in the red family would be nice, something like “Blood Red”.
    Just don’t try to hand dye the yarn by poking yourself with the needles.

  18. Serena

    damn. Now I have to go buy that book because it sounds hysterical.

  19. Shelli

    You are a true friend, helping Laurie that way. Someone won a contest on my blog in December and the prize was that I would make them something. Yah, I’m still working on it.

  20. deezee

    Bravo to Aunt Purl! And bravo to you for supporting and pimping her! I eagerly await the release of her book. (pre-ordering is SO not my style, but you may talk me into it.)

  21. tamar

    hysterical stream-of-consciousness lunacy. my first visit here, which won’t be my last. thnx.

  22. Danny

    Oy, what a small world—do we live in L.A. or Mayberry? Several of your knitting readers, including Crazy Aunt Purl and Ellen Bloom, also frequently comment on my neighbor Frank’s blog. Frank is a knitter, too, and attends that Stitch n’Bitch thing at Farmers Market. See, Neil, men can be knitters, you should join their group and make washcloths for all your readers! Sounds like a cool book…

  23. Jack

    She knows how to make very good French toast.

    This is an absolute must in any good relationship.

  24. Dagny

    I plan to order my copy as soon as I get paid at the end of the month. Funds are a little low right now. And I think it’s because of Laurie’s blog that I found my way here.

  25. Caron

    I’m more curious than ever to find out just exactly how you’re using that small quilt I made you for your birthday! Or do I?

    So sad I missed the washcloth give away. I could use some motivation to tackle that chore.

  26. Alexandra

    I’ve been knitting an entire apartment building here in Portland-sixteen stories high. Laini and I are taking a knitting class together right now and it is quite difficult. Why don’t you take a knitting class? You would be great entertainment in a room full of knitting women!

  27. michellev

    Knitting. Is that what it takes to be a blog crush?

  28. plain jane

    I LOVE Crazy Aunt Purl! I’m so excited about her book. I’m begging for it for my birthday.

    P.S. You got my vote for BEST BLOG EVER.

  29. V-Grrrl

    I ordered SIX, SIX copies of Laurie’s book! This is what all my Grrrl friends are getting for Christmas. No, I don’t knit. No, I’m not divorced. I’m not exactly covered with cat hair, but Laurie makes me laugh–often and hard. She’s like a Southern Bridget Jones, and y’all, I love me some Southern. I’m sure her book will be fab, and I’m proud of her for chasing her dream, tackling it, rolling in the dirt, and making it do what she wants.

  30. better safe than sorry

    aren’t guys knitting now? it’s supposed to be very relaxing. i was taught how to knit in my teens, but i’m left handed and was taught by someone right handed, so it wasn’t a very relaxing hobby for me.

  31. Elisabeth

    Will you love me more if I tell you that I knitted a cable knit sweater when I was a mere 14 years old? Of course, that was the actual pinnacle of my knitting career. I started a baby blanket for my niece when she was born – she is now 25 and has two kids of her own. She never saw that blanket, which I never finished.

  32. Neil

    Wow, Elisabeth, you were knitting before it got trendy!

    Bre, Heather Anne, Not Faint Hearted — I was serious. I have calendars to send to you!

  33. deannie

    Do I want a washcloth touched by your hands in view of, “uh…uh… well, whatever”??? ACK!

  34. MichelleV

    Ok Neil, you got me! I have take up knitting now.

  35. Neil

    Deannie — You mean eating turkey sandwiches with my hands? What were you thinking?

  36. Karla

    If Sophia is going to learn to knit, she would definitely NOT want to start by knitting you a willie warmer. Do you know how much harder it is to knit tiny, tiny things like that? You have to use teeny tiny knintting needles and super thin yarn. Let her knit something bigger for her first attempt–say a thimble cover.

  37. Neil

    Ha Ha, Karla. That’s fine. She has very small fingers.

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