Interesting point, but as the painting is dated 1999, it seems unlikely that it would be worth "big money." Whether it was appropriate to alter someone else's artwork is one thing (I imagine the painter would be happier to have it repurposed and revitalized than sitting in a dusty thrift shop), but the idea that it's a valuable piece of original folk art doesn't seem likely given the date.
As far as the washing, if you use 100% wool and wash in cold water (on the delicate cycle, if that's an option), you won't have to handwash his socks! I made some out of Noro Kureyon (probably not an option for your 'manly man'), and I wash them at the laundromat, no problem.
But if your fella has wool sensitivity at all (I relate, since my boyfriend is 100% allergic to it), I recommend steering far clear of it for socks. Even the softest socks could cause a reaction or discomfort if he's sensitive, since they'll be against his skin (and in the warm/humid environment of shoes/feet) for hours duriing the day, rather than a shorter amount of time with e.g. a scarf.
I would recommend checking out your LYS for some soft, lofty worsted-weight cotton. My experience has been that yarn store folks are used to people being skeptical about how a cotton will knit up, so they'll be open to your questions. I wish I could give you more specific advice. Good luck - I love knitting socks!!
maybe the only thing to draw me out of lurking? a recent photo of my two-year-old nephew wearing the hat I knitted him for xmas. apparently he won't leave the house without his hat! the yarn is alchemy lickety split, and it was a joy to work with (if only it weren't so darn expensive....)
A lot of us NYers don't even have kitchen tables! (In my humble abode, our coffee table is the all-purpose one). But regardles, the #1 best resource for finding used furniture in the NYC/Brooklyn area is Craigslist. Everyone who's selling lists there, and I have furnished an entire apartment (relatively well, even), for very, very little money. A lot of people give things away or sell them at a huge loss because they have to get them out of the way when they move or add new furniture. www.craigslist.org
And I agree - you don't need what's called a "sewing table," but definitely be aware of the height at which you're comfortable sewing, and how much room you need on either side to maneuver...then hit up Craigslist for the closest thing you can find to those dimensions!
Probably you've already moved, so I won't bother with housing tips (though if you want 'em still, PM me). However, vegan/veggie food I can help with. These are two favorite spots of mine:
Kate's Joint. corner of 4th and Avenue B in Manhattan. Great vegan/vegetarian food (leans toward the "diner" side, but they have salads/veggies/etc. as well), not too expensive, and there's the added bonus of possible celebrity sightings.
Foodswings, on Grand Ave between Havemeyer and Roebling in Brooklyn (Williamsburg): "vegan junk food," cheap, totally delicious, and a good hangout spot for activites/bike punks, etc., but still okay if that's not your crowd. Don't order the mashed potatoes, though.
Also I just heard about a new place that opened up on 14th St. in Manhattan, between 1st and 2nd Aves. Don't remember the name, but it's where a place called Westville used to be. VERY conveniently located to my favorite addiction, Knit NYC, which is across the street!
I haven't actually made anything yet, but I have an ever-growing ball of plastic bag "yarn." Around here most places use boring, white bags. Unless you're going for all white, bags that have patterns on the front look neat cut up. I'm going to mix in my colored bags sparingly. I'm probably going to make a bag, either for shopping, or to hold accumulated plastic bags.
Plastic bag crafts are classic grandma-bazaar crafts - the plastic bag bags make great reusable grocery bags! My grandma crochets, and she used to make these awesome dish-scrubbers out of crocheted plastic bags somehow. They were quite scrubby and effective - I think I'll call her and ask, as I too am plagued by a large stash of plastic bags! And of course I'll post anything I find out...
i'm not sure what you mean by ho-bo but right now i'm knitting "unbiased" from knitty.com. i'm using regular yarn (the pattern calls for recycled silk but that's a bit too pricey for a poor college student); the pattern is really easy and it could easily be adapted to any size/gauge you can think of
I would love to participate, but I think the ladies and I (we're a DD family) will have to sit and watch, since I'm on winter-wear hiatus. What I really really want more than anything these days is for someone to convince me I can make that hott "boobholder" dealie in a size that will actually...well...hold 'em. Y'know?
I have that pattern on my to-knit list but have been holding off because I have to make to great big ones (for I have two great big cats).
That is my problem with knitting a cat bed as well - I know they'd love it, since they definitely love yarn, but.... my giant boy kitty and tiny girl kitty can't stand each other, so I'd have to make two beds! And of course, I couldn't give one cat a bed until I had finished both, because that would be a recipe for disaster. So the politics keep bogging down my initiative....