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The Franzi Collection

Men’s Crochet Classics with Peter Franzi


St. Fidgeta

Back when I was a young thing, I entered the Paulist Fathers, a Roman Catholic religious community. My first year with them was based in northern New Jersey in the novitiate, kind of like basic training for clerics. During that one year, I spent 3 months working in a parish in uptown Manhattan (Inwood, near 207th and Broadway, end of the A line). I packed a lifetime of experiences in those 3 short months. Imagine: country boy hits the big city and goes nuts on culture (standing room style) – opera, ballet, symphony, theater. And I walked everywhere. Visiting places I had only dreamed about. Even though my time in NYC was spent in the dread of winter, nothing could deter me from making the most of my time there.

The previous paragraph has little to do with what now follows. I just wanted a few moments of fond memories. However, it was during that year that I came across a curious little book, which I found remaindered at a book store in suburban New Jersey. “St. Fidgeta and other Parodies” was published in 1966, not long after the end of the Second Vatican Council. The book is an irreverent take on all things Catholic and quite amusing for those of us who experienced church life on both sides of the Ecumenical Council.

The book contains a section on St. Fidgeta and her followers, the Fidgettines, one of whom was St. Dragomira, the Warrior Nun of Bosnia. “Converted from paganism by the Fidgettine missionary, Anfractua, she spent her life in fomenting religious wars and is usually credited with Christianizing Upper Bosnia. She was clubbed to death by her pagan brother Bogeslaw, after a long and heated argument about Christian hate. Patroness of edged weapons.”

There is also a Q and A section, the first question in which is: “Q. Does the olive in the martini break the Lenten fast or is it considered part of the drink?” The answer, in true Thomistic fashion, goes on forever and seems only to pose even more questions.

When I discovered the book, I bought 4-5 copies (there were, remember, remaindered and were going for a song). Over the years I loaned all of my copies to friends…none of which were ever returned. I have finally found another copy…on Amazon, of course. Let the chuckles begin again.


New Recipe – White Peach/Golden Beet Salad


White Peach and Golden Beet Salad

Serves 8-12

8 Medium Golden (or Chioggia) Beets

8 Medium White Peaches

1/2 cup Raspberry Vinegar (Any fruit vinegar would probably work ok).

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, crushed

¼ tsp Kosher Salt

1/4 tsp white pepper

1 tsp dried tarragon

1 ½ cup olive oil

Optional: Fresh chives

Cook beets completely covered in boiling water for 40 minutes for al dente, 60 minutes to completely cook. Check at 30 minutes with fork to gauge. Allow to cool. Peel and cut into 1/8s. Peel peaches, cut in half, remove pits and cut halves into quarters. Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil gradually, whisking until vinaigrette is emulsified (Adjust amount of oil used to your own taste.) Pour over peach/beet mixture. Toss. Refrigerate at least two hours, preferably overnight. Adjust salt and pepper, if necessary.  Garnish with chives.



Water Lilies Wash Cloth

Folks: My Water Lilies Wash Cloth (can also be used as a dish cloth) pattern is available for sale at LoveKnitting and Ravelry. This pattern has become a favorite among my customers. Enjoy.


A new page

I am thrilled and pleased  that I will be self-publishing my crochet designs for men, henceforward. My patterns will be available on Ravelry and at LoveKnitting  Stay tuned.

Adding to the excitement is the recent and ongoing collaboration with Leading Men Fiber Arts I anxiously await, today, the  shipment of their glorious yarns for the first collaborative project, a hoodie version of my Don’s Day Off Cardigan. Look for the pattern to be available in early November, in time for your Christmas stitching.

In the meantime. check out my collections as Ravelry and LoveKnitting.  Happy Hooking!


Tax Day Special

The State of the Union stressing you? I can help. Tax Day Special : For the month of April, 20% off all services including 70 minute massage for $80. Check it out. Mention code TAX DAY when scheduling appointment.

I Knead You – Massage for Men



Both this and that

One of the many challenges of living an introverted life is reconciling the need to be alone with the desire to not be left alone. I have defined and accepted my introversion but, apparently that is not enough. I shouldn’t be feeling this lonely. But I am. I am led to believe there are other issues at play here. Perhaps others are finding in me character traits which are not appealing – so much so that there is no room for me in their lives. Or, maybe it is my age. I have long believed that the older we become, the more invisible we get. Perhaps my physical appearance is off-putting. I’m grasping at straws now, I know.

I have spent so much energy isolating myself in recent years to find a peaceful place to live my life. Have I, as a by-product, signaled that I don’t want others in my life, in any degree, in any capacity? I cannot change my wiring at will. I cannot become the life of the party, the social magnate, the high energy extrovert I see in others. It’s not who I am nor is it someone I want to be. My introversion is exacerbated by a crippling shyness which requires so much energy to overcome. What do I do?

I am tired. My saner self tells me to accept the reality as it presents itself and live my remaining years on the planet grateful for the good in my life. Apparently I just do not have the wherewithal or fortitude to effect any change. It could be that I am just one of those rare individuals who are destined to persevere outside of special relationships. Maybe this is just a tempest in a teapot. Maybe I need to just stay in my shell.


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