A place to help this dude keep track of his thoughts and ideas on his way down the fiber arts superhighway...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

This Holiday Season

I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season. 2005 has been such an incredible year for me and I have all of you to thank. I am so grateful for each of you that visits my blog, my website, and enjoys my work. I wish you a seson full of love and joy, and more importantly I wish you safety and peace. Let's all join in hoping that 2006 is full of the same.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Did You Say Coffee?

I just returned from UPS where I shipped all the Christmas gifts. Now all there is to do is wait. Wait to see if UPS can make it through the ice and snow and deliver all the bundles of Christmas joy to their destinations. The nice kid behind the counter ensured me that the packages most likely wont get there on time since I didn't ship them 3 day guaranteed. Ho ho ho! Let's see what brown can do for me.

Here they all are wrapped up and ready to go! The first photo is an artistic extreme closeup, the other was meant to be under the tree, but Chandler would have none of that and I didn't want to de-catfur the giftwrap before shipping them. I ended up photographing the gifts on the coffee table. Mmm..coffee....

Bailey's Follow Up

I couldn't find the long straw that I normally use to sip on bottles of likker, so I had to make coffee to put the Bailey's in. It was confusing to feel like the likker was putting me to sleep while the caffeine was making the back of my eyeballs twitch. Do you know what kind of teevee programming there is in the middle of the night? I had no idea they still ran M*A*S*H reruns! I just hope those 'as seen on teevee' items are returnable. I mean, do I really need to make toast and heat up Canadian bacon AND cook an egg at the same time with the same machine? Now if it could make coffee too I would most likely keep it get one!

I'm So Proud!

Cleo donated her legs to less fortunate kitties this holiday season.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Snoopy aint got nothin' on me!

Let's all join hands and do the happy dance! All my design projects have been completed and sent out! Woo hoo HOO! I have a hot date with a bottle of Rompope this evening....

Super Cool Yarn Company I

Here is the texture of the pattern that I created for the first company. I don't know when it will be made available to the public but as soon as it does I will post pics here.

I admit that if I had made the model in my size they would have had to pry the thing out of my hands. I need to make myself one of these!!!

Super Cool Yarn Company II

I received the confirmation from SCYC II that they received the items (except for the one that had to be turned around same day) and they are very pleased with the final products. Wow, I'm so relieved!! Seriously, I have been having dreams over the last few nights of felted eyelash things chasing me. Or was that a dream........

Getting Ready

I think in preparation for tonight's date with Rompope that I will now take a nap. It's 60-ish, the windows are open, there is a nice breeze... dontcha love Christmas time?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Hear That?

That's me holding my breath waiting for the UPS truck to show up with the eyelash yarn. Every minute that goes by is one less minute I'll have to complete the final project for them.

Sounds About Right

I just got an email from an associate editor that is working on my Men Who Knit book asking me to send in profiles, etc. Those would be the profiles that I planned to work on next week. So I suppose they should have been finished yesterday? Rats. I was shooting for the beginning of the year. I'm definitely breaking out the Senseo today.

Christmas Cheer

I received this great handmade ornament from none other than Miss Kendra. I got to know her very upclose and a bit personal while in LA last month, although it's a bit blurry since it all happened so quickly. I think we bonded over not sitting up straight(?)

Anywho, thanks for the great addition to my Christmas Tree!

Monday, December 12, 2005

That's Not Me

You have me mistaken for someone who actually sleeps. I don't do something as silly as - oh say - sleeping, or eating regularly anymore. I spend my time under a heap of wonderful yarns from Super Cool Yarn Companies I and II. I just returned from shipping a big box of stuff to II. I would show you photos but I'm not clear if that's legal or not. Right from the get-go these projects have been theirs and I don't know if I am allowed to show "home photos" of them.

I can tell you about them, right? If you are reading this tomorrow and you've heard that the yarn company police have arrested me, send some hooks baked inside a boiled spice cake. Oh, my mom gave me the recipe for the best boiled spice cake... I should share that with all y'all sometime.


One of the projects for SCYC II was a felted rug where you hold worsted weight wool and eyelash yarn together, then when it felts the eyelash yarn gets pulled together in the wool and looks just like aminal fur. Cool, eh? To allow for the shrinkage during the felting process the three foot rug had to be made 4.5 feet across. That's a lotta eyelash yarn, let me tell ya.

The second project for said yarn company included two matching pillows in the same felted wool with eyelash yarn combo. I've seen the eyelash at the store but have never really been drawn to it. But this felted wool combined with eyelash action has stimulated me in odd ways. I see creative use of eyelash yarn in 2006; stay tuned.

Another project was three felted decorative containers that were striped. No eyelash yarn, because c'mon, you have to choose your eyelash yarn projects wisely, right? Anywho, the containers came out great and I happened to have boxes just the right size to slide them over as they dried and I was able to get very crisp corners. Writing up the pattern for the containers was much trickier than the other two projects and I hope I don't drive their pattern checkers completely wacko. That would be wrong, especially during the holidays when everything is supposed to eggnoggy and spice cakey.

Only one more project to go. Yarn has been overnighted to Houston. The project has to be finished same-day and overnighted back to SCYC II's HQ.

Christmas gifts? Those of you on my gift list that are expecting them to be shipped on time I suggest wrapping an empty box and putting it under the tree to represent the gifts from Drew that may or may not arrive in 2005. In 2006 they may be covered in eyelash yarn...or boiled spice cake crumbs.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I've Been Carded

Thanks to Cheryl for the fantastic idea to make the silk & pearl image into a set of note cards! Now available through The Crochet Dude Cafepress store (insert drumroll please) :
Sporting the satin/silk/pearl image on the front and blank on the inside.

And remember that all proceeds from my cafepress store from now until the end of 2005 go directly to Habitat for Humanity in support of their hurricane relief efforts. (I just noticed that today only Cafe Press is offering a holiday discount of up to 25% too!) I also put the image on one of the pink t-shirts just for fun.

Yesterday Afternoon

I was able to get most of the Christmas gifts wrapped and also the cards sealed and stamped. My forearms needed a break after that little knit-frenzy. Today I'm feeling refreshed and ready to crochet! This photo shows the theme for wrapping gifts this year. I used burgundy and hunter green velvet that is embroidered and sequined. I then tied the fabric with a gold ribbon bow and wrote the recipients name on the end of the ribbon. When I get them all finished and under the tree I will take a better photo.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Another One Bites The Dust

Woo hoo! I finished the sweater for the MWK book and shipped it off today! Hot diddly dang that feels good!! Someone told me to prioritize my projects and work on the most important one first. Since they are all publication deadlines all I could think was "who would be the least mad at me?". Hmm... that's a good question. The only conclusion I could come to was that since all three of the people counting on me are so wonderful that I bet none of them would be mad at me. That's not to say that they would ever work with me again....

And since I was completely wrapped up in glee (yep, there was glee, and me wrapped up in it) as I got the sweater ready to be sent I totally forgot to photograph it. If you scroll back through previous entries you can sort of piece it together in your mind. It's perdy! For a photograph I guess you'll just have to wait for the book to come out next fall!!

Bead It!
I got pearls in my pocket...
A huge thank you to Vanessa for sending me a variety of pink beads for my Artyarns silk project. Lynlee says that the yarn is asking to be made into a handbag. Hmmm, I wonder if the beads feel the same way?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Someone told me it was Tuesday already. Is this true? Can anyone really prove what day it is today? What if all the calendars are wrong and it's really November 23rd right now. That would be great. Someone take care of that for me, wooodja?

What I did this weekend:

1. I put up some of the Christmas lights. This of course meant a trip to Target to get even more, because I'll be danged if that new neighbor didn't bring a truckload of Christmas decorations with him. Dang him. He's the one that also set up a haunted house in his backyard that the kids had to walk through to get their trick or treats. Dang him. Anywho, so although I know I can't compete with his decorations, and in all fairness he has a tiny house and gets much more bang for his buck (so to speak), I felt compelled to increase my holiday lightageness at least 50%. I can hear the electric meter whirring happily.

2. While at the mall finishing up the holiday gift shopping I changed electric companies to get a lower rate. See item 1 above.

3. While at the Home Depot shopping for a new toilet seat (have I mentioned the need for a new diet?) I was distracted by an electric leaf blower that also is a leaf sucker that mulches! It mulches leaves that would fit into ten big bags down to one big bag! I can vacuum the lawn now! This is a miracle of technology and made me feel much better about the need for a new toilet seat to replace the one that is wrapped with duct tape. It blows at 230mph and in case you are wondering that is indeed strong enough to lift shingles next to the gutters.

4. I felted one of the projects for the Super Cool Yarn Co. II, and thanks to everyone with their suggestions and help! I found that crocheted felted projects do not shrink 50% like knitted ones do (thanks LA El!!). I also discovered that a 12 X 12 square made with sc can have over 850 more sts than an 8 x 8 square made with the same gauge. Fascinating, no? One down, five more felted projects to go before the 13th. Send rompope please.

5. I hand addressed about fifty Christmas cards. That's only half the project though; I still need to stuff and lick the envelopes (always reminds me of George's fiance) and go stand in the extra-long holiday post office line so I can choose the perfect holiday stamps. Then there is the stamping (thank goodness they switched to self-adhesive stamps. I could never get it out of my head that cockroaches ate the glue of the lickable stamps).

6. I knitted like a madman on the sleeves for the MWK sweater. Only 4.75 inches to go!
mmm, sleeves...
I knit upside-down

Things I didn't do this weekend...

Wrap gifts. Ship said gifts. Finish project for Super Cool Yarn Co I. Work on pending comfortghan. Read or answer emails. Bake holiday goodies. Win the lotto.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Comfortghan shipped

This is the comfort afghan that I shipped this afternoon to some lucky recipient in an undisclosed location (the ghans are to be surprises so I don't want to give it away in case she's reading this blog entry). I hope she likes it! There are squares provided by crochetiers from all over the country via Heartmade Blessings. There is also a great tote bag to keep it in made by my good friend Phyllis in New Jersey, but for some reason that didn't get in the picture this time.

The Weekend is Looming

I must must must finish the Men Who Knit sweater this weekend. I also have another three projects for a different Super Cool Yarn Co. that I have to have finished and in their hands by December 15th. I just got the yarn yesterday. There is felting involved. Wish me luck please. I still have to get the pattern written up for the original Super Cool Yarn Co.'s project so that I can get that sent to them. I'm sure they want it sooner than later. Oh yeah, then there are outdoor Christmas lights, Christmas cards, final shopping, the wrapping of the gifts (I hope y'all like the wrapping theme I chose this year...it's, er, unusual), and it all needs to be finished this weekend.

I'm going to need some liquid comfort before the end of the holiday season I believe.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I'm Unarmed!!

But not for long, I have officially started on the sleeves for my sweater in the Men Who Knit and the Dogs Who Love Them book. Have I told you lately that I love this yarn? It's ultramerino from Artyarns and with the size 4 needles that I'm using the drape and feel is incredible. (In case you are wondering those are napkin rings keeping the sweater from rolling up into a tube.)

Wow, look at those sleeves!
Note how fancy I am making both the sleeves at once! Okay, it was also my first time actually increasing on a knit project and I realized that I'm very good at making holes. Maybe I should knit something lacy? Anywho, I knit using the combined method and after going back to the book Confessions of a Knitting Heretic and refreshing my memory I found that making an almost invisible increase is actually quite easy!

Swift Notes

Several of you have asked about the swift that I got last week. I love it. Have I told you that lately? I bought the swift at my local yarn shop and I just looked at the box to try and give you details but alas, all the box says is "Large Swift" and it cost under a hundred bucks. I know that isn't much help, but it's all the info I have. Here is a photo of another hank I wrangled the other day, it's 100% silk from Artyarns. (I'm currently looking for the perfect pinkish pearl beads to go with it.)

mmm, silk...

Let Them Eat Pie!

This is one of the pies I made for Thanksgiving using my mom's "recipe". I used the term recipe loosely, I think most of the recipe was kept in her mind. Seriously, the recipe said "bake in 350 degree oven until done"! I'm actually surprised the ingredients had any measurements at all! So after checking it every fifteen minutes it ended up baking for about an hour and half and don't it look it yummy?! It lasted under twenty four hours. Oh oh, and BTW, not that I would indulge in this, but a tbsp of rum added to the cream before whipping makes a fantastic pumpkin pie topping.

mmm, pie...