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

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Cable-eight Top - Photo

Woo hoo! I just finished the Cable-eight Top! I'm so stoked! What a fun and quick project. Check out Poor Miss Finch to see other pokers that are knitting this project too.

*click for biggy view*

Cable-eight Top

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Free Pattern - Grocery Bag Dispenser

Check out my free patterns page; I just uploaded the pattern for this grocery bag dispenser. It works great. I keep one in the laundry room near the kitty pan and also one in the kitchen pantry. They also make quick and easy gifts (it takes me about a half hour to work one up). Enjoy!

Grocery Bag Dispenser

Friday, May 27, 2005

Safari Booty + Cable-eight progress

Here is what my yarn safari produced. At one store I found a great clearance bin and I got these 50g skeins for only $2.50 each! They are 100% wool from Norway and I love the colors. In case you're wondering, I have no idea what I'll be doing with this yarn, but that isn't the point, right? Y'all understand...

Dalegarn - Free Style

At Yarns 2 Ewe I found this great yarn. It is 87% merino wool in three different colors. The three are stitched together side by side. The swatch in the store was incredible (I wish I had photographed it). Now this yarn I do know what I'm going to use it for. For the 2007 Crochet Pattern-a-day Calendar I'm going to be working up a garment (only in the sketch stage right now) using Louet Topaz in a beautiful royal blue. I'm going to use this Icona to finish the design. It's going to look great together!

Bertagna Filati - Icona

Bertagna Filati - detail

And I finally transferred Aunt Purl's Magic Scarf to stitch holders so I could use my set of knitting needles to cast on the front of the Cable-eight Top this morning. I hope my secret pal likes it! I'm using Lion Brand Wool-ease sportweight, double-stranded, in the color "Fisherman".

Cable-eight Top - front

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Yarn Safari 2005

*all images clickable*

From the safari diary of The Crochet Dude...

May 24th, 2005

9:25 am. We have been traveling for what seems like days. Karen is weary yet
doing a great job with the transportation. Her Suburu Outback is going through
the dense jungle easily. Makes me glad we didn’t bring my Saturn. We would
still be somewhere within the Houston city limits.

9:50 am. We have finally found the first destination of our yarn safari.
Through the thick brush I can barely make out the name of the place, Twisted Yarns.

The place looks deserted. My God, are we discovering a sacred place, deserted
centuries ago, where the natives poked and hooked sacrificial virgin wool? Oh,
Karen just told me that they don’t open for another 10 minutes so we are going
to the donut shop next door to replenish our depleted rations.

10:05 am. We have entered the store and were met immediately by the strange
natives. They seem friendly but I’m going to stay alert. Those knitting
needles could be dipped in poison. I’m just saying.

10:50 am. Karen has begun to communicate with the natives. I’m impressed. I
can only stay in the background with the goods that I have foraged from the
clearance bin in the back of this Twisted Yarns wilderness.

11:23 am. I’m hot, thirsty, hungry. We can’t find the Nifty Needle outpost (or whatever it is called). We have pulled in here to see if they have supplies that we can barter for. Little did I know that this would be just the first Hobby Lobby of several that we would encounter.

12:11 pm. I can’t go on, I’m starving, literally. Karen has a “feeling” that
we will find help here at The Hen House. I’m delirious from the heat and starvation. I want to quit right now and ask Karen to burn my remains and bury them right here in Spring, Texas. Stick a size Q crochet hook in the ground for my headstone and write on it “Here Lies A Happy Hooker”. Apparently she hasn’t given up on me just yet and is encouraging me to go on.

12:18 pm. I’ve fallen down. I’m weak with hunger and thirst. Karen is
calling for a search party. I doubt they will make it in time to save me. Tell
Cleo & Chandler that I love them.


12:35 pm. We heard some pleasant whistling and made our way through the
mountains of wool and silk expecting to find a native songbird, but instead came
across this native female. We couldn’t communicate because she only spoke with clicks and whistles. Luckily for us she could tell I was wasting away with hunger and she made a map out of bamboo knitting needles and novelty fibers. Yes, she was
definitely pointing us toward a food source.

12:58 pm. The songbirds map has been useful but she didn’t give us a direct
route. Apparently she thought we wanted to search another Hobby Lobby and we
have ended up here. Karen doesn’t understand the degree of starvation I have
hit. It is just a matter of time. I’ve begun to hear voices.

1:30 pm. At last we have found an outpost that promises to provide us with
food. It’s a strange place with lots of happy people eating. This odd native
has assured me that he will indeed bring us food.

1:58 pm. The food arrived as promised. I don’t know what they eat out here in
safari country, but if you look closely I think I see legs dangling from Karen’s
meal. I was so hungry I would have eaten most anything that was served. I
feel like Indiana Jones.

3:22 pm. After eating we managed another stop at a Hobby Lobby, a Half Price
Books, and a Big Lots. The yarn safari is going well with just the one brush
with death by starvation. Traveling through the wilderness it is 100 degrees in
the shade, we are both exhausted and exhilarated from the experience. We have
just returned to civilization and came across this oasis of fibers.

As we entered Yarns 2 Ewe we were greeted by these friendly faces. Whew, it is so good to be back. No more searching for food, no more clicking and whistling….

4:00 pm. Yarn Safari 2005 has ended. It was a great time and I hope to do it
again soon. For now I’m just glad to be back in the city where I don’t have to
worry about all that wildlife anymore!!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Serafina Shawl - photo

I finished the shawl yesterday, woo hoo! It only took about three hours total which is fantastic for a Christmas gift. And I'm very pleased to say that I will definitely be able to get one more shawl out of this one skein of tonal boucle. That will definitely help the gift budget!!

I want to thank two people that helped quite a bit with this project (even if they didn't realize it). Edith helped me with the length of the shawl. She has worked this pattern up before so her advice was very valuable to me. The back measures 32 inches. And also to Stashaholic for her groovy way to measure a WIP. I tied a piece of cotton yarn to the neck and then cut it at 32 inches. That way I could just use the yarn to measure as I go instead of hauling out a tape measure, which made it very quick and easy. Thanks ladies!!



Saturday, May 21, 2005

Sleighbells Ring....

Are you listening? Seriously, for crafters Christmas is literally right around the corner. I have my Christmas list out and have started on a couple of the presents already. Do you know that someone actually asked me the other day “haven’t your friends/fam got sick of getting homemade items by now?" Sheesh. That’s one less person on my Christmas list. If you are reading this (and you know who you are) go cry in your crocheted Christmas stocking with the glass beads come Christmas morning when there is nothing under the tree from The Christmas Dude! Mwahahahaaaa……

Anywho, I started this Serafina’s Shawl this morning for a Christmas gift. It’s my first time to work this pattern and I can see what all the fuss is about. It’s so easy and with this boucle and a size K (6.50mm) hook it is going F.A.S.T. I may be making several of these for Christmas presents this year! If you think you are on my Christmas list, and you are of the female persuasion, please immediately forget that this is what I’m making you for Christmas so that you can be pleasantly surprised when you open it. I promise it won’t be inside a paint can this year.

Serafina's Shawl

The yarn is Joann’s Fabric brand, and it is called Sensations Rainbow Boucle. I’m diggin’ how the colors fade so nicely, a la Sirdar YoYo. At $7 for this football sized skein of yarn the shawls will be perfect gifts. I’m thinking I’ll get two out of this skein alone! I put a coffee mug next to the skein to help illustrate it’s actual size.

Yarn used - cup unused

Friday, May 20, 2005

Stitch & Sweat

They really should change the name of these get-togethers to accommodate the newbies. I was either channeling the spirit of Laurie, or I was extremely nervous, because I must have sweat off three pounds. (Which is how I justified the big bowl of French fries that I consumed in front of everyone.) I did have the forethought to use a fork so that I didn’t get greasy, because I knew at some point I would be inappropriately and without warning grabbing at someone’s WIP.

The Houston Stitch & Sweat, what a great group of pokers. Regina told me the other day that Knitters “needle” but I’m not sure I believe her, so I’m sticking with Knitters “poke”. Anywho, what a great group of pokers. As a dude I’m always amazed (and yep, a bit jealous) at how well my lady counter-pokers can simultaneously knit, show off other projects, read an entire Interweave Knits, drink iced tea (it’s the south y’all), talk about their wedding (past wedding, future wedding, wedding of their former friend Bridezilla), feel each other’s balls of yarn, and even translate a pattern from Japanese, without missing a beat. (Admittedly it was a nice pattern, but the chart doesn’t do much good if the measurements are in Japanese, does it?)

For the first hour or so I just sat there sweating and poking wildly at Aunt Purl’s Magic Scarf. I held my breath waiting for someone to say, “hey dude, you poke funny”. What kind of superstalker would I be if I didn’t knit combination-style like the goddess heretic Annie Modesitt? I even took my unsigned copy of Confessions of a Knitting Heretic with me to show everyone how super cool combo-knitting is, but alas, no one noticed. They were probably more interested in seeing how long it would be before the bead of sweat dangling on the tip of my nose got big enough to drop off. The last thing I needed was sweaty pokers.

It may be because I arrived late (and still was the second poker to get there). I grabbed what I thought would be the safest spot in case I had to make a mad dash outta there. Unfortunately it turned out to be a pleatherette booth-like seat underneath a 2,000 degree halogen spotlight, and I went from The Crochet Dude to The Sweaty Poker Dude in about 5 minutes.

I could tell the others thought I had incredible posture as I poked away, K10 P10, sitting up straight and leaning forward slightly. “Wow, look how well that sweaty poker dude sits up straight,” I’m sure the lady across the way was thinking. I was actually just trying to create some air circulation around my back. Next time I should take a beach towel to put over the seat first.

Anywho, that’s enough about my sweaty poking. Other than that I had a fantastic time! Pokers are great company and the conversation was entertaining. I didn’t talk about porn at all, and I only made the person sitting directly across from me jump once! Woo hoo!! (I was just trying to point at a sweater in the magazine she was looking at. I thought I was gently indicating said sweater with my size 9 ebony poker and instead I slapped the page down out of her hand. I’m not sure if she knew it was an accident or not. We’ll see if she ever sits near me again. At least she didn't yelp. I don't think I would recover socially from making her jump AND yelp. I would be known as The Sweaty Mean Poker Dude from then on.)

I can’t believe I forgot my camera… so sad. Next week I’ll take it for sure.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Button Babe

I want to thank Crazy Aunt Purl for the wonderful blog buttons she created for me. She is one talented knitter!! Please feel free to steal these to put on your blog (and as always please download them and save them to your server).

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Be sure to stop by her blog and say hey!

Free Pattern - Ridgie Ridge Bookmark

I just uploaded a bookmark pattern that I've been working on. It's now in the free patterns section of my blog (see button on sidebar). Here is a detail photo of the bookmark.

*click for biggy view*

Ridgie Ridge Bookmark detail

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Aunt Purl's Magic Scarf - a self portrait

I have been scrumbling all morning while doing the laundry. It makes laundry day much less painful if I can stay busy hooking. So if crochetiers hook, do knitters poke? Anywho, I have two large zippy bags full of tiny scrumbles and haven’t even made a dent in my scrap yarn box (one of three). Now that I think about it that’s good because it means I have a lot of fiber to work with to keep me busy!!

I have all four colors added to my Aunt Purl’s Magic Scarf and have started the first repeat. I think it should be long enough with just one more set of the colors. I want to get this finished soon so I can get back to knitting the Cable-eight Top for my secret pal. Here is an updated photo:

*click for biggy view*

Aunt Purl's Magic Scarf - a self portrait.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tiny Dude Scrumbles...

I've begun to make small crochet scrumbles. I'm going to put them in gallon zippy bags by color for future use. I may make them into a garment, or glue them to something cool for Christmas gifts. I'm not sure yet what I'll do with them, but it makes me feel like I'm stash busting!!

Here is the first batch along with a close up of the scrumbles:

Tiny Scrumbles
Tiny Dude Scrumbles

Tiny Scrumbles Detail
Tiny Dude Scrumbles up close

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Free Pattern - Car Cozy

Today was the annual Art Car Parade here in Houston. While doing my usual pre-parade mingling I came across this great craft idea: Knitted Car Cozy! If you are on my Christmas gift list (and you know who you are) don’t be surprised to get one of these under the tree this year!

*Click thumbnails for biggy view*

And here are the easy instructions to knit one of your very own!

This is one of the talented knitters that helped to create the cozy in the photo..

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Another shot of the car cozy. Note the person admiring the car sporting her fantastic crocheted hat!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Here I am in front of one of 250 art cars in this year’s parade.

Drew and a WMD

Other cars in the parade….

Exhausted from the heat/humidity/beer I make my way back to the not so artzy car that I drive. I gotta start gluing things to my ride so I can be IN the parade next year!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Thursday, May 12, 2005

CleoCatra & The Magic Scarf

Here is an update on the Magic Scarf I started yesterday. Cleo is there to illustrate the current size of the scarf. I'm actually considering keeping the scarf (and the kitty) for myself. I'll look stylin' on the slopes this winter sportin' my Crazy Aunt Purl Magic Scarf.

I haven't had much time to stitch today. Believe it or not I've been cleaning house! Bleck.

*click photo for biggy view*

Scarf update

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Aunt Purl's Magic Scarf

Many many thanks to the folks that bought my book on the day it was released! I appreciate it more than I am able to express!!

Yesterday in the afternoon I finished one side of the Cable-eight Top. It's 22 inches long and 17 inches wide. I only have one set of knitting needles, so I am using a size 9 instead of the size 11 that the pattern suggested. But, I’m a good dooby and tested my gauge and made adjustments accordingly. The result though is many more cables than the picture shows. It’s good practice, right?

To take a cable break and use my Size 9’s on a different project, I started Crazy Aunt Purl’s basketweave pattern scarf. She’s right, it is so easy and like magic! I have chunky wool yarn left over from another project that I’m going to use up (stash bustin’) and alternate the colors every four pattern repetitions.

Basketweave Scarf

Basketweave Scarf detail

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Afghan Squares Patterns Now Published!!

Here is the cover to the new booklet published by LuLu that features seven of my 12" afghan square patterns. This just came out this morning!! Woo hoo! What a fun project this has been! Click here:

Seven 12" Afghan Squares

Cover of new booklet - click for biggy view

Monday, May 09, 2005

Just Another Scrumble Monday....oh whoa...

Anyone remember the Bangles?

Anywho, this is the third and final scrumble for the exchange I've been participating in. This time I tried to evoke a masculine feel to the scrumble but I'm not convinced I've succeeded. So far the only "masculine" freeform I've seen is just a bunch of squares and rectangles randomly stitched together. I started with a knitted rectangle (the gauge swatch from the Cable-eight Top) and let it evolve from there. I like the combination of knit and crochet in freeform; it adds a bit of visual discord which I find very interesting.

*click photos for biggy*

3rd Exchange Scrumble

Scrumble Detail

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Look Ma, I'm cablin'....

I decided last night around 11pm that I needed to learn to cable. Sooo, this top in Interweave Knit's spring 2005 magazine seemed like an easy pattern to start with. I'm making it with Lion Brand Wool-ease double stranded. Cabling is a LOT easier than I thought it would be, and this pattern works up quickly. It's just two rectangles edged in crochet and stitched together. I've decided to make it for a secret pal. I hope she likes it!!

Interweave Knits - subscribe

Cable-eight Top in Interweave Knits Spring 2005

Cable-eight Top