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

Thursday, June 30, 2005

One Day Only! - expired

A giant THANK YOU to everyone that took advantage of this one day sale! Y'all rock!! And don't forget to go back to Lulu and rate the books if you'd like.

For today only Lulu has the download version of my three patterns books on sale for $4.99 each (regularly $6.00) So if you have been wanting to get these, today is the day!

Click: The Crochet Dude Patterns


Afghan Squares!


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Blob

I have named this project The Blob. The Blob is supposed to grow bigger as the pile of skeins of yarn grows smaller. It's not working out that way. The Blob is definitely growing bigger and I'm hooking as fast as I possibly can, but the pile just isn't shrinking. I'm a little afraid. I just rescued Chandler from being eaten osmosis-style by The Blob.

I will get the last laugh. Someday very soon (all too soon...so soon it makes me feel like puking) I will ship this bad boy off USPS Priority Mail. Mwaahahahaaa.

As my brother won't quit saying incessantly: "Git-er-done!"

A Blob Is Born

Chandler vs. The Blob

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

LA loves The Dude

Here are two sightings of The Crochet Dude Gear around Los Angeles!

Regina is carrying some of her scary Monster Crochet to the WeHo Stitch and Bitch. I imagine it is full of bloodshot eyeballs and a churro or two. Her crocheted art makes me hungry!!

Jen is sporting a hip baseball jersey to one of those fabulous Valley parties that I am always hearing about. She looks like I'm having a good time!!

Click here to see more Dude Gear!

At the West Hollywood Stitch & Bitch...

At a birthday party in the Valley....

Monday, June 27, 2005

Cathedral Rose Window Afghan - photo

This photo was taken before I got my digital camera, so the quality isn't the best. Sorry about that! I made this afghan a couple of years ago for a Christmas gift. It looks so complicated but was amazingly easy to work up. The designer is Julene Watson and believe it or not this was her first pubished design! Such talent!!

The leaflet was published by Annie's Attic in 1996, and I believe is out of print. It's called Award-Winning Afghans, leaflet #878301. I've heard it is available on eBay from time to time.

This one took me about a month to make and measures 78" in diameter. Trust me, weave in those ends as you go! There are a bazillion of them!!

There is even a crochet-along that just started over yonder in Crochetville. Check it out and join in. I don't plan to make another one at this time but I'm definitely going to follow along. I can't wait to see everyone's progress!!

Cathedral Rose Window Crochet-along

*click for biggy view*

Cathedral Rose Window

Friday, June 24, 2005

Twelve down...

Today I finished off 12 of those yellow skeins. I'm dizzy. And I'm seeing purple spots now. I figure I'm about a tenth of the way through this project and the deadline is rapidly approaching. I gotta teach Chandler & Cleo how to crochet to help me out. Oh that's right, I'm here to serve them.

Here's a photo of Chandler helping me cook dinner.

Cookin' Good, Chandler!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Comfortghan in the Making

These are the squares that I have received over the last two weeks. Aren't they beautiful? The square donors at Heartmade Blessings do such good work. It's a pleasure to assemble the squares together because the comfortghans always come out nice. I have to give all the credit to the talented square makers and a great big THANKS!

*click for biggy view*

Comfortghan squares

Oh, and that giant pile of yellow yarn I showed you last week? I swear it's growing. The more I crochet the more skeins I find in my craft room. The only conclusion I can come to is that they are reproducing, which is difficult in captivity I've heard. Anywho, back to hooking.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Yes Master....

Woo hoo HOO! Today in the mail I received the certificate that I successfully completed the Crochet Guild of America's Master's Program!!! I am so stoked!

*click for biggy view*

Masters Program Certificate

Monday, June 20, 2005

Insert Tongue In Cheek

Lulu.com recently worked with Zogby and created a poll to find out what book would be the LEAST likely to become a bestseller this summer. Guess what author had TWO books (not one, but two) in the top ten? That's right, The Crochet Dude is least likely on two counts to have a bestseller this summer.

This is all in good fun (although I can think of a way for y'all to help me make this UNtrue). Lulu is now going to send out a press release to the media in Houston, and also to national craft media as well as lifestyle media. Here is the first draft:

Houston Author’s Mission To Make Crocheting Hip For Men And Kids Wins Him Unique Literary Honor

The “Crochet Dude” Is Only Author With TWO Books To Make National Top 10 List Of Books With Least Chance Of Becoming #1 Bestseller

A Houston author on a mission to make crocheting hip for men has won a unique literary honor – by becoming the only writer to have two books included in a national top 10 of titles felt to have the LEAST chance of becoming this summer’s #1 bestseller.

Drew Emborsky is better known to his readers as “The Crochet Dude” and the author of books including “Ten Crochet Dude Dischcloths” and “Seven Crochet Dude Afghan Squares”, available either as eBooks or conventional ones, from $6.00 (www.lulu.com/thecrochetdude).

Both books have been selected for inclusion in an unusual national poll – to find the new book with the LEAST chance of outselling the big new Harry Potter novel and becoming this summer’s hot beach read.

The survey of 1,200 Americans has been conducted by Zogby on behalf of Lulu (www.lulu.com), a website that has become the world’s fastest-growing producer of print-on-demand books by enabling anyone to publish their own book at no up-front cost and sell it on the net.

Ten Crochet Dude Dischcloths (featuring ten new dishcloth patterns) finished sixth, with 8% of the votes – double the vote for “Seven Crochet Dude Afghan Squares”, which placed joint last with a book called The Pinbotz Guide To Pinball Machines Of The 70s And 80s.

But how did Emborsky, 37, turn from a mild-mannered fine artist, specializing in pet portraits, into the mighty Crochet Dude?

“I began crocheting when I was five years old”, he replies. “My mom taught me, presumably to keep me out of her hair! I am the youngest of eight, and all five
of my brothers and my two sisters crochet. So did my dad! So I come from a rich legacy of crochetiers.

“It's my passion to continue the tradition of passing along crochet, and I see my role as a mentor to other men and kids.

Emborsky trained in fine arts at Kendall College of Art & Design in Michigan. “Once I started crocheting for charity I saw a desperate need for cool patterns,
and for dudes to be represented. My first designs were donated to my favorite charity, HeartmadeBlessings.org. But as I created more patterns and the interest in them grew, it has turned into a full-time venture.

“It's important to me that people immediately know that these patterns are being created by a dude. I'm hoping that The Crochet Dude will open up fiber-arts to as many dudes as possible.”

Emborsky has built up his own, Not Blockbusters But “Nichebusters”

‘I am honored to be the only author to have two books nominated in the Zogby poll’, says Emborsky.

And so he might be, suggests Bob Young, CEO of Lulu, which commissioned it “Almost 200,000 books are published in America each year. Only a few dozen stand a chance of becoming bestsellers. Books like the Crochet Dude’s represent the other 99.99% of books.

“They are not blockbusters but ‘nichebusters’ – quality books targeting a niche rather than mass audience. They also happen to be the future of publishing.”

The cost savings allowed by print-on-demand publishing, says Young, mean that books can now be published for far narrower markets than traditional publishing
could serve. Books, indeed, such as Drew Emborsky’s. Bob Young of Lulu, meanwhile, is currently writing a book entitled The Electric Golf-Cart Encylopedia, for eventual publication on Lulu. “If I finish it on time”, he says, “I want to nominate it for next year’s poll”.

Emborsky, meanwhile, has built up his own loyal following. Or, as one reader comments on his book of dishcloth patterns, “As always, Drew produces some of the
best patterns around - makes me almost want to do dishes!”


Q. Which of the following recently published books do you think is LEAST likely
to become a #1 bestseller or “hot beach-read” (while still being perfectly
interesting to its own target reader)?
Non-Equilibrium Systems and Irreversible Processes –
Adventures in Applied Topology (Vol. 3) 28
How To Cook A Peacock 23
Creating Pastel Champions – A Step-by-Step Guide to
Painting Model Horses with Pastels 8
Ten Crochet Dude Dishcloths 8
Mastering Law Enforcement Chaplaincy 8
The School of Hard Knocks: The Evolution of
Pension Investing at Eastman Kodak 7
The Gulf-Coast Shipbuilding-Cluster Directory 7
The Replica Watch Report 5
Seven Crochet Dude Afghan Squares 4
The PinBotz Guide to the Greatest Pinball Machines
of the 80s and 90s 4

Note: Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Second Cable-eight Top - photo

I finished the yellow-tan Cable-eight Top today. I sure hope the lady likes it (and that it fits her). I had never used this cotton fleece yarn before and loooove it. It's so soft and makes me want to start the Anniversary Sweater over again using it! But I've almost finished the back panel using the acrylic and I'm not ready to frog it.

Now I can finally focus on the huge pile of yellow yarn that is all over the floor of my craft room!

*click for biggy view*

Yellow-tan Cable-eight Top

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Cable-eight and a half

Below is a pic of the Cable-eight progress. I was hoping to get it finished today but had some other things to do. Like a phone interview with a reporter from Bust magazine! How cool is that? I was a nervous wreck but the reporter put me at ease and soon it was like chatting with a good friend. She is writing an article about men and fiber arts and I am proud to represent all the crochet dudes out there! I'm not sure yet which issue this is for but will keep you updated!

*click photo for biggy view*

Cable-eight progress

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

You're Hired!!!

Someone liked the Cable-eight Top that I knitted a while ago that she ordered one for herself this morning. I’m making it with a yarn called Cotton Fleece All-season Luxury Cotton Yarn by Brown Sheep Company of Mitchell, Nebraska. It’s a wonderful blend of 80% cotton and 20% merino wool. It’s so soft! She wanted a light yellowish tan color. So since this pattern is worked up holding two strands of cotton together I chose a light tan color called Putty and a pale yellow called Banana. The two together look incredible and are a color combo I would never have thought of. I bet she’s going to love it, it’s a perfect summer sweater weight. I’m also still recovering from the dentist (bleck) so a repetitive easy pattern like this one is just what the doctor ordered. In a couple of days I should be back to normal and can attack that HUGE yellow project I showed you yesterday.

*click photos for biggy view*

Yellow-tan Cable-eight Top

Yellow-tan Cable-eight Detail

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Looming Deadline

This is the pile of yarn that I must have crocheted in just a few weeks. The deadline for this project is coming up so fast I’m starting to feel the pressure a bit. Spending four hours at the dentist this morning didn’t help either! Bleck. The yarn I’m using here is TLC Lustre, which is fantastic worsted weight acrylic. I like it because it’s medium weight worsted and has a much nicer drape than regular worsted acrylics. It also has a great sheen and is very soft. It makes great baby blankets!

Dentist: how are you doing?

Drew: rrghumph

Dentist: oh good, could you open a bit wider, that’s my finger you’re biting.

Looming Deadline

Monday, June 13, 2005

Poll Ended - results below

I enjoyed watching the statistics change as the poll went on. At first Swimwear had a commanding lead and I thought for sure I would be crocheting some speedo-esque patterns soon. Then Kid's Sweaters went a head for a little while. It wasn't long though before the steadfast Poncho took over the top spot and never looked back.

So, with 101 votes, Ponchos will be the next big thing on The Crochet Dude drawing board. I already have Pretty Pleats with Mango On Top as a start, and have two more really cool ideas sketched.

Patience though, since I'm just starting a very large project right now (to be announced later, perhaps with photos), and the deadline is already looming. As soon as I make some progress on this project I will get started working on ponchos.

Total votes 314

Ponchos 32 % (101 votes)

Baby blankets 23 % (75 votes)

Swimwear 13 % (41 votes)

Kid's sweaters 13 % (41 votes)

12 inch afghan squares 11 % (35 votes)

6 inch afghan squares 6 % (21 votes)

Friday, June 10, 2005

My Very First Design

The article in yesterday's Talking Crochet made me a bit sentimental as I remembered the different projects I had designed through the years. This doll was given to my mom Dolores in 1949 when she was expecting her first child. When the baby turned out to be a boy, Mom kept the doll for herself. She had always felt that it looked like her (although I feel Mom was even prettier than this doll).

When I was in Jr. High Mom had been hiding this doll for years because the clothes were long lost. I offered to make the doll some clothes; how fearless kids are! I don't remember how long it took but we were both very happy with how it turned out.

When Mom passed away a few years ago I was very happy to receive this doll. I call her Dolores and keep her in my yarn room. After all, I believe Mom is my muse.

*click photos for biggy view*


Dolores' Petticoat

Dolores' Collar

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Let's Talk Crochet!!

And who better to have a chat about crochet than with Carol Alexander, currently a crochet editor for DRG Publishing, handling editorship duties for Crochet! magazine, hardcover crochet books for House of White Birches and crochet pattern books for Annie's Attic and The Needlecraft Shop. Her new issue of Talking Crochet, the world's largest free crochet e-newsletter has a great article about a certain man that actually crochets. Do dudes really crochet? Click to find out:

Talking Crochet with Carol Alexander

After checking out the newsletter come on back and vote in my poll located in the sidebar. Now that the bookmark patterns are published I need you to help decide what direction The Crochet Dude is going to take next! Once I get 100 votes I'm going to close the poll and it's getting close!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Bookmark Patterns Now Published!!

Here is the cover to the new booklet published by LuLu that features ten of my crocheted bookmark patterns. Thanks to everyone that cheered me on during the publication process! Click here:

Ten Quick Bookmark Patterns

Ten Quick Bookmarks

Monday, June 06, 2005

Not Another WiP???

I found this great sweater pattern online the other day, actually the same day that my yarn angel blessed me with some great yarn. So, since I obviously need more practice cabling (after a bazillion cables in the Cable-eight Top) I went ahead and got started on this one, and the color is so cool I think I may just keep it for myself!

After the first row of cables I remembered that Zarzuela had suggested that I learn to cable without a cabling needle, and shared this tutorial with me. It's so easy and makes cabling so much quicker. Thanks Zarz!

Sweater - gettin' started

Sweater Detail

Saturday, June 04, 2005

No Mango for Drew!

I received the letter this morning from the poncho contest saying "Dear Poncho Contest Participant". Not the best start, eh? Needless to say Pretty Pleats didn't place at all in their contest. The entry was donated to a local charity.

The better news: I will be writing up the pattern for Pretty Pleats and making it available via Lulu.com, the publishers of my other pattern booklets. Stay tuned!

Thank you to my yarn angel for surprising me today with a new Red Heart color "Cafe" and some Bernat "Envy". It's all beeYOOteeful and just what I needed to make my day bright!

I've also added a poll to my blog. Please look for it in the sidebar and cast your vote! Your feedback is much appreciated.

Pretty Pleats with Mango On Top

Friday, June 03, 2005

Preview of Scrumble Painting

I’ve been putting together my first batch of tiny scrumbles into a 30 x 22 inch “painting”. It’s an abstract painting and I’m enjoying the whole process of exploring the technicalities as well as the creative process. Once I get this one finished and feel more confident I’m going to go bigger and try a less abstract subject.

Scrumble Painting Preview

I’m also excited with the progress on my next pattern booklet “Ten Quick Bookmarks”. I have 9 of the 10 bookmarks tested and hope to have the 10th one finished this weekend! With so many emails asking me to design some bookmarks, how could I not? Your comments and emails are helping me more than you know. Thanks y’all.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Chandler ready for the weekend.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Top Info

Thanks for all the great comments on my Cable-eight Top. I appreciate your support tremendously!! A few of you wanted to know the details so here goes some info:

Pattern: Interweave Knits Spring 2005
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-ease Sportweight (80% acrylic/20% wool)
Amount: 14 oz
Color: Fisherman
Needles: US 9/5.5mm
Hook: H/8.5mm

I also received several emails asking how I learned to knit. I hadn't knitted since I was a teen, and even then I just didn't "get it". In February of this year I discovered combination knitting as illustrated in the book Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt. It also has inspirational anecdotes about the author's family, her knitting roots, and her heretical approach to the art of knitting, which really encouraged me to keep on trying.

Once I started knitting using the combination method my skill level increased even quicker than I expected. My tension evened out immediately and my confidence to try actual garments went way up. The Cable-Eight Top was my first attempt at cabling and was a great choice. Very easy and quick.

If you check out the finished projects section of the sidebar you will find a scarf and a shell that I completed this spring. Again, if you think you may be on my Christmas list, please immediately forget any projects you may see on this blog.