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

Friday, July 29, 2005

Pretty Pleats 2.0

This is all I was able to finish on the new version of Pretty Pleats With Mango On Top before I ran out of yarn. I just got back from a yarn run and will finish it up this weekend. (Right now I have to take a nap so I can be fully awake for Sci/Fi Friday.) As I am working up this model for the booklet I am having to make some technical changes so if it looks a bit different from the original Pretty Pleats, that is why. Don't you just love the bright colors?

For those of you wondering why I took this sharp turn to poncho-land, remember the poll I took a few weeks ago? The answer that received the most votes was "poncho" and who am I to argue with the smart masses? Here are the final results:

What type of pattern would you like The Crochet Dude to design next?

12 inch afghan squares 11 % (35 votes)
6 inch afghan squares 6 %(21 votes)
Swimwear 13 %(41 votes)
Ponchos 32 %(101 votes)
Baby blankets 23 %(75 votes)
Kid's sweaters 13 %(41 votes)

Total votes 314

Second place was "baby blankets" so I most likely will be working on those in a few weeks. For now I'm going to hunker down and work on editing the patterns for my current designs. In August I hope to have published:

Nouveau Riche - the king-sized afghan inspired by Mackintosh
Coliseum - the queen-sized afghan inspired by Rome
Seven Ponchos - see the last two weeks of blog entries

And since y'all were so helpful in identifying the spider lily I found in my yard, perhaps you can figure out what this one is? I've been told it's a type of canna lily but I'm not so sure.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Lil' Dudette

First: a special "hello" to all my Livejournal friends who are visiting today!

Now the Crochet Stuff

This is the coordinating Lil' Dudette poncho to go along with yesterday's Lil' Dude. The color changes are the same but with pinkier colors.

*all photos are clickable*

Again the ends will be trimmed to just a few inches to create a fringe (woo hoo, no weaving!). I made the sample up a little smaller than the Lil' Dude to show that it can be tailored to any size child. I love a pattern that is easily modified!!

Here is a detail photo of the colors and stitches. I'm very happy with how this design is turning out. It's actually even nicer than I had imagined when I was first conjuring it up in my mind.

Chandler stopped staring at the wall for a few minutes to come and stare at the stitches. I've tried to teach her to crochet but she doesn't have the patience.

...and this is what I found in my back yard last night. I'm sure it's some kind of lily but I have yet to identify it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Dudes Wear Ponchos

This is one side of the poncho I'm calling "Lil' Dude". This design is inspired by old westerns and is intended for a boy. I like this one because I plan to just trim all those ends to about 3 inches long for a fringe. Woo hoo, no weaving in ends! I love a pattern where I don't have to weave in ends! I plan to make a matching one in pinks/orange/pure white and call it "Lil' Dudette".

This is a close up of the Lil' Dude poncho to show the stitches. I was inspired by a Navajo rug that I have in my home; the rug colors are more subdued though. The stitch used makes this a hard working poncho and should be able to survive even the most active kiddo, and using acrylic yarn makes it machine washable!

Pocketpalooza Update

Thanks to everyone that helped me with the I'm On Vacation! poncho. After reviewing all your comments and also seeing the poncho on a person (thanks Maggie) I've decided to leave off the decorative pockets from the outside. I am going to create small hidden pockets on the inside big enough for a credit card, a housekey, etc. As one commenter pointed out, if the poncho were longer the outside pockets would work well. Since this one is designed for in the car and on the plane (and on the cruise ship if you're lucky!) it is just too short for outside pockets.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Pink Purl Poncho & Puppy Update

I finished the current poncho which is inspired by Crazy Aunt Purl. She's cute, kitchy and fun and I hope that this poncho represents those qualities. Plus pink & black are her favorite colors! It's made with sport weight yarn so the drape is wonderful and elegant, and trimmed with black marabou feathers just for fun. (all photos clickable)

The neck is brought together with the marabou feathers so the poncho can be worn closer around the neck or farther down on the shoulders. Perfect for going from a warm afternoon to cool evening.

Add as many panels as you'd like to make it fuller or slimmer. Also make the panels as long as you'd like for a perfect fit. It's the poncho for every body.

Puppy Udpate

By Saturday afternoon the puppies were comfortable enough with me to come out from under the house and come close enough to play with and pet a little bit. They were definitely strays and needed some immediate medical attention. Luckily I was able to place them in a no-kill foster system that will treat them medically and place them with loving families. It was hard to let them go and I'm amazed at how quickly I had grown attached to them. They are in good hands now, out of the heat, treated for fleas/ticks/worms, and much happier now I'm sure.

Friday, July 22, 2005


Pockets-Pockets-More Pockets-and Puppies

Thanks to Kari for naming today's post! I crocheted up two different sizes of pockets for I'm On Vacation! and took photos of them in several configurations. Please note that they are just taped on so not necessarily as straight and clean as they would be on the final product. Please leave a comment and let me know which one, if any, you think would be best. Remember that no pockets is definitely an option!

a) large pockets on sides

b) one large pocket in front

c) two large pockets in front

d) two small pockets lower front

e) two small pockets upper front

f) one small pocket upper front

And this is what I found in my backyard this morning when I woke up:

Two little black stray puppies. They are wiggly and happy, but are hesitant to come near me. I have a feeling they are just weaned and they were very hungry. When the torrential rain started a half hour ago they dove under the house for cover. Makes me wonder how long they have been living there. To give you an idea of what it's like in Houston, it has rained every single day of their lives.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Little Black Poncho

I have finished the "Little Black Poncho". It's light and dressy and designed to go with an evening gown. Since I don't have any evening gowns hanging around I just draped some fabric over my dress form to take the photo. Who knew photographing a black poncho would be so difficult? Anywho, here is the best photo I could come up with. The mesh area of the poncho is covered in black sequins and it is detailed lightly with a black eyelash yarn. I didn't want the novelty yarns used to make too big of a statement, since the evening gown should be the focus, so I didn't use silver sequins or fluffy faux fur.

On the vacation poncho front, your feedback has been incredible. I will make up some different sized pockets and tack them onto the poncho in different configurations based on your ideas. Most likely I will get those photos posted tomorrow. I really like the idea of secret inside pockets for small items like a credit card, housekey, etc. Most likely the "blue jean" ones on the outside would be just decorative.

I'm almost halfway finished designing the next poncho. It is inspired by Crazy Aunt Purl so it's kitchy, pink & black, and oh so adorable. Photos sometime this weekend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I'm On Vacation!

I'm On Vacation!
Not really, but this poncho that I designed yesterday would go great on your next vacation! I wanted to design a poncho that would be very easy to wear when you are traveling, so it's not too long (wear it on a plane or in a car) and it is made to go well with casual attire. So if your aren't looking your cutest after flying for 10 hours you can deplane at your destination looking great, just throw on "I'm On Vacation!".

I need your feedback on one detail. I thought it would be cute to crochet some pockets with the denim color, like blue-jean pockets, and stitch them onto the "suede" area. Whattya think? If you like the idea, how many would be good? I was thinking two pockets spaced evenly on the front. What do you think? Or do you think I should 86 the pocket idea?

Also, there is still time to vote in my poll on just how many ponchos you would like to see in the next publication. Look to your right in the sidebar. Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Dude Needs Mauxhair

Thank You!!

Thanks everyone for leaving such positive feedback for Nouveau Riche. It was a labor of love and I'm happy that y'all approve. Now to hunker down and get the pattern finished!!

Cable-eight Revisited

I received a wonderful email from the lady that had me knit her a Cable-eight sweater a few weeks ago. Here is an excerpt:

"...I wore your Cable 8 sweater into work yesterday for the first time. I was listening to the weather on the radio which forecasted 92 degrees with a heat index of around 100. Yikes! I thought it was going to be closer to 80 degrees, what was I thinking? Until I got to work and walked from my car to the front door in a nice breeze, and the breeze went right through the sweater! The word “refreshing” went through my mind a couple of times by the time I made it into the building.

"Then, after dinner last night my husband and I were sitting on the couch watching TV, and during a commercial he turns to me and says (jokingly) “That’s a nice new sweater! I wish I had the time and money to go out and buy nice new clothes for myself all the time”. At which point I crack open this big dirty grin, and he’s forced to ask “What?”

"I told him that you made it for me. He was amazed! Flabbergasted! He put on a show of feeling how soft it was, and how he thought it was some expensive brand name.

"I told him that it is a brand name: The Crochet Dude brand!..."

Thank you so much for sharing. You’ve really made my day!!

And Then...

As I edit the pattern for Nouveau Riche I am also putting together the designs for my poncho booklet. Y’all voted that that is what you wanted me to design next, and with fall right around the corner, why not? I have set up a new poll in the sidebar to find out how many you think I should include in the booklet. And hey, if you have been waiting for Pretty Pleats with Mango on Top, it will be included as well!

Here is a sneak peek of the poncho I designed yesterday, called “Mauxhair Stole”. I still have to add a few things but this is the basic poncho. It’s dressy and soft, honoring the screen goddesses of yesteryear.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Blob - revealed

Nouveau Riche

Here it is, the pattern that I have been writing for the past few weeks. It is a king-sized afghan (or bedspread if you'd like) inspired by the art nouveau period of the 20th century, hence the name "Nouveau Riche". My favorite artist/architect is Charles Rennie Makintosh and I love his contribution to the art nouveau movement.

I'm going to spend the next week or two editing the pattern and it will be published via Lulu.com shortly after that. Thanks for everyone's patience over the last few weeks!

*click for biggy view*

Nouveau Riche

Saturday, July 16, 2005

What is The Blob?

Vote now!

I have created a poll that you can find in the sidebar of this blog. I'm curious what you think the blob is going to be. I will close the poll when it is time for the big reveal.

*insert drumroll please*

Stop the drumroll if you think it is going to cause more rain in the Houston area. It's bad enough there is a hurricane pointed directly at my poor little house!

Friday, July 15, 2005

NexStitch rocks y'all....

What a pleasant surprise awaited me in my inbox this morning! Amie, that rockin' teacher-photographer-artist-supercool crochet designer has included my blog in her latest newsletter. Read it here, then peruse her fantastic site!

The Blob: revisited

I was able to get 3/4 of the ends woven in yesterday. Today I will finish that and get all the details finished and hopefully will reveal The Blob tomorrow.

"Really Drew, on a weekend? I don't read blogs on the weekend, dude!"

The suspense is killing me to get this project completed and I can't wait to share it! If you get a chance to check in over the weekend, all will be revealed.

Thanks for all the "woo-hoos" yesterday, you really helped me stay motivated! Y'all rock!!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

It doesn't take much.

It really doesn't take much to make me happy, and since I know you must be bored with all my Blob stories here is a photo of my cards that just came in. I'm excited to be able to give these to people when they ask what my web addy is. I've written it down on many a napkin which I'm sure isn't the most professional way to present myself.

The Crochet Dude in da house....

And because I can't ignore the 17 pounds of yellow Blobbiness that is following me around the house (I tell myself it's being affectionate, but deep down I'm convinced The Blob is indeed hungry) I feel I must give you an update. I'm sooooo close to being finished! I literally have about 2 hours of detail work left, then a kazillion ends to weave in and it will be completed. Can I get a "woo hoo" from my peeps?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Blob eats Dude, film at eleven...

By the time I collapsed exhausted in bed last night I had finished the principle crocheting of The Blob. While that should be cause for celebration, I'm definitely missing the forest for the trees, the trees being 20 hours worth of assemblage and about 10 hours to do it in. Throw in another three-hour visit to the dentist today (I looove my dentist! Hi Dr. Fleury!) which lost me a huge chunk of time at a critical moment and it makes me realize I definitely chose the wrong year to quit coffee.

Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. May I borrow an extra 15 hours please?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Blob revisited

I've been working on The Blob for about 10 hours a day for the last few days. I almost regret taking my birthday off (but not really!) This picture shows how big it is getting (note the mug in the middle for size reference). In a few days it will be finished and I will post a better photo. Lawdy I'll be happy when it's completed and shipped out!!

The Blob revisited

For some fun check out this website:

The Exorcist Re-enacted in 30 Seconds, by Bunnies

Friday, July 08, 2005

New Knit and Crochet Book

I just got this crazy cool new book!  I love it.  It has over 500 color photographs that so clearly illustrate knitting and crocheting.  I mean, the photos actually have little arrows that show you the direction your hook should be moving and into which loop, etc. !  It's perfect for the beginner crochetier or knitter.

I'm so glad I found this book!  Admittedly there aren't as many crochet projects that I would have liked to have seen included, but there are tons of knit projects like tops, lace, sweaters, baby clothes, etc.  I can't wait to get started on some of these!!  I'll have Christmas wrapped up before you can say "the dude was eaten by The Blob"...

Check it out by clicking here: Maran Illustrated: Knitting & Crocheting

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Modern Tapestry - photo

I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone that wished me a happy birthday! Y'all really made my day even better! Thank you!!!!

I made this custom tapestry a few weeks ago but didn't want to post a photo until I knew the recipient was completely pleased with how it turned out. I'm happy to report that even though I used just a couple of snapshots of her house to match up the colors, she says that it goes perfectly with her home! Woo hoo!

Each of the pieces are original designs by The Crochet Dude(tm). If you would like to order one for your home click here:

Custom Tapestries by The Crochet Dude

Modern Tapestry

Modern Tapestry Detail

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I'm what?

Yep, the big 3-8 today. This has become cliche I believe, but I really do still feel 18 years old. Seriously, why didn't I know then what I know now? Youth is wasted on the young, yada yada yada... it all applies today. I like birthdays though and I have only freaked out on one so far and that was my 30th. For some reason it was tough on me. This year I'm just hoping it'll rain a little bit so I won't have to work in the yard too much!

I'll give you three guesses what I'm going to do today, and they all start with two words "The Blob". I made progress yesterday but by 4pm I was spent. I did have the pleasure of actually using a skein of the jade color which sadly was quite exciting for me. I'm dreaming in yellow now instead of Technicolor like before. Which is fine I suppose as long as I'm not dreaming about winter in the north.

Anywho, the pic here is from my 10th birthday party. I look very happy, eh? (and very sunburned too!) We lived in Lake Tahoe at the time, and my sister made the cake and the sugar sculptures of Disney characters. I tried to save those for a couple of years but they ended up melting. Who knew? Try and guess how many red/white/blue birthday cakes I've had...

The ten-year-old Crochet Dude

Now scurry over to Crazy Aunt Purl's site to see other pics of The Dude and some of his adventures!!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Flowered Comfortghan - photo

Even though The Blob is kicking my booty, I finished this comfortghan over the weekend. The flowers are all so pretty and I can't thank the square-makers enough. I wanted to make the squares the star so I used a very simple joining method and edging. Gotta love that crab stitch!

*click for biggy view*

Comfortghan - flowered


To update you on the attack of the late-night animals, I put one of those sonic rodent detterent machines up in the attic. I'm hoping it will keep the animals from exiting the walls and nesting in the attic area. As an added bonus it has a nightlight on it so I don't have to reach through the dark unknown scariness to turn the lights on. I hesitate to even open the trapdoor/stairs contraption because a giant killer rat or giant killer bug (all things that live in that attic are "giant", and of course "killer") is bound to be waiting to attack me. Then who would finish The Blob?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Red, White & Drew!

Happy Independence Day USA! I hope everyone is having a great time, staying as cool as possible, and enjoying this birthday celebration. Thanks to Annie I have discovered Any Soldier, Inc. today, and have already begun to put together a box of cotton yarn, hooks and a copy of my dishcloth patterns to send overseas (many of the female soldiers are asking for yarn and crochet hooks and knitting needles to alleviate boredom. And the dishcloths will make great washcloths when they are finished!) WARNING: no matter one's political views, looking through that site it's hard not to get emotional!!

Here is a pic of my recent trip to Washington, D.C.

The Dude in Washington D.C.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

AZ - NV - NH

My books and the related story claiming that they are least likely to be bestsellers (why must I keep repeating that?) have popped up in the following online newspapers:

Arizona Daily Star

Las Vegas Business Press

Portsmouth Herald

If you see me mentioned in your favorite daily read please email me and let me know the addy. I would love to check it out!!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I'm awake!

I thought I would help you get that scary image of me at 3am out of your head with a photo of me well rested. This pic was taken last year while on vacation in Italy.

Today I'm going to avoid the heat (it's nearing 90 already this morning) and dedicate myself to The Blob. It's so big now that I have to lay it out on the bed to work on it. That means of course that Chandler and Cleocatra will need to sleep on the bed, even though they normally are in other rooms of the house. A project spread out is like a kitty magnet, eh?

I'm awake...

Friday, July 01, 2005

I'm exhausted...

I’m not sure if it was all the carbs I had for dinner last night, or the giant animal that was inside the wall behind my headboard, but I’m exhausted. I woke up at 3 in the morning with the carbo-sweats (which if you eat a low glycemic diet then you know what I’m talking about. It’s the aftermath of a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk.)

At first I thought Chandler was just playing with a toy (and not a giant cockroach, which I force myself to forget that she plays with those. At night. When I’m asleep. And brings them into the bedroom. Which is frighteningly close to the bed.) So, having convinced myself that it was kitty with kitty toy I threw off the covers (carbo-sweats, remember?) and went back to sleep.

Not five minutes later I woke up to the sound of Chandler playing with her toy, up in the same wall, but way above my head. No matter how hard I tried I just was unable to convince myself that it was said kitty with said toy. Nope, it was a varmint, and not of the feline persuasion (I counted them. Cleocatra, Chandler, and Snowball Jr. who was wandering outside in the courtyard trying to look in the low windows to find Cleo & Chandler. Which makes me wonder why The Ball (that’s what he likes to be called, because hey, he’s street feline) hadn’t caught the varmint BEFORE it got inside my walls). So I did the obvious, I went to use the bathroom which happens to share the same wall. By this time the creature was up in the attic and banging on the pipes. Literally. I’ve told you a million times that I don’t exaggerate. Anywho.

I had three choices: a) go back to bed and dream of blueberries in Technicolor. b) go to the room furthest away and sleep on a loveseat. c) go up in the attic and see how big the vicious creature actually was and perhaps scare it away. (Actually there is a secret option d. which is call Laurie because she would understand, y’all know, the attack of the creatures!)

I attempted to sleep on the loveseat in the media room, which is a fancy word for the old garage that the previous owners put blue indoor/outdoor carpeting in so they could list the house as a three bedroom. It also houses my craft room and the laundry room with the kitty pan. I won’t tell you what I dreamt about in there - and yes, it was in Technicolor.

To make a long story even longer, my neck hurts, I’m exhausted and instead of working on The Blob this morning I get to go shopping for rat traps. Rat traps. I’ll say it again. Rat traps.

“Excuse me, hi, I want to trap a rat that is banging on pipes in my attic, but I want a live trap because no, I don’t want to kill it. I’m going to release it by the bayou up yonder. …it’s not polite to laugh at customers….”

The Dude at 3am - not pretty