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

Monday, October 31, 2005

Groovy Ghan finished - photo

I finished the Groovy Ghan over the weekend! Woo hoo! Here are some pics!

Grooovy dude.....I don't have a sofa so I had to spread this out on my bed to photograph it. I gotta get me one of those sofa things one of these days.

Detail of edge.I truly planned to design some spectacular edging a la Terry Kimbrough for this ghan. But when I began it became obvious that I needed to stick with the Groovy Loop motif on the edge to creat a frame to ground the squares. If you look at my previous post you can see that the squares seemed to be floating.

Size matters.Ever make something and wish you could keep it? I gotta start putting myself on my own gift list!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Almost there!!

The Groovy Loops afghan is almost finished! Woo hoo! I just finished assembling the final squares (thanks to a roadtrip to Beaumont, TX...no I wasn't driving and crocheting, I was passengering).

Stare directly at the Groovy Loops...your eyes are getting heavy....now go order a pattern booklet by The Crochet Dude...

Next is to get a nice border on it. I am inspired by the borders on Terry Kimbrough's afghans (see baby blanket in previous post) and how they make the ghans so special. While I'm not going to sit down and chart out a pineapple motif, I am going to try and make the border interesting. I wonder what my muse will come up with....

Just doing my job!

Alpaca abuse...

Do you think Chandler understands that she is sitting on 100% pure baby alpaca spun in Peru? I hope the intended recipient isn't allergic to cats...I'm just saying.

When did I grow a red tail?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Winter in Houston

It's officially winter in Houston! Last night it dropped to an incredibly low 52 degrees and did I mention the furnace isn't working for some reason?


Since I was able to mark off two WIPs over the weekend I started another Christmas present yesterday. It all started with the fondling of the yarn in Yarns 2 Ewe yesterday. I had just deposited my first paycheck as a designer (when the Leisure Arts booklet comes out I'll let you know! Woo HOO!) and stopped by the yarn store to celebrate. I was planing to make a scarf with Noro that Crazy Aunt Purl, well, is crazy about. But before I got to the Noro display I stuck my hand into a giant pile of 100% Baby Alpaca yarn from Peru.

Seriously. I couldn't move. It is the softest yarn I have ever touched.

Moving on, I bought some of it in a deep cranberry color and started this scarf last night. It's my own design, whattya think? (for some reason my camera doesn't get true reds...imagine it as a dark cranberry color)

Monday, October 24, 2005

"Exquisite" baby ghan completed

Here is the baby blanket. Whattya think? Pineapples sure are challenging! The results are great though. The blanket is actually pink, but it's a very pale powdery pink which should go with anything.

*click for biggy view*

The pattern is from the Leisure Arts booklet (#3059) called Heirloom Afghans for Baby by Terry Kimbrough and the name of the pattern is "Exquisite". I used TLC Baby yarn in Powder Pink.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Que chido!

I finished something! Woo hoo!! Check this puppy off my list! I finished the comfortshawl, warshed it, retagged it and am about to ship it off. I do believe that I enjoy finishing items more than starting them. My startitis must be cured. This is the pastry chef herself doing double duty as my shawl model.

Go Baby!

I'm almost finished with the main part of the baby blanket. But don't be fooled! Terry's patterns are very deceptive in that you think you are almost finished when you get the center part worked. But you actually are only about a third finished believe it or not. The edges are incredible and make the ghans unique. The designs are so fantastic! Love you Terry!

I'm going loopy

Only one more strip of squares to go on this ghan. Once they are joined and all the ends are woven in I still will need to add a significant border. You know, something groovy.

Weekend Stuff

Okay, I can't tell you what I'm going to do tonight, but it's exciting. It's something I've never done before and I'm very nervous. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's all WIPs to me

I'm officially working on a gazillion projects at once. They have all been started and declared works in progress. The first step in my new organizational program is to admit that I have a problem. Hi, I'm Drew, I'm drowning in a sea of WIPs. The next step was to write it all down. I found a project book that had been given to me before (it's a fancy notebook really) and I just started listing all the things I need to do, by when, categorized them and kept the book with me so I could note anything I remembered while doing other things, like putting $37 worth of gas in the tiny gas tank of my even tinier Saturn.

Hello Mr. Paragraph, nice to meet you! Anywho, I'm going to start with the log book and see if it keeps me "on task". I've made more than one chart on the computer over the years but it's not as motivational as seeing the desperation in my own handwriting.

Red is the new black...
It's for charitah

From time to time it is more appropriate for Heartmade Blessings to send a comfortshawl instead of a comfortghan to someone in need of support. Yesterday I assembled a shawl (shown here) and pledged to have it shipped by tomorrow. All I have left to do is weave in the ends, give it a washing (sorry Chandler, not everyone wants to smell you), reattach the tags and send it off.

Groovy Loops are Fun!
Halfway there!

I've finished six out of twelve squares for the Groovy Loops ghan. Woo hoo!! If I make one square a day I could have this one checked off my list in about a week! I should write that down.

Ooh baby baby
It's a Girl...already!!

The baby that was due at the end of the month arrived already. The person that requested the baby blanket contacted me yesterday and asked me to get it to her even sooner. Good think I'm all organized!

these too shall be eaten
It's Spring in Houston!

Not really, it's actually fall like the rest of the country but almost all the seeds I planted on Sunday have sprouted. Here is an extreme closeup of the radish seedlings. Aint they cute? (A daddy always thinks his own seedlings are the cutest!)
Not enough to make a chain.
And now that it is cooling off (highs of only 90 or so) the gerbera daisies I planted over a year ago have decided to start to blossom again (they took a break over the summer).

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


To the commenter that said that the neck shaping would be no big deal, you were right. It's not scary at all!! It's actually quite easy and Annie's patterns are very well written. I only have a few more rows to go on the front then I will start the sleeves tomorrow. I'm even thinking of getting fancy and doing both at the same time. Has anyone ever done that? Apparently it guarantees that they be symmetrical.

I Have Two Lips

Oh, and to the other commenter who thinks we can't grow tulips in Houston, here is a photo of the tulips that I had last spring. Oh yeah, and I would also like to remind said commenter that SHE WAS HERE when they were in bloom. Also said commenter should lay off the sauce. I'm just saying.

Oh Baby!

I received an order this morning for another pink baby blanket. Woo hoo! So the time has come to make a project board to track all my balls that are in the air. Sweater for book, text for book, Groovy Loops for gift, comfortghans, ordered items, niece in house, plus some other stuff that I won't bore you with. That's a whole lotta balls I'm juggling. Oh yeah, did I mention I was thinking about going back to college in January?


Monday, October 17, 2005

BOO-tiful Weather!!

This is the first weekend in like forever that it hasn't felt like I live on the surface of the sun. Seriously. It was so pleasant all weekend, low humidity, temps only in the mid to upper 80's. So I spent a lot of the time cleaning out the garden & flower beds from the summer. I got the fall crops planted too! In this pic you can see the leftover pepper plants from summer (which are still producing even though they look a bit dangly), three cabbages that I never got around to harvesting (which are now officially science experiments), and some gerbera daisies that I planted last year right after moving in. What you can't see yet are the seeds that I planted that soon will be romaine lettuce, spinach, radishes & wax beans.

Crochet Rules

I also took a break from all the MWK stockinetting and worked on the Groovy Loops afghan. I have one strip completely joined and one square completed for the second strip. I'm really diggin' how the ghan is turning out now that I have a strip joined. Believe it or not, although I've made a bazillion Groovy Loops squares for comfortghans I have never made an entire afghan with them. Me likey! Do you think my intended holiday gift recipient will too? I hope so!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Lost in Brioche

Oh wow. Seriously. If you ever get the chance to have brioche...it is like having heaven baked in your house. And just the aroma alone is satisfying, let alone eating it. It's the first bread that I have ever eaten that was so good that I couldn't imagine putting anything on it!! Seriously y'all. Good stuff.


Alright, thanks to Cheryl and Crazy Aunt Purl I decided to watch Lost tonight. Yep, sure enough I was lost the entire time. I even went back to Purl's site and read last week's recap but that didn't help much. I mean, the one dude is blowing up the food, the one lady is doing laundry, the other lady is planting a garden? Sounds like a typical weekend at my house!

Do Your Vest Andy!

Andy of Crochet Andy fame is making "Do Your Wooly Vest" from my pattern booklet "Do Your Vest"! I'm so excited!! He has progress on his blog. Stop by and give him a "woo hoo" and an "atta boy"!!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Brioche anyone?

Woo hoo! The baking has commenced!!! In the kitchen, as we speak, there is a batch of brioche doing something technical that I don't understand. And tomorrow morning The Dude will be having brioche for breakfast. Now, let me tell you honestly, I have no clue what brioche is, but I'm so excited I doubt I'll sleep tonight!!!

Men Knit Pupdate

I have completed 15.5 inches of the front of the sweater. The scary shaping part of the pattern is coming up in just under five inches. Could that be why I haven't worked on it all day? Could be, but I'm going to blame in on the brioche for now.

The Sorcery's Stoned

I saw the first Harry Potter movie last night for the first time (love you Netflix). What a great movie. Makes me want to read the book. I'm so far behind on my pop culture, what with just starting to watch the Gilmore Girls and now HP. I also have the second season of Absolutely Fabulous to watch over the weekend, which means I'll get the front of the sweater finished for sure! Unless I go into a brioche coma, or have a brioche hangover. Is that even possible?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Weight - Length - Girth

I have received several emails asking me to describe my crochet hook in more detail. So, here goes. It is 32 inches from base to tip, four inches thick, and weighs one pound three ounces. I'm not what size it would actually be considered, but it's the biggest one I've ever seen.

Full Frontal

I started the front of the MWK sweater last night and now have eight inches completed. The deadline is coming up so fast I sure could use some chocolate. I don't think Cheryl reads my blog but if she does... Cheryl, sweetie, Uncle Dude needs some chocolate. If I don't make my deadline it is officially her fault.


Y'all, I can't believe Dawn got the boot last night. I have yet to figure out what they had against her! Maybe her coffeehouse eyeglasses were too much for Martha to handle. I suppose they look cool but I don't think they allow you to move yours eyes up or down. Maybe they saw her in a pair of them with tinted lenses and thought she looked like a crime victim?

Patons Decor: the new pastry...

This photo shows Cheryl not making pastries for Uncle Drew. She's knitting what was intended to be a scarf but turned out too wide, I think it's karmic balance again with the not making of the pastries. On the back of the sofa you can see that I've completed another Groovy Loops square for the afghan I'm working on for Christmas.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I've been RAOKed!!!

Thank you to the nice person that sent me this ginormous crochet hook! I love it!! I seriously plan to use it somehow. Just think how quickly I could get my Christmas presents made!!! I took a picture of it with my mug so that you could see just how huge it is (the hook, not my mug). Does this make me a giant among crochetiers?

One down, four to go...

This is the back of the sweater for the MWK&TDWLT book! Woo hoo! I really like how the colors are stripey then every once in a while pooley (again with the makin' up the words thing...have you read Cheaper Than Therapy?) I have two weeks to finish the front and the two sleeves. I figure that now that I have the right sized needles (hello? knit much?) and using the correct size in the pattern (why did I think I wore a size 55?) I will be able to finish it up in short order.

For some reason Cheryl has done more knitting than the baking of the pastries. Hmm, maybe she thinks I'll need a size 55 by the time she leaves? It's the sacrifice an uncle would make to help her express her art through pastries. I'm nice that way.

Rory vs. Laradee

Having a twenty year old woman in the house, and reading Crazy Aunt Purl (including all her gazillion comments...such devotion, eh?) I found myself watching Gilmore Girls last night for the first time. Okay, seriously, what is wrong with the mom (Loralee? or something like that?)?? She seems very grumpy. The daughter seems like she has it all together, but what is up with Lourabee? Is there a good reason she whines so much?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Henceforth and Heretofore in Perpetuity

I received the actual contract from Lark Books (the publishers of MWK&TDWLT) over the weekend. What an amazing experience to see one's name heretofore referred to as "author", et cetera! I had the contract reviewed and I signed it this morning! Woo hoo HOO! Now email me because I want/need to hear your menknitdogyarn story.

Pastry Anyone?

I found out that my niece not only finished culinary school but also majored in pastries. It's like a dessert miracle. I can't explain how happy I am...

Sweater Update

I have finished 17 inches of the back of the MWK sweater that I am working up for the book. In case you missed the previous post, I had to start over twice and ripping out about 40 inches of stockinette stitch in total. More importantly I am almost finished with the back of the sweater!

Stuff On My Cat

In the spirit of the inspired website, here is Cleocatra enjoying some quality time with a toy.
*click for biggy view*

Thursday, October 06, 2005

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

I started a new Christmas gift yesterday. I'm going to make a Groovy Loops afghan in soft white and adobe. If you know you are the intended recipient of this gift please forget you ever saw this post please.

Anywho, I'm going to make it using the old standby of twelve 12" squares that I use for my comfortghans. The difference of course is that they will all be the same pattern using the same colourway (if one uses the term colourway one really must use the proper spelling, doesn't one?).

*Detail of those grooovy loops*

From eight to ten and a half...

The back of the sweater has grown to ten and half inches of stockinette fun. Woo hoo! Now if only I could knit without looking at the needles I would be able to catch my favorite shows at the same time! Anyone out there watching "Commander In Chief" with Geena Davis? It's fantastic.

Company a callin...

My niece Cheryl is coming to visit on Saturday and will be staying for two weeks. I can't wait! I haven't seen her since she was just starting high school. She just finished culinary school in San Francisco! Time. How it does fly, eh? I wonder if she crochets? Can someone please help me clean the house for the next 48 hours please?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

It's Eight Inches!

Yep, I have re-cast-on the MWK&TDWLT sweater and was able to knit eight inches of stockinette already. Woo hoo! Annie was right, it does go much faster the second time around. Wendy at my LYS was so helpful in answering my questions and steering me to the right size needles. I didn't know they made circs less than 40" long. I'm just saying.

Anywho, I would put a pic but it looks exactly like the last one, except now with smaller needles the colors are coming out more stripey than pooley. (Hey, I'm a published author, I can make up words now!)

Swatch Team

I swatched a neat design for another magazine last night. They want an exotic flavor and although I like Imaginary Maggie's idea of a naughty schoolgirl ala Britney Spears, I'm going in another direction: naughty real estate agent. Hey, we all have our fantasies.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I Got the Knittin' Blues...

So I'm knittin' along, minding my own bidness, and a little voice in my head (no, it's not a maggot...have you seen Corpse Bride yet? Saw it last weekend, very cool, a bit creepy though) Anywho, the little voice said "this knittin' looks great, but it's lookin' very big". So, after 19 inches (out of 25) of stockinette stitch I decided to measure. Sigh. Yep, my gauge was off after all and the fabric is most likely several sizes wider than intended. And I'm on a diet y'all, so as I shrink down to a pre-vacation size the chances that it would fit eventually are pretty "slim". Bottom line...ripping out, starting over, learning lessons....

Everyone was so kind in their comments yesterday. Well, except for the very stern email I got from a certain family member who said "funny photo, dude, but post one where you aren't acting goofy!". So here is a photo from a trip to NYC last October, sans breadstick:

*click for biggy view*

Monday, October 03, 2005

Birthday gifts - CAP style!

I received a fantastic box of goodies for my birthday over the weekend from none other than Crazy Aunt Purl. How cool is that?! Inside I found some great Noro yarn, a vintage craft book, a cat toy knit kit, some voodoo (of course!) and several pounds of candy (I love my dentist but I love Tootsie Rolls even more!).

The obligatory once over by Cleocatra and Chandler.

I Like to Swatch...

I have been putting together the swatches to send to Interweave Knits for their next crochet edition. I am sending them six ideas this time and putting them together is a lot more work than I realized. I was up until all hours last night sketching, weaving in ends, blocking (I ran out of tootpicks), etc. It's a classy mag and I would be honored if they picked even one to be included. Wish me luck!

Okay Okay!

Here is a full frontal pic of me, no hand, no sunglasses. I was going to try and Photoshop the breadstick out of the picture but I thought that was getting too picky. Keep in mind that I had just come down from climbing to the tippy top of the dome on top of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, then walked a several miles before finding this little restaurant. I look tired, don't I? I'm also digging the Euro-chic asymmetrical hairdo.