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

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cake Please

Y'all, if you don't have a swift... it's the must have holiday item this year. It will change your life, just as it has changed mine. I was able to take 12 pounds of wool and wind it into wonderful yarn cakes in just under twenty minutes!

I admit that this would have been impossible before. I know I know, one can put the yarn on the back of a chair or the hands of an unsuspecting guest (and believe you me, it's happened more than once!) but the end result is always 75% yarn cake - 25% yarn spaghetti.

Aint it fun to see a hank behaving? This is incredible hand-painted ultramerino from Artyarns. I love it. I do. And the best part is after the sweater is photographed for the Men Who Knit book I get to keep it!

mmmmm, cake....

Monday, November 28, 2005

I'm So Busted!!!

What an honor to be included in the Dec/Jan issue of Bust magazine!

Once you have this issue in front of you, turn directly to page 82 and read the article "Lords of the Strings". A few of my online buds are included too! Holla to Peter, Jon & John for being included in the article (John even has two photos!) Thanks to Kelly Shindler for such great writing!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Weekend

I loved waking up to the smell of turkey on Thanksgiving, pumpkin pies that had been baked the night before sitting on the counter (with that one sliver that was always missing from every baked good Mom had ever baked in my life).

I loved the hustle and bustle of the morning as we all got ready to go to church at 10:30 am for the special Thanksgiving service. Mom had somehow successfully juggled making sure we were all haircombed, toothbrushed, and neatly pressed, with the perfect turkey in the oven, and a feast that Martha Stewart would be proud of prepared and ready to cook when we got home after church.

The Thanksgiving church service was always amazing because in our church on Sundays the kids go to sunday school while the adults had church simultaneously. But each year on Thanksgiving we all went to church together and after the sermon people would stand and say what they were thankful for, and it was always the one church service during the year that every church member showed up for. It was an amazing experience!

I was thankful for my mom. Even when I was very little and she was supporting five kids by cleaning motel rooms I knew that it was an amazing accomplishment that we had Thanksgiving dinner each year. Santy didn't come to shanty-town each year, but by golly we feasted at Thanksgiving.

Now that Mom has been gone for so many years I think it's finally time to resurrect some traditions. This afternoon I will be baking pumpkin pies. Thanks for the recipe Mom.
Dolores Emborsky

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Crochet Swiftly, Dude

Howdy, My Name's Hank
Today's the day I get a swift. I've been holding off - telling myself that a spare set of feet do nicely, or that chairback over there works well enough, or "hi, thanks for delivering my mail each day, could you come inside for just five minutes please?" It's time for me to finish the sweater for the MWK book, and the extra yarn I need arrived. It's a lot of yarn; easily the largest hank on earth. (How long are these sleeves going to be anyways?) It all needs windering into lovely yarn cakes. For now it looks like a cat bed to Miss Chandler.

Hank, meet your competition...

This is officially the largest cone of yarn on earth. I received it in the mail while in Cali over the weekend (the cool people call it Cali..I'm just saying) for Super Cool Yarnthe garment I'm designing for the Super Cool Yarn Company. Three words: beeYOOteeful. (I guess that's four words if you're going to get technical on me.) If you look closely I included a sneak peek of the swatch I'm developing. It's all stretchy and ribby and brings out the subtle colors of the yarn.

Why I Feel Safe
I got yer back, dude...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Brunch in the Hamptons

I’m back in Houston now and had a fantastic time in Los Angeles. My hostess Laurie was very gracious and made me feel at home. If you think Crazy Aunt Purl is fun, you should meet Laurie. What an amazing person! If you’ve never read Crazy Aunt Purl’s blog then you are missing out!! (seriously, what’s wrong with you?)

I cannot thank Faith enough for showing us her wonderful city. She was so generous with her time and all the effort that is “driving in LA”. As a third generation Angelina she knew right where to go, what route to take, and what time of day to go there. In just a few days she had driven us from Malibu to the Hollywoodland and everything in between. You rock Faith!!

In and Out y’all…

If you’ve never been to an In and Out burger place I can tell you from first-hand experience that you do not understand. We were driving down Ventura Blvd at 11:30pm and as we passed the In and Out I couldn’t help but wonder why the drive through had a line out the driveway and down the street, and the walk up window had about twenty people standing in line.

Saturday we went to In and Out. I understand now: it's what a hamburger's all about...

LA in a nutty shell
Sunset in Los Angeles
I’m not going to blog about my entire trip in one entry. It would be too long. And besides, it will be more fun for me to revisit the topic each day for a while.

Men Who Knit

Today I’m going to go into full writing mode. Annie has shipped off about ten of the finished garments to the publisher and now it’s time for me to focus on the writing. I also received the yarn I need to finish up the sweater that I am knitting for the book.

Men Who Don’t Panic

And, the yarn for the sweater that I am to design for the super-cool yarn company arrived as well. Hi, Martha Stewart? It’s the crochet dude, yeah, can you spare me some of your ability to make time stand still and do outrageous amounts of work in each day? Thanks. Love you! Brunch in the Hamptons? Sure, I’ll bring a box of wine…

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hollywood bound...

I'm on my way to the airport in about ten minutes! Just a reminder that I will be at the WeHo S&B meeting tonight around 7pm at The Original Farmer's Market in West Hollywood. Please come by and introduce yourself if you are in the area!

Celebrities I'm hoping to run into while in LA:
Ellen Degeneres
Jay Spears
Olivia Newton-John
Christina Ricci & Johnny Depp
Jennifer Aniston

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Riddle me this...and stick a pin in me...

Over the last few months I have received numerous emails asking, "how can I get into designing" or "how do I start a design career" or "how can I get published". Honestly, I am just launching my own career and have a lot to learn still! However, this book below has helped me tremendously. It clearly illustrates the different facets of crochet as a career including designing, getting published, teaching, marketing, basics of a home based business, common pitfalls, etc. It's truly a fantastic resource and I reference it often.

Beauty of a book, eh?
Crocheting For Fun & Profit
by Darla Sims

Where in the world?

Joining the latest craze in blogland, I have created a Frappr map! Please put your pin in your city by clicking here:

Check out our Frappr!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ode to crochet...

Crochet, oh how I miss ye! I have been so occupied with my other responsibilities that I have neglected you so. Please forgive me, fair crochet, and come back to me soon.


I have the first draft edited of some incredible profiles that have been submitted for my book Men Who Knit & The Dogs Who Love Them. I am amazed at the diversity of men out there that knit, and wow, do they knit passionately! There are only a few more days left to submit something. Email me!

Look out Hollywood!

I'm on my way to Los Angeles day after tomorrow. If you are in the L.A. area this week please come to the West Hollywood S&B meeting at the Farmer's Market on thursday at 7pm and introduce yourself. I'm looking forward to meeting as many people as I can that night! It's my first time in L.A., I wonder if I'll get discovered at some trendy coffee shop... it could happen! (Judy Tenuta reference y'all...)

Fleas Begone!!

I sincerely cannot thank everyone enough for their suggestions to rid my castle of fleas. Chandler & Cleo are now flea bombs and the fleas cringe when they see them coming, run for their lives, then die in the wake of the Frontline force field. Thanks again!! (and you know who you are...)

You're Hired!

I was hired this morning by an amazing yarn company to design a crocheted garment for them. I will keep you posted on the progress, and from what I can tell, their yarn is incredible. In fact, I've drooled over one type they offer at my LYS, and the fiber they want me to work up looks even better! Y'all didn't know that I cloned myself over the summer so I could do twice the work as before, did you!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Habitat for Humanity

I know the holiday shopping season is coming upon us rapidly and many of our friends affected by this year's hurricanes remain without homes. I have pledged all proceeds from sales at my Cafepress store from now until the end of 2005 to Habitat for Humanity in support of all the amazing work they are doing (the grand total is being tracked in the sidebar of this blog). Just in time I have just added a few new products to the store using the 2006 calendar composite! Items include a black t-shirt, grey t-shirt, mug, mousepad, etc. Help me help Habitat for Humanity! Check out all the gear here:

The Crochet Dude Gear


Black t-shirt


Friday, November 11, 2005

You Need a Montage!

A big giant THANK YOU to Crazy Aunt Purl for creating this composite preview of my 2006 calendar. The photo software that came with my computer doesn't seem to allow me to make anything less that 15mb in size...which tends to lock up others' computers and tick everyone off!

Holiday Gift Must Have

Speaking of Ticks

I have completely soaked both cats with Frontline, per the suggestion of multiple commenters. It must work if so many suggested it. Anyone know how long before they disappear? (The fleas, not the cats).

Kmanly Knitters

I am spending pretty much all day long working on the Men Who Knit book anymore. I ran out of yarn for the sweater that I'm knitting up so until more arrives it's all about the text. I have all the first drafts finished of the profiles that have been submitted (November 18th is the cutoff so if you still want to be included, let me know!) Once we decide which ones will be included then it will be a matter of getting photographs, editing some more, and getting it all submitted to the publisher. Very exciting at Chez Fleaster!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Final Call - seriously

This is the last call for all you male knitters to come forward and tell me your story. I would love to include you in my book that I'm writing with knit goddess Annie Modesitt. It's going to be a great experience for everyone. Email me very soon if you want more details!!

Monet Afghan pattern now available

I have added the pattern for the Monet Afghan to my free patterns page (the link is in my sidebar). It's important to note that in yesterday's comments I directed some to the wrong joining method by mistake. Sorry about that y'all. The actual joining method is with the pattern.

Must be fall in Houston....

Fall Colors in Houston...because the orchids are in bloom. This orchid (which is about 10 years old now) has been outside since last March. A couple of weeks ago it threatened to get down to a chilly 45 degrees one night so I brought in the more sensitive plants. I was very happy to discover that this orchid was covered in buds and now is in full bloom! I mulched the orchids that are planted in the ground and they did just fine. They blossom in the spring. Stay tuned...


This morning I woke up to this face, isn't she adorable, doesn't she just melt your heart? Then I saw a flea emerge from the fur on her neck and dive back in for another good feeding, or egg laying, or whatever it is that fleas do on cats' necks. Answer me this...how can indoor cats get fleas?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Show me the Monet!!

I was inspired by Monet's paintings when I made this afghan. It's such a simple concept: make 12 squares and join them together... tadah! you have an afghan. I love the colors and how the variegate patterns differently with each square. Another Christmas gift to check off my list!

*click for biggy view*

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Knit.1 - where the boys are....

Look for The Crochet Dude in the latest issue of Vogue Knitting's Knit.1 magazine! In it you'll find lots of cool stuff. I suggest you go directly to pg 27, in the section titled "Real Men Knit". I'm just saying...

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Crochet Dude 12 Month Calendar

Just published!
12 months of fun with The Crochet Dude!

Check it out by clicking here:
The Crochet Dude 2006 Calendar

Makes a great holiday gift item. I'm just saying...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Longer is indeed better.

Thank you to everyone that helped me to see that longer is indeed better. So I'm going to use another skein of the baby alpaca and double the size of the scarf. That should make it right around 70 inches.


Here are the beginnings to a 2 X 6 tapestry. It's been fun pulling out my afghan square patterns and working them up again! It's been a while!!

Tapestries are fun!

Cool 'nuff fer ya?

This is what happens when it cools off at Chez Dude... I end up with 27 pounds of cat squished into the most unlikely of places. During the hotter months Cleocatra & Chandler keep respectful distances while they sleep, but let it get down in the 50's at night and they are suddenly strange bedfellers.

Halloween was exhausting.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Is it long enough?

I'm soft.
I finished the first skein of alpaca last night. Before I add another skein I need to know if this is big enough already. This will be given to a lady that isn't very tall, but isn't very short either. What do you think? Should I finish it off or keep on knittin'?

Is 34.5 inches long enough?


This past summer I donated a six foot tapestry to the Crochet Guild of America to raffle at their annual meeting. The winner has contacted me so I will be starting her tapestry this afternoon. I love making these tapestries!! I'll upload some pics as I progress.