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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Public Service Announcement

This goes out to all my peeps in the Houston area! By the end of this announcement y'all with either thank me or curse me. Either way....

I just received my newsletter from the LYS that is about a mile from my house (they were closer but moved to a bigger location last year which is good because I seriously do not need an LYS in walking distance. Seriously.) and they announced that they are having a major sale this weekend.

The sad part? I can't make it. I won't be able to indulge my need for stash. Here is a cut of what will be included:

This Labor Day Weekend, Sat. 9/2 and Sun. 9/3, all 100% cotton and 100% bamboo yarns will be on sale. In addition, many cotton blends and rayons will also be on sale. Finally, to make room for all the new fall additions, all clearance yarn sale-priced at $8.00 and above will be $4.00/ball, and all clearance yarn sale-priced below $8.00 will be $2.00/ball!!!!!!!!!! That means yarns like Classic Elite Tigress (originally $32/ball) or Rowan Plaid (originally $15+/ball) will be priced at waaay less than our cost!!!! You don't want to miss out on this sale opportunity!
We'll have close to 100 of our regularly-priced summer yarns on sale from names like Berroco, Classic Elite, Noro, Lily, OnLine, Alchemy, Colinette, Louisa Harding, Crystal Palace, Cascade, Needful, Araucania, Debbie Bliss, SWTrading, Garnstudio, Manos, Wool In The Woods, Skacel, Elsebeth Lavold, and Queensland.
We look forward to seeing you this weekend--since it's our 3rd anniversary, we'll have door prizes for gift certificates and yarn throughout the weekend.

Here is the location:

Yarns 2 Ewe, Inc.
518 Shepherd Drive
Houston, TX 77007

And their website:


*note: I am in no way affiliated with this yarn shop (except that they do carry some of my patterns booklets that may or may not be the ones you are looking for and perhaps you don't want to buy them online and also maybe you want to get both the booklets and the yarn at the same time because your aunt's birthday is Tuesday which you never forget and you won't be invited to Thanksgiving dinner if you do and putting together a little kit would keep you out of the doghouse this holiday season) I just wanted to give all y'all a heads up and since I can't make it to the sale, I can live vicariously through you.

On The Crochet Front

I shipped out the design that may or may not be a coral colored dress to its midwestern destination yesterday. It was due by Friday and I'm glued to the online tracking system to see where it is now. Apparently it's still in a sorting facility in Mesquite, TX. I think they should start attaching actual GPS tracking so I can follow my shipments in real time. I can think of a few other things I would attach GPS to, just for giggles.

Also, remember that stack of sketches/swatches that I was working on before I went to sunny downton Burbank California where I filmed three episodes of the show Uncommon Threads that may or may not begin airing in January? I shipped out a third of the stack yesterday as well because it needs to arrive at its New Englandish destination by Friday. Keep your hooks crossed. I really want to start working with this yarn company!

The other 2/3 of the submissions are going to to three magazines that have editorial deadlines over the next two weeks. They are all working on their spring/summer '07 issues right now and the challenge at hand is creating crochet designs that are great for the warmer months. Fun stuff!! Once I get all the submissions packed up and shipped out I can start designing my studio and finally make a trip to Ikea!! Woo hoo! The lingonberries are calling me....

Allison Thanks You

Well, actually, I want to thank everyone that has made Allison such a big success. This has instantly become my most popular pattern booklet to date. Y'all rock!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Start Quicker - End Quicker

I was walking through the hobby/craft store recently (big surprise, eh?) and as I looked for something totally unrelated I came across this little gem.

Isn't it too cool for school? I nearly tripped over myself doing an about face in the store. I've been using it for about a week now (I wanted to test it out first before blogging about it). Here are some features:

  • 17 outside pockets
  • 9 inside pockets
  • one zippered compartment on bottom (including a removable tray)
  • one 12" section to hold larger items

And look at the cool colors it comes in:

All this for under $20! What's great for me is that I can keep all my crochet/knit "tools" in it. I have my case of hooks, tapestry needles, scissors, hole punch, business cards, colored pencils & sharpener, sticky notes, etc, all in one place. Now I find that clean up at the end of the day is quicker because all I have to do is put each item back in their place. The next day I can start quicker because I don't have to gather up everything; it's all in one place! And if I want to take some work on a car trip I can keep everything contained easily, because...say it with me "it's all in one place"!!

*Note to those of you who are organized naturally: This may seem trivial and maybe not so exciting and perhaps even a bit silly, but seriously, finding something like this for those of us who are, let's say, organizationally challenged is nearly life changing. I'm just saying.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Fun for Everyone!

Over the weekend I found myself relaxing a bit more than usual and what does that tend to lead to? That's right, starting another project. Can you really have too many WIP's? I know I know, the answer is intellectually "yes" but spiritually "heck no!". This is a knitted pillow that I tried to make last year right after teaching myself to knit and for the life of me I couldn't figure out the center panel which after blocking will be eyelets. This weekend I started it again and worked on it casually and was able to finish it last night. Learnin' iz fun.
Eyelet pillow knit with Plymouth Encore Colorspun

Extreme Close-up Fun!

Today I find myself at the edge of the deadline. As in, get this finished and if you work hard and fast enough (keep it clean) then maybe just maybe you can overnight it to its final destination on time. Although I would never admit it publicly, I seem to work better under the pressure of a deadline. This is an extreme close up of an item that I'm making for a spring issue of one of the Super Cool Crochet Magazines (I can't remember if it's I or II, but I could use and IV of coffee right about now). Would I be revealing too much if I said it was a dress? (or maybe it's a toilet paper cozy, or a sock, you didn't hear it from me). Ooh, is that someone looking over your shoulder?
This may or may not be a dress....

Canine Fun!

On Friday I received the color proofs of the Men Who Knit book. I know I sound like a broken record but seriously, how cool is this? And, for your knitting/reading/displaying pleasure it can now be pre-ordered by clicking here:

Pre-ordering is fun!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Allison - a cross-body purse to crochet!

Here is my latest pattern to be published:

Worsted weight cotton works up quickly into this cross-body purse. Cabled details on the front accent the tailored design of this little messenger bag, finished off with a handle of all cables.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hot Stuff

Lion Brand has offered up another of my patterns (sans designer credit...whatev) in their newsletter. These potholders are felted and are actually very easy to make. It's a great project for those that want to practice changing colors. Click the photo for the free pattern (registration required).

I enjoyed designing these because the Lion Wool is very nice to work with; it isn't itchy at all, and the colors stay very vivid after felting.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Things To Do

As y'all know I'm not a big do-er of the meme thang. However, I saw this one at Imaginary Maggie's blog and found it intriguing. What I like is that I learned several cool things about someone that I've know for 137 years now. Perhaps you'll learn something about me too.

Life's to do list - Completed items are bolded

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain (I lived in Tahoe for several years)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone (I'm seriously a hopeless romantic)
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree (they smell like vanilla sometimes)
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa (it was closed when I was there, but I would have!)
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg (does lettuce count?)
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (Mom and I would giggle in church quite often)
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen an eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 10 provinces or all 50 states (I'm only missing Alaska, Hawaii & New England)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country (some of my best memories include this)
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign (a friend in college stole a "Please Pay Before Pumping" sign and put it on her bedroom door)
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow (I've tipped quite a few over, does that count?)
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites (in and around Italy, Greece, Mexico)
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie (just t.v. commercials, but there is still time...)
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest (I "won" dressed as Prince when I worked at a restaurant right after Purple Rain came out)
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Dead River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert" (Does the DIY Network count?)
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone (does certain people's marriages count?)
92. Buried one of your parents (I was orphaned at 32)
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently (English & Spanish)
95. Performed in aisles at Rocky Horror (Just saw it for the first time last year and that was on DVD)
96. Raised children.
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over (more than once)
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge (now that would be a big leash)
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery (does corrective laser surgery on my eyes count?)
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray 110. Broken someone's heart 111. Helped an animal give birth (a guinnea pig)
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari (just in Maggie's party barn, does that count?)
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced (not on purpose)
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild – (mmmm. Morel Mushrooms!)
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet (just mice, rats, guinnea pigs, dogs & cats)
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi (as often as possible)
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach (ew!)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes (Mom used to make tomato jam)
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read their books.
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (just fish, although my grandpa was a freelance butcher, but I don't think I got that gene)
137. Skipped all your school reunions (hearing through the grapevine that everyone's going to meet at a certain local bar doesn't make me want to travel 1,000 miles to attend. I'm just saying.)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office (is 4-H vice president a public office?)
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream (I have thought more than once that I'm living IN a dream and that I could wake up at any moment).
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair 147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head (see #146) 149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life
151: Walked the streets of Pompeii then climbed Mt. Vesuvius (I added this one to the list because it was an incredible experience)

Drew in Pompeii

Monday, August 21, 2006

It Suits You

I figured out over the weekend why I didn't have a suit in my closet to begin with! Shopping just about kicked my booty. I've been working from home for so many years now that all I have in my wardrobe are shorts & t-shirts! And now I have an event coming up for which I'll need a dark formal suit (or rent a cheesy tuxedo which I refuse to do) and this past weekend was my last chance to find it. After two trips to the Galleria in as many days I was able to find a black suit, white shirt, cufflinks, tie and belt. Whew, I'm glad that's over for a few more years...

Pattern Writing

It's truly like a foreign language it seems. I have this rather large project that is due very soon and I've been going over and over the pattern, and each time I look it over I realize that either something is missing, something is repeated, or something makes no sense whatsoever. After three somewhat intense hours of working on it this morning I'm putting it away for the day. I'm thinking that if I come back to it tomorrow morning that it will make more sense. Make sense?

Postcards on The Edge

Thank you to everyone who has dropped me a card or postcard over the last year. I enjoy receiving them very much!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Organized Weed-eating

I've spent the last two days recovering from everything that has been going on over the last 8 weeks or so. Getting ready for the t.v. show along with the design deadlines that I had to meet before going to Cali have left things a bit, shall we say, untidy. Not dirty, because Mom taught me that dirt is unacceptable. Let's just say that I didn't learn any organizational skills from her though. We had to shuffle stuff on the kitchen table to the side to eat, and half of Mom's bed always had her reading material and curlers and bobby pins (etc!), but the curtains were washed monthly, the bathroom was always spotless and the kitchen was spic and span (as they say), and many hours of my youth were spent hearing "you aren't going to watch t.v. or go to bed until all the dishes are washed and put away". Anywho, the last two days have been spent filing files, and shredding old paperwork and dreaming of the day that I can have a full-time personal assistant.

Public Service Announcement

I just recently sent out my summer newsletter (you get that right? well, why the heck not? Boogie on over the my website and sign up!) Anywho, I'm getting a good amount of my friends who have AOL addresses returned as undeliverable. The messages says something about "we'd love to deliver your email but your friend hasn't logged into their new free AIM account". Soooo, if you have AOL, and you use it for newsletters such as mine, then perhaps you aren't getthing them if you haven't signed into a free AIM account. And that concludes the paragraph of this blog post that may sound like I know what I'm talking about, but I truly have no earthly clue what any of that means.

To Do This Weekend

Work on my Bitchin' Mittens
Buy a new suit
Mow, weed-eat, water
Stay cool (hopefully...)
Photograph Saturday's Sky

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Ever do something that you think is the right thing to do only to have it go terribly wrong and feel completely helpless and therefore hopeless? Google has taken over Blogger (hooray, Google=good Blogger=notsogood). I was one of the selected to switch my blogs over to the new Beta version of Blogger which includes some of the fun stuff one sees at the pay-for-blogging sites. Once switched over all was good, except Blogger no longer thought I had a blog, but supportively encouraged me to start one. Y'all, I've been holding my breath for about 24 hours pretending not to panic. Just this minute Blogger discovered that I do indeed have a blog and is allowing me to update. Whew!!

My Birthday Revisited

While in Lala-land last week, or Encino Adjacent as some call it, I was gifted by none other than Crazy Aunt Purl with this wonderful wooden hook, size "S". Isn't it super cool? Thank you Aunt Purl, you're so crazy!

It's Black, it's White, Shamon...

I received the B&W lasers for the Men Who Knit book. Um, hello? It's so exciting I can't stand it! I can barely talk about it. It's a book. A real-live book. And why haven't any of you told me I'm the co-author, and that the other author is knit-goddess, The Knitting Heretic herself, Annie Modesitt? Holy guacamole... if y'all were right here I'd make you pinch me. Seriously. Pinch me like I'm not wearing green undewear.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Almost Famous

Days 1-3

I arrived in Burbank after nine hours travelling from Houston (I was routed through Salt Lake City), and I was asked to go directly to the studio for rehearsal. My friends Amie & Pam (who appeared on the show with me) were flown into LAX and arrived about an hour later. (You can read about the experience from their point of view by clicking on their names.)

The SetOn the set

Stage OneSound-proof doors. I was authorized to enter!

The Magic Happening!When the light's on, the magic is happening!

Dressing Room at Screen Door EntertainmentWhen I arrived I had my own dressing room, but alas there was another group that needed a room as well, so I got to bunk with Amie & Pam. No worries, it was an 80's flashback (see Amie's blog) and I enjoyed the atmosphere.

I would love to share the details of the experience, and I have a lot of photos but they all have items that we demonstrated and I hate to spoil the surprise! This is for season 2 of Uncommon Threads and they are tentatively scheduled to begin airing in January. Once I know the exact days that my three episodes aire I will let you know. Woo hoo!

Day 4

On the last day of shooting (Friday) Laurie picked me up from the studio and we headed deep into The Valley. My flight wasn't until Sunday so we had just a few limited hours to catch up. The first thing we needed to do was get some dinner.

Drew & Laurie on the way to In & Out
So the obvious place to go? In & Out, of course!!

The Menu
We took it back to Laurie's famous back patio, opened some cava and chatted until the wee hours of the morning.

In & Out, it's what's for dinner...
The Sobakowa kept her laser eyes on us the entire time...

The SobaDay 5

Saturday morning (after about 3 hours sleep) we headed out to make the *coughShortDrivecough* to West Hollywood for the WeHo Stitch & Bitch that is held at the Farmer's Market. So. Much. Fun.

On the way to West HollywoodI love Laurie's Jeep in the summertime!

Almost there!Traffic was light while I was there.

WeHo S&B

At the group, there were about eleventy seven people behind me when I took this photo but for some reason I didn't turn around to take more. I don't like to make people uncomfortable by taking too many photos. If you want to see more photos of the good times a la Southern California, check out Laurie's blog entry for today. Good stuff! She even has video!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Snakes On A Plane

I received this wonderful handmade hook in the mail yesterday from Brian and Anne of Brainsbarn fame. Isn't it wonderful? It's made from Snakewood and is my favorite size - H! Woo hoo! I love it so much I'm taking it to sunny Burbank California tomorrow to use while on the set. (Did I tell you about the show I'm taping for DIY?) Anywho, I have two important deadlines right after I return from the trip so I'm planning to be crocheting the entire time I'm not needed in front of the camera.
*click for biggy view*




Monday, August 07, 2006

Flip Flops or Thong?

I just got back from the post office where I overnighted a package of swatches to SCYC V (or is it VI? I can't keep track anymore. I need a decoder ring, or a personal assistant.) Anywho, keep yer hooks crossed that what I swatched is what they want. I need a personal assistant with a crystal ball.

New Free Pattern

I have uploaded a new design to my free patterns page: Glass Flip Flops!

Crochet these coasters in multiple colors and everyone will know which beverage is theirs! And since the coaster stays with the glass, you'll avoid rings on the furniture (as well as drips). These make great party favors too!

Click the image to the left to get the pattern now!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Saturday Sky - August 5

I call this one "Partly Cloudy with Calico House"

Friday, August 04, 2006

Speedo or not to Speedo...

I didn't get the stack of swatches shipped out because of the step outs for the show. The swatch deadline was self-imposed, giving me and the editors at the various places a few weeks extra time. I don't like to get the swatches to them the day before the editorial deadline because although it would seem that my folder would be very fresh in their mind as they enter the decision making meeting that decides the future of the elite designers that someday I hope to become a member of, but my current strategy is to get the folders to them a little earlier so that they fall in love with my design first, before even considering everyone elses. Has it worked? Perhaps. Only time will tell.

I just spoke with the wonderful producer (such energy!) and we talked about the temp of the studio and she assured me that sometimes it's cold. When I said I was going to bring mock turtlenecks, etc, she reminded me that the clothes need to be seasonless. (??) I said "oh of course" as if I knew what that meant. No white shoes? No speedos?

Show Me The Yarn

I received another box of yarn this afternoon. This is for swatching and has to be swatched, a proposal written and overnighted back on Monday. Some deadlines are tighter than others.

if only Chandler could crochet, or had opposable thumbs

Thursday, August 03, 2006


If I don't sit still today and just work on these step-outs I don't think I'll be able to get finished before going to LA. The studio is still in the middle of the "renovation" and I haven't been to Ikea yet, so I don't have a work surface. This particular project needs the yarn to be on a surface right next to the project or a) the tension goes wonky and b) Chandler freaks out and can't resist attacking. I'm going to have to take over the dining room again until these step-outs are finished. Can you believe I actually contemplated doing them the night before taping at the motel they are putting me up in? Hi, I come from Crazytown, USA.

Spread The Love

My friend Ruth who came to my trunk show a few weeks ago wanted some more of my business cards so she wouldn't have to give away the one I gave her. And also my sister pimps me out whenever possible at yarns stores, etc. So, I was thinking a great way to supply my pimps (that could be you, don't be shy) with business cards would to be to make them available as a PDF download. Just print out a sheet of them, cut them out (sounds like a great summer project for your cub scout or girl scout group) and take them wherever you go. Download now and spread the love:

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

7 Days, 6 nights

As of this morning I have a stack of swatches in my new studio space that I need to get shipped out. The next step is to create the sketch of the idea, write up a description and cover letter to go with it. I have about 30 swatches to go to four different locations so I think the first thing I'll do is divide them into categories and go from there. My goal is to get them shipped out by this Friday so that I can totally focus on going to Lala-land.


Yes, next week is the taping of the DIY show. I thought about getting a haircut but since my barber has communication issues (and could possibly shave my head without my approval. It's very similar to Crazy Aunt Purl's relationship with her gardener.) I'm just going to creatively glue the hair into place with a clever cocktail of hair products (a talent developed during my high school years in the 80's). And despite the packet of info the producer sent me encouraging me to "treat myself to a manicure", I'm going to skip that too. C'mon, they'll be lucky if I don't say "fart" while taping. It's a dude thing.

I'm flying out to sunny Burbank, California and will spend two full days in the studio taping three episodes. I'm hoping they keep the studio freezing cold because I'm taking dark winter clothes with me to wear. I never figured out the key to losing 35 pounds in 7 days so now it's up to the magic of well-placed waistlines and clever color combinations to create the illusion of slimness. No wonder Oprah works out so much...

As Seen in the Backyard

I opened the blinds this morning in my bedroom and this is what I saw outside the window:
And since there were no lilies in that location last year I figured I should photograph them, in case they aren't there this afternoon. I like to prove that I'm nearly sane via digital photography.

Banana update

These just started blooming this week. They are a favorite with the migrating hummingbirds. Each fall a flock of hummingbirds stops in Houston for a two-week feeding frenzy then heads off on a non-stop flight across the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula where they spend the winter. If I were in charge of evolution (which I'm not, so don't worry too much about it) I would have these little birds land on top of a cruise ship departing Galveston Island and just relax for a few days until reaching the port of Cozumel. Wouldn't that be more fun?