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

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Drew-string Purses Published!!

I'm so happy to announce that my latest designs Two Drew-string Purses for Spring & Summer are now available! In this booklet you will get the patterns for both Spring Drew-string and Summer Drew-string!

Thank you to everyone that has been encouraging me on this project. I love the name that y'all came up with!! Enjoy!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Crochet Grilling

This is going on my third summer here in this house, with a yard, and no grill. Isn't that sad and well, un-dudely of me? Saturday afternoon it suddenly dawned on me that I needed a grill. Must. Have. Grill. And the next thing I know I'm stuffing a huge box into the backseat of my tiny Saturn. Thank goodness for the suicide door!

Sunday afternoon this is what my faux garage looked like:

The nice gentleman at HD offered to put the grill together for me, but I had to decline because put together? it would never fit in my backseat, and I didn't feel like towing a grill through Houston traffic. So after two hours and a half a box of wine... (er...did I say that out loud?) I ended up with this:

What to grill what to grill... hmm, so the only real choice for any Crochet Dude after he has slaved over 27 steps of directions in the 70 degree weather is to grill a turkey, a crocheted turkey that is!!

Mmmmm, thank you Lady Linoleum, the turkey was deeeelish!

Friday, March 24, 2006

You down with PPP?

That is, Purse Patterns Published y'all... keepin' it real, you know what I'm sayin'? Wow, I'm so street so early in the morning!

Anywho...two of my patterns have been published by Lion Brand Yarn just in time for spring! These two little purses are made with Microspun yarn (love it! it's a sport weight 6-ply acrylic that has such a great drape and feel, and the colors are so vivid!) And the best part? They have these patterns on their website now for free!! Woo hoo!

Lion Brand Microspun Tulip Purse
Microspun Daisy Purse
Of all the designs that I have done for different yarn companies over the last few months these are the first ones that I've actually seen published! I'm so stoked! Click (and scroll down to the children's section) to get the free patterns!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

And the winner is...

Summer Drew-string 21 % (69 votes)
Ribbed For Her Pleasure 14 % (47 votes)
Rib-a-licious 12 % (41 votes)
Summer Satchel 11 % (36 votes)
Ribster 5 % (19 votes)
Dibs on The Ribs 5 % (18 votes)
Twisted Ribbon 5 % (16 votes)
Ribaldry 4 % (13 votes)
Cheryl 4 % (13 votes)
Wild-n-ribbed 3 % (10 votes)
Ribbed Roar'n 3 % (10 votes)
Rib-o-rama 2 % (8 votes)
Ribeye Bag 2 % (8 votes)
Dave 2 % (7 votes)
Adam's Rib 1 % (4 votes)
Total votes 319

Thank you to everyone that nominated and voted to name this latest design. As soon as the pattern is available I will let you know! A special thanks to Lori for the winning nomination (she also came up with the name Chic on The Halfshell, I might add), and to my brother Don for the classy nomination that came in second place....

Talking Cats

Who can resist a talking cat?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The soon to be named pink purse that y'all are voting on has a sister now! I just finished up the second generation of this drawstring-with-handles bag and I'm very happy to report that it turned out as planned! Woo hoo! So look for a booklet soon with both of these bags in it. (You'll have to wait for the booklet to see them both!)

If you haven't voted yet for a name for the pink one, please do so soon! I set the poll to go until Thursday, but I don't know if that means that at midnight tonight the poll will end, or if it will go through midnight tomorrow night... I would hate for you to miss out on the all the fun... This second bag's name will be a play on whatever the pink one ends up being called.

So Close!

I'm so close to finishing the calendar patterns I can taste it. Wow, what an experience it has been, all good I might add! I've enjoyed getting back into the database world, believe it or not! Everything is very orderly there.

Cleo in charge...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


In order to get our book Men Who Knit and the Dogs Who Love Them into the trade catalogs at the beginning of the year Lark Books made a mock cover to use. Although this isn't the actual cover of the book as it will be at your local bookstore, it is still exciting to see!! It makes it seem much more tangible now!!

Purse Poll Continues

The poll to name that ribbly pink purse is still open. Look for the heading "New Poll" in the sidebar to the right, use the drop down menu to select the name you prefer, and hit "vote". This poll closes Thursday.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Commence Purse Namage!

A big "thank you" to everyone who nominated names for the pink purse I showed you on Friday. I have taken the suggestions (in no particular order) and created a poll. Here is the list.

Summer Drew-string
Dibs on The Ribs
Rib-eye Bag
Twisted Ribbon
Ribbed Roar'n
Adam's Rib
Ribbed For Her Pleasure
Summer Satchel

Cast your vote by using the poll that I set up in the sidebar. This will run until Thursday and I will announce the name of the purse on Friday!!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Nameless in Houston

So I woke up this morning with an image in my head and when that happens I usually need to materialize it in some way or it will drive me even more bonkers. I tried just sketching it but as I went about my morning chores I kept thinking about how to execute the design. Here is what I came up with:

And ironically, as with Chic on The Halfshell, the first try taught me a lot, but I didn't get the result that I wanted! ***The second generation of Chic turned out as I imagined (and totally different) and I ended up submitting the design for publication (haven't heard back, so that means that it's not officially rejected yet... woo hoo! Ya gotta celebrate the little things... anywho...)*** So now I think with the lessons learned from this purse I can execute the design as I orginally imagined it. Stay tuned.

Any ideas on what to name this one?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Knock It Off

Suede purse by The Crochet Dude(tm)
Here is a purse that recently I made for my sister Dawn. It's a Ferragamo knockoff that I designed for a yarn company back in January, I'll let you know when the pattern is available! I even lined it for her, ain't I a nice bro? It was my first time lining a bag and it was much simpler than I thought it would be. Just cut fabric to the shape of the purse and handstitch it to the crocheted part. No biggy at all!
Suede purse by The Crochet Dude(tm) - inside

I'll be shipping this out on Monday. Woo hoo! I have an order for another one for the college girl across the street that I hope to get finished this weekend too. You know, in my spare time...

The Little Crochet Dude and sister Dawn circa 1975

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Attitude of Gratitude

I remember what it felt like to work with computers for a living. I spent the average 6 out of 8 hours staring at a computer, moving data from here to there, running reports for some boss that was scarily close to my age, and dreaming about 5pm. Now as I spend my days toiling away at the 2007 Crochet Pattern-a-day Calendar that old feeling of it's-got-to-be-close-to-Miller-Time has come back full force, intertwined with the once familiar have-only-ten-minutes-gone-by? feeling.

Working on this project has made me appreciate and be very grateful for doing something that I enjoy for a living. While there are several professions that appeal to me, owning a plant nursery, or a bakery, or traveling, crochet is the one that seemed to be the right one. I know now that if the time comes that I have to go get an hourly job again I will be applying at the local nursery, and not Bosses-R-Younger Than You, Inc.


I recently switched electric companies to get a cheaper rate. I was convinced that by going with that OTHER company and signing up for 100% wind power that I would be protected from the upcoming price hikes. Wrong-o. Turns out they were charging me an even higher premium rate because somewhere in California they have a couple of wind machines that add a little bit of power to the grid. Anywho, I told you that to tell you this:

As a sign-on bonus I received a gift card to the mall. Now, I could use this gift card at any store at the mall. I could get some cool gadget for my iPod, or some new socks, or a PS2 game... but instead, because I have priorities, this is what I ended up with:
**scratch & sniff**

Monday, March 13, 2006

Hall of Fame Button

If you have sent me charity squares to benefit Heartmade Blessings I offer you this button to put on your blog. Everyone likes a button, right? And y'all deserve a little recognition; did you see how many squares I've received? (see sidebar for total)

DHL Strikes Again!

I received a package from DHL today, which is always exciting because that usually means it's from another country. There is nothing more exciting than receiving mail from a foreign, most likely exotic land. It could be cookies, or electronics, or cheese, or wool, or who knows what they have over there on the other side of the world!

It was, however, a rejection letter from the crochet encyclopedia - along with the garment that I had submitted for consideration. And you know what? Getting rejected (fulltime vocation for me it seems lately) just doesn't have the sting that one would think it would. Could be from the years of practice I had in high school (I was a geek long before I was a dude). I still have a box of rejection notes from back then. Oh well, perhaps it was careful preparation by the Universe to get me ready to launch my Dudepire (as Regina calls it).

Macro Garden

Here is a macro-shot of another plant that is blossoming in the garden. Very Georgia O'Keeffe, eh?

Friday, March 10, 2006

It's not a doll, it's an action figure!!

I received an email from the UK (well, not from the entire UK, it originated in the UK...anywho...) asking for more specific information about the dress I designed for my Mom's doll. (For those of you new to my blog you can read all about the doll by clicking this link here):

In January I submitted this photo of the doll for consideration to be included in a crochet encyclopedia that is being authored by Jan Eaton. I'm hoping the request for additional information means that it is going to be included! **keep yer hooks crossed**

Also when I brought the doll out to look at it closely (to provide the requested details) I discovered it was dirty. Filthy actually. I think Mom must have been leary of washing it because she didn't want to hurt it. I looked it over and didn't see any reason not to! So, I took a chance and threw the dress, petticoat and hat into the washer on the "handwash" cycle. And guess what? It came out clean and as good as new! Whew!!

An interesting discovery that I had totally forgotten was that the petticoat was worked as a separate piece:

Memory Ghan

As long as we're on the subject of past projects (we were, weren't we?) I was emailing my sister the other day and we were discussing what may have been the earliest items that I crocheted (she's a couple of years older than me so has a clearer image of it all). We decided it was a potholder. Believe it or not, that's not the point....(can you tell I'm caffeine free so far today?) Anywho, I told you all that to tell you this:

When I was in high school Mom suggested that I make an afghan using up the scrap yarn she had been collecting for eleventy-seven years. I made granny 'squares' using all different shapes, then joined them together.

What's cool now is to look at the squares and remember the original project that was made with the yarn. It's nuthin' fancy, but I consider it a family heirloom.


The flowers from yesterday were: Hibiscus, Ranunculus, Rose, Azalea, Rose, Gerbera Daisies, Oregano, and Begonias.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I Feel Whipped... so to speak....

Yesterday, besides feeling fantastic after Regina's interview was published (thanks to everyone that emailed me and left comments both here and at Whip Up) I spent the majority of my time working on the patterns for the 2007 Crochet Pattern A Day calendar. It's fun to see so many familiar names that I see around the 'Net! Unfortunately I don't have a photo to illustrate my work. Picture this: Me. A database. A cat. A gallon of coffee (yes, I'm readdicted...). An iPod on random play.

The State of the Garden

I thought I would be nice to those of you on dialup and create a montage of the photos I took yesterday in my backyard (instead of having eleventy-seven photos posted). Plus, hey look, I Photoshopped multiple photos into a montage! Woo hoo!

*click photo for biggy view*

Now, can you name the flowers in each photo starting in the upper left-hand corner and going clockwise? There are 6 photos, and no prizes. Just the pride of knowing your flowers.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Whip It Good

Her Fabulousness The Ladylinoleum published an interview that we had recently on the supercool website WhipUp.net and I'd like to welcome all my new friends that are visiting here for the first time after reading the article. In case you are one of the few people that haven't discovered Whip Up yet, here is how the founder Kathreen describes it's purpose:

"This website has been created in order to bring the best original and exciting crafts to the attention of many. To create a community of artists, crafters and makers and share ideas in a central space.

Whip up is a multi author site with contributors from around the world united by a passion for making things, for beautiful design and for a desire to share ideas with others."

If you haven't read the interview yet check it out:

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Professional Frogger

I read somewhere that the key to being a successful crochet designer is the ability to rip projects out. Now at first that seemed counter-intuitive! Wouldn't it make more sense that a designer would be more successful if there was more hooking and less ripping? It becomes clear very quickly that if you want your design to be good enough to sell, then it has to be perfect. And the only way to achieve that level of professionalism is to be able (mentally) to rip out as much as needed (even if it's all the way back to the beginning) to get it completely right.

Apologies right now to anyone that has received a crocheted gift from me over the years. Y'all, some say it's bad luck to give perfect gifts. And I'm sticking to that reasoning.

Anywho, I spent a few hours on the dress for Super Cool Crochet Magazine last night and wowzy, it was looking great. I looooove it. Sliced bread? It aint got nothing on this design! This morning upon further (sober) inspection I found that I had the dress form set to a size two sizes too big and no matter how much I beg the designgods that are watching over me, the way the dress was worked just will not work.

Rippit. Rippit. Rippit.....


I received several emails yesterday saying that the closeup shot of the azalea in my backyard would make great greeting cards. Sooo, because I'm not one to argue, and I have a small vein of the disease to please (and lawdy don't tell Oprah....she'll go all, well, all Oprah on my sorry butt).... I have created some greeting cards and other stuff with that image on them now in my Cafepress store:

Monday, March 06, 2006

Spring Break!

Well, not really spring break as in "Dudes Gone Wild", but thought I'd take a "break" from crochet content to share some "spring" photos....(cheesy I know...crochet content to follow).

*all photos clickable*
This is the view from my laundry room. Azaleas seem to do well around here. That one by the gazebo is so neglected yet it manages to put on this wonderful show each spring.

close-up of azalea

Fun with squirrels!!
This corn cob squirrel feeder rotates like a carousel when they try to get to the food. It's fun to watch and don't fret, they eventually figure out how to get to the food. It's like rodent Twister! Notice how the grass is starting to get green! Woo hoo!!

Yarn Arrived!

The yarn just arrived a few minutes ago for the design that Super Cool Crochet Magazine has decided to use. How much fun is that? I love getting boxes of yarn and going crazy with them! (Apparently I've chosen the correct professian. Try getting crazy with a box of yarn in your office cubicle and you get a reputation. I'm just saying.)

Crochet A Day 2007

I'm this close [ ] to finishing editing the first batch of crochet patterns that I was sent. Wow, kudos to anyone that does editing for a living! I admire you more than ever, and I hereby promise to always create patterns that make sense before sending them to you. Heretofore and a priori fiberi. Amen.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

It's all about YOU!

I want to dedicate today's post to celebrating you, the wonderful people that have been making squares for Heartmade Blessings to be included in comfortghans. Today I received 90 squares.

That's nine - zero!!

I had to make two trips to the car from the post office! What a great problem to have. You have responded in such a huge way and I am proud to know that people like YOU read my blog.

Did I tell you I got 90 squares today? Oh, and that makes the total received so far 164! Y'all that's enough for over 16 comfortghans. The first 74 squares that I received have been distributed to assemblers already and will be comforting people within a matter of weeks.

I'm so proud of you all!!!

If you want to send squares and get your name listed in the Hall of Fame in my sidebar check out the guidelines here:

Guidelines for Comfortghan Squares - Bust Yer Stash!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Am I Bluuuueoo-oo-ooooo

Despite the relatively blecky weather we've been having in Houston I have managed to make some progress on the house painting, with one more side and the faux garage finished now.

I also mowed the yard yesterday for the first time this year (not shown in photo) and fertilized it. It's just starting to green up! I love spring, don't you? I have flats of seedlings that are ready to be transplanted: tomatoes, watermelon, peppers etc. There are at least 30 robins in trees out front right now and some finches getting ready to nest again in the awning outside the backdoor. I always put out a big pile of yarn scraps for them to use for nesting. More photos soon!

Super Cool Yarn Co. II

I got a call from SCYC II yesterday asking me to design a couple of Easter purses for little girls. The yarn should arrived today, and I need to ship them out Friday at the latest. I'm still amazed at the dizzying speed that this industry functions at. It's exciting though!!

Super Cool Crochet Magazine

The editor received all ten swatches for the design of mine they want to use and seemed genuinely pleased with my sending so many to choose from. Now with yarn chosen all I can do is wait for it to arrive. I'm interested to see if there is a big difference between the process of designing for a magazine or for a yarn company. I already know that the deadline is this summer so that's a big difference already! The yarn companies so far have needed it "yesterday" (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Spring Fever

Okay, it's sunny and 80 degrees out, the birds are singing, there is a nice breeze off the Gulf and it's all making it very hard to be inside working! Over the winter a thunderstorm fried my router booster, so I don't have enough range to take my laptop out to the gazebo to work. I think I'm going to rearrange my day and do some non-computer related work outside!!! (which may or may not be interpreted as taking a nap on the backyard lawn.)