Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Crochet Dude(r) and me

I met the Crochet Dude(r) at a CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) Chain Link conference in 2006. It was the first one he attended, and he didn't know many people. I knew who he was, though. I was the Professional Development Chairperson, he was an Associate Professional member, and I had been reading his blog on-line. We started talking, and we've been talking ever since. In just a few years, he has developed into "The Dude" of crochet – everyone is talking -about his designs, his professionalism, his product line, his pattern books, his cats, his cooking, etc.,etc., etc. You can't miss his publications – they're in bookstores, craft stores, yarn stores, and, of course, on Amazon. You can check out his new book, Crochet It, Love It, Wear It! here.
Even though we talk a lot whenever we see each other at Chain Links and TNNA events, we don't always talk crochet. (Don't ask what we do talk about!) And I've always wanted to find out more about Drew and crochet, what got him started designing, who or what influenced his career, and all those other deep questions that good friends don't usually talk about – and when he asked me to participate in this Blog Tour, I thought it would be a good opportunity to do so. So here are my questions, and his answers:


1. You were a Fine Arts major in college. Did that experience in any way influence or affect your decision to pursue a career as a Crochet designer?

It didn’t really affect my decision to become a designer, but it has affected how I approach my designs. Composition, color theory, muscle & bone structure, all the things that I studied in college come into play when I am designing.

2. You lived in Mexico for a while. Did that experience in any way influence your decision to pursue a career as a Crochet designer?

Living in Guadalajara all those years affected me deeply, and completely changed how I view the world, my family, and my friends. I take care of myself better, I have more compassion for others, and I enjoy every moment of my life. Somehow that must have influenced my becoming a designer.

3. When did you realize that being a Crochet designer was the career path you wanted to pursue? How did you go about it?

It sort of crept up on me. I had been crocheting for charity and someone in the group encouraged me to submit to a calendar for publication some afghan square designs that I had come up with just for fun. To my amazement the designs were published and I launched my blog to journal about breaking into the industry.

4. Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you? How do you keep your designs "fresh"?

I suppose it depends on what I am designing. For garments I look to the fashion trends and what I like to see people wearing. For home décor I look to architecture and nature for inspiration. I think my ideas stay fresh because once a design is set free from my studio I let it go. I know that there are infinite designs inside me just waiting to come out and I always look forward.

5. What was the inspiration for your book "Crochet It. Love It. Wear It!"?

My previous book, Designs for Guys, was as the title suggests, all stuff for dudes. I knew that this time I wanted to do one for the ladies. My inspiration came from lots of sources, my sisters, my late mother, and my friends.

6. Designers often have a "niche" – something (technique, design, yarn, etc.) that they are known for. What is your "niche"? What would you like to be your "niche"?

I don’t know if I’m known for it yet, but a common denominator in my designs is the texture of the fabric that I am creating. I rely heavily on post stitches to achieve maximum texture. I think in retrospect someday I’ll be known for textures.

7. What is the most intriguing thing about your Crochet design career?

The most intriguing thing for me is that I can run a complex design business out of a studio in my home. The latest technology has made it relatively simple to do and I find that fascinating.

8. What, if anything, do you crochet for yourself? What is your favorite type of: Pattern? Stitch? Technique?

I really don’t ever crochet for myself, I just don’t have the time. All my crochet time is dedicated to new designs. I don’t mind though, the design process is so fulfilling for me that I get the best of both worlds every day: the pleasure of crocheting and the stimulation of designing.

9. You've done so much with Crochet – designing, teaching, teaching on a cruise, TV show, branded crochet tools and accessories, just to name a few. What are your future plans (that you can share with us)?

The sky is the limit at this point. I’m continuing to expand upon what I have built so far and I like that it is growing organically. There is plenty of time to do so much more and I’m happily paying my dues and having the time of my life.

10. What words of wisdom do you have for other Crochet designers?
What words of wisdom do you have for other Crocheters?

For designers I would say let go and be free. Don’t worry or fuss about what you’ve already designed. Only move forward and trust that you will always be able to come up with new ideas whenever you need them.

For crocheters I would say challenge yourself and try patterns that you might not think you could do. You might surprise yourself and discover that you are an even better crocheter than you had once thought.

There was one more question that I had to ask him:
11. When are you going to name a design after me? I want my turn!
The Dude said: I've already answered that question in another interview!

Hmph! So now I guess I have to read all the other blogs on the blog tour to find the answer! In between drooling over the designs in his new book, and trying to figure out what yarn I'm going to use for my favorite one! (It's the one called Laurie.)

Check out his book, and all of Drew's other books and tools and gadgets and stuff. You'll be glad you did. You can find all this info on his blog:
the Crochet Dude(r)

And, you can buy it here.

The Dude posted this picture of us on his blog today - I had to repost it here!
I made the crocheted glasses at one of his "make and takes" (to make a necklace - I repurposed the materials)!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Crochet Dude will be here Sunday, September 19, 2010

If you want to find out about The Crochet Dude (r) and his new book, I'll be blogging and posting about him and it on Sunday, September 19, 2010. Well, I may post late Saturday night, Eastern Daylight Time, so check the blog then. Until then, read the other blogs that have posted on the blog tour. Find out about them on the Dude's blog. And get to know all sides of the Dude!