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Crochet Dude

  • Little Black Dresses to Crochet or Knit

    I have a dressy occasion looming in the future, and rather than hitting the department store racks, I’m shopping in our Leisure Arts crochet or knit pattern books for the perfect little black dress. (You all know about that essential little black dress I’m sure. It’s a required well-dressed wardrobe staple…Mine needs to be replaced rather desperately…the grown daughter put a lot of mileage on it—playing dress up in her childhood days!)

    The Quintessential little black dress in the Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s Crochet It. Love It. Wear It! is one of my favorites. Love the elegant neckline, slightly off the shoulder look, and the waist would help hide a multitude of muffin-toppy sins!

    Shibaguyz Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby’s NYC Dress from Urban Edge really makes a crocheted statement. The use of classic crochet techniques in this visually stunning, fashion forward design is just way cool.

    I can totally see this Daring Decollete Dress from Lena Maikon’s Knits Extraordinaire transformed into the perfect little black dress. With its low-cut front (and even lower-cut back) it’s simple yet seductive. Perfect for very special evenings!

    And for perhaps a more simple and conservative little black dress option, this springy Peridot Dress from Deborah Newton’s Warm Weather Knits would also look lovely in black and very dressy with all its textured detailing! I was already contemplating adding it to my summer wardrobe anyway...

    And the search for the perfect crochet or knit little black dress continues…Did you see one you like? Oh, and just in case you’re interested, three of these books are available as digital download eBooks:

    Crochet It. Love It. Wear It!
    Urban Edge
    Warm Weather Knits

  • Crochet Baby Afghan Patterns for a Gift

    I’ve got to get out my crochet hook and get serious about picking out one of the many Leisure Arts baby afghan patterns that I love to crochet for a baby shower present for my daughter’s best friend. Decisions…decisions…Wanna help me pick?

    I really love this August baby afghan pattern by C.A. Riley. The mama-to-be that I’m crocheting for is planning a jungle theme for Baby’s room. It’s from our crochet pattern book—A Year of Baby Afghans Book 4:

    “Baby gifts are always so much fun to make, and this collection of 12 crocheted baby afghans is sure to have the perfect match for your little one. Baby afghans make great shower gifts, too. Pick your favorite or work your way through the year; you’ll be prepared no matter when the next shower pops up. And you know that new mommy will love you for it! This pattern book includes 12 wraps, from Easy to Experienced, using Light or Medium Weight yarn: Stripes for January; hearts and ribbons for February; flowers for March; rainbow squares for April; floral strips for May; patchwork for June; ripples for July; animals for August; an up-to-date granny for September; X kisses for October; tiered stitches for November; and shells for December.”

    The pretty ruffled edging on The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s Baby Comfort Blanket really catches my eye! This precious baby afghan pattern is from our crochet pattern book—Hug It Out:

    “Crocheted with love, a warm wrap or a plump teddy bear can be just the “hug” someone needs, says designer Drew Emborsky, The Crochet Dude. After losing his mother, he says, ‘The motion of stitching and working with yarn was the therapy I needed to find comfort as I grieved. Truly it is that if you want to find comfort, comfort someone else. Now I am so happy to have created a book of patterns with the intention of giving you the opportunity to help others in their time of need. Receiving a handmade gift from you can change someone's outlook completely.’ Drew’s nine designs include Mobius Cowl, Chemo Cap, Baby Comfort Blanket, Kennel Blanket, Baby Hat, Comfortghan, Prayer Shawl, Comfort Teddy, and Drawstring Bag. The book includes a contact list of national groups that distribute crocheted donations.”

    Granny squares are perfect for warm weather, take-it-anywhere crochet. Plus, the variety of designs in this baby afghan pattern wouldn’t let me get bored while crocheting this Baby Sampler Wrap from Melissa Leapman’s Hip 2 B Square Baby Wraps.

    Hip 2 B Square: Baby Wraps by Melissa Leapman presents endless possibilities for baby afghans featuring your choice of 15 interchangeable crochet squares. Five fresh wraps with 6 squares in lightweight yarn will inspire you! The squares in this and other Hip 2 B Square books work together beautifully when you use the same weight of yarn and the same size crochet hook. Five throws (Alternating Rib Wrap, Baby Sampler Wrap, Concentric Circles Wrap, Four Square Wrap, and Star and Eyelet Wrap) to crochet using one or more of 15 squares (Basketweave, Checkerboard, Chrysanthemum, Circles in the Square, Concentric Circles, Ribbed, Eyelet, Daisy, Diagonal Stripes, Lacy V-Stitch, Griddle Stitch, Crossed Stitch Stripes, Multicolored, Star, and Teardrops).”

    Simplicity combines with beauty when it comes to crocheting this Climbing Clusters baby afghan pattern. Thanks to those great 16-ounce yarn skeins that have hit the market, I could crochet any of the pretty baby crochet afghan patterns in Jean Leinhauser’s Crochet Baby Afghans By The Pound:

    “Just as babies’ weights are recorded for posterity, in Crochet Baby Afghans by the Pound by Jean Leinhauser, the amounts of yarn needed for all ten blankets is given in pounds—based upon the popular 16-ounce skeins now available. The designs offer plenty of variety, from delicate lace to thick textures, as well as light to bright colors. Afghans include: Rosy Outlook, Bright Popcorns, Minty Fresh, Summer Sunflowers, Blue Skies, Pink Princess, Climbing Clusters, Peppermint Twist, Red Roses for a Sweet Baby, and Lacy Circle.”

    If you’re a newbie to crochet or just a little overwhelmed by life like I am, you might pick Kay Meadors’ easy Twinkling White Baby Afghan from our 10-20-30 Minutes to Learn to Crochet pattern book:
    10-20-30 Minutes to Learn to Crochet makes it possible to learn a relaxing new hobby by taking advantage of little snippets of time throughout the day! Step-by-step instructions and expert advice guide you through the basics of crochet, for both right-handed and left-handed beginners. Then there are 9 fresh afghan patterns to put your skills to use: Dishcloth, Striped Scarf, Henrietta Hippo toy, Sweet Mary Janes and Manly Moccasins (baby booties), Twinkling White Baby Afghan, Textured V-Neck Pullover (ladies chest sizes 36 to 51), Building Blocks Quilt, and Mountains Afghan.”

    Of course, I could turn to an old standby baby afghan pattern that I’ve crocheted a dozen times before! Anne Halliday’s sweet Tender Hearts design from The Big Book of Baby Afghans is easy to crochet and always a hit with new mamas!

    “You’ll find 29 adorable designs to crochet in this big collection of baby afghan patterns! These patterns are classics from the Leisure Arts library, each one created by a popular designer. Choose the quiet elegance of lace or pick a burst of bright motifs. There are wavy panels and lovely pattern stitch afghans. All are perfect for baby shower gifts! Some of the larger designs would also make thoughtful first-birthday presents. Let the clear instructions and sweet photos inspire you to make a very special baby blanket for that wonderful little person in your life.”

    Which of these baby afghan patterns would you pick to crochet? Some are simple and others are for the more experienced crocheter. Some are from squares. All are very girly! And all of them are just perfect for my purpose! I can’t decide!!!
  • Crocheted Hats for Charity

    Hope you’re having a fabulous Sunday! It just dawned on me that I never shared the photo of all the hats I crocheted for charity in 2011! I may not have been as prolific as some of you master crocheters out here, but, for me, I think I did pretty good!
    Wanna take a little trip down crocheted memory lane with me?
    This Two Stitch Hat came from Bonnie Barker’s Noggins & Necks!
    These 3 little hats are from the Baby Hat pattern in The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s Hug It Out!
    Gotta love the Chinese Acrobat Hat from Shibaguyz Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby’s Heady Affairs!
    And my autumn-colored Basket Weave hat from Bonnie Barker’s Noggins & Necks!
    I was very pleased with this Eco Green Hat from Lisa Gentry’s Celebrity Slouchy Beanies to Crochet!
    This little green hat with the crocheted flower…
    …and these 5 baby hats (plus the blue one in the big picture) all came from one of my favorite pattern books—Teach a Group of Kids to Crochet by Kay Meadors!
    Cute & Cozy Caps by Lori Adams was the source for my little purple Ruffled Pillbox hat.
    Drew Emborsky, yet again, is responsible for the pattern for this Cabled Tam. It’s from his In All Caps little book!
    Did you knit or crochet any hats for charity last year? What have you got on the hook for 2012?
  • Day 7: Urban Edge Blog Tour

    It’s Day 7 of the Urban Edge Blog Tour! Join the party today with Drew Emborsky at! You might win a copy of Urban Edge!

    And since I’m sure you won’t want to miss a single day or a chance to win, here’s the schedule for the entire Tour:

    Urban Edge Tour Schedule (April 2-April 8)

    4/2 – Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby

    Shibaguyz Designz

    4/3 – Jocelyn Sass

    Cute Crochet Chat

    4/4 – Karen Ratto Whooley

    KRW Knitwear Studio

    4/5 – Laurie Wheeler

    Crochet Liberation Front

    4/6 – Kim Guzman

    Crochet Kim

    4/7 – Karrie Steinmetz

    Knit Purl Gurl

    4/8 – Drew Emborsky

    The Crochet Dude

    Be sure to visit each stop on the Tour this week to find out what our blog hosts have to share and for a chance to win a copy of Urban Edge!

    Of course, if you don’t want to wait to win, you can always get your very own copy of Urban Edge (print or download) right now from the good folks at Leisure Arts!

  • Giveaway Alert!

    Just thought I’d share! There are 3 different giveaways (that I know about) going on right now offering up cool Leisure Arts loot as prizes! Have you entered yet?

    1. Cute Crochet Chat (celebrating the art of crochet and all its creativity) has reviewed The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s new crochet pattern book—Hug It Out! and is giving away a copy of the same! Giveaway ends March 19!

    2. (free knitting patterns for happy stitching) is giving away: a Knook Beginner Set and 4 books:

    Baby Beanies

    Learn to Knook

    Simple Scarves

    Baby Blankets

    The giveaway ends March 22!

    3. Are you a Raveler? Then you’re qualified for this giveaway! The good folks over at Unraveled (news, events, & other notes from, are offering up a big book prize package: 25 lucky winners each win 26 books, and two of those books are from Leisure Arts—

    Storybook Dolls to Knit by Anita M. Wheeless

    Urban Edge by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby

    Giveaway ends March 23!

    And remember, if you don’t win, you can always get the product you’re coveting on Leisure!

  • 5 Ways to Celebrate National Crochet Month

    Did you know that March is National Crochet Month? We must celebrate! Even you non-crocheters could participate! Here are some ideas to get you started:
    1. Learn to Crochet!

    Pick up a copy of our best-selling I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting. It’ll teach you everything you need to know with instructions for both left- and right-handed stitchers!
    If you’re more of a visual learner, you need the DVD version of I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting. It’s even on sale.
    Spare time a scarce commodity in your world? Check out 10-20-30 Minutes to Learn to Crochet for learning in those little increments of time that you might actually find during the course of a day!
    2. Teach a Kid or Kids to Crochet!

    Teach a Group of Kids to Crochet is a great resource for teachers! Even if you’re teaching adults!
    Kids would love to have their own copy of Cool Stuff Teach Me to Crochet! It features projects that will really appeal to them!
    Or how about a DVD to get your kid interested in crocheting - The Art of Crochet for Kids? It’s on sale!
    3. Crochet for Charity!

    Take a look at The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s new crochet pattern book - Hug It Out! It’s got the perfect patterns to help you share your hugs with those in need!
    Have you been or do you want to be involved in the Prayer Shawl Movement? Crochet Prayer Shawls features projects by some of our favorite designers that are perfect to make for someone who needs to be wrapped in a little love!
    Vanna’s Choice Heartfelt Gifts is also a great resource for projects to knit and crochet for those in need!
    4. Challenge Yourself to Learn a New Crochet Stitch or even Stitches!
    I really love the best-selling 63 Easy-To-Crochet Pattern Stitches! How great would it be to learn 63 stitches and end up with an afghan?
    With another of our best-sellers, Learn to Crochet 24 Pattern Stitches, you learn 24 stitches and crochet 24 dishcloths - all at the same time! (Think about the great gifts you’ll already have made before it’s even time to start thinking about the holiday!)
    If you really want to be challenged, check of another of our on-sale DVDs - I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Cables Bobbles & Lace!

    5. Sit in the Sunshine, Celebrate Spring, and Share Your Love of Crochet with everyone around you!
  • Susan Travels to the Texas Art Asylum

    I’m traveling vicariously again…and this time I’m really jealous! I want to go to the Texas Art Asylum! They sell “cool stuff for creative reuse,” and our Leisure Arts VP of Editorial, Susan, was lucky enough to go there during a recent trip to Houston, Texas.

    Owners, Jennifer & Ramona, describe The Texas Art Asylum as…

    “Part craft store, part thrift store, part salvage yard, and part antique store, our inventory is collected from businesses, institution, and individuals who recognize that their materials are suitable for reuse, repurposing, or upcycling. In the right creative hands, many materials can live second or third useful lives. We offer these items for sale to artists, educators and crafters in search of high quality reclaimed materials. Our ever-changing inventory inspires creative reuse!”

    This really looks like my kind of place! Let’s take a little pictorial tour…

    First, just take it all in…

    Look at all that cool stuff…

    Where should I start?!!

    Of course, you can find the great basics that any good recycle shop should have…






    Brushes & Button Hooks

    You’ll also find Yarn & Fabric


    And Frames


    And Fun Foam

    But…mixed in with all those goodies…There are also…



    Body Parts

    And Eyeballs

    Plus a marvelous display of LittleBitties…(I love tiny treasures!)

    Wanna take a class?

    If you ever get to Houston, check the Classes at the Texas Art Asylum! How about—Learn to Make Sugar Skulls?

    In the meantime, take a look at the ReArt Gallery on their website at! Very cool!

    And before our tour is over, look who Susan ran into during her visit—It’s The Crochet Dude—designer Drew Emborsky with Ramona, one of the owners! Just imagine all that good stuff to get creative with and The Crochet Dude all in one place at the same time!

    Don’t you wanna go, too?

  • The Leisure Arts Booth At CHA!

    If you follow my blog or Leisure Arts Twitter and Facebook, you’ve heard a lot over the last few days about CHA (the Craft & Hobby Association tradeshow where we show off what’s new to retailers), and I thought you might like to have an insider’s look at our booth and some of the cool stuff that went on…

    That’s the banner over our booth (so you can find your way to us from anywhere on the tradeshow floor) plus an overall view of our booth.

    That’s Lindsay…She’s demoed our Knook Beginner Set for interested customers!

    Patti showed off projects from our Just Duct Tape It! book…She’s actually wearing a dress she made from duct tape!

    Check out The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky! He’s being interviewed by Michael Sellick from The Crochet Crowd during the book signing for his new crochet pattern book—Use Up That Yarn!

    Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby of Shibaguyz Designz also held a book signing for his fabulous new release—Urban Edge featuring 13 crocheted fashion designs!

    Here’s our big Knook poster…

    And then there are, of course, the books…lots and lots of books…

    New knit, crochet, & cross stitch! (That’s our general mechandise coordinator Wanda studying her files.)

    Chris Olsen’s Five Seasons, duct tape, & paper crafts…


    Cookbooks, kits, Christmas, and more! Oh, my!

  • Knit or Crochet Dog Warmers

    Happy Sunday One-And-All! I’m just sitting here (all wrapped up) on my back deck, drinking coffee, and watching the world go by (by “the world” I mean about half a dozen squirels, a couple of crows, and the neighbor’s dog)…

    The Cat who lives at my house isn’t pleased by any of this—my being outside or by the wildlife. He’s inside, we’re outside, and although he may be complaining rather stridently, his situation isn’t changing…it’s too cold for him out here!

    In fact, the neighbor’s dog looks pretty cold himself. And, of course, that leads me to contemplating the doggie coats and blankets that have shown up in the most recent Leisure Arts knit and crochet publications. Do you have a pooch that needs some knitted or crocheted TLC? Take a look—

    The Best of Knit Along With Debbie Macomber features Baxter’s Cozy Coat to knit in six sizes!

    Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Knitting-Revised offers up a Best-Dressed Dog Coat by Joanne Clark in medium size paired with a pattern for matching socks for the master (or mistress).

    Canine Comfort’s what it’s all about in this adorable doggie coat pattern from Everyday Crochet For All! In four sizes.

    Every dog loves a good blankie, and this one from Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet-Revised comes with a crocheted Weenie Dog Toy—both by Carolyn Christmas.

    And last, but not least, I really love this snuggly Kennel Blanket to crochet from Hug It Out by The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky! I think The Cat might even approve of this pattern (Drew does have cats himself, so I’m sure he consulted them on the design!).

    Speaking of The Cat, he’s gotten quiet. Guess he’s gone to tattle on me. Oh well, it really is too cold to be outside this morning…and I do need more coffee…

  • Use Up That Yarn!

    Hope everyone is having a glorious Monday! I am! Leisure Arts is closed today for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so I’m at home, playing with my yarn. (The yarn that the Love-Of-My-Life is beginning to be a little bit concerned about!) How many of you out there will admit to having a stash? Do you have yarn tucked away in the closet, under the bed, stacked on the dining table…

    You’re not alone! I’m right there with you…recklessly buying a skein or two here, another there, and it’s completely impossible for me to actually throw away even the smallest partial skein or ball…

    But never fear…The Crochet Dude himself, Drew Emborsky has come to our rescue with his newest crochet pattern book—Use Up That Yarn! This book is filled with 13 of the most wonderfully practical designs to crochet from the yarn you’ve got pack ratted away in your stash!

    The designs are a cute, fresh, and fun mix of home décor and fashion accessories, and being small, they’d be great take-along projects that you could work on anywhere! Check them out!

    Oval Bowl


    Scarf & Mittens

    Coffee Cup Sleeve

    Snow Scarf & Hat Set

    Teapot Cozy

    Table Runner

    Round Bowl


    Fingerless Gloves

    Water Bottle Sling

    Meet The Designer!
    Drew Emborsky became known as The Crochet Dude while working with a charity group after the passing of his mother. His time with the group eventually led to his popular blog, which led to the publication of his patterns and guest appearances on HGTV and DIY programs. Fans of the hit PBS show “Knit and Crochet Now!” know Drew as the program’s crochet expert. From a co-authored men’s knit fashion book to several crochet publications of his own, Drew’s design career continues to flourish. Drew lives in Houston, Texas, with his cats Chandler and Cleocatra. Catch up with him at and To see additional Leisure Arts books filled with Drew’s must-have projects, visit

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