Saturday, September 25, 2010

Celebrating Drew Emborsky, The Crochet Dude (r)

Today's post might normally be a book review (because I get to be part of a blog tour event this month), except that my reaction to Drew's new book Crochet It. Love It. Wear It! goes beyond the usual bounds of book reviewing! So I'm just going to lay it all out there. I get to build on what other bloggers have already said over the past few weeks.
 
Laurie Wheeler, me, Drew, Portland OR 2008
Drew is a dear friend and is one of the amazing people I've gotten to know while being a part of today's crochet world, and why I feel so lucky to be designing. We would be good friends even if neither of us crocheted, but then how would we have met? (photo was taken when his previous book, Crochet Dude's Designs for Guys, had just come out)

I toasted Drew the day Crochet It. Love It. Wear It! arrived in the mail. I remember when he talked about the process of choosing a book title for it that will pull him forward like a beacon through the long solitary process of hammering out that final book draft. It was once just a great idea and now I hold it in my hands.
 
As a fellow designer I love to see how Drew explores crochet stitch textures for fashion. It's interesting what he said about this over at Marty's blog stop a few days ago. He gives post stitches a new language and this makes them fresh for me (not an easy feat--I'm one of those "seen it all" crocheters--and there are so many of us....). 
 
 A perfect example is "Investing": check out how he used the post stitch texture as a fashion fabric. Also in "Hesperas" and the texture-virtuosic "Budapest Nights," both of them getting raves on many other blogs. (Clicking on these links go to Drew's Flickr set where you can enlarge the photos much more.) 

A few bloggers mentioned being a bit nervous about learning post stitches; I hope that newer crocheters will just jump in and use Drew's book as an opportunity to try them. Some crocheters find them to be easier than regular stitches. This is my favorite Drew quote from Stefanie's blog: "I want the crafter's experience to be fun and enjoyable from beginning to end. Let me do the hard part and figure it all out, you just relax with your project and enjoy yourself." 
All right, I'm ready to address the Matter of the "Vashti" Skirt. Drew went and named one of the designs in this book after me. It's not a coincidence, he comes right out and says it, and frankly, it's like getting a spectacular valentine. Especially because it's awfully pretty! It's made of linen, one of my fav fibers! I wear that color a lot! Enough about me except to say that it's awesome to have a design named after you and I can recommend it with no hesitation. None.

One more thing about the skirt though. It's constructed in long strips, and the seams are the airiest laciest part of the design. Isn't that cool? This skirt is full of crocheted seams, people. Who thinks of seams as ethereal? Check out the enchanting thing these seams do at the bottom hem.
If you've read this far, you deserve a secret clue, so today's mystery word is lacy seams.