Crochet Friendly!? 29


As I look over our crochet friendly pages, I’m thinking we are wanting for a bit more in the way of specifics. I see that some companies are trying to give us more patterns, and products. There are even some notoriously unfriendly events attempting to bridge that great divide that leaves crochet out in the cold. I think we can help them with a bit more information. So, in the interest of crochet our latest poll is on what makes “crochet friendly” really “crochet friendly.”

I once described an event to someone as follows, “Well, it was crochet friendly in the sense of they didn’t beat us or make us wear hairshirts. We were tolerated.” That my friends is a bit sad if it’s what it takes for us to call something crochet friendly.

So without further ado, let’s hear from YOU and see what you have to say! After you’re done filling out the survey if you have anything you’d like to add, just leave a comment for all to see!

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About Laurie A. Wheeler

Laurie A. Wheeler is a blogger, crochet addict, yarn designer and champion for independant artisans and crafters. She is also known as Fearless Leader of the Crochet Liberation Front.


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29 thoughts on “Crochet Friendly!?

  • Reply
    Kat

    Your questions were great, they got me to thinking about how I would actually put into words what feels “crochet friendly” to me. I would like to add one more question to the questionaire: If you have not attended an event, was it because, a) there has never been one offered near you for you to attend, b)because the marketing for the event was so heavily leaning towards other crafts that you were not sure there was going to be enough of interest to you as a crocheter to make it worth going? c)did the reputation of the event from the past give you the impression you would not find enough crochet centered information or products to make it worth attending?

    I live outside Atlanta, and there have been events here that I could have gone to, but the marketing seemed so heavily slanted towards knitting, that I decided that there probably was not enough crochet centered elements to the event to make driving down town, fighting traffic, paying for parking as well as for entrance to the even worth all the trouble.

    • Reply
      Carmel

      I agree, I live outside Atlanta too. Last year the event had 4 classes I was interested in, but I could not go because of schedule conflict. This year, there’s only 2. Apparently we were deemed unworthy of even 4 classes out of 30-ish offerings total. This is the only local event for me, and my best shot as getting to take classes. :(

      I am VERY glad the CGOA will be in NC this year, and hope for an opportunity to attend, but the transportation and room costs will probably put it out of reach for me.

    • Reply
      Katrina

      I am so tired of trying to find patterns for toddlers and teens. I love crocheting for my grandkids but the pattern base is so limited – the granddaughters usually end up with the same sweater but different colors and so do the boys. It’s very disappointing. I even worked for one of the major “craft” stores and I even had to fight with the store manager to increase the yarn supply, we we’re located in a mall with the next closes store approx. 10 miles away and a Senior Living Center practically right out our back door!

      Now a days unless you go to a specialty yarn store or order online, the selections in the crafting departments are so limited; and heaven knows, ordering from either of the before mention places is expensive because they can’t buy in bulk.

      I would really like to see more patterns and in various sizes, even for adults the patterns are limited.

      Thanks for listening.

  • Reply
    Annette

    Just one clarification on my responses: I expect companies and shops to provide well-made crochet patterns and supplies, but I don’t think it’s necessary for them to be in the same quantity as other crafts if their customer base is not 50% crochet.

    • Reply
      Anne

      Those are some of the questions I didn’t agree with in the survey. The fact is there are fewer crocheters than knitters, so why would we expect a company to provide 50:50 crochet to knitting patterns, classes, events, etc.? It would be nice if crochet information, samples, patterns, classes at least are in proportion to the number of crocheters – that would be plenty to expect from a business or store. After all, they are in business to earn a living, and they need to market to their customers in a way that makes sense. Of course there are companies who don’t seem to realize the number of their customers who are crocheters. Nicely reminding them of some things they could do to market to the crochet segment of their customer base would be a great idea.

      • Reply
        Fearless Leader Post author

        Actually, the fact is there is not more knitters than crocheters. The fact is there is a different approach to market. On the ground level I meet more people in the general public who crochet or have crocheted than who knit. On the ground the crocheters have less awareness about exotic and natural fibers than do the knitters, because that education has not happened in the market. There is a concerted effort in the yarn industry to make knitters aware of fiber, yarn, and techniques, there is not the same drive to bring this to crochet because of outdated information and stereotypes.

        The statistics put out by the TNNA are skewed and flawed, because when they poll their retail members (LYSes) those folks in general only meet those who do knit, many a crocheter will not even announce that they crochet when they go to an LYS because of prior negative experiences. That has shown in poll after poll.. If you look at the “big box” brands there are equal numbers of patterns? Why is that? Because they sell, there is more marketing to crocheters in that direction and so guess what yarn gets purchased.

        Now that being said, a business has the right to target their market, but if they will not supply product they can’t expect customers. 20 years ago there were not the same number of LYSes in the USA that there are today, knitting was less popular than it is now, they made a market and VOILA look at it now! It’s awesome! I think the same can be done for crochet ;D

  • Reply
    nwfairy

    I feel like ‘crochet friendly’ is almost too broad a term

    Because I have gone to places that have the sticker that say ‘crochet friendly ‘ which like your friend said I wasn’t sneered at, but it wasn’t like I was welcome with open arms. But then there are places that I have been welcome with open arms and I brag about those places all the time, maybe we need more specfic terms or something

  • Reply
    robynlicious

    A Crochet Friendly yarn company has a fair number of quality crochet patterns. They do not claim that there aren’t enough crochet designers submitting patterns. That is an excuse: it is their job to actively seek out designers. Their newsletters feature equal crochet content. If they have a crochet-specific newsletter that is a special to opt-in, the kntting newsletter is designated as “knitting”, not as a “generic” newsletter.

    For a shop to be Crochet Friendly, I think your answers underestimate our needs. I do not feel like a store is truly Crochet Friendly unless: 1) the staff sneers at the very idea of knitters looking down on crochet(ers), 2) the owner can crochet above an intermediate level, 3) *all* staff members know how to crochet, or at least enough to help customers, even if their main craft is knitting.

    As to publishers, I’m sick of new magazines/programs/websites/books that claim to be craft inclusive, but are given names like “Knitting Daily” or “KnitSpin” (Interweave, I’m looking at you). To create an inclusive publication, “Knit” should not be the title unless includes “Crochet”, preferably listed in alphabetical order. Better yet, give it a craft neutral name.

    • Reply
      GreenWoman

      I so agree on the knit-centric language. That just irritates the heck out of me. It’s one of the things that bothers me the most about LYS’s. I’ve never had anyone at an LYS be rude to me or sneer at crochet (at least visibly). They have enough manners and/or business sense to at least be polite. But all the language is knit-centric – the stores have knit-centric names, the social evening is Knit Night, we’re invited to knit items for charity, etc. etc. Language is important, people! If it’s not inclusive, people will feel left out. I go in those shops, and while I don’t feel unwelcome, I do feel just a bit ignored. I want to jump up and down and wave my arms, and say, “Hey! Remember us crocheters?! We buy yarn too especially if you make us feel like you really want us here!”

  • Reply
    Karen

    Kat good questions i go with B and C.
    My comments…
    Yarn Co.– add crochet recommendations to the label, i’m always converting the knit stitches to crochet in my head, ie: Lion Brands labels are great.
    Publishers– If crochet is in the title make it equal patterns, i now make a point of going through the knit sections at the book stores and libraries because these books are always filed with the knits.
    Events– I understand that crocheters have to attend the classes to encourage more, so we won’t have equal amounts until we start doing that.
    Stores—I don’t think stores have to offer classes of equal measure but at least offer beginner (the basic), Intermediate (inc,dec etc) advanced (techniques, working colors, garments) several times a year or all three once a season.
    What I do if a store is not crochet friendly— I politely share my enthusiasm, maybe with some teasing, for crochet and encourage them to think about us, again (we’ve grown since the 70′s) give the shop a few visits before I write them off.

  • Reply
    Deb

    About events: The only events I have attended are wool festivals. (Estes Park, CO Wool Festival mainly) I’ve enjoyed them immensely and bought some great yarn. There are classes offered that take place prior to the main market days, but all the classes are knitting classes, so I have never participated in the classes. All the people I talked to at these events are helpful and nice and no one said anything negative to me about crochet. If they offered classes in crochet, I would take some.

    • Reply
      Anna Hulse

      Deb – Have you heard about DFW Fiber Fest (dfwfiberfest.org)? We’re down in Dallas/Ft. Worth, and we have three days of crochet classes during out event, from three different teachers – Mary Beth Temple, Robyn Chachula, and Linda Permann. We try very hard to have equal crochet class offerings. We’ll also have over 25 regionally local yarn and fiber vendors this year – our biggest vendor market yet!

  • Reply
    WarpF1

    First, I am not a bi-stichual. I do not know how to knit, nor do I the attention span required to learn. So why should I pick a up a book or go to a web site, event, or store (aka “place”) that is called Knit______? I live in a capital city. There are other locations that will just as well take my money. When they named their “place,” they did not think about individuals like me that only crochet. So why should I think about them now?

    • Reply
      Fearless Leader Post author

      I do agree to some extent, I think crating neutral names are best, but my local yarn store named her shop after her business of knitting commissions. She loves baseball too…but she is non discriminatory…I teach there, I hassle her about the name still though :D

  • Reply
    Rebecca aka InStitches52

    I’ve not attended an event yet. The only one in my area I’ve been aware of is marketed as a knitted sock event. There was nary a word about crocheting so it was hard to get excited. I guess I could have gone for the yarn, but it would be a lot more fun if I could see what I could create with crochet.

    • Reply
      Fearless Leader Post author

      Are you speaking of Sock Summit? It’s very knit centric, but the last one was not unwelcoming of the hooks. There were a few crochet classes, but they do not market to crocheters. I went, it had a very tasty vendors market, and I was surprised at the lack of anti-crochet sentiment, that being said, crocheters make socks too :D And it’s really short sighted not to include crochet in the verbiage used in marketing the event.

  • Reply
    Ella

    I live in Nashville, TN and recently I thought I had found a LYS on my side of town. I was certainly disappointed when I found out they only carry knitting & needlepoint products! I had no idea knitting and needlepoint were related! :( So I am left to drive 36 miles roundtrip to Joann’s to get what I need!

    • Reply
      Fearless Leader Post author

      Oh Ella, I’m so sorry! How very sad for you! And just think about how they lost not just A sale, but repeated sales. Not a good business plan in my book!

  • Reply
    SheCrochets

    I attended Stitches East this past October in CT. I drove 4-5 hours to get there and was really excited to take a couple market day sessions. They were designed for people who had far more knit knowledge than I. And when I told people I was a crocheter, not a knitter, responses were mixed but generally along the “Oh. One of THOSE” lines. Uncomfortable indeed. Aside from which, when I mentioned that crocheters loved fiber as much as knitters, I was told that it “wasn’t always that way” and that “most” crocheters only want to work in acrylic. I couldn’t wait to go home. I did end up with some beautiful yarn, but I won’t attend a knitting event again.

    • Reply
      Fearless Leader Post author

      Oh man! That’s awful! AND HOW DARE THEY! What do THEY know about crochet! How can they PRESUME to know about something they may or may not have dabbled in! *Shaking Head* and that is why I started the CLF…because I know it isn’t true, there are partial truths, but not whole truths…Who touches cashmere and says ew? Seriously!

      • Reply
        SheCrochets

        LOL!! I love you for this blog and website. I was at Stitches to learn to knit socks and lace, at which I was a failure. On both counts. So ok, I’m a cricheter, always have been, always will be, and I’m d@mn prooud of that. But the Stitches market was also mostly geared toward knitters. I didn’t see much crocheted apparel – in fact, I don’t recall seeing ANY. I couldn’t find hooks for sale, and well – the yarn was just yummy, so I came home with TONS that I can’t wait to CROCHET with!!

        OH – the Mother Bear Project was the one majorly crochet-friendly booth, and I came home with a bear to make for them. They were lovely ladies and made me feel less like a crocheter in a knitter’s world. Love to them!

  • Reply
    Bluegoosefarms

    I have seen stores try to turn crocheters into knitters when a customer comes into a store. Some people need to educate themselves and be more aware. I do not knit at all but I know that if worked in a Yarn Store…I better learn something about it so I may be as useful as possible to that store and customers. I have recently discovered on my own (no advertising seen) about the Dallas/Fort Worth Fiber Festival… would love to go there and meet all of those crocheters. Not knowing about it I commited myself to a Spinning Workshop. I want to step up my “crochet game” so to speak but I really have nowhere to turn other than finding patterns on Ravelry and figuring things out and going from there. I have no problems buying books and learning things, I have greatly expanded my Crochet Library but I need more. I am going to get the Crochet Master Class because with all of those wonderful techniques out there it is important for all crocheters to have that in their collection. There is so much out there and so much to learn! I love hearing “wow, you make me want to learn how to crochet…or pick up my hook again”. My absolute favorite is when I submitted a scarf into the fair and all of the ladies were sad because it was crocheted…and they couldn’t make it 8) made my day.

  • Reply
    Diana

    Hi
    I have had the opportunity (due to an inheritance) to open my own LYS, I am primarily a crocheter and I was fed up with not being able to go into a yarn shop and find crochet hooks or books. Also the lack of interest shown in shows to promote crochet.
    The name of my shop – The Crochet Chain, now I have had to be knit friendly too, so I run a Stich Night, and a Chain n Chatter/Knit n Natter group. I also am running an Absolute Beginners 5 week course, which was over subscribed and I will have to repeat as much as I can. I also intend to run knitting courses and intermediate/advanced Crochet courses.
    I have had knitters come in to the shop and say – oh you sell wool (Blindingly obvious when you step in the door!) so presumably thinking that a crochet shop would only have ….? not sure what they expected – my logo is a big ball of wool too!!!
    When I speak to all the yarn reps they absolutely know that I have a passion for crochet – I have even shown them how to crochet some of their fancy yarns, I push and push and will continue to push for crochet patterns. Rowan have a magazine that has some crochet patterns, but too few to make it worth crocheters while to buy.
    The yarn companies have a lot to answer for. They offer samples of garments to put in the windows – all knit. My window is full of crocheted items, but it is hellish hard work to make everything myself (and I could get others to do it, but they would need paying)
    I will be exhibiting at the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally in London this year, as last year there was no stall dedicated to crochet alone – and not even a decent range of hooks!
    I guess I have vented a bit here, I think that the CLF is great and I love to be involved, but it is hard work to convince people that the demand is out there :o)

    • Reply
      Blaadyblah

      Awesome, beginning to wish I was in Essex!

      I do visit occasionally though so could always drop in when I’m next in the area. Maybe it will take off and you’ll be able to run it as a franchise so I can have a branch down here in sleepy Sussex. :)

  • Reply
    AbbyNormal

    One more thing I would like to see in terms of crochet friendly is for crochet to be recognized as it’s own craft and not just something used as an edging on knit items. True, I’m happy that they’re willing to pick up the hook for any reason, but there are so many things that can be done with crochet on its own. Why does it have to be treated as a minor component of a knitted piece? Along those same lines, crochet hooks that are actually used for crocheting and not just for picking up stitches.

  • Reply
    Joyce

    I teach crochet classes for JoAnn Fabric & Crafts. There is not a lot available in the area where I live, but I do try to make the classes fun and enthusiastic. I try to share my love of crochet with the students and encourage them to run with it. I point them to the yarn companies online because there really is quite a lot available for crocheters there. My nearest LYS has been informed that I am available if they need a teacher, but I think they pretty much cater to knitters.