After reading several articles, listening to a few pod-casts, reading tweets till my eyeballs want to pop out, and then running into two former students in a local coffee shop and helping them fix the crocheted baby hats they were working on (I’ll get to the specifics in a minute) and then subsequently banging my head on my desk and wanting to shake something that’s cute and fuzzy, I’ve decided to write a blog post.
Sigh…I will do this again…how many posts is it now? (I should do a search on my blog for how many posts I’ve written on this subject. God I hate repeating myself.) Fearless is going to rant.
YARN COMPANIES LISTEN UP!
You don’t mean to, I know it’s not malice, because frankly why would you discriminate based on a craft? I mean that would be silly right? You don’t mean to sound patronizing, you don’t mean to sound like you are talking down to us, you don’t mean to make our collective blood pressure rise. You don’t mean to give out outdated and inaccurate information, you don’t mean to be so far behind the crochet times that you have no clue what’s in fashion for us, or what techniques are hot, or how much our craft has advanced. OMG I so wish you meant to, because your ignorance ASTOUNDS ME!
As perveyors of yarn, you have no room to complain about the lack of sophistication in the crochet market when your idea of marketing is a crappy free download or pattern on a ball band, with limited instructions and possibly a lame and hard to understand tutorial on how to get started. What amazes me is how you can CLAIM to be crochet friendly and then out of the other side of your mouth almost sneer about how you want a “certain look” in your designs, which is why you have so few crochet patterns! Seriously? What would that look be, because oddly enough I “look” at a lot of pointy stick patterns and the hottest things going right now? COPIES OF WHAT WAS HOT IN CROCHET FOUR YEARS AGO. Now this isn’t your fault that you are so out of touch, “ooooh crocheted ponchos… ” really? I mean we all make things like that from time to time, but that was a like a huge deal when Martha Stewart got out of jail wearing a crocheted poncho, that’s so old news. But your other designers they’ve seen what was hot, and may have done some hot crochet designs and figured out how to do them in pointy stick land, and suddenly? Oh man that’s hot. Really? Really? Are you that obtuse?
Seriously…my left eye is beginning to twitch.
Today as I was rescuing my favorite mother-daughter pair of students, the daughter who has a lack of confidence to start with was sure it was her work that was the problem; No, her stitches are lovely, nice and even, well made. It was the fact that the pattern used the ungodly over simplified piece of clap trap that poses as a yarn guide from the Craft Council of America. When I counted stitches and looked at the pattern, I asked “mom” if she was using the yarn called for in the pattern. She shook her head and then said in a confused sort of way, “But it’s a three, just like the pattern called for…” I am so glad I didn’t growl in frustration (because I was in public and I didn’t want to make myself seem like a raving loon), but I was able to inform them as an expert about yarn my feelings about that stupid chart.
There are close to ten separate widths that go into each one of those “six” categories of yarn. The three they were using was an the wide end of the threes. But is there any information about yarn out there for crocheters? No. Why? Let me inform you, because the people in the yarn companies have such limited knowledge of what crochet is, can be and always has been? Hardly worth talking about. Oh sure there are some who have crocheted a fair amount, but are they real and true experts? Are they? Not when I hear them talk, and here’s the secret, we who write and design in crochet, especially of those who specialize in crochet, we laugh at you yarn company people behind your backs. Yes, we snicker like the naughty kids in the back of the school bus. We’d throw spit wads at you too, but for some reason (like getting design gigs) folks haven’t gotten that far…
YOU NEED TO STOP PATRONIZING US! You need to STOP telling us we’re just supposed to deal with inadequate products, services, and pattern support……. If YOU don’t market it, it CANNOT be bought. Who’s stopping the market from growing and maturing? Is it crocheters? No.
I am tired of a supply driven market. I’m going to get Jerry Maguire on you…SHOW ME THE CROCHET!!!! SHOW ME THE CROCHET
SHOW ME THE CROCHET DAMN IT!!!!!
1) STOP using the ugliest ombres known to man in your pattern samples. Have your dyers NOT figured out how to do long lengths of color? Crochet stitches that offer drape often take up a tad more yarn, so we don’t look good in the “self striping” and ombre yarns. We do better with blended colorways, if you don’t know how to do this, I’d LOVE to teach you, because I do this in my kitchen and my backyard all the time!
2) Stop getting your hot stick designers to “pick up” crochet and start designing. They keep re-working old concepts, we want fresh and new. Is there fresh and new in crochet? Yes, yes there is, in the realm of indie publishing, and some forward thinking yarn companies! (You may look at the 3rd Annual Crochet Nominations Group on Ravelry to see who crocheters are choosing. Why? Because we’re choosing companies that CATER to US!)
3) Please, and for the love of God, please stop thinking we all watch day time or early evening televsion and get some star that has zero cultural relevance to us to try to get us to buy yarn. Seriously, that’s like throwing in gratituitous sex in a mystery novel trying to get “the chicks” to buy in, so very 1970′s. Grow up industry, please. I’d rather see Tank Girl or the Justice Friends or even Scooby Doo on a ball band, and I am so not joking.
4) Stop insulting our intelligence on your blogs, in your advertising, and in your interviews. A) we are not an angry mob waiting to lynch you. We simply want products and support, oh my gosh that’s frightening! B) we are not stupid, you can talk all you want, but we do like to see results.
5) Stop saying you cater to us on an equal basis when we can count patterns and read your labels. When it says “knitting yarn” on the ball band that’s really uninclusive. That says who you want right there…I don’t care if it’s always been that way, it used to be perfectly legal for a man to beat his wife except on Sundays, that too has changed.
6) Craft Yarn Council: You are doing more harm to yarn crafting than help by giving inadequate dimensions, since there is no official standard widths (which is good because standards make things less interesting), stop giving the idea to the public that there are standards. (Blog post coming about yarn and their widths coming to the CLF blog soon.) Size matters, and yes people should swatch, and no they do not, so please, please, please re-work this very inadequate system.
7) Start including crochet on ALL of the ball bands of ALL of your yarns, not just your discount yarns, and crappy (versus nice) acrylic. For the love of all that is fuzzy WHY LIST A CRAFT? You can do lots of things with yarn, seriously.
Can you tell I am beyond annoyed? Yup, I think I do two or three of these posts a year…let’s see what good it does it this time. But at least I used big red type, maybe that will get someone’s attention.