Category Archives: craft industry

News and more on Drape Competition!

First Iwould love to share the great news that Mary Beth Temple’s Hooked for LIfe is going into it’s second printing! Hah, we kept saying the crocheters could read! Congratulatoins to Mary Beth Temple on that brilliant good news, and I have to admit that after the review here on the CLF Blog; I have read and read the book at least five times ūüôā Love it!

I WANT MORE LIKE THIS!  

By the way, it’s Monday and that means Mary Beth Temple’s LIVE podcast happens at 9pm Eastern/6 Pacific at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mary-beth-temple! Don’t miss her show!

And more information about the competition!

Someone posed this thought/question “Is it not unfair to have lace entered or open work because they automatically drape?”

Nope. It’s not unfair, and one reason is that they do not always automatically drape. I make lace so tight I don’t need starch. And, if you use worsted weight yarn and a g hook you get stiff no matter what, you may end up with a “drapier” fabric that way, but it will not necessarily produce drape.

We want every kind of drape you can think of in crochet: Solid fabric, open work, lace, swatches of all of those…what ever. Send in your photos PLEASE!

The more PROOF we have the better, and I promise a WHOLE BLOG PAGE to the results!

Remember the competition ends August 9th! I want pictures!

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Thank you for your support and a minor celebration!

Hey there Minions and Ring Leaders!

Thank you to all of you who have purchased the CLF First Ever Book, be it on Amazon.com, or through our Website, or even in the .pdf version, your support has helped the CLF hit a new milestone. It was time to renew our website domain, and hosting service. Which runs just over $100.00 a year for what I am using (not counting the blog), and this is the first year that I did NOT have to dip into the household budget to pay for it! YAY! It was so nice to just be able to pay for the website from my little paypal account.  This year I may not be totally in the red, I may not be in the black but if I can get the CLF to breaking even, then I will be achieving several of my goals for this fine organization! 

1) Proving that you do not need to take out bridging loans to run a business.

2) Able to do more for the CLF and be that much closer to being able to pay for patterns for future books.

3) Showing that you can be for profit AND socially responsible!

What do I do with profits? Well, one day when I see any (grin) they will be invested directly back into the company. And maybe one day I can pay myself a little salary, that would be nice. I believe we can achieve great things in small ways, with good decisions, and firm core beliefs that run to the idea that if everyone does well we all do well! So, again thank you so much to everyone who has purchased the CLF First Ever Book, and also to those who have purchased our fabulous propoganda on our Zazzle Store!

By no means am I rolling in dough here folks, but if I am correct we just might squeak through even and that is a cool thought.

So a HUGE  CLF SALUTE TO ALL OUR GREAT SUPPORTERS!

Fuzzy logic; Economics and Crochet

So, I’ve been reading this book called “Banker to the poor” by Mohammed Yunis. If you don’t know who this guy is, you should. Professor Yunis is the man who founded Grameen bank, the only micro-lending bank of it’s kind. And, read that sentence again, the ONLY micro-lending bank of it’s kind.

This man was a professor of economics around the time Bangladesh gained it’s independance from Pakistan in the 1970’s. He noted the extreme poverty in the villages surrounding the university where he taught, and began to think about how to “fix” the problem of extreme (and I mean extreme) poverty. I won’t detail how he started Grameen Bank, or his economic theories. What I do want to do, is state that what I have observed in his writing (and I’m half way through the very thoughtfully written tome) is two fold:

1) Dr. Saif, whereever you are, can you PLEASE change my grade in economics now? I know it’s been twenty years, but really, this guy has done exactly what I was talking about in 1989 and it’s working. I would like that C marring my GPA change to at least a B+.

2) Much of what Professor Yunis has done is address not just the money side of poverty but the social side of poverty. And this is where my thoughts are turning.

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CROCHET? A lot.

1)  Go into any department store and you will see crocheted garments and accessories (you will also see hand knit items)., these are made most often in third world countries by the poor. Unless it is a special fair trade organization where the workers are allowed to both acrue and re-invest their earnings, most of the goods are made by people who make less than a sustaining wage. Forget living wage, most of those people end up owing the factories for their room and board, and never ever have a chance of succeeding in feeding their families or educating their children. This ensures future generations of poverty.

2) Even in the USA where our poor have a much higher standard of living and a better “quality” of life, the majority of people who make handmade items make very little if anything from their labors. Most of them are female, and most often their work is discounted and devalued because it does not meet the current world view on what is and is not worthy of due payment and wealth.

The problem for us as crocheters isn’t the fact that knitters exist, that never has been the problem. They are equally mistreated economically, and in truth they may have a better rep in the handworking world, but all handworkers are looked down upon by the “real world.’

Whatever this “real world” is saying is frankly b.s. and DOES NOT WORK.

Any system (economic or otherwise) that only benefits a minor percentage of any population group or demographic, is a failing system.

Now, we’ve identified the problem. The next step is to figure out what to do about it.

1) Support your local handworkers.

2) Do not accept the lies that what you do is not of value.

3) Buy locally, think globally.

4) Do NOT by sweatshop created projects. Believe it or not people are far better off in their local villages than going into big cities to be indentured or slaves. And yes, that is very much how people are treated. They do not ever have a chance at living, they die young, poor and in bad health; leaving their children to the same fate. Believe me, I have seen these things first hand, ugly and brutal are poor adjectives to describe it.

5) Find an NGO (non-governmental agency) to support that works in fair trade, and then support them.

6) Price your own work above free. What you do has value.

I’m hopping off the soapbox for a little while, but be prepared I’ll be getting back on it as I read through the book. Because it’s making my brain tick. Crochet is a very small part of the world, but I can’t change the big picture. I can work at changing just a small part of this little microcosm. We don’t have to change the world anyway, we can just change our own world.

News, Notables, and Male Members

The weekend approacheth, and I’m busy beyond belief. Half of my to-do list didn’t get done this week, due to some insane wackiness that was sent my way by ill winds of fortune. Luckily, I banished the winds to their rightful place, and am trying to get back on track! YAY. So, this post is going to be a hodge podge of CLF awesomeness!

First of all, the CLF Sponsored Flamie Awards are getting mentioned in print! The latest Interweave Crochet magazine (and on the Crochet Me site) they have an ad for the magazine feature their 2008 Flamie Award for Best Crochet Magazine! That graphic was designed by Darlisa Riggs (Fignations on Ravelry), she is a fabulous artist and also manages and runs the awesome E-Zine Crochet Un-Cut, the Official Unofficial Magazine of the Crochet Liberation Front.

Yup, I just said it. Male members.  We have them in the CLF and while I often wax on about feminism, I acknowledge with ferver that men indeed crochet (and knit, and weave, and spin, and do all the kinds of crafting women do), and we have many men in the CLF. Many of them notable crocheters in the industry, and some notable in their awesomeness as CLF members, and all of them notable not because they are male, but because they are awesome crocheters. They happen to be male.

One such member, is Josh, who’s article on male inclusion into Chat-n-Chains (or Sit and Knits) is featured on the Crochet Insider’s fabulous E-Zine. It’s worth the read, it’s funny, short and makes a really good point. As much as we do not like being harassed as women when passing a construction site, men don’t like being harassed when coming to a handworking event. Oh wait there are female construction workers? Yeah, and there are male handworkers. Equality folks. Let’s not harrass the guys, especially if we don’t like being harrassed!

Oddly this article is timed with some of my very own thoughts on the subject of male handworkers. As I wrote above, I know I have written plenty about the feminism side of life, and have been wondering if that has made the guys in the CLF feel a bit left out. It was and never is intended to leave our male members out of the loop or not included. And I was about to write a post up just for them. Josh, however did a much better job of it, and I think I’m pretty clear in the CLF Manifesto that we crocheters come in all flavors, and sizes.

So with that in mind I’m off and running to the rest of my day, and hoping to get more off that to-do list! YAY for crochet we’re doing more and more out in the world folks. Let’s just keep hookin!

Craft Marketeers & Suppliers Listen Up!

Ok, there is a general misperception in the world of marketing and the craft supply industry. Crocheters feel this a lot because we are constantly being maligned by the industry we support in our purchases. Yet, it’s not just we who wield the hook who are so maligned, it’s all of us who craft.

If they would a) stop working off myths and actually do some real marketing research (aka get out from behind a desk and go talk to people) and b) pay attention to supply/demand the craft market would be a better place for all of us.

Myth 1: People who craft are older, retired, or poor, or have too many kids to count.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? What the hell is that about? I mean for goodness sakes we are not living in a Dickens novel. Here’s the real world. Crafters come in all shapes and sizes, all ages, all kinds of interests.

Why just in crochet alone you have many different genre which appeal to different kinds of people. Amigurumi is a super trend that’s getting more and more interesting all of the time! Younger people are into it, though they aren’t the only folks who like to make these trendy dolls. There are blanket/afghan makers, pillow puff stitchers, and others who like to make socks, slippers, hats and scarves, others work with beads, make tapestry or curtains, others still make fashion items. Some folks are poor, some are rich, some are old, some are grannies, some are grampies, some are young, some are rich, most are female but not all.

Dudes and dudettes who do the marketing, my hand is on my hip, and I’m shaking my head in dismay at your lack of attention to detail.

Pay someone to do market research for you. Crap if you paid me to go to the conventions, and do marketing research I’d do it in a heart beat. Unbiased, honest to goodness research. Because, lordy these myths are what is busting the craft industry as a whole.

If you do not market well, your business is a bust.