Recently one of the members of the CLF sent me a letter about his crochet activism. He’s been busy contacting companies, both online retailers of yarn, and yarn companies asking for more on the crochet side of the aisle. Amazingly he’s met with some great success. In fact, recently he got an online store to feature crochet more prominently, but in their response to him they stated that they were hard pressed to find attractive crochet patterns to feature on their web site. He relayed this to me with a standard, thoughtful crocheter answer, “Yeah, maybe we do need to step up to the plate more…”
My response was this; We can always step up to the plate more, but the “no attractive” patterns line has gotten very old to my ears. I can think of a dozen designers off the top of my head who make beautiful, practical, elegant and fashion forward designs in all realms of crochet goodness. The time of the ugly has long passed, and beyond having attractive designs, we are surpassing our old knowledge base and adding to it at rapid speed. In fact, I can think of no better time in history to be a crocheter, our materials are excellent, our access to information is beyond the pale, and our pioneering efforts are only just beginning. We are in a time of innovation and exploration, it’s a great time for crochet, and there are many designers meeting the challenge on a daily basis.
When I looked at the website he had contacted I saw that they in fact had many good crochet designs on offer, by a well known crochet designer. (Cough…cough…and Ahem….) Hair pin lace? Yup that’s crochet, Tunisian? Yup, that’s crochet. DUH. Broomstick lace? Yup that’s crochet, too.
But, in reality what I saw was a lack of designs on offer by the yarn companies that store features. Is that the designers’ fault? No, I tell you it is not. It is the fault of the yarn companies for not hiring designers to create fabulous designs for them.
Yarn companies, listen up and listen good, if you want crochet clientele then having attractive, up to date (at the least) garments will get you that clientele. Not offering more than a scarf pattern here or there is ridiculous, especially when you offer so much for other crafts in your pattern line. So, I thought I’d give the information any business wants to hear: the bottom line.
Designing a crocheted garment takes time, but not as much time as one created in pointy sticks. Crochet works up faster, therefore the initial design concept as well as any testing takes less time to make. Does it mean it takes less skills? Nope, the fabric is just created faster, it still takes plenty of technical skills and math skills to make a damn fine pattern. But you could get 10 patterns out of a crochet designer far faster than in another craft. Second of all, if you pay a designer a decent fee, and don’t make them sign their life away you’ll have a designer loyal to the core and quite willing to promote your product. That, too, is worth it’s weight in marketing budgets.
So before you start dissin’ the crochet designs out there, take another look. We long ago and far away proved there are beautiful crochet patterns out there, unless you live in Mythlandia, and if you reside there, then you only know what you have heard.
Yarn companies, come on, start hiring on the crochet designers, it will be worth your while.