I’m just back from the Knit and Crochet Show held in Concord, North Carolina. It’s the first time I have ever attended a consumer show where crochet designers have the opportunity to be available to regular people like you and I.
Crochetville, based in the USA, is a community billboard community forum where crocheters from around the world can connect. It is run by Amy Shelton and Donna Hulka. Part of the foundation core values of Crochetville is to give recognition and encourage their followers to know who the crochet designers are and potentially support the designers by encouraging sales of patterns and books. Crochetville had arranged several great crochet designers to have book signings during the 3 day show.
So I will admit something to you all, I haven’t really paid attention to who the designers are that are really putting some wicked patterns together. Honestly, I was surrounded by crochet designers where I should have known their names but I haven’t invested my time into putting their names into my memory or doing a bit of background research.
Take for example Tammy Hildebrand of Hot Lava Crochet Designs. Tammy is someone I knew through a face shot but didn’t know her name to hear it in my brain. Tammy is responsible for many free patterns on RedHeart.com but also has her own books with a new one on the way.
I know that designers put great effort into the patterns that are offered. I took a professional development course on what it takes to be a designer and how to pitch ideas to a publisher during my conference at the Knit and Crochet Show. I knew the process was lengthy with about a year to develop a book but I didn’t know how to get from the start to the end of the pitching and process development a book. Speaking frankly as I can, I was naive and frankly overwhelmed by the process.
Designers have to create, research and develop the final model piece and write down their steps as they go. There’s also so much more to it than just that. Many have to take their own photography for the book and there is a lot of work to get the content ready for the magazine. Most of them have to do the promotions on their own to increase their sales. Their job isn’t over once a book is released. They are responsible for getting the word out to increase its sales. If they have to travel or get advertising, they are responsible for it.
Many designers hope to be published in a large capacity but truly only a few really break out of the gate for their own book series. The process to make a book is extremely time consuming and is something that I wouldn’t have time to develop. These designers really have to work hard to get recognition they are deserving. Speaking from first hand experience, sometimes the errors in a pattern are not the designer’s fault either. I have learned that it could be an editing issue of copying data from files for the book process. Sometimes the copying process may omit details by accident. Sometimes it is the designer as well… It happens because we are all human.
I seen Tammy speaking to fans who knew her and being brave to approach guests that don’t know her to introduce who she is and what she has to offer. We all expect free patterns as society has turned that way, but we don’t think about the process and the brain power to get a pattern onto paper. From first hand experience, if pattern designing was easy, we would all being doing it.
I was strongly thinking, on the plane ride back from North Carolina, about Tammy. She was one of potentially hundreds of designers at this show that work really hard to bring their ideas to life. To pitch ideas and hopefully have a publisher see value in her. I seen one person not wanting to buy a $3.99 pattern saying it’s pricey. It wasn’t Tammy’s pattern but I thought after I had been through an 8 hour workshop, I think we are believing that it’s the cost of the paper that it is all the pattern is worth. We think millions of copies are being sold for $3.99, when in fact, it could just be less than 50 copies. In books, the designer gets a very small percentage as the cost of the book manufacturing process and distribution is a huge percentage of the book.
Going forward, I am going to vow to pay more attention. If I am talking about a pattern, I will find out who the designer is and give them the recognition for their design. Appreciation for designing has to start with myself and if my fans want to follow my lead, you are more than welcome to do so. I will still continue to offer free patterns but I won’t be doing it so casually. I will make effort to name the designer going forward. I think is the right thing to do to help people understand that free patterns really shouldn’t be taken for granted and/or should be expected with everything that is created.
I took a few personal moments to watch Tammy and thought to myself on how hard I have worked to get where I have. She is doing just the same but in a different avenue in the same field in which I am working. Though she may never know, she changed my point of view by demonstrating through her own actions as I watched silently to realize I need to do my part to encourage and give the designers the recognition they are entitled to.
I would love your feedback on this topic. What are your thoughts? Do you give thought to a person who has developed a pattern? I notice once I like a pattern, I will look more at the designer’s name to see what other things they have done because chances I like the way they write and ideas.
- 3x The Power of Crochet (thecrochetcrowdblog.com)