Just Creative or Unprofessional? What do you think?


Michael Sellick

Michael Sellick, Creative Director and Video Host for The Crochet Crowd

This blog may get your knickers in a knot… I know… I’m just untying mine. Would love your feedback.

I received an email from an irate woman through Facebook claiming that I don’t have the ability to crochet, nor the right to teach crochet when I show cheating techniques in a video. To say to people that’s it’s alright to improvise or provide alternative tips proves that I am unable to follow a pattern.

In essence, she says the the patterns need to be followed 100% and tips that I am providing are not part of the original pattern and/or should not be taught nor encouraged for people to know how to change yarn brands, stitching technique alternatives and/or what to do if something is going wrong. If it doesn’t say it in the pattern, it shouldn’t be taught. The way I teach proves that I don’t posses the skills to teach others and I am a crochet phoney. She will waiting for the day that I quit crochet to stop teaching people cheating techniques and tips that allow crocheters to improvise.

Firstly, my first few words don’t exist in the Websters Dictionary. It’s outrageous!

  • Since when is crochet an exact science that directions have be followed 100%.
  • I’m human, I make mistakes and most of society does too. Isn’t the whole point of video tutorials is to show tips, ideas, improvising and skills to build on? My gawd what is this world coming too? My mom would teach me the right way, but then… here’s the way I do it… you may like it better. Since when is that wrong?
  • Also, creativity is creativity… there’s is never a right and wrong way. What I love in art, my neighbour strongly dislikes. We are each different. Our projects should be reflective of our personal tastes, affordability of yarn products and more. I guess that’s wrong too! WHATEVER!
  • How one person learns is very different from others… to ride my case about teaching people to problem solve is such a load of baloney. We are not drones… we are free thinkers with ideas. We are taught this in school to think, have opinions and explore.

So what you do think? Is it so wrong to teach people cheating and improvising techniques? Leave me your comments below… I know it’s hard but try to refrain from using profanity if you have a strong comment. I’m just climbing off the ceiling fan now!

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About Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

I am Mikey, owner of The Crochet Crowd Blog. I'm a 'hooker' at heart with the passion to crochet. I am from Ontario Canada and teach how to crochet online through YouTube Video Tutorials. From a simple idea and being at the right place and time in my life back in 2008, the concept of The Crochet Crowd was developed. I'm here to hook and share. Come follow my crochet journey and share yours with comments here and you are most welcome to share your creativity within our Facebook page.
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1,047 Responses to Just Creative or Unprofessional? What do you think?

  1. Cindy Q. says:

    Don’t give people like that another thought Mikey. Some people just feel a need to bring others down into their own private hell. Not sure what that person has going on in their life, but you should definitely not take that to heart. If people did not ever experiment or try new ways of doing things, where would the world be today? Keep on being your wonderful, experimental self and teaching all of us how to step outside of the box. You rock dude!!!

    Cindy Q.

  2. Iri says:

    Whoa, who lit the fuse on her tampon?

    Like I always tell people, this might be the internet but that does not mean you have to watch something you dislike. Just shut it off and go back to the real world.

    Keep doing your thing, it is obviously working!

  3. My aunt started teaching me to crochet 56 (almost 57) years ago. She taught me “the proper way” and was very exacting if I started to deviate from it in any way. I didn’t really enjoy crocheting until I started “doing it my own way”, and I didn’t feel creative. If everyone used only those rigid methods, nothing new would ever be created. I figured that out for myself years ago. But I’ve recently discovered video tutorials. Mikey, yours are among the best! Keep doing them the way you are!

  4. Dawn says:

    Mikey,
    When I teach people, whether it be crochet, knitting or tatting, I always tell them to find what works for them and not be afraid of putting their own spin on things. The pattern police will not show up at their door.
    If everyone followed Patterns 100% no one would venture off to create new Patterns.
    I welcome unconventional. Keep up the good work. I love your videos, and they inspired me to take several of your stitches and techniques to create a tractor afghan for my grandson.

  5. Donna says:

    I don’t have time for the stupidity of that person’s comment.

  6. Marge says:

    Mikey you are awesome. Keep up the great work. I am proud to be one of the HOOKERS. I am 70 and still hooking daily. Love you guys and all the things I see on your site. Some day I should send you pictures of my work. I find your style amazing.

  7. Colette says:

    Mikey, who died and left this silly woman in charge of policing the blogs? I forget who said: “To ensure misery, strive to achieve perfection in all that you do.” She and the other one who was offended by your use of the word “hooker” should find another “crowd” to hang out with. You are doing a fantastic job and the growing numbers of your followers prove it. Keep on doing what you are doing because we all love you just the way you are: imperfect, like the rest of us.

  8. Diane says:

    All I can say is that without Mikey’s vidoes, patterns, and encouragement, i would not have picked up my crochet hook and started in again. Thanks, Mikey! Keep doing what you’re doing. 🙂

  9. Rhonda H says:

    Crochet is and art. Do sculptors follow a diagram down to most minute detail? No. It is a personal preference on how someone holds their hook and yarn, how they work their stitches, etc. That is what makes it their work. If you can’t figure a stitch out and you get it to work another way, but it still looks the same, isn’t that the point, to recreate a design. Sometimes we do not want it to be identical. As for cheating…..what are we 13 again and in school and have to go to the principals office for detention for finding a way to do something easier. Geez it is not like the crochet police are monitoring everyone in the world and if you deviate from a pattern, you are arrested, jailed and fined for being creative. Mikey and everyone else at the Crochet Crowd…YOU ROCK! Your videos and help is priceless.
    Get over it lady. If you are so irate over what is going on, create your own site and stop watching Mikey’s videos and tutorials. If it makes you so irate, how do know it keeps happening…..oh that is what I thought, you keep watching. And why do you do that?? Because Mikey and the Crochet Crowd are awesome people, willing to help everyone out to the best of their ability!
    Love you guys at the Crochet Crowd. Hook On Everyone

  10. Miriam says:

    I think that person doesn’t have a clue what art is. She needs to read about it. Thanks to God we are different and that is what makes this world fun. Keep up the good work Mikey. Many of us love you work and enjoy your tutorials and comments.

  11. Pat says:

    Mickey, I love the way you teach. You help us to reach deep into our creativity and try new ways. Forget that crazy lady and please keep doing it your way. Thanks for all you have taught me and please keep it up.

  12. Paula says:

    I think the fact that you take the time (and have the desire to teach others). puts you head and shoulders above most. It sounds to me like this woman either has way too much time on her hands and has nothing better to do than rant and complain about the good things people do for others, or she is simply jealous of your talent, following and generosity.

    She isn’t worth a second thought.

    Personally, when I watch crochet tutorials, I am watching them to learn a new stitch or pattern and I LOVE tips and tricks that help to make the project easier or more readily understandable.

    Keep doing what you are doing – you are making a LOT of people very happy and for the odd few that aren’t happy with your teaching methods and techniques, just be sad for them because they are pitiful.

    JMHO 🙂

  13. Judi says:

    I think of crochet as an art form and though I do read patterns, I love your videos. I have encountered numerous written patterns over my 50 years of crocheting that have errors in them so I had to improvise. Most of the vintage patterns have to be changed due to the materials/yarn not being available. I see nothing wrong with taking creative license. I have taught folks to crochet over the years by teaching them the basic stitches and encouraging them to expand their skills. I have learned from your videos. Keep up the good work.

  14. Reblogged this on Conchita's Blog and commented:
    Thanks to Mikey and actually am learning to Crochet. I’ve been trying for years but no use. After watching his tutorials I now can make things and love it! He is a wonderful teacher. If anyone is thinking in dabbling, give him a try, but beware, you’ll get hooked!

  15. Mikey, I am a new “hooker” and that is thanks to YOU! My friends have been trying to teach me for years and I just couldn’t grasp it. I watched one, yes, just one of your tutorials and I was rolling. I still consider myself to be a beginner, but hey, I’m making stuff where as before I was dribbling and say “er what, where did you, when do I”. So, I think you are an AMAZING teacher, not a good teacher, AN AMAZING teacher. The only problem with you’re tutorials is that you are so cute and make me laugh that I have to rewind and concentrate all over again. I don’t know what this ladie’s problem is and I don’t think it’s just that she is “old school”, sometimes I think that people like her like things to remain only available to those who have talent or have been taught within a family tradition, stupid I know, but I’ve met people like that. Telling me that I will never learn and I almost believed them, until “YOU came along and brightened my day”. I think you are wonderful and thanks to you I have another hobby I love apart from Quilting and Embroidery and Cross Stitch. You’re the best, I love you!

  16. Vicky Simpson says:

    I agree whole-heartedly with Annette. Thank you so much for what you do. There is always going to be someone who doesn’t agree, not matter what you do. Just acknowledge that they have their own opinion, and keep doing what you do.

  17. Joan says:

    Please don’t change a thing. I have learned so much from your tutorials. If this person does not care for your teaching she doesn’t have to watch. You know Mikey people choose what they want to watch and whom they want to learn from. Please don’t give the negative anymore air to breathe. Just keep doing what your doing. I am grateful. Hugs

  18. Whenever anyone who “Hooks” sees me hooking, they always let me know that I am doing it all wrong! As long as the finished project ends up looking like the picture, I am pretty happy. Don’t let anyone get you down-I’ve been hooking wrong close to 30 years. I love everything associated with The Crochet Crowd, Dan and your blogs are interesting and funny and I love the videos. I’ve learned new techniques and stitches and you have inspired me to try NEW stitches and yarns. I love The Crochet Crowd-my only regret is that I didn’t have access to y’all when I started hooking!

  19. Annette says:

    Dear Irate woman from Facebook,
    I thank God for people like Mikey and the Crochet Crowd who are willing to take the time and effort to produce and post videos, patterns and tutorials showing us how to do things a new and different way. We are all different by God’s design and we learn things differently too. We struggle with things and many of us would give up without the generous help and inspiration of people like Mikey who are willing to say, ‘try it this way, or even this way’.
    If everyone felt as you do that there was only one way, we wouldn’t have the architecture or art we have today. If all things MUST be built only a certain way, how would anyone ever have designed a castle, and then another and another and given us all the fabulous palaces we have today and fabulous homes. What if you had told cutting edge architects what you just told Mikey and they had listened? Quel horror!
    Imagine if artists had never dared to try a ‘new’ way to paint. The greatest art in the world would not be here if your philosophy were used for everything. The impressionists would surely have fallen to your wrath.
    Dearest Mikey and the Crochet Crowd, you have my undying gratitude for the time and effort you put into the community.
    The instruction and inspiration you provide are a gift to the world, know this and be proud. Thanks to people like you, my crochet and knitting has improved immensely in the last few years and I now feel confident in my skills. I work for a charity and even became a board member. My skills are improved to the point people are actually impressed with the things I make and want me to help them with their skills! Kudos to you and all the other creative and helpful people out there that we can learn from through the Crochet Crowd and Youtube.
    After all, crochet and knitting all started hundreds of years ago when someone sat down with a length of soft string and decided to try something new, and then someone else tried it a different way, right? Otherwise, how would we have sc, dc, hdc, tr dtr, etc.? Seriously woman, did you think the instructions came off the ark with Noah?
    Keep up the good work Mikey, and bless you and Dan.

  20. Mary says:

    Stick with it. For the person who does not want to see your creativity,perhaps she/he has none. Perhaps she may need a hobby. We can follow your classes, tutorials, ideas, charities. Your group brings us together from all over the world. We may not speak the same languages but through your group we all have an understanding and love of this craft. Please ignore her/him. We all have the ability to use “block” or just look away from our screens. Thanks to you and all your friends and family that make this one of the best crochet COMMUNITY , which he/she, can opt out of.

  21. joannagrochowski@gmail.com says:

    I have a comment and a short story, short story first. I have been crocheting since I was a little girl and would make barbie scarves I Am also a hair stylist. One of my clients who knew I am a crocheter brought her work in for me to see and for her to work on while processing. While we were at the shampoo Bowl another stylists client ripped about 20 rows of work out of my clients blanket because she saw a mistake and you can not have mistakes in your work. I was shocked and appalled. My comment is it is mistakes, short cuts, changes, ect… That make every piece unique and beautiful. When I crochet I use patterns more for an idea than anything else. By the way I love your face book page and you tube videos I get lots of great idea’s from you and learn a lot of new tricks.

    • Marge says:

      I made a mistake years ago in a project. Started to correct it and my sister stopped me and told me it was not a mistake, it is exactly the way I made it. It was fine, not one person saw the mistake. I don’t use patterns much. I look and create, putting more than one pattern together at times. So tell that rude lady to shut up.

  22. Michelle Sharp says:

    I’m relatively new to the Crochet Crowd, but I’ve been crocheting for many years. I get a lot of free patterns from the internet and believe me, if you don’t know how to improvise, you are in big trouble! As for well-written and/or easy to read patterns, here’s my rule: If I like the end result the first time I make it, great! But more often than not, I take “creative license” and make the project my own. Isn’t that why we crochet – or knit, or paint, or quilt or whatever? To make something personal that, more often than not, you are giving as a gift? To express ourselves creatively? I applaud those people that can write patterns and thank them for all their hard work, but does that mean I have to clone their art? For that matter, aren’t “new” patterns just improvised versions of someone else’s “original?” If everyone followed the “original” pattern, we would never have new patterns! Everyone’s work would look exactly the same, with the same stitches over and over again. What a sad and boring place that would be! Thanks Mikey and team for making my crochet world a better place to live in!

  23. Alicia Haxton says:

    What is unprofessional is that person’s behavior!!! Shame on her for being so rude and close minded! You go out of your way to ensure that anyone watching your tutorials can follow along and learn how to make amazing hand made gifts and items which is, in my opinion, creative AND professional! You are 100% right, we are free thinkers, we all have individual personalities and abilities, that is what makes the final result of our hand made crochet items so precious and unique! Please please please don’t listen to that nasty lady, Mikey!! You do an above and beyond amazing job helping people learn a craft and anyone who thinks otherwise can go eat poo!

  24. Shannon says:

    if everyone followed everything exactly how the patterns showed I’m positive no new patterns would ever exist and if I have read correctly crochet was once looked at as something poor dirty folk did…… something about poor Irish women earning extra funds to help feed their families……. Besides art is art there is nothing that cannot be done if one wants to try, fail, and then perfect…… That woman should just opt out of your web site and go about her business you keep going you do a wonderful job, your positive and encouraging to everyone that follows you.
    Hook on Mikey, Hook on!!!!!

  25. bonnie says:

    I’m the type of person who has a hard time understanding directions and when you explain it and show us how to do the pattern it makes sense,thank you!

  26. Barbara Reichard says:

    CREATIVE!!! How ridiculous not to use a shortcut or a tip/trick to fix something or do crochet something better or quicker. Mikey, I use to teach Algebra and I always taught my students tips and tricks to get through the “hard” stuff. Why suffer when a trick works just as well and sometimes better. Tell this person to take a chill pill, maybe the whole bottle.

  27. Elizabeth Rowley says:

    ummm…pretty sure she doesn’t realize that patterns are CREATED! If you don’t follow a pattern 100% that means you are just creating a new pattern. They are made up, there are no rules set in stone, that’s why its a craft not a science. I’m a baker, and a cook, I can tell you, there a very, very few recipes that I follow exactly because they don’t work for me, doesn’t mean I don’t know how to cook. I say, do what you’re doing, any tip can help. I don’t crochet the same way my mom did, and that’s ok.

  28. Clare says:

    There is more than one way to skin a cat. That being said, the more one knows and learns about a craft facilitates growth and problem solving skills. Keep up the good work…..follow your heart and your instincts. Remember, everyone is entitled to their opinion. It does not make them the final authority , just a different opinion.

  29. Cheryl says:

    I think you are doing great!!! Everyone has their opinion and some should keep their opinion to themselves. My mom showed me shortcuts and “cheats” too and that just made crocheting more fun. Keep on doing what you are doing and ignore those bullies!!!

  30. I like the fact that you give the original pattern, then say “here’s what I do when something doesn’t work for me.” That’s what I do when I teach others to crochet. Good on you, and while I understand what she’s saying too, about doing it only the way it’s written, that’s a personal choice. If she doesn’t like it, that’s her problem.

  31. Linda Eagley says:

    Okay Mikey, untie your knickers and know that there are purists everywhere but their ideals really are not applicable to most of us. Its like the old argument of a crafter or an artist. No real winners, but this person was apparently having a REALLY bad day and needed to beat up on somebody. Blow her off as a crochet bully and keep up the good work.

  32. Linda Daniel says:

    She needs to get a life – she must not have one, if all she has to do is criticize other people.
    Keep up the good work. We love you.

  33. I love your videos and how you make the patterns easier to follow. I hope that you never change and continue to help anyone that wants to learn from you. Don’t let one person’s rant upset you like that. You know what you know. We are all different and adding to or altering the pattern a little is part of being creative. You’re adding a part of you to the project. Don’t change, Mikey.

  34. Davina says:

    Keep doing what you are doing Mikey and don’t change a damn thing. She can follow some other blog that will teach her to crochet like a robot. I like shortcuts on new and old techniques. Go tell her to kick rocks somewhere and maybe this will give her the encouragement to run her business/blog the way she wants. There’s always one or many jerks in a group. Damn, is crocheting that serious now? I’m going back to hooking.

  35. Beckysmommy says:

    Mikey, I just don’t even think of it as “cheating”. It’s just another way to do it., an alternative to the original. When I take a class at a gym, I always appreciate it when the instructor says if you can’t do it this way, try it another way that works for you, an easier less intensive way, because I am not in shape. Well, anyway, you keep teaching your way and we all will keep learning from you. Art is open to individual opinions and interpretations. So let the creativity fly. And have fun!

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