Friday, March 26, 2010

Yes, We're Here and We CROCHET!!!

Kudos to Classic Elite Yarn Company for including "crochet" in their Spring Knit-Along!! The back story is this....Fuzzy Wuzzy Yarns in Arlington Heights, IL is a relatively new and crochet friendly store. She was promoting the Knit-Along when one of her more astute crochet customers asked the question, Can crocheters participate." Why, of course, thought the owner, and she checked with Classic Elite to see if they would offer patterns for crocheters so they could participate. Well, they had to have a meeting about it first, but they got back to her with the question, is this national? Are all LYS's wanting to participate? Imagine....it is hard enough keeping a LYS afloat in these hard times without worrying about what other stores are doing! Hopefully, Classic Elite, has done their part to suggest to their network of national clients that it is a good idea to include crocheters in this fun activity. I mean, why shut out a portion of potential business, especially a group that uses 1/3 more yarn!!

Here are the patterns being used if you want to crochet-along:
http://www.kristentendyke.com/patterns/CrochetMotifCard.php
http://mldesigns.typepad.com/Cropped%2Crochet%20Cardigan
One is free and the other is $7.00

I presented myself at Fuzzy Wuzzy Yarns as soon as I heard they had opened and have already taught an intermediate crochet class with a bead-crochet class coming up in April. I promote crochet there in as many ways as I can, wearing it, teaching it, talking about it. The owner is very open to learning any ways she can include crochet. I suggested that rather than labeling her monthly get togethers, "Knit-Night," "Fuzzy Wuzzy Fiber Night" might be a bit more clever and also convey inclusiveness to the crocheters. She liked it and so be it....crocheters are showing up and doing their part to participate and buy yarn!

Sometimes I just get numb to all the non-inclusive thinking that is out there. Maybe I'm just used to being left outand forgotten as a segment of the fiber world. I do have hope, though, because a whole new crop of savvy, young professionals are getting into crochet and they have expectations!Tey see themselves as equal participants in the fiber world and non-defenseively ask questions and question if their needs are not met.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Crock Star 4: Re-Tool to Be Cool

Crocheters the world over have struggled with the "coolness" factor and often have found themselves hovering in the cool shadows of the knitters, but no more! Even though I am ehem, older, I fancy myself as young at heart. I did, however, suffer through the anti-crochet-old granny-doily syndrome in the seventies and still remember some of the inadequate feelings I chose to hang onto about my passion and beloved crochet. I vowed when I started the Crochet Guild (CGOA) that we crocheters would never cast aspersions upon any needleartists. Stitching is a pathway everyone deserves to take and it doesn't matter how the loops are twisted as long as they are twistin'.



I believe each and every member of the CGOA is a Crochet Star! We just have to start believing it  and promoting ourselves as such. A little more sense of humor, like our stitcherly sisters seem to have, would help. We have the passion and we've worked long and hard to achieve our skills, so why not be "on-stage" at all times: wear it, show it and publish it!

If you feel you are on the verge of doing something grand with your crochet, but a niggling little bit of stage fright has you stymied, well then read on. If you need to ratchet up your "cool factor" just a little, read on. I have the tips for how to re-tool to be cool!

In keeping with my "youngness" I have struggled to keep up my computer skills and believe me, it has not been easy. I have fully embraced Ravelry and think it is the cooest thing ever. Because of all that Ravelry offers, I have learned to work a digital camera, upload photos to my computer and to Rav, I have learned many new words and have fallen in love with the concept of avatars; I have created pages on Ravelry and opened stores on Etsy and Ravelry to sell my pattern designs. I have learned how to convert my patterns to pdfs so they can be purchased online and opened a PayPal account. I blog and I am proud!

My local chapter of CGOA has been attracting more and more 20 and 30 somethings to the meetings lately and I am loving it. They bring a whole new way of thinking about crohet which is exhilerating and interestng to watch. They are proud to be crocheters and know nothing of the pain we have suffered along the way as we have stuck our necks out, carried the cro-banner for them and cleared the way for their success! They are engineers and teachers and who knows what other kind of professionals with disposable income. They are on a huge learning curve and don't hesitate to by books and fine yarns. They don't know the years we went through when only one crochet book per year would be published. They don't realize how we sruggled trough the nineties to hone our skills and find our way to become the designers/authors of the books they love so much today. These young and enthusiastic crocheters are our future and they know what they want and how to go about finding it. They don't hesitate to volunteer with confidence and I am proud to have them as members fo CGOA!

Now, back to the "cool factor." We use abbreviations for everything these days. JK and we're just kidding. Burger King is now BK and my  s-i-l (son-in-law) calls me GBK I want my first granddaughter to call me GiGi (GrandmaGwen). Those afghans that we tried to disparage in the 90s in order to broaden the public's viewpoint of ALL that crochet can be are hip again. We call them 'ghans! Take my advice, start to abbreviate and nurture your sense of humor. If you're stressed out on scs or too pooped to popcorn, become acrylically alive and crow about crochet. Top 'o the hook to you this month. Gotta get the hook outta here!

An update on April 14, 2010: the brevity of speech continues in he media. I heard an ad on the radio for Motel 6: "Tom Bodette" is the long-time spokesperson. H introduced himself as "To Bo for th Mo" This is hilarious. He mentioned the word , "ei-fi" and explained itlike this, "It sounds like you are in a hurry to go do something cool." As I was saying.....cool. If you think about it VW and BMW were waaaaay ahead of their time!