I ask myself: WHY would I want to make crochet patterns?
Why not just crochet and be happy?
What I see is that people are struggling to make items after the given directions. And what a waste that is! You already bought the supplies and now, because of one or other reason they give up.
I asked myself: Is the lack of encouragement? Is it because the patterns are not clear, or boring? Is it too difficult? Lacking patience? Why?
When I started this crochet business in 2013 I had such a great concept of what I would be creating, how I would be doing it and what happiness, it would bring to others, who would be following those patterns easy, even making extra money with the projects.
I am very fast crocheting. So there should be “nothing to it” to design 2 patterns a week and have a store full in no time flat!
Little did I know!
My boss, a 95-year-old businessman, is very supportive of my business venture. He likes to watch me crochet, when we have nothing else to do. His suggestion is, that instead of operating a crochet business, I should start an unraveling business since I am better at it and it goes much faster. So much for his vote of confidence!
But honestly: It is NOT easy to make a good pattern, even if you have crocheted all your life as I have.
I have plenty of supplies on hand: crochet hooks galore, yarn by the bunches, ribbons, buttons ….. everything ok on that front.
Estimating how much yarn you need is easy: You have plenty on hand and deduct from what you have left over is as much as that pattern needs. Or when you are finished, you weigh the item you created and TaTa!– you know how much you need.
As I make the item be patterned, I write every step of the way down. I make graphs and pictures, so even a novice can understand the process. But oh how much concentration it takes once I make a mistake!!!!! I often have to backtrack a few rows, so I am sure to restart at the right place.
Sometimes the patterns doesn’t turn out as expected. Not only do you need to retract your directions, you also have obsolete pictures on the camera, you have to sort out. You made wrong plans and the item will not “fall” right or will not flow. It takes time and more time and just a little more patience to get everything together right. In some cases, when you are all done: The item doesn’t look not at all as you envisioned. Blah!
No this is not one of my designs though it could have been in the 60ies, old left over Hippy that I am.
So back to the drawing board.
Now this time you have made the experience how NOT to do it and this time it will be just right. The way I do it, when I start the second time I work from my first pattern draft until I hit a snag and correct it. I use new yarn, since with the raveling and unraveling the yarn does not get any better. For taking a picture of the finished product it has to be perfect, else nobody wants to try that pattern if there are bumps and snags on it.
So far I am fortunate enough that my second pattern turns out. Depending on the item, I crochet for a few hours and some things take days.
The next challenge: Taking the pictures! The camera is set wrong. The light is not right. The position is not good. It falls over just as I want to take the picture. The background doesn’t fit………..
You also have to be concerned with people stealing or copying your pattern. So you need to watermark your work, which reduces the quality of the picture.
Once all is set and the pictures are good, I will scrapbook it, which takes also another 2 to 4 hours, since I am not very good with computers yet. But this is actually fun. Another whole angle on creativity.
Listing a pattern also takes time, because you want to present the pattern at its best, yet also makes people aware how it goes together. Make it appealing to try, but also point out eventual obstacles at least I try to foresee snags, so my customers will not be disappointed.
I am concerned how people like it because there is no sense in making something ending up that I am the ONLY one in the whole world who thinks it is cool. No, I am not in competition with anybody, since I KNOW every person has top performing potentials and in this art medium of crochet there is no way we need to compete against each other, since everybody can crochet anything everywhere. The internet takes everything global and every ethnic background is entitled to their OWN taste and talents.
Needless to say, I can’t crank out 2 patterns a week though I would like to. Every pattern I made took at least a 40-hour work week and the larger pieces took 2 weeks to make. Not very lucrative business, since there is no monetary value selling the pattern unless you sell 50 of that one pattern. Then it might be worth the time spend. Nuts for getting rich quick!
If you read all I just said, it looks like it is all a pain in the neck! BUT listen to this: It is awesome, when people find gratification in their crochet item! So cool when they are amazed at their skill and happy to accomplish something that is not being there the day before AND would not ever be, if it was not in their talented hands.
I smile when a handicapped person is given a walker/ wheelchair tote, so they can carry their things from here to there. It is very nice to see a daughter making a bed jacket for her mother to keep her warm in the air-conditioned. What joy when someone hands a homeless child a teddy bear. It brings joyous tears, when a friend makes the sick with cancer friend a hat. Mothers of Preemies need hats for their too early born children to keep them warm. Those mothers did not anticipate for their babies to be born early, so they are least prepared. My granddaughters treasure the dolls I made them.
THOSE are the moments when it is worth to make patterns!
So why do YOU do the things you do? Please tell me, because it is lonely on this side of the computer.