Something to keep in mind is that talents and weaknesses often go hand in hand. Sometimes if you look hard at a weakness, a talent (part of the solution) will show its face.
Not everything is completely as it seems. There are hidden gems and opportunities everywhere. We have but to look.
What about you?
Meditation for the day: What weaknesses do you see in yourself or in the world that can be turned upside down to find a strength or talent?
Share your experience below!
Tag Archives: crochet ruminations
There are plenty of hobbyists who have crocheted for a very long time when they think of start dates to present. However, it’s a little tiring when someone like me gets a lecture about crochet from someone, just because they are older. When I know for a fact they’ve never lived and breathed the art as I, they’ve never explored their skills the same, nor taken the risks I have. And I’m pretty sure if we added hour for hour, effort for effort, my “crochet age” would likely dwarf theirs in a second.
I’m just excited when others are crocheting. I don’t care if they’re as fanatical about it as I or not. But I don’t appreciate being talked down to, simply on the basis of age and with nothing to do with skill.
I don’t know why crocheters do this to each other at all. Painters don’t do this. They recognize artists wherever they are on the time line. Potters don’t do this. At least not in my art circles. But crocheters (and knitters) will.
Age alone does not equal knowledge and skill.
It wasn’t in the plan. Really. I crochet because I can’t help but do it. It’s very meditative for me. Like playing piano, or writing, it’s something that helps me stay that nice person most folks like.
We neeeeeds it, gollum!
And even when the whole family has been gifted out of their minds, I still crochet. It’s just one of many ways that I express my inner geekery.
I say we all have a madness in Life and crochet is just one of mine. Which stands out just a little in a climate that’s rarely cold.
There’s always a new idea in my head somewhere and I never tire of thinking on a different angle for this or that when it’s crochet. I have about 40 different unfinished projects going at a time, so there’s always something I can work on. If I’m feeling less than benevolent to a particular project (and some projects do end up in the “dog house” for awhile), I put it aside and switch to something else so I can come back with a fresh attitude another time.
When it comes to conversations, even then I can’t shut up about crochet. I find myself drawing analogies to the artistic process involved with crochet design, or industry quirks, marketing tools or a myriad of other crochet related micro-conversations that I find myself tying to more common life scenarios. And there I’ll be, with folks staring at me going – did you really just relate that to crochet?
Uh, yep. Yep I just did.
It’s more perfect than you think. Like “Zen And The Art Of Crochet” and “What Crochet Taught Me About Popularity” kind of material. That’s the way it is for me. And I’ll argue there’s nothing wrong with it either. Substitute “cooking” in place of crochet and most folks would hardly blink an eye. We all have our ways to explore the inner workings of self, business, relationships and world. There’s nothing wrong with mine. Whatever gets your attention.
But selling crochet? That started out because I’d crochet while waiting on my kids. People started noticing what I was making and wanted one too. Before I knew it, “I want one! I want one!” and I was in business. The fact that anyone wants to pay money for my expertise is just awesome. It helps pay for my madness!
How about you? How did you get into crochet related business? And if you’re not yet, what do you think might get you to or why would you not want to?
As far as advice that changed me?
The first thing that comes to mind for me are words from my Grandmother when I was a child, after I showed her a crochet sculpted hockey puck I made.
You see, a thought occurred to me as I was learning to crochet: that I could do more than what everyone around me was doing. That I didn’t have to just make doilies and afghans. That I could use a hook and yarn to sculpt, kind of like clay. So I set about to prove my theory.
As silly as it might sound, showing Grandma and hearing her words was a pivotal and freeing moment I have never forgotten.
“Well look at that clever thing! See there’s nothing you can’t do and bring into reality when you set your mind to it. If you want it, and work for it, you can do it.”
That was all I needed. I’ve never been the same since.
As an adult, I realize those words may seem clichéd, but that tiny young moment contained so much power for me. Something huge shifted inside of me. I have since heard stories from others who were criticized for not doing things “correctly,” even having their hands smacked with rulers when they messed up, and other stories! And no wonder as a result they never really picked up the art of crochet. None of my family ever did something like that to me. And Grandma Dot always took time and marveled at my ideas. She made me believe.
You never know what it is that will make a difference for someone. How about you? What piece of advice changed your life? Who was it in crochet that made a difference for you?
The inconsistency of the shaft and work space issue is exactly what gripes me about many hooks being sold on the market today, and it’s present in wood hooks as well a metal. When I give lectures/demos about hooks, I talk about this. That widening of the shaft causes a lack of consistency in the stitch loops, which besides causing strain on your hand, also causes changes to your stitch appearance.
I don’t know why this is happening in hook-making today, but I suspect it has to do with the time involved in making the hooks and in the case of metal hooks, strength. (And perhaps lack of knowledge?) So many of the older hooks I find are just better made. The quality of the metal is better. My favorites metal hooks have hand-machined and cut heads. The shafts are strong and they will flex, not snap or permanently bend like modern hooks will.
And you know what it reminds me of? How good knives and swords are made. Good knives and swords are strong and will flex with pressure, but not break. And especially in miniature crochet, we put a lot of torque on those hooks.
Perhaps part of all this points to the possibility that metalsmithing and true metallurgical knowledge is not what really goes into our metal tools anymore?
What about you? I’m intrigued to know. What quirks do you notice about crochet tools that get under your skin? And what can we do about it?
If you were to divide crocheters into experience classes, when you think about it, the beginner class is rather small and short-lived. The girth of our community is somewhere in the middle to the advanced side.
So much of advanced crochet skill is not necessarily governed by stitches and patterns, but in learning consistency and control (which can’t be taught as much as practiced), refining our methods and then there are advanced concepts like shaping.
And yet the type of instruction generally offered to the crochet community remains below the skill levels of the majority. Resulting in crocheters being ignored and even written off as cheap and unwilling to spend $$.
The way I see it, our market has so long been poorly understood. And there exists a whole frontier of creative marketing that just hasn’t been adequately explored.
What about you? Do you feel the level of training offered in crochet adequately responds to your expertise? And how do you feel about the way our market is approached? Let us know the area you’re from when responding. :) Maybe we’ll hash out some good stuff!
Crochet Ruminations – The Start Of A New Thing
There are times when I have a series of thoughts and mini-conversations running through my head. And when those “attacks” come, I don’t always have time to explore them. But I’ll go ahead and draft the musings up in preparation for a deeper blog post to savor later when better time and exploration can be dedicated to them.
And sometimes they do turn into much more and get published. And sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they never evolve and really are just shorter capsules of ideas in the moment – tasty tidbits of ponderings and half-eaten conversations that honestly don’t have anything more to do, or become, right now.
In looking over my list of possible blog posts, I’ve realized that sometimes one of those posts is only supposed to be just a few “deep thoughts.” Just some occurrences of ideas to fling out there for consideration and/or discuss amongst peers, if anyone wants to engage. And that’s just that.
So in that spirit, instead of saving a zillion drafts every time something crosses my brain (my list of drafts is getting too long to manage!), I’m launching a series on my blog simply tagged Crochet Ruminations.
With that intro, here’s the latest….
The New Frontier…
Technology has brought us to the beginning of a new frontier in the world and we’re the pioneers laying the groundwork for what is to come, for ourselves and for future generations. History is literally being made.
How this new frontier works for crochet is being driven by the people actively in it. People like us, anyone who is willing to move to uncharted territory and figure it out.
The same is happening in other fields too. The internet is the “new land” to settle. There’s no reason why anyone who has the will can’t figure it out and benefit.
The thing I find extremely important to register in our heads though, as Laurie points out (a.k.a. Fearless Leader from the Crochet Liberation Front), it takes working with others, not shouldering the responsibilities of the world alone, or shoving everyone else out of the way. That is not to invalidate the need for personal hard work and responsibility. However, it is said that successful business people know at heart what school doesn’t teach us. That life is not a closed book test, that we don’t succeed by cutting others off, that the only way to succeed is to do it with the help of others. And that often a sign of a successful person is one who continues to train and learn and someone who recognizes and values the expertise of others.
We walk a fine balance of working hard on our own, but also benefiting from the help and insight from others. Whether we hire them, or we accept help from a friend. Trying to go it completely alone, making sure everyone knows we did it by ourselves and without help, does not work outside the classroom. It is not a place of balance, nor a sign of success (and neither is the opposite). In reality, no one expects you to perform alone in adulthood – only on standardized tests. And those who believe they do not need advice, training or learning, who only boast on “did it myself” laurels, surely exhibit signs of impending implosion.
Coaching, master minds, discussions, hiring experts, studying, training, practicing, learning new tools and technologies, comparing notes with peers, understanding that old ways don’t always work today and that some old things never lose their effectiveness and sometimes what works for someone else is not right for you – all these things are important. Settling the West was not born on the shoulders of one person. In fact, to try to do such, was almost certain death. People had to come together with their varying talents and work ethics to form the foundation for something great.
In thinking about this, what things do you see as it affects the crochet world that we should be mindful of?