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I started the CLF as a joke on Ravelry, back in July of 2007. The joke was on me, we're a real group, that seeks to liberate ourselves from stereo types about our craft and ourselves. Other than being called "Fearless Leader", I'm a designer, mother, editor, wife, hand spinner, yarn addict, incessant reader, and over all geek in the coolest of geeky ways.

Beware Defamers of the Hook!

Beware Defamers of the Hook!
Like Joan of Arc, and the Scarlet Pimpernel we are here to seek Justice!

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Official Blog of the Crochet Liberation Front

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

4 o'clock in the morning RANT

Yes, it's past bedtime. I've spent most of the night and early hours of this A.M. working on the
Second Book. Sadly not even bleary eyed at this point, I'm energized and have unclogged a bit of a creative block.

I like how I layed out the first book, but I don't want all our books to look like clones lay out wise, and I want to retain the clarity (and improve it) of the space used. I was stuck on one particular pattern and how I wanted it to look and I licked it!

Part of what drove me so hard, was being niggled all night after listening to Getting Loopy with Mary Beth Temple. Her guest was the editor of Crochet World Magazine. Now, I don't see this magazine often in my area, but I have bought it in the past.

I'm an equal opportunity crocheter, I like all kinds of patterns. I do not belong in the camp that believes crochet has to be all about fashion. I like fashion, and wearable crochet, but I also like hats, scarves and quick gift crochet, too. In fact I like kitsch, as the family of garden gnomes in my front yard can tell you, and my poor best friend has to put up with (though she's bought me most of those gnomes!). So, it's not the content I have a problem with, when I say the conversation on the show bothered me.

That niggle stayed with me all evening, I tried to pin point what really bugged me about it. And as I finished off the pattern that was attempting to thwart my layout efforts, I realized what was really bothering me.

It was the tone and tenor of the words, the inbetween the lines that I perceived as the editor explained what her "market" is and what they want. I'm rarely the demographic for most marketing efforts, but I am very much right on when it comes to crochet. (Kind of a relief not to be a complete oddball)

We, in the chatroom, asked if they were planning to add charts and/or schematics. Charts are especially useful when working with thread or lace making. and Crochet World often has thread projects.

The response was dismissive, and the pat answer of "Our market isn't interested in this, none of our surveys indicated our readers want charts or schematics." was given. My first thought was, did you ask on the survey if that's what people wanted? It's hard to indicate you want something if you don't ask the question. I've never been polled by Crochet World, seen a poll by them or survey so I can't say what was asked.

Why the all or nothing attitude? Why is it so hard to have a chart or two, or a schematic now and then? Why not offer a little more, why be satified with what has always been? We've lost some very fine crochet magazines over the past five or six years. I don't think it's necessarily because crocheters don't buy magazines, I think it's because the folks who run the magazines forget to evolve and keep a value added nature to their publications. Things change, markets change, and if you are good at what you do, you make your market.

I'm not saying replace written instructions with charts, or schematics, heck I like a mix of both. I don't think all patterns require charts/schematics even. I do prefer my doilies and lace and fillet to have a chart versus just written instructions.

I don't think I'm alone. I don't think I'm cutting edge in this desire, I think I'm shooting straight down the middle.

So I ask you, what do you think?

If you have two magazines to choose from with equal pattern types, will you pick the one with only written instructions/photos, or the one with written instructions/photos/ and charts &/or shematics.

I'm asking the question on our ravelry message board, you can answer it there if you like ;)

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