Self Proclamation of Being a Crochet Designer

Featured Crochet Designers
Featured Crochet Designers
Featured Crochet Designers

In the world of crochet, there is a multi-tier of what separates the home crocheters from a teacher to a master teacher to a designer and so on.

For myself, I went from a very amateur crocheter directly to YouTube Host. As most of you have realized, I am growing along with you as a host. I even entered this field without even being able to read a pattern. I know! EH! 

Thinking Back

I wanted to become a teacher for a national chain store but I needed to get certification for doing it. Just follow 10 lessons, submit my homework and voila, I’m a certified teacher. I never completed it because I was set in my ways on how I wanted to teach. The way I teach breaks the rules and with my memory hooks and stuff. I thought I’ll just stick with YouTube and do what I know and continue to learn the stitches and concepts as I go. So I am not a certified teacher, but I classify myself as a crochet educator and I am sure I have taught my share of people how to hook at this stage.

You don’t always need a piece of paper to validate ya!

I designed my first hat back in 2009 and I thought to myself, “Does this make me a crochet designer?” Like who really is dictating that anyway? Maybe you need to write a book to classify yourself as a designer? Today’s technology is more digital today than anything.

I went on to design other things and blankets and more but I couldn’t add designer to my name without a lot of self-reflection. It just seems too easy to proclaim being a designer without any regulations. I don’t have a book that’s been in stores but I have several eBooks. I have over 2500 articles written and been featured in magazines and stuff, but does that make me a designer. In my eyes no it didn’t. The bar is too low for me to do a self-proclamation without feeling like I deserved the title. Again, I’m talking about me, what others do on this subject is up to them.

What You Don’t Know

I went to school for engineering design. I have my rulers, design pencils, reference materials and conceptual thoughts. My desk was laid out with scribbles and sketches and math formulas to make it work. Shuffling between papers to locate information and thumbing through manuals to get the dimensions of the threads for bolts and nuts. True design and engineering. In time, it became computerized so the manuals were shifted to electronic data but you still have to shift. Nothing was a fluke, it was a strategy for me.

I’ve ticked off several people in my journey as a crochet host to not refer to me as a designer. To me, I was still in the learning phases. Each design is the next step to the step after that. With that, knowledge and skill-building is filling my head. Problems that I would have seen in 2009 are nowhere near complex as they are today that I can solve.

Mikey Design Graphing
Mikey Design Graphing
  • I’ve had to learn technical writing for the yarn arts.
  • I’ve been learning to draw schematics and diagrams on the computer.
  • Best of all, the concepts are strategy and not flukes anymore.
  • Everything I design is mapped out on graph paper as I complete each step.
  • I leave myself notes for memory hooks. Honestly, I’m in my glory!

Finally, Hit Designer Status This Week

Michael Sellick - Mikey
Michael Sellick – Mikey

I’ve just completed a design that literally has blown me out of the water. I couldn’t have designed as I did without the years of skill-building. Yarnspirations Design Team has been instrumental in advice when I need it. Jeanne was my mentor for the Asterix. I never really got the * to ** in designs. She really knows how to write the designs to cut down the words to standard yarnie lingo.

Yesterday and today, I realized I finally hit what I believe to be a designer title for myself. I am shuffling my papers, I am testing my stitches, I’m drawing myself notes with technical pens and making the schematics on the computer. My finished example is completed charted out on graph paper, 11 pages to be exact, and now I am putting the graph paper to real written words.

I am making a 2nd sample as I type each line of instructions so my sample matches my graph and matches the words on the screen. I’m tired but it’s a joyful tired. It’s satisfaction. Once I am done a row, I type out the next instruction, hook it and test it again.

There are some things in life that I can claim easily but I felt if I wanted to take myself seriously in the industry, I had to earn my place. Yes, we have a substantial community base and I am a mentor of crochet in leading people with stitchwork and concepts. I earned the title of crochet educator but the designer was the next level for me.

Like anything, my designs don’t always resonate but it’s not about the project itself if it fails. It’s about the skills it gave me in the process. To me, it’s a win, even if others didn’t see value in my design. The measurement of growth is within me, not necessarily trying to score a mittful of likes. However, I will admit, I’m hard on myself if I think something will do well when it skids across the floor and tanks.

This design I cannot show you yet but I will say, it’s a blue ribbon winner and the technical skills that I put into it were astounding and even blowing myself away. Daniel pushed me to think differently this time around and that push without settling has given me something in return. A moment of being proud of myself and a moment that I know, I’ve learned a lot and it shows.

I know some of you may say, you’ve been a designer longer than this moment but to me, I felt I hadn’t earned the right to say it out loud with confidence. Today, I can say it.

Okay, I’m a designer… what’s my next goal?

More Ideas

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  1. Monica

    Mikey, I too am not a traditional crocheted, and have also taught ppl to crochet in a non-traditional form. I also have designed original items, and am not considered a designer by many. I struggled with wanting to be acknowledged as a designer/teacher, but couldn’t get anyone to see me or my work in a serious way. You are one of the lucky ones. You filled a gap and ppl wanted you. I envy that.

    • Mikey

      It took me 5 years to get taken seriously. Then another several years to really start building my skills. It’s now year 13 and I am finally feeling like I hit designer status. It’s taken me so long to get here. I have found that it’s not others who define what I am, it’s me personally. You don’t need the approval of others to know what you are Monica. If being acknowledged for what you have accomplished is the goal, maybe you are looking at the wrong metric. I look at success and approval differently. You will never get to your goal if the unit of measure is unachievable, maybe changing the goal post and definition of success is in order. I have been to trade shows where I literally have been rejected because I don’t have a published book. I was shunned because we have built a community without that in the back pocket. If I was to measure success by what people felt at that tradeshow and others I have been to, I am still sub-par to the industry. So the goals and ways of looking at success have to be changed as I have broken the normalcy of the industry. Maybe you are in the same situation. However, behind the scenes, it’s brutal and is why I no longer attend conferences and meet ups as an industry professional unless I have no choice. It’s rough.

  2. Edwyn Stevenson-Bryan

    A lovely article. I do enjoy to hear how different people experience their own crochet journey. I do like the word “designer” though, it has a certain ring to it. I love teaching crochet too, I have learned more crochet skills since teaching crochet, than ever before. Brilliant work. Thanks for sharing. ✨

  3. Diane

    Congratulations Mikey! I admire your perseverance. I know there were times when (un)social media made you want to give it all up, but you stuck with it, and aren’t you glad you did? I know you don’t know me, and I usually read not post, but I have followed your journey so I feel like I know you, and I am so very proud of you!

    • Lisa

      Mikey I just want to tell you I tried to watch other utube crochet videos and it was impossible to follow them and the patterns I would like to try ended up never being right, something was alway left out half way through the pattern. It was after I got a DIY crochet book I found you! I have made your patterns and Afghans many times , my favorite is the pinwheel peppermint 😍
      My daughter has 3 of them but different colors Ofcourse ! I can follow you with my eyes closed. You are the greatest bestest teacher/instructor/crochet artist on Utube. When I get ready to crochet I look for your patterns only. I would say your very much certified to teach and you explain everything as you go. ❤️❤️❤️You Mickey!

      • Mikey

        That was a really fun pattern of the peppermint one. I’m super glad you find value in what we offer. 🙂 I hope you have a super great day! – Michael

    • Monica

      Thank you. You are very encouraging. I feel you have hit it spot on. Also…..we love you…❤

  4. Christine Sveistys

    This a great! well deserved. I follow you so much…and you are a great teacher!

  5. Kelly Lane

    Its a natural progression to want to design I think. You’ve been a crochet guru to thousands for many years now, its not at all surprising to us. In fact we as an audience probably refer to you and CC designer, since thats really what you’ve been from day 1. To achieve this milestone in your own mind is a HUGE deal and I’m so glad you are seeing the mastery and beauty in your style and designs. This latest one is brilliant and absolutely your greatest work. Since I”ve been a fan for a few years now I can see the growth in just that small amt of time. This last spring CAL with Jeanne was fantastic and also showcased the skills and talent of both of you, it was a huge success and alot of fun. My friend you’ve reached this new level in your journey and I can’t wait to see whats next.

    • My name is Lene, Iam from Brazil.I’ve been in USA for 25 years in June.. Crochet have been one of my favorite mind therapy. I was 8 years old when I started by watching my Sister.. I can do anything without crochet directions. I just need to know what a person want. I’ve made Dora da Explorer about 3 feet, Baby doll about 2 feet, teddy bear, Barbie clothes, New born blankets, clothes, booties.
      I love crocheting 🧶 Thank you for doing what you’re doing, it’s beautiful. God Bless 🙏🏼

  6. Sylvie Gagne

    Mikey, I relearned how to crochet with your videos and your approach always resonated with me. I’m an engineer and i think our brains work differently than “artistic” people. A designer to me is someone who can combine the technical and the artistic. You are that! Looking forward to what you will do next!

  7. Congrats, Mikey. I knew you coul get here. What’s next? Design whatever fancies you!

  8. Ana Rosario Alas

    Love to follow your patterns in You Tube!!

  9. Judy. Harwood

    I’m proud of you. You earned it. Love you. Stay safe.

  10. Mikey, I was looking on YouTube for crochet help and stumbled onto your page. I was blown away. I watched your videos for several months until I got the courage to start a blanket of yours on my own with your video. I also made my kids buy me yarn for Christmas so I can make another blanket that you have on YouTube. Your way of teaching makes it easy to follow. I’ve learned so much. Thank you for being so amazing!!!

  11. Charlene

    Congratulations! I am excited to see what you have designed and look forward to many years of designs from you and your team!

  12. Mary Monk

    You have always been my favorite teacher, so now you will also be my favorite designer! I have always called you a designer, but I am glad you are comfortable with the title now. Thanks for all your hard work, thanks for all your inspiration, thanks for all the times you giggle, and thanks for all your tips and tricks and “cheats”. I especially thank you for all the left-handed videos which have taught a 50+ year crocheter lots of stitches and patterns I didn’t think I would ever get. You and your team are the reason so many people are now crocheting. You all should be proud!!!!!!!

  13. D. Ackerman

    Very nice summation of your skills, desires and goals.
    Keep doing what you’re doing…..we love it!
    You have found your passion and purpose.😊

  14. Nancy H

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have made it to the top of a mental mountain, and fully deserve your self-congratulations. Journey on to define and climb that *next* mountain!! I can’t wait to see what it is!

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