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!
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.
- 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
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?
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