Saturday, January 7, 2012

Crochet is a Business

I joined the Twitter community this summer. One of the subjects that always interests me is #crochetisabusiness or crochet is a business.  Most of my social circle are non-crocheters or non-knitters, so their interest in my work is minimal. But when I am able to get a conversation going about design, they are always surprised to find out that it really is a business that requires a broad range of skills as well as talent. And, as a business owner, I must wear many different hats to make it work.

The first hat, of course, is the ability to design a crochet or knit piece. The cornerstone of a design is a good idea. And where do those ideas come  from?

Anywhere and everywhere. Some designers start with a yarn, and let that yarn "speak" to them, telling them what it wants to become. Some start with an image, such as the mountain stream in an earlier post, or a mosaic on a subway wall.

I usually start with something that I need or want. My watch band broke. Ordinary people would buy a new one, but a designer looks for a way to make one. First, I searched online to see what types of patterns were available (hey, maybe I don't have to design one after all!). There were a few patterns, but none really said "I'm IT". Yesterday I walked to Michael's while waiting for car repairs and while there, I saw a leather band. The Muse jumped on that image. When I got home, I dug out a ball of Bergere de France Coton 50 in navy. I sketched a little, then stitched.

The end result is not a fabulous design -- yet. But it is functional and a good jumping off point for more inspiration.

The design process is just that -- a process. And one that doesn't always result in success on the first attempt. Sometimes ideas need an incubation period; maybe more images are needed to make that idea complete.

The process also contains contains an editing phase. Ellen Gormley of GoCrochet posted about taking that idea or project from a good idea to a great one. What needs to be added, what needs to be taken away, does the stitch pattern do this design justice, does the yarn enhance or detract from the design?

I love it when those questions are answered and I can move on to the next idea.

Happy Stitching!

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