Tag Archives: teaching

Untapped Marketing – Crochet Ruminations

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!



Filed under Crochet Ruminations

Old plastic crochet hooks…..?

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In a world where crochet hooks are my favorite tools, I personally find plastic hooks to be the least of my favorites. I have a couple, just ‘cuz I’ve been stranded without a hook before and have gone to the nearest craft store and grabbed one. Why you ask? Because even using a plastic hook coupled with box store yarn is still better than none a’tall when you are doomed to sit and wait for hours on your kids or a late appointment.

Since I really don’t like plastic hooks though and because they are cheap, I hang onto them to give away to those I end up teaching crochet to, etc.. They are not bad for beginning to learn. (And believe it or not, doing a crochet demo for kids at a show can make a big difference in attendance on your side of the expo while folks watch -and they will- not to mention the general behavior of bored kids tends to improve as well. I’ve been thanked by surrounding artists more than a few times.)

Susan Bates Vintage "Bone" Luxite Crochet Hook

If you have vintage “bone” colored hooks that are Bates, they are probably Luxite like this one, not Bakelite. These were made to look like bone. Genuine bone hooks are somewhat collectible and perhaps Luxite would be to some degree. Though I do collect hooks, I don’t personally collect these. However others do.

If you don’t want to hang onto your older plastic hooks, try eBay and throw them together as a mixed lot. I do see the older ones sell there in many conditions I wouldn’t buy for actual use. Modern plastic hooks are not really a draw for bids alone, but older hooks are. People will buy an auction full of hooks to get just one vintage one they want, like any collectible hobby. Even so, I have seen “bone” hooks on eBay that are obviously not.

When listing a lot of hooks together for an auction, you might consider tossing in a couple tags in like 4-H and Girl Scouts and teaching too. And better yet, write an explanation about the idea in your description. When I did demos for Maker Faire Austin and a scout class, I scoured eBay for economical hooks that I could afford to lose or give away.

And I know I’m not the only one!

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Filed under crochet, Editorial

I’d Rather Calm Down a Geyser Than Have to Jump-Start a Mud Hole…

“I’d rather calm down a geyser than have to jump-start a mud hole,” is a quote that I have loved for many years, because I think it puts things into a very appropriate perspective.

I have the opportunity to lecture or speak on a semi-regular basis. For my work, for the service I do, for the kids’ school when we needed to talk to the city counsel, meetings, when I teach… yada. Sometimes it’s planned, sometimes it’s impromptu. And generally whatever the reason, it is for something I am passionate about.

However, I also recognize that my passion can cause me to speed up. This is exhibited not just in my language, but my heart rate and breathing too and internally I feel myself winding up like a guitar string on its last leg. And when you are keyed up, everyone around you picks up on it too and communication is often not as effective.

So my tactic to deal with this before each occasion is to take a few seconds and breathe. And if I can, meditate even for just a moment. Deliberately slowing your breathing also calms your heart rate. It’s a useful technique as a mother to calm a restless baby. But for speaking, I do not abandon the passion – I transform that fire into a slow calm burn, even visualizing it to help my mind, and body, comply. And I pace my words. Allowing for the occasion in the process for punctuation, fueled by that passion, to come through at the appropriate time.

I do this because that passion is the fuel. That passion is what allows me to do what I do best to communicate a message, whatever it is, to others.

Public speaking, and I think likewise leadership, is often like a musical performance. To truly capture interest (and understanding) from beginning to end, there must be a marriage of elements. Being calm and controlled in action and delivery is part of it. And all through that is a chord of passionate fuel that maintains the process and carries it all through. There has to be a source of passion that peeks through part of the time and punctuates your audience’s experience of your communication. Whether your audience is your boss, the planning group at work, the students you teach, or the business owners considering your fundraiser.

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Filed under Business, Editorial