Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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March 20th, 2008 at 00:08 am

Putting On Your Big Girl Panties,

Or how to get thrown out of a “professional group” run by a hobby organization.

Throwing all caution to the winds, (and having grown tired of responding every day or so to individual messages) here is the fateful message that caused me to be removed from “Professional” group

It has been edited it for clarity and to provide context where it was necessary to remove quoting since I do not have permission to post the writings of another.

It is very important to know that all this is in the context of what a serious fan of the work of the Craft Yarn Council for the Yarn business I really am.

Wheat is a HUGE fan of the Wonderful Information provided for Consumers and Hobbyist by the Craft yarn council at its many websites and particularly Yarn Standards

In fact, had the original post not complained about Yarn Standards was not detailed enough (although it turns out the info she needed WAS there, but she lacked the experience in pattern authoring to know it)

Along with the unwillingness to do what it takes to become a professional by investing in professional resources such as those offered by ASTM in thier 7.1 Textile Standards documents containing information that a well authored pattern should contain.

There is a reasonable chance I would have ignored the message completely.

Instead that message was a “trigger” to the following is really a reaction to a number of messages posted here and in other Designer groups and an out growth of conversations “off the lists”.

First, please understand – at least in my observation –

Yarn Standards is a “volunteer” effort, intended for use by “the average crafter”. Its content reflects the information needed by that audience to successfully complete a project based on the patterns and tools “generally sold” “in the chains”.

It never was or should be considered as anything more than a good starting point, not the place a professional should be looking for the kind of information that comes both from experience and education.

There are some excellent resources at YARNstandards STILL lots needed for good pattern writing are missing since they are not appropriate to the intended use of the site. So, its primary use by design professionals is to have some clue as to what the consumer may expect – a starting point, not the end of your research.

Education is very much available in books and other resources – about 90% of what I know about any of the NeedleArts was learned from books mostly borrowed from the library and often as not Thur inter-library loan.

Part of the path to becoming a professional in any field is the acquisition of the “tools of the trade” and there are many resources for those willing to make the effort.

Over the years I have developed my reference library mostly by haunting used book stores and today it is often easier to find must haves using the WWW.

All this while either working full time or raising children and for at least 15 years BOTH – not too mention acquiring a series of Association Degree in things of interest to me at the time.

Today my “business” time is about evenly divided between our other business interests, working in NeedleArts, and self-education because the world is always changing and what I learned 50 years or 50 weeks ago, may not be relevant today.

There have been many times in my life when financial resources have meant making hard choices based on available resources.

– Buy Yarn for a “charity ” project vs buy a book that I would use for my entire career (and I have many of those)

– Buy a range of hook sizes in utilitarian materials (aluminum) vs one “designer/collector hook”

– Take a 2nd job I did not like to have the $$$ to invest in attending my first TNNA a zillion years ago

Many times local Knitting & Weaving Guilds have extensive libraries – another resource I have been fortunate to avail myself of over the years… when I could afford the dues.

AND one of the reasons many of us fought so hard to see that CGOA did not sell of its library – the long term value to members far outweighed any cost to maintain it for the benefit of members today and in the future.

There is quite a bit more to the Business of Design then just working up a finished article or changing the colors or yarns used by someone else. So NO, while you may be quite artistic and creative, you are not a designer unless the project started with a blank piece of paper and possible a stitch guide ‘for technical reference’

If the work to obtain the education and other tools needed to be a competent pattern author are not part of your plans, then perhaps you need to reassess your current plan.

There are many paths in the NeedleArts Industry for those who love string.

Teching patterns requires that you have even more experience and background AND a love of the esoteric details of sizing – and not to mention access to a good technical library.

As someone who loves to teach, I know that can be just one of many extremely rewarding paths within the NeedleArts Community – although certainly those who are “good” spend a great deal of time developing their expertise.

Other equally important if less demanding of experience and education are the tasks of testing or model making. This, BTW, is not a bad way to “learn by osmosis” some of the fine details of what helps make a pattern a better product and lots of aspiring pattern authors start there.

Teaching… Just as you have apparently taken the time and devoted the resources to obtaining your
CYCA certification, you also need to be prepared to devote even more time and greater financial resources if you wish to publish in any form.

You might find it worthwhile to also consider obtaining the guidelines for TKGA’s Education programs for technical excellence or the

COE’s (Certificate of Excellence”) Guides offered by the Handweavers Guild of America – All very low cost self study programs. Certainly HGA’s COE’s are well worth the $12 I paid for each of the booklets JUST for the Bibliography of References and is where I probably learned more about YARN than any other single resource guide.

It is so truly wonderful that we have so many resources so reasonably if not free, available to us thanks to the Information super highway,

We are fortunate to work in a field where so many are willing to offer a Hand UP (but growing tired of those who expect a Hand OUT)

But like my daddy used to say,

The Best Place To Find A Helping Hand

Is At The End Of YOUR Wrist.

It is up to each of us to decide if we can afford the time and resources required to become professional in any of the areas of endeavor associated with our chosen trade, the Business of NeedleArts Design

JSTTA – Just Something To Think About

Wheat
The YARNandTHREAD Group

P.S, if you still reading, you may some of the leads helpful in my resource domain, FiberArt.Net and some have told me that the articles about the business of design entries in my blog have also been helpful.

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    As usual, I have missed something along the way. I haven’t kept up with any sort of crochet groups (work & life) and now I find out you got yourself tossed out of a group. I’d ask (as my mom would) “what did you do _now_?” but I figure it’s something along the lines of what my dad would have said “they probably didn’t want to hear the truth”….
    Sorry you got tossed out, that stinks, but I’m sure you have your reasons for saying whatever it was you said. The references to the expense of acquiring materials makes me think I know where that discussion might be;) At any rate, hooray for you!

    blazelaflame on March 21st, 2008

 

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