Friday, August 22, 2008

Stepping It Up

So here's the thing...it is midnight. I can't sleep. My mind is all in an uproar and I can't shut it down. I have been thinking quite a bit the past couple of days about my crochet business. I am not happy. Not happy at all. Why? Let me tell you...

1. I haven't designed anything new in quite some time. I have not released ANY patterns on my site since Jan. That alone makes me sad. I want to design, I really do. But why am I not? Because I am so caught up living life, I guess. Sewing? Carpal Tunnel? Kissing a 3 year old while baking chocolate chip cookies for Daddy? I don't really know.

2. Testers are really hard to come by. Good testers. The kind that finish a project they start. The kind that find errors and let you know they found them so you can correct them. The kind that don't run off in the middle of testing with your pattern, never to be heard from again. These are the kind of testers that are hard to come by. I guess these kind of testers want paid. I wish I could pay my testers. That might just solve my issues. Oh how I wish I made enough money at this business to pay them. Maybe then they would stick around.

3. My designs are sub-par. You would think that after two years of doing this, I would be getting better at it. Nope. I do believe I am getting worse. Either that or my knowledge is increasing so that now I know how terrible at this I really am. Either way, my designs are not good. Wait. Not the designs. The designs are great...its the patterns. The interpretation of the designs so that others can crochet the same thing that's in my head...that's the part that's no good.

What makes me say this? I learned something today. Something that would have been very valuable two years ago. Its a little word called "grading". Ever heard of that word? I hadn't until today. Once I heard it, I knew immediately what my patterns were lacking. They lack grading. The subtle changes between sizes that make the design fit each of the different sizes. The point? You can't just plug in some numbers and do math and have the article of clothing look, fit and feel the same on all the sizes. No. There has to be some "grading".

Okay. So, why does this have me feeling discouraged? Because I feel as though all my work for the past two years has been in vain. Because I don't know if I have what it takes inside of me to learn this new skill. Because I don't know...I just don't know. Do I need to re-design all my previous patterns now to bring them up to par? I just don't feel right selling things I know are wrong. Do I just start over with my new designs and leave the old ones alone? Do I quit?

Opps. Did I say that? Well, to be honest...the thought has crossed my mind. Seriously, I've been contemplating it. But, can I give it up? I don't think I can. I have invested too much time and love and passion into this to give it up so easily. (I won't even mention finances...that has been invested too) So where does that leave me? Well, I guess I must now learn "grading". That's the only option left open to me. I can't quit. I love it too much. I can't sell sub-par patterns. (that would be WRONG) So, I have to better myself. I must learn the art of grading patterns. I must apply myself fully to this and learn and study until I have mastered it and can proudly say, "I designed that".

Now that I got that off my mind, maybe I will go try to get some sleep. We are heading out early tomorrow to hit the beach. (Ohhhhhh...I'm gonna be soooooo tired) Goodnight Ya'll.

8 comments:

Lady_MSnow said...

I just wanted to say....your designs are NOT subpar.

Debra said...

My darling, you are too sweet. And too hard on yourself. I do believe that you will be able to learn this new skill easier than you think.. Maybe get some household patterns and some new purse patterns up for testers and for selling while you concentrate on the grading thing. that way if you want to redo all of your clothing patterns you have others out there for purchase.
doilies, purses, kids toys, shawls, none of these require sizes.. get some of those going and then you can get to work on the other..
You are a wonderful designer- don't let the enemy steal your joy!
I love you sweetie!!
debra

Sherri said...

The Lord knows what you are going thruogh and He will be there to help you along your way.
If you need a tester I would be happy to help Ive read your blog for some time now and I totally enjoy it. I dont know about your designs but I would love to help pay or no pay I enjoy crocheting. Sherri

Marika Simon said...

Dear Anna,
I have just signed up to be a tester on your testing board. Your designs are beautiful, though I have not yet had the chance to make one.
You mention problems with grading - well, join the professional crochet pattern writers club - many patterns and pattern writers have overlooked grading... at least you realise you have! :') That means you can now do something about it!
There is an interesting thread on grading at Crochetville on the Design Discussion board - I came across it today after reading your post last night, maybe some of the books and resources and ideas there could give you what you are in need of?
Don't give up (even if just to let me have the selfish goal of testing one of your patterns sometime :')...)
"being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Php 1:6 NIV
If this is not just a whim, but a calling and a leading a good work prepared for you by the Lord - He will carry it on to completion, so rest in that and don't struggle on in only your own strength...
Blessings,
Marika(mum)

mom4x said...

Oh Anna.. you are much too critical of yourself. Your designs are great and I do think you are improving as time goes.

As for the lack of lately... Just think of all the things you have been going through. Everyone has dry spells. Don't get discouraged... and keep your head up. You will only be able to create great designs if your heart is in it and you want to ... not when you are feeling pressured that you need to do it.

I am very proud of you and hope you are feeling better about yourself and your crochet after some sleep. If you need to talk just give me a call....

Love
Misty

mom4x said...

Oh Anna.. you are much too critical of yourself. Your designs are great and I do think you are improving as time goes.

As for the lack of lately... Just think of all the things you have been going through. Everyone has dry spells. Don't get discouraged... and keep your head up. You will only be able to create great designs if your heart is in it and you want to ... not when you are feeling pressured that you need to do it.

I am very proud of you and hope you are feeling better about yourself and your crochet after some sleep. If you need to talk just give me a call....

Love
Misty

Brandie said...

Anna, breathe and relax! It will be okay .... I can see from another post that you have jumped in to tackle this. But don't let it overwhelm you at all!

titus2woman said...

THAT'S IT! I'm going to buy my very favorite~the Thanksgiving one~as soon as I have the funds in my account. I know it's advanced, I'll need a bigger size, and I'm gonna just PROVE that it will be GREAT! So there. (((((HUGS))))) sandi