Monday, November 23, 2015

A Pattern with a Story





  For all the times I insist that I'm an intelligent person... I really do dumb things sometimes. Really. Like, sewing buttons on backwards; thinking I can get out of Wal-Mart in only 20 minutes; believing that the kids actually cleaned their room. And putting patterns up for sale on Ravelry for only $2.50, when it took me a year to design. Hello! Brain? Where do you go when I need you?




Ravelry. for sale, crochet pattern, table runner





  So, the people purchasing my pattern say it's a great price. I would think so, too, if I was buying it. Please, do not feel bad; enjoy your cheap pattern. And all the knowledgeable people in the crafty world are saying "Hey, stupid! You'll never make a profit!" Noooo... That's not what ya'll really told me, but that's what my brain started saying when it came back from vacation. So... If that's what any of you were implying with your kinder-than-that words, then you can see that I get the point.




  However, what do you consider "profit"? I only need to sell the pattern three or four times to make my money back from the yarn used. Time spent... Now, there's where the story starts: How worried am I about getting paid for time spent, when the pattern was a gift to begin with? I still would have made it, regardless if I make money from it. Yes, it took me a year to finish, but for much of that time the project was idle. Let's get to that story to explain:




  Once upon a time, I designed a lacy fall table runner. I really, really liked it, but my ugly hand-me-down coffee table did it no justice. On the other hand, my parents have nice, what-I-consider-new furniture. And the green I used in the project goes quite well with their color scheme. So, mom got the table runner. And unlike many people that receive gifts from me, she said "Thank you". I like "thank you's". And mom liked the table runner enough that she asked me to make her one for Christmastime, too.




fall table runner, autumn, home decor, free crochet pattern





  Sure, I can start a table runner for Christmas in late October! I have plenty of time to get it done, right? Ha! That was in 2014. Long-time readers may remember me sharing a picture of the work-in-progress I was trying frantically to finish. I didn't. I had made an awesome motif that had bobble stitch "holly berries" and a complicated pattern for "leaves", which I intended to surround with "snow". I had some trouble with the stitch count I ended with, which made it impossible to turn it into a decent-looking square. So, it became a hexagon motif.




  I showed a "square" to mom. (I don't know why my brain still insists on calling it a square when it's clearly a hexagon... But you know what I mean.) She loved it. I did too! It still turned out to be a failed design. The six leaves could have been turned into a true square, but the motif just kept growing, and growing... Until it was fourteen inches across, and I still had two rounds to go before it would truly be a square. Too big. And that's how it got ripped out and turned into the hexagon.




crochet pattern, hexagon motif





  That's not the happy ending. There was no happy ending for that motif. It looks so great, but the pattern is complicated and hard to follow. Because I had to bind off and start in a new place in a few rounds, it used more yarn than needed. And when I started working out how the joining and border would be done, I ran into more problems with an un-dividable stitch count. I hate prime numbers.




  I also hate to give up, but I get impatient and move on to new things. I still have the pattern for that motif, and perhaps someday I'll fix the issues. Until then, I started a whole new project. One with an easier pattern to follow, and using less yarn. One that didn't constantly end up as a multiple of thirteen that needed to be divided evenly by four. One that I finished!




  So really, there wasn't a year in designing the new table runner. It was just a year of not designing the right one. Once I finally worked the pattern out, it only took me about a week to finish this one. Of course... I made the centers for the motifs all in a night, then let the pattern sit untouched for another week. Then I added the "leaves", and let it sit for another week or so... And then there was probably another week before I joined the squares, once they were finished. Maybe I should try having less WIP's and concentrate more on finishing something...


Ha, ha... Yeah right!


  But seriously, to add up the time I actually worked on it, I had this project done in a week or less. Add to that the time it takes a designer to edit, test, and write the pattern, plus take pictures, and maybe... Maybe I have two weeks of work in it. Including mistakes, interruptions, and temper tantrums... One year. So, how can you calculate the real value of something like that?




crochet pattern, Holly Holiday Table Runner





  I'm not that worried about it. Mom loves her holiday table runner, and that's what counts the most. The second-most important thing is that I learned how to sell a pattern on Ravelry - Something I've been meaning to do for a long time. And because I couldn't figure out the promotional code-thing, I put the pattern up for super-cheap. You know what?... While writing this, I'm starting to think I have borderline disease-level procrastination. When something doesn't go right, I'll keep putting it off. I really should think more about that some other time.


-The end.




Happy Crocheting!





4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the story behind the pattern. I enjoy reading your blog and can relate to the challenges you deal with and write about. Thanks for sharing both. It isn't easy to put one's self out there the way you do.I think it's quite refreshing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tasha! Although I found it difficult at first, the more I blog, the easier it is to write about personal situations. I love telling the stories behind my patterns. It makes them more than just a random pattern, to me at least.

      Delete
    2. I know exactly how you feel, your story is really great Jenny - I felt ya in it! The best thing you did was to keep at it until you got it the way you wanted it, even if you're not yet satisfied or done! I write my patterns for pieces I like for myself, then I share them with others for sale at what I consider affordable and fair prices compared to similar patterns on Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy. Sometimes I've thought I should charge more when it takes me a while to write instructions in understandable crochet language. I've yet to write a pattern using a diagram only, and I may never do it, who knows yet?
      I know people don't have a lot of $$ for extras like that right now, with little ole things like FOOD being so high. We're on a fixed (ie, broke) income so there is only a non-budget budget for this household.... so I just charge what I hope people can afford to pay and will pay if they really my pattern. I use standards and write my patterns as best as I possibly can, truly putting my heart & soul into them. I think they're enjoyable to follow as far as love of crochet goes, and every piece means I design means the world to me. I can only convey that by writing them the best I can, and have never had a complaint even tho I put my links to every social site I'm on on the pattern if they need to contact me. The only contact I've ever had is when someone who buys a pattern likes my fb crochet page. I closed my blog site down since it overwhelmed my health problems. I hated to close it but it was just too much for me to do and still be able to crochet for myself and all the reasons I do it, which includes making pieces for myself, gifts, donations, charity, and constantly improving my abilities and learning new stitches and stitch patterns. I do it my way too! Keep up the great work!!

      Delete
    3. I really enjoyed your blog, Susan. It's a shame you had to let it go, but I know how it can take away from what we REALLY want to do, and it's important to concentrate on your health. I'm glad I can still follow you on social media, and yay, I found you on Ravelry! (Forgive me, I'm still figuring it out.) You keep up the great work, too!

      And... Okay... Because I'm a nice person... I was saving this for a blog post, but thought you'd like to try it out if you ever get interested in writing a diagram: https://www.stitchfiddle.com/en/chart/new

      I'm still learning that, too. I think maybe it could be easier to use, or maybe I just don't have it figured all the way out. But hey, it's free. Hope you like it.

      Delete

Comment moderation is now enabled because of those nasty spammers - Sorry!
Your comment will go through after you click "publish", but it won't be visible until approved.