Archive | July 2012

New Crochet Pattern Review Blog (and a bit of a rant)

I don’t know about you, but I am soooo sick and tired of poorly written patterns! I ran into ANOTHER one yesterday. Thank goodness it was free. This time. With the way it was written, I certainly won’t be purchasing the ones the designer has up for sale.

I’m almost to the point where I’m reluctant to buy patterns from a designer that I haven’t bought from before. I’ve wasted so much time and so much money on patterns that are just garbage. A missing gauge. A pattern that doesn’t match the gauge and comes out the wrong size. Missing stitch counts. An OBVIOUS copy-and-paste job from another size of the same pattern without that size being tested. No measurements. That’s only a few of the issues. I don’t know if these people just don’t care as long as they’re making money? It is costing ME (and everyone else who is buying these) time and money to work from these patterns. When you have to tweak a pattern, that takes away from your productivity. If you’re depending on the work you stitch to pay the bills, you can’t afford to take that time. Is buying a pattern not supposed to SAVE you from doing this? Is that not the whole point?

I know I’m not alone with my frustration. So much so that a friend of mine has now started a blog that reviews crochet patterns. If you’re interested in saving yourself time and money, check out Crochet Pattern Reviews. She is going to be working on bringing attention to the POSITIVE aspects of each pattern that she reviews. It is NOT meant to trash talk designers, it’s nothing personal. It is a resource to help us all save time and money by pointing out whose patterns are worth spending your money on. I’m really excited about this!

For designers, I think it’s going to be very useful too. You will get feedback straight from the horse’s mouth. I’m sure you’ll quickly find out what the crochet community is REALLY looking for, what we like, what we don’t like. I think this will be a very effective tool to compliment your business.

A subject that came up amongst a group of stitching friends is how some designers are so out of the loop with the rights that they think they have to their patterns. There are quite a few out there that say that you not allowed to sell the finished product from their pattern. WRONG. And don’t even get me started on cottage licenses. Seriously, if you see a pattern requiring you to purchase a cottage license in order to sell the items YOU make, save your money and walk away. Once somebody buys/obtains a pattern, they are free to do what they want with the finished product. They do NOT have the right to sell the pattern itself. Technically, you’re not even legally required to put a link back to the designer. With that said, it is professional to do that and just plain good Karma. Aside from that, I know I wouldn’t want my customers to think that I designed something and that my designing skills are stronger than what they are.

This misinformed attitude will cause me to sail right past a listing. Why would I BUY a pattern if I can’t at least make my money back from it? Technically I COULD sell the item made, but I really don’t want the headache of having to fight with somebody who has no idea what they’re talking about. I’d rather give my money to somebody that has put a pattern out there that encourages you to build your business. It’s only helping them too.

Another attitude that amuses me is how there are some designers out there that are designing character hats, charging money for a pattern of a copyrighted image they DO NOT own, yet they go after other designers that come up with a pattern based on the character they don’t own the copyright to in the first place! Seriously? Go ahead and take that one to court. I’m sure Disney would be okay with you making money from their characters and not getting a cut LOL

For more information about copyright laws and patterns, check out Tabber’s Temptations.

—-End Rant—-

LOL

A Random Act of Kindness

God: How do we change the world?
Evan Baxter: One single act of random kindness at a time.
God: [spoken while writing A-R-K on ground with a stick] One Act, of, Random, Kindness.
– from Evan Almighty

I try very hard to not talk about my personal life on my blog. I’ve made a few exceptions. I HAD to share this story. I hope that it serves as a reminder that YOUR random acts of kindness do not go unnoticed.

I won’t go into detail, but I think this past week could easily be described as one of the WORST weeks in my life.

Yesterday I had to take my four-year-old son to the ophthalmologist to determine whether or not the glasses he has been prescribed were effective enough to straighten out his eyes. They turn in from time to time, so there is a chance that he may need surgery to correct it.

On our way for the hour-long ride, he threw up about half way there. This is a child who NEVER throws up (I believe this was in keeping with the theme from my horrible week). The last time he threw up in the car with me, he was just a little over a year old. I got him cleaned up and we went on our way. Well, about 20 minutes later, he threw up again. My poor little guy. So I got him out of the car again and cleaned him up again. This time I took off his glasses and put them on the roof of my car to get them out of the way as I cleaned his little face. I dressed him in a t-shirt that was way too big for him. It was the only article of clean clothing I could find. I then called the doctor’s office to tell them that we were going to be running late. They said they’d squeeze us in, given the distance we had to come.

When I got him out of the car, he asked me where his glasses were. I could feel the colour draining from my face. I already knew the answer and my stomach just turned. There were a million thoughts going through my head and then reality set in: I left his glasses on the roof of my car as I drove off.

I started to cry. I had to pay $300 for these glasses out of the remainder of my student loan money. How on earth was I going to be able to afford to pay for a new set? We went in to the office and explained the situation to the receptionists. After we checked in, I sat in the office and rocked my little sweet pea, both of us quietly sobbing.

Suddenly, one of the receptionists came over and crouched beside us. She said “If it will help you, my daughter has outgrown her glasses. I don’t know what your son’s prescription is, but after you see the doctor, we can have a look to see how close they are.” She had mentioned that they were Spiderman. My son was THRILLED! They were also “transitions” lenses, which means they get darker in the sunlight, eliminating the need for sunglasses. I thanked her for her generous offer. I told her that I had planned on going back to where I thought I had lost them in hopes that they would still be there. But if that didn’t work out, I would certainly be in touch with her. I did all that I could to keep the faith that we would find them intact.

We went in to see the doctor. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much he could do without seeing the glasses on my son. He rewrote his prescription and said he would see us in 2 months. We went back out to the receptionist. I gave her my son’s prescription. She looked up her daughter’s. It was off by just a tiny bit. She gave me her home phone number and said that the offer is there if we need it. I thanked her and we left.

I retraced our steps. I looked down and found part of a lens. Across the road, I found the little frames all bent. I picked them up and then I started to cry again. What was I going to do? HOW was I going to pay for these?

I decided to call the eye doctor in my town to see what could be arranged. The line was busy. I tried again. The line was busy. Then I had an idea to call social assistance to see if there was any way that they would be able to help us out. My phone dropped the call.

Twenty-two minutes later, I received a message.

It was the receptionist. She said that she had checked with the doctor to see if her daughter’s old glasses would work for my son. He said that they would! She left the times when she was available for me to pick them up.

I started to cry. Again. This time it was tears of joy! I screamed at the top of my lungs “THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!” My son started shouting this too.

This woman did something that saved us so much. It might not have been a big deal to her since the glasses were of no use anymore. But it meant the WORLD to us.

I asked her if her daughter still liked Spiderman. She said “Who doesn’t like Spiderman?” I sense a mother/daughter Spidey hat combo coming on 🙂

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… Even what you perceive as the TINIEST gesture may mean the WORLD to somebody. I used to think I had nothing of value to give. Having experienced this first-hand, a can of soup means everything to somebody who has nothing. And when you help somebody who has nothing, you inspire them to help those in the same boat when they are in a position to give back.

What goes around, DOES come around.