Not much longer than three years ago I wrote that post at the right. Back when I didn't know a Tss from an esc; when I thought a 5mm hook was the only one I'd ever need; when I didn't even write a blog. Take a sec to read the post that started it all. I'll wait.
Oh. My. Dear. Deity. Of. Yarn. If this is your first time to the site, poke around a bit and then come back to this page. If you're a longtime reader, you won't have to. You already know how big this site is. How many patterns there are. How many articles. Photos. Links.
Did you know there have been 68 contributors to this site? Sixty-eight people, most of whom had never published their work before. Do you know how many of those contributors have since been published in print or will be soon? I count at least twenty.
We started out dissatisfied with commercial crochet, and we ended up helping to change the face of it. Let that sink in for a minute.
Of course, there's always more work to be done. And thus this site, and I personally, have come to a juncture. As I announced in December and reiterated last week, in June Crochet Me will enter its third incarnation; I'm calling it Crochet Me 3.2. You can see the first incarnation above. The second began in October 2004 (see right) when we went into regular, online magazine production. The third will be the most dramatic and exciting change. See, we're now moving away from the magazine format; this spring 2007 issue is our last formal issue before the relaunch.
My goal with Crochet Me was never to become an editor; it wasn't for my name to find its way into print. It was to see what we could accomplish on our very own, together. It was to nudge and sometimes to bludgeon people into exploring their creativity and to find their voice in yarn. It was to inspire and foster and support innovation. It was to create a community wherein ideas and friendships could be shared and built upon.
In order to try even harder to reach these goals it's time to adapt to the massive strides in online technology that have been made since I coded the original site. The Net is not a print publication, and to treat it like one is to overlook its massive potential to be something very different, very dynamic, very revolutionary. The Net lives and breathes on its own, and it's time for me to relinquish some control over what happens on this site. It's time to empower you, dear readers, to do even better things together than I could ever accomplish alone with the handful of talented volunteers who have helped me run this site for the last couple of years. You need a bigger voice on Crochet Me, and I need a smaller one. It's appropriate that the dodo graces our cover this season; let's all do our best to keep crochet as far from extinction as possible.
When I started Crochet Me, there was no Interweave Crochet; no Crochet Today or Knit.1. Crochet! hadn't had its face lift. Crochetville had 8 members (I was the eighth) and Craftster was hardly a household name. Independent yarn companies weren't putting out crochet patterns. Knitting was the new yoga.
See how much has changed? We all helped to change it.
And so it's time to keep it going. As my new best friend and web geek extraordinaire Emma Jane and I ramp up development on the new Crochet Me site, I'll keep you posted about what's to come. I'll ask you to help us test things out and to let us know what you want. It's time to keep pushing crochet and ourselves, and I'm so excited I can hardly wait. Change is only hard if we make it hard; I hope you'll embrace this change and exploit it for all it can be.
I also have personal reasons to be excited for the change. When I first started Crochet Me I had countless new experiences. I enjoyed writing and hearing responses to what I wrote; I enjoyed tech editing; I enjoyed the reach of the internet as I got emails from all over the world. I enjoyed new friends even though I knew I'd never meet them in person (how wrong I was about that!). And then even more new things started happening. I dedicated more time and energy to this site, and my creative floodgates opened. I saw potential for crochet everywhere. My mind reeled.
Then I started hearing from people I never thought I'd hear from. Publishers wanted crochet books; new magazines were launching. I had the blissful experience of working on some of them with some extremely talented people. I quit the work I hated and took on more work I loved, all the while pushing Crochet Me.
On the blog, I've mentioned a phone conversation I had this past August that made me completely alter the way I viewed my work. It wasn't specifically something that was said; rather, it was the tone of the discussion and my role in it. I hung up, furrowed my brow, and had the following discussion with myself: "Self, you know your ***. At some point, without you noticing, you actually became an editor, more than just the title. You think like one and you act like one, and goshdarnit it seems like other people perceive you as one." And then I sat back and simultaneously realized that I'm exhausted. The all-nighters spent cutting and pasting new Crochet Me issues together; managing submissions and materials deadlines (I am not a details person, yo); keeping up with the women who were so generously volunteering their time to help behind the scenes (my not being a details person left me feeling almost constant guilt over not being in better touch with them); more and more of my work was feeling tedious. At the same time, I was more and more intrigued by and attracted to work in print. I am both a romantic and an activist: print is my romance, the Web is my revolution.
It was time to get a real job. And so these are my personal reasons for being excited to relaunch Crochet Me in June, and for my role to change from editor to creative director. It's time for me to focus on work, both online and off-, that I find exciting and thrilling and fascinating and satisfying. In relaunching this site, I'm certain that Crochet Me will become again for me all of those things. And I hope it will further kick you in the pants to try new things, to be generous about sharing your experience and knowledge, and to remain committed members of the Crochet Me community. And, of course, I hope you'll also come with me on my journey at Interweave Crochet.
If you haven't already, subscribe to the blog so you'll know what's going on over here. Same goes for the email newsletter.
I'll miss this rigmarole that has dotted my calendar for so, so many months, but I look forward to the future. To all whose work has graced computer screens across the land, thank you! I hope you're brewing even more great ideas to share come June.
Now, go crochet something. We have a whole issue waiting for you. The theme is sustainability. How appropriate.