Saturday, 5 October 2013

Of crochet fights and retail therapy

Pre-script ; Heavily edited, numerous times, and held back, but I need to vent, so here goes:
Are you fighting the same battle?

I had a bitter few days on my crochet group last week.

I found solace in retail therapy at the Tierlantynkie Market (joke, but it was a fruitful mission :-)

My crochet group on Facebook is now a little more than two years old.  From the very beginning, I was quite strict on what and how patterns might be shared.  No copies/scans from books are allowed, no e-books, but links to websites, blogs and free, legal patterns are welcome.


There will always be those who refuse to oblige, refuse to listen, refuse to understand, no matter how many times the rules are stated, explained, enforced.

It came to the point where I said that anyone breaking these rules will be removed from the group, no questions asked.  

Then these last couple of weeks, more and more mentions were made of a group where you could get any pattern, it would be emailed to you.  Now, as one goal of Ons Hekel is  to serve as a portal to access crochet-related information, groups, blogs and websites, I had to verify the nature of this, but  I couldn't.  I couldn't see the group - it turned out to be a secret group. I asked members to tell us more, as many other couldn't see it, but there seemed to be a deliberate vagueness about it. 

Then one lady reported that paid patterns were being distributed on this group, patterns from well-known websites and designers, patterns scanned from books and magazines.  This goes against the grain of Ons Hekel, and I didn't want a group like promoted there. So I said so. And other agreed.

And then all hell broke loose.

((But meanwhile, I happily skipped away to market with my aunt :-)

I checked in on Facebook every now and then via my mobile, as I realised there was an argument heating up, mostly back and forth bickering and disagreement -

- but then somebody's children were threatened per message.


What the hell?

How could people threaten another, and bring race into the matter, just because she takes a stand against unethical pattern theft  "sharing"?

At the end of that the day, 15 members have left my group; I helped another 8 along.

I don't mind numbers, that's not the purpose, never have been.  I'd rather run a happy, great group with 50 people, than have 4900-something along wih bickering, constand demands,  pirated patterns, and I've said so often.

And just when I thought the message would actually sink in, Heidi Bears reported that her beautiful hippo pattern has been pirated, and she received a list of names and email-adresses of people who requested it.

Really, is there no respect for basic law and order left?  In a country where crime is a talking point every day, people wouldn't stop to think that what they're doing is exactly the same, even though "small" or "petty". And the excuses provided...they can't access overseas sources (!), they don't have the money to pay, they just wanted to help, they don't want to be selfish...and the list goes on.

(I've since looked around, and did find the same on groups all over...seems to be a wave around the world now, but, luckily, resistance as well).

Luckily there are a great group of people who are dead set against this, and who report and help, and I thank them from my heart, because makes it worth the while to admin a group like this.  To meet with like-minded hookers, to show off and admire, share and discuss about our work, yarns, hooks, husbands, kids and what not.  That's why we have crochet groups, the world over, not just to feed the pattern demand.


So I have loot to show :-D

My credit card suffered some damage on Friday, but Christmas presents have been found for many, something or two for the house, and for me:

Pretty earrings (I love pretty earrings, and I'm a cheapskate, doesn't have to cost triple digits, and I'm very happy if it's R50 like these !)

Dainty doilies

...and a bag. 

Oh, what a bag!

I've bought a slingbag from her before, didn't realise it was the same designer - she actually recognised mine as she only makes one of a kind.
This bag is big, big enough for my wallet, diary, bunches of keys, wet wipes, pouch with lip balm & lip stick, sweets, a book or magazine, a hooky project with extra yarn plus the kitchen zink. 
It would actually work great as a cabin bag when flying.
Plus the leather...the leather is the softest ever.

Consolation :-)

Okay, I'm done venting now.

This weekend I'll finish my third washcloth (a tiny new obsession), working on the leprechaun-cardi, hook a square for the summer throw and another for Yarn Indaba's yarn bomb.

That'll sooth the feathers now.


Jodiebodie said...

Good on you for taking a stand and maintaining your personal integrity.

AdelleCV said...

Christelle, we appreciate everything you do on Ons Hekel. It's a fantastic group where inspiration can be found 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - what a privilege to be part of such an awesome group of people! The "baddies" will show their true colours soon enough, and what is left will be a group of people who appreciate the effort and time put into designing beautiful patterns and sharing inspiration rather than stolen ideas.
Keep up the good work!

Alessandra said...

I'm with you Stel!!!!!
A big hug and xxxxxxx, Alessandra

Heidi said...

Christelle, jy is werklik 'n inspirasie! I het die hoogste respek vir jou en jou eerlikheid! Ek wens daar was meer meense soos jy in Suid Afrika...baie dankie vir die wonderlike groep :) xxx

Pigtails said...

I didn't even realise that you were dealing with this! I belonged to another South African group (W&N) where the incessant requests for patterns/illegal sharing and distribution of patterns were not managed by anyone at all - they also frequently referred to that secret group. I have since left the group (and a few others) and feel more focused on actually hooking something rather than getting annoyed on groups. The stall where you bought those lovely earrings from received the 3rd price for their stall from Tierlantyntjies! I love that market, Elmien one of the 3 co-organisers is a close friend - she is phenomenally created and made me the most amazing flower arrangement out of cinnamon and roses when I gave birth to Alek. I bought little crochet hearts from that stall!

Stel said...

Thanks, Adelle.

Stel said...

Thanks, Ale.

Stel said...

Heidi...vir elke roofkopie, wens ek dat daar vyf ekstra kopers kom!

Haafner said...

Hi Stel, Oh, poor you, that's horrible! And threaths?! Eeek.
I hope things have calmed down now and Ons Hekel feels safe again for everybody to share their enthusiasm about this beautiful craft. Take care!
Ps. The earrings are cute!

Stel said...

Ah, still waters now. But my finger stays very near the delete button ;-)

Lynne said...

Good for you! Hope it all settles down and you can get back to happy crocheting. Gorgeous bag!

Jennifer said...

That sounds really stressful. I'm sorry you had to deal with it. I don't do much in the world of online crafting groups. I'm on Ravelry, but I only belong to a few groups and I try to stay away from conflicts. I hope you feel better after taking some time with your hook. :) I'm a new follower and I'm enjoying your blog. You have lovely creations. Just wanted to say hi. :)

Stel said...

Hi Jennifer, and welcome here! Ag, usually it's as peaceful as anything, back to normal already :-)

Michelle maakt... said...

Sorry to hear about the threats, you would think us crafters are a lovely and peaceful bunch!

Stel said...

Hey, a hook can be a dangerous weapon - they're still not allowed on some aircraft! :-D

Hazels Crochet said...

Sounds like you are having a stressful time, I hope you soothe all the ruffles out soon!

Looks like you had fun shopping, I love those earrings!

Mia said...

Hi Stel!

I just want to thank you for you lovely message in my blog in regards to my "The thing is..." entry. I loved hearing from you and thank you for your kind words.

Keep up the good work!


Cornel Strydom said...

Hi Christellie,
Keep up the good work!
You're inspiring so many people to pick up the hook...
C x