I’ve only started crocheting seriously in the last few months. As is my way, once I started to get seriously interested, I started searching out blogs on the subject. I was delighted to find that there are lots of blogs devoted to crochet. Some offer patterns to buy, along with free patterns and tutorials, many offer everything for free – patterns, tutorials and lots of inspiration. The quality is superb and I never fail to bowled over by how generous people can be with their time and expertise. One blog that quickly stood out in terms of quality and content is Attic24, run by Lucy. It’s been going for several years now, and is loaded with tutorials, patterns and ideas. As someone who isn’t confident with using colour it was a Godsend! The tutorials are excellent, very detailed with lots of photos. Each and every one represents hours and hours of work. In addition, there is lots of chit chat. The whole atmosphere is very informal and cosy. Lucy invites us into her life in a very real way.
In addition, Lucy is involved in organising Yarndale. When I found out about Yarndale, I was gutted to realise that I wouldn’t be able to attend due to work commitments, and (at that time), my crochet ability, or lack of it, excluded me from sending Lucy a mandala within the time limit. I loved the mandala project. I’ll admit that I didn’t give much thought to the practicalities of organising an event like Yarndale. I realised that it would take more people than Lucy, that she was the very public face of a team of organisers, but beyond that, I had no idea and didn’t particularly care to. I can say that I never got the impression that Yarndale was a charity or that the mandala project was a charitable exercise.
Apparently some people did think Yarndale was a charity and that they were contributing to it by sending in their mandalas. While I don’t understand how they arrived at that conclusion, I don’t have a problem with the fact that they did; mistakes and misunderstandings happen all the time. What I have a huge problem with is the way they’ve chosen to address this. The aggression and, in some cases, pure spite, of their comments on Lucy’s blog is both depressing and infuriating. And all this at a time when Lucy has made it quite plain that she is dealing with difficult personal issues.
The sense of entitlement is quite breath-taking. I don’t know when I last saw such a childish, selfish display of petulance. Not since my children were toddlers, I suspect. They turn up at Lucy’s blog and demand answers – and their mandalas back. To me, that’s like turning up at Lucy’s house and hammering on her door, demanding her attention right now. Just rude. Surely the adult way to have dealt with it would have been to email Lucy or post something on their own blogs?
Now they’re howling in protest because many of their comments have been deleted, like they have a right for their voice to be heard on Lucy’s blog. They don’t, no more than they have the right to barge into her house to put across their point of view. It’s an unpleasant display of bad behaviour, fuelled by envy and resentment.
There are comments about Lucy making money off Yarndale and her blog. I have no idea if Lucy made money from Yarndale, but if she did, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t enough. Organising Yarndale is a huge undertaking, plus all the work involved in the mandala project. I can’t imagine Lucy (or the other organisers) came close to receiving the equivalent of minimum wage for all the hours they put in. Is Lucy on commission from Wool Warehouse and/or Stylecraft? If she isn’t, she should be! It’s obvious from a cursory look at her blog that Lucy has devoted (at least) hundreds of hours, not just to her crochet, but to her blog, her tutorials, to us. If I see a pattern I like on her blog, it’s free. If I use one of her tutorials, it’s free. I can use whatever yarn I like and I can purchase it from wherever I like. Lucy uses Stylecraft yarn because it’s a good quality acrylic yarn and incredibly good value for money; I often use it too. Lucy works with Wool Warehouse to provide her ‘Lucy Packs’ because they offer an excellent service at a very competitive price; I bought most of my yarn from them before I found Lucy’s blog for the very same reasons.
Can we please stop demanding more from someone who give so generously and freely? Can we please understand that we are entitled to nothing; we are not owed a say in how Lucy moves forward with her designs, or her blog or anything else? Can we just recognise how much Lucy has given us and say ‘Thank you, Lucy’?