Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Keep the 'cool' in craft tv

Crafty folks have infiltrated pretty much all media - newspapers, magazines, books, the Internet (oooh, the bountiful internet) and television. But in this last category, it can be hard to find creative inspiration that's not intimidating perfection by the likes of Martha or something reminiscent of crafts you did in grade school. And while those craft programs absolutely have their place (and audience) it's the hip lineup on DIY that makes my crafty-tv-craving self giddy.

Craft Lab, Uncommon Threads, Stylelicious, and Knitty Gritty are shows that speak to my crafty heart. How boring would craft tv be with out them? Sadly, we may find out this year.

I've just learned through internet grapevines that these shows won't likely be on the schedule for 2008. Chances are high that we'll have to start - and end - 2008 with a void of crafty coolness on our television sets. These shows are unique, because they highlight and celebrate independent designers. Their projects showcase new, cool spins on traditional crafts, and they help nurture and inspire the growing handmade movement.

For the crafters, by the crafters, when you tune in to these shows, you'll feel like you're sitting on the couch with Vickie, Jen, Allison and all the rest of the cool crafty guests they have on their shows. That exemplifies what is one of the biggest social benefits of crafting: building community. When you get that kind of intimate, fun, relaxed atmosphere going, you can't help but develop great community bonds. And developing a strong community benefits everyone. It encourages the sharing of ideas, which creates great opportunity for discovering new techniques. It connects people from across the globe (literally) and helps us form relationships across cultural, social and economic boundaries.

Sound like heavy lifting for some Mod Podge and glitter? Don't ever underestimate the power of people connecting through the creative process.

And don't forget the wallets, because ultimately - that's what the networks have got to focus on. Building the crafting community builds the businesses that support that community. And when you build that community with the likes of independent, unique artists (like the hosts and guests of these shows) you help encourage the growth of businesses that cater to those kinds of ideals. And I'd rather see that kind of growth than one more line of Martha products - no matter how perfect and glorious they may be.

So between social and economic growth, we can't afford to lose unique shows such as Craft Lab, Uncommon Threads, Knitty Gritty and Stylelicious. We must continue to support shows that showcase independent designers, that bring crafters from around the country to be guests on the show, and that inspire folks to create - instead of intimidating them with fears of imperfection or boring them with crafts that just aren't quite ... 'cool' enough.

You can let the networks know you want to keep these shows on the schedule for 2008.
I'm posting my message that I sent to them below. Spread the word and send your support. Keep the 'cool' in craft tv!

Dear DIY/HGTV programming department -

I'm crushed! I just heard the news that Craft Lab, Uncommon Threads and Knitty Gritty will no longer be aired on your networks. Please say it isn't so! They are the highlight of my cable TV watching, and I would hate to see them go.

These craft shows in particular are fantastic because they highlight and celebrate independent designers, and open the world of crafting to a wider audience. This kind of creative inspiration is sorely lacking from most television programming, which is a terrible shame. The folks in the crafting community and industry are some of the most generous, kind, creative, fun people in the world. The sharing of great creative ideas and projects nurtures this community and encourages its growth. That growth benefits not only the people involved in creating new projects and sharing ideas, but also ultimately benefits the businesses in the craft industry. A growing crafting community means growing businesses to support that community.

Please reconsider your decision to remove these shows from your schedules. We need this kind of hip, fun, down-to-earth creativity on television now more than ever.

Most sincerely, Rachel *****
Average Jane Crafter


  1. I'm so disappointed! I watch these shows all the time. When I can't watch, I record them on my DVR.

  2. Oh No!!!! I hadn't heard this yet and am so disappointed. I remember sending HGTV a message when they decided to cancel Sew Much More, I hope DIY listens better than what HGTV did.

    Have you heard what they are thinking of replacing it with?

  3. Thanks for doing this, we hosts really appreciate the support! FYI, Uncommon Threads and Knitty Gritty are actually airing now, they're just on on an unfortunate time: 5amET/4amCT/2amPT. What it seems they're going to do is rotate the craft shows in this spot so that everyone is off/on air for a few months at a time.

    Stacysews-They're beefing up programming for their core audience, home improvement buffs.

    Thanks again!


  4. Thanks for that clarification, Vickie. It's good to know we can still (sometimes) catch our favorite shows on our DVRs, but it still makes me sad that they are moving so far away from the craft shows. Where else can these shows go!? Online, maybe .... an "all craft" video web site? ;)

  5. Wow - that does super bite! I was just notified by the nielsen folks that they are sending me a journal for me to mark what I watch for one whole week. It's gonna be filled with all those shows cause that's 90% of the tv I watch!!!

  6. that totally sucks! I am going to blog this too! let's spread the word!

  7. This really really stinks! But here's something that's cool -- I found your blog from Claudine Helmuth's blog post link, and lo! I am in Austin too! Email me if you want to talk crafty stuff! :)


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