Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Do I, or Don't I?

There are lots of posts on the internet about why knitting patterns cost what they do.  One of the best I've read lately is by Woolly Wormhead:  http://www.woollywormhead.com/blog/2014/9/17/the-true-cost-of-a-pattern.html  and her followup: http://www.woollywormhead.com/blog/2014/9/18/the-cost-of-a-pattern-a-follow-up.html .

(Pictures in this post are designs I've created myself!)

A machine knit dress I designed for my youngest, 2010

I'm particular about how I expect patterns to be written.  Now, if you've looked at any of my "patterns/tutorials", you might think I'm talking out both sides of my mouth.  However, I've tried to be upfront and honest with my tutorials, and they are free.  I do still have certain expectations for free patterns, though I know enough to not complain if there are things missing!  But if I'm paying $7 for a single pattern, I expect it to follow standard pattern writing, and include all info--especially the gauge (and telling me that each crocheter works to their own gauge so it's not necessary to put in the pattern, is NOT an acceptable answer!).  Single patterns cost a lot, compared to magazines, and Woolly talks about that.  All the work comes down onto the pattern writer who is also now the publisher.  That's a lot of responsibility.

Custom designed Chunky Cable Blanket, 2014

I try to support pattern writers.  I want them to succeed and write more patterns worth buying.  But, I'm also on a tight budget.  So, sometimes, I will try to work things out on my own.  I'm somewhat patient, and experienced and unafraid.  Sometimes, it's just quicker and easier to buy a pattern, especially if a client sends me a picture of that actual pattern!  I will never share patterns I have paid for though.  I will suggest knitters go to the library, or look through Ravelry, or learn to use gauge and measurements to create their own designs.  Just from the limited pattern writing I've done, I know how much work goes into "real" patterns, and how deserving (most) of those writers are.  If a knitter has spent 20 hours knitting, testing, writing, photographing, publishing their pattern (and likely a lot longer when you add in yarn research, shopping, and swatching), then think of how many $5 patterns they need to sell to recoup those 20 hours at minimum wage.  Is it even possible for the average, new, pattern writer to sell that many patterns in a reasonable amount of time?
Sideways knit newborn cap, 2012
Epic Hat, 2012

Kelly Sweater, custom order, 2014
So, I usually present my "patterns" in a casual manner, with the intent that readers learn how to make it themselves, not be told how to make it.  I want to empower knitters, to teach them, not make them into little knitting robots.  And, I feel that none of my patterns, so far, have been all that unique.
Bear Set, 2014

Except for the Pocket Bunny.
The first Pocket Bunnies, 2014

Yes, there is this awesome designer on Ravelry.  Her creatures are bigger than mine, but do have a similar feel.  I have looked at many of her pictures, but I know if I ever get asked to make a Pocket Elephant, Rhino, or Duck, etc, I will buy her patterns.  I have no idea of how well they're written, but she presents her designs on Ravelry in a professional way, so I have hope.

I've been asked if I'm selling the pattern for the Pocket Bunny.  The first ...5 or so were somewhat experimental, lots of fine tuning.  Now I have the pattern written down, and as long as I stick with the same weight of yarn, it's been working out well.

I have one more, almost ready to show!

I am so torn as to whether or not I should publish this pattern. These are my babies.  I love designing each one (even though the pattern is the same, there are differences with each order), and selling these, and I'm not sure I'm ready to see other knitters create them.  I know that sounds selfish!  I want others to also enjoy the joy a Pocket Bunny brings.  I'm just not sure I want other knitters to make them.  Yet.  I want to be able to write the pattern and publish it as professionally as possible (it won't be a free pattern).  Which means more knitting, picture taking, more computer time.  I want to tweak the cheeks a smidge more.  I've got some other projects I need to focus on, though I don't know if that will bring in any money either.  

If I get tired of making these (is that possible?!), then I might be ready to write the pattern. Until then...I encourage knitters to try on their own...that's how I created it!  It all just comes down to stitches, increases, decreases, short rows...however, if I find someone else publishing anything close to this, I will be furious! Just a warning :)

Oh....and I had an idea last night to create a Pocket Yoda.... 

1 comment:

strickschmiede said...

Regarding creating and publishing (or even selling) patterns you speak right from my heart - thank you!
Most of all I love, that you said you want to encourage knitters to not being knitting robots!
I often meet people who already are these robots: if they can´t purchase the suggested yarn/needle/colour
they really aren´t able to knit/crochet a certain pattern...How come???
If I buy patterns it´s most for the reason, that I like the shape - I can´t remember, that I ever used the same needle size, yarn or whatever is given in the pattern.
For me it´s a suggestion: not more, not less.
Especially as I´m an avid machine knitter, I almost always have to think out of the box :)
Thank you for those clear words!