Thursday, August 26, 2010

knit happens

isle of trucks 2

All sorts of things happening lately on the knitting front.

One super fun thing: there's a knit-a-long happening with one of my patterns, the Wildflower Socks. Check it out on Ravelry. I am amazed that two dozen people all want to knit one of my patterns, and all at the same time! Very humbling.

And in really crazy news: I designed a kids' fair isle sweater (seen above) of which I am unaccountably proud. And the pattern is for sale - it went up today on Knit Picks through their Independent Designers Program.

It's the first time I've ever had a pattern for sale, and I was pretty nervous about it. I am very committed to keeping knitting and designing fun by not turning it into "work." It's my escape from work! At the same time, I've heard from some designers (whom I admire greatly) that free patterns might undercut their ability to earn anything from their work, and I don't want that. So what to do? Putting fun free knitting stuff out into the world has been a wonderful experience for me that has let me hone my design skills by getting tons of great feedback from lots and lots of wonderful (and patient) knitters.

So the happy (I hope) medium I've come to is this: once in a while, if I have the urge to design something a bit more involved, I might sell the pattern rather than just give it away.

I did really enjoy having a more formal process of proof-reading and test-knitting and working with an editor and all of that, and I learned a lot about how professional designs take shape. I do feel that in this case, the final product is well worth the $1.99! For other designers out there interested in the Independent Designers Program, my experience so far has been really good - the staff at Knit Picks is great to work with.

P.S. That cutie in the photo modeling the sweater is the daughter of our wonderful former nanny, and the Little Pea's greatest role model. The Pea loves her so much that one of her very first words was this sweet girl's name. How about that for devotion?


  1. adorable
    i think your
    pattern should
    cost more
    it's a crazy
    amount of work.
    but maybe
    as you become
    super famous
    that will happen!

  2. Obviously, most everyone appreciates a free pattern. What's not to like - it's free! I think free patterns really appeal to new knitters and occasional knitters because there's less of an investment if they totally screw up or just can't complete the project. These are some of my reasons for loving the free patterns that are out there.

    That being said, I can totally understand why designers want to get paid for their work. If you've worked hard to create something, it's not a bad thing to ask for payment from someone else who wants to use it.

    BUT, I do take issue with other designers telling a free pattern designer to knock it off with the freebies, we want our cash! If their product is really worth the money they are asking, people will pay for it regardless of how many free patterns are out there. I typically only use free patterns because I'm a lazy hobby knitter, but I will buy a pattern if I like it enough. Also, I see a lot of so-called "designers" asking $6 or so on Ravelry for a basic scarf with a well-known stitch. Of course we're going to adjust a similar, yet free, pattern to match that for-sale design when the designer is getting greedy.

    If a designer wants to charge for their patterns - no harm, no foul. But they should not be harassing other designers to jump on their bandwagon. To them I say, " to each his/her own and worry about yourself."

    Thank you for always providing awesome free patterns and this new one is DEFINITELY worth at least $1.99!!!

  3. i should be clear: nobody has asked me to "knock it off," this is just a common point of discussion among designers.

    thanks to both of you for the warm fuzzies!

  4. congrats on selling a pattern: I love knit picks' support of the indies, and the knitpicks price is so much nicer than the prices charged by the "big publishers" when they give the designer a mere pittance on the sales of the individual patterns. But, the freebies are nice, too. There seems to be a whole lot of new "designers" who have posted as "patterns" a scarf that uses a stitch from a well-known stitch dictionary: I am trying to be an astute consumer, and not enable the folks who claim as their own design something that is merely instructions to knit (well known stitch pattern) for 63", bind off and add fringe. Designers such as f.pea and all of the other wonderful folks who share unique designs and patterns via ravelry, both free and for a price, are generous enough to give us small pieces of themselves with each pattern. I'm happy to pay the prices asked; I'm not shy about contacting a designer if something is unclear, and I'm usually happy with the process of making and the FO that results. I love your free pattern fridays and will continue to look forward to them; I love seeing your work at Knit Picks! Thank you for continuing to share!

  5. honestly, any knit patterns that I have purchased (not books, but individual patterns), I have always found the designer through a free pattern! I get a chance to try out the designer's style and if I like their designs and think that their patterns are easy to follow, then I purchase additional patterns from them.

    I have VERY little money to spend on my hobbies, so I am much more likely to buy from someone who has graciously offered me a "free sample".

    Hope that helps!

  6. Congratulations! I LOVE the sweater. With three girls in our home I think I need to go buy. Now! :-)


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