Jan 11, 2012

on paying for knitting patterns

pattern: Jane Hat, by Jane Richmond
yarn: I Love this Yarn! solids in sage green (142 yards)
needles: sizes US 8 / 5.0 mm and 10 / 6.0 mm 16" circular needles  
donated to: Chicago Food Pantry

A day or two ago I got a public comment on Ravelry about a pattern I offer for sale. The person commented that they enjoyed the knit, but that the pattern wasn't worth paying for - that they could have figured out how to make it on their own. This person did not send me a message, did not make an effort to discuss this with me privately; she just put that out there publicly.

While the pattern is not the most difficult or technical out there, I took the time to figure out the best gauge, needles, and such for the pattern to make it turn out just right; I took the time to write the pattern out, have a few folks test knit it, and even send a few free finished versions to folks to see if it was wearable; I took the time to put the pattern out there, promote it and share it.

That this person said my efforts were "not worth it" hurt me. Most patterns for purchase are written by folks who are supplementing their full-time income or trying to bring a bit more money into their households. They are written by folks who spend a great deal of time figuring their patterns out, and are put into the world with a whole lot of love. I pay for patterns all the time, and some of them (a very rare few) don't meet expectations.

Should my pattern in question be offered for free? That's something I'll have to look at going forward. But I would NEVER have publicly commented like this on a pattern without first seeking out the private audience of the pattern-writer. Note to folks who purchase patterns - the people who write these patterns are just that. People. We put a lot of time and effort into what we're doing, whether we do it full time, part time, or just as a hobby. If you are not satisfied, that is your deal, but give the pattern-writer the courtesy of attempting to contact them privately, kay?

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