This post won’t make much sense to a non-knitting, non-Ravelry user. Apologies in advance.
So, I write knitting patterns. I’ve started charging for some of them, but before I got
greedy wise, I gave them away for free.
As you can see by the links list on the left, my free patterns out number my not-so-free patterns by more than double.
It didn’t occur to me to charge for patterns, regardless of how many hours I’d spent knitting the samples and writing down the instructions.
stupid nice of me, hmm?
Now, let me ask you, when someone does something nice for you – even if it isn’t specifically for you but for the knitting community at large – how do you respond?
I’m a bit of a voyeur when it comes to my patterns. That is, I love going on to my Ravelry site and seeing what people are doing with them. Are they knitting them as-is, or are they being creative and adapting them to their own needs?
One of my favourites is the Tongues of Fire Wrap. I love the stitch pattern. I love the size. I love the yarn. Yum. So, when I saw that some intrepid knitter had started it with some very pretty Yarn Pirate yarn, I was pleased.
I noticed, however, that while she’s stated she only had one skein of fingering weight yarn (~400 meters) but was knitting it the same number of pattern repeats as the original that used 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn (~800 meters) I was concerned.
After some consideration, I decided to message said knitter to inquire. After all, I’d want someone to point out possible problems to me so as to not waste my precious time.
Said knitter was less than thrilled with me, saying she’d picked the pattern specifically because it said that the yarn requirements were stated at 400-800 meters.
True, I responded, but that was to include knitters who wanted to scale down the wrap into scarf-form. I also pointed out that the printable pattern clearly stated that 2 skeins of HandMaiden’s Sea Silk were needed.
Her last message griped about how that didn’t help as she had no idea how many meters a skein of Sea Silk used and how she was immediately frogging the project because of my incompetence (implied).
Her last dig was on her Project Page where she commented “gotta love the clarity (or lack there of) of this pattern”.
Now, she may have had a point. If I were to write this pattern today (this pattern was originally posted in 2009), I would not only name the yarn and the number of skeins needed but also the yardage of said skeins.
However, since we seem to be all about diving straight into the defensive position and refusing to take any responsibility for our own (in)actions, let’s talk about why she’s 100% totally and completely in the wrong.
1.) The pattern is free. You want me to take responsibility for a possible oversight? Either pay for one or treat me with some common courteous.
2.) You’re on Ravelry. You have a huge database of information at your fingertips – INCLUDING the ability to easily ascertain the yardage of two skeins of Sea Silk.
3.) You’re on Ravelry. You have a huge database of information at your fingertips – INCLUDING the ability to see more than 80 other ToF projects, several of which show GORGEOUS single skein versions and talk about how they made the pattern work for them.
4.) You seriously thought you could get a 14″x85″ fairly densely knit shawl out of one skein of sock weight yarn? Really?
5.) I came to you. I could have just let you continue to knit in ignorance. Thanks for making me think twice about advising the next person.
6.) Knitters are supposed to be NICE. Set down your needles and take up a hobby that doesn’t require a pleasant personality. Like boxing.