Friday, June 20, 2014

The Dark Side of Designing Knitwear

This has been bothering me for awhile. It's about knit and crochet pattern designers. 

First off, let me say that I love the online fiber community. I really do. I signed up for Ravelry with my heart full of ideas and eager to learn. I started this blog to showcase my art. I also make and sell art and designs on Etsy.

I love being a part of the internet crafty community.

But right now I’m upset, because no one told me about the dark side.

The side where I’ll be accused of copying a pattern, even through I didn’t. It’s stripes, people. You don’t own strips. Or buildings. Or strawberries. Or gnomes.

You can't see a item I made that has such-and-such on it and say OMG! My item also has such-and-such on it! YOU must have COPIED me! Because I didn't. My such-and-such, while still looking like an item, is not exactly like yours.

I am not kidding, I actually get hate mail over this. One time a very famous designer (who will remain unnamed) posted an entire blog post about how I "stole" her design. She listed my twitter and my website on her blog and for about a week I received messages and threats on my twitter telling me how terrible a person I am because clearly my pattern looks so much like hers they must be identical, even through these people never took time to compare the patterns because they aren't.

I talked about it a lot on facebook when it was happening, but I didn't have the heart to write a blog post about it at the time, mostly because I was really upset. 

There aren’t many ways to put "strawberries" on leg warmers. Or hats. No matter what you do you kinda want it to look like a "strawberry". No one can own a copyright on "strawberries". You can copyright the image you create, to a certain extent (like a pattern chart) but you can't say every single thing that suddenly appears with "strawberries" on it belongs to you.


This is knitting. This is crochet. This is not a competition. This is not a war. I am not here to win. I am here to love my fiber. I am here to make friends.

Don't bully me. If you think I've copied your pattern, ask. I would never download a pattern and re-upload it as my own. All my designs were designed by me. Please, try to treat me with respect. I would do the same for you.

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