Just Another Week, and Some More Hooker Talk…

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Hello friends, lovely seeing you here!  

Just a quick note, swearing abounds when I start talking about pattern thieves later on…they really get my goat!

Am settling into a routine at work, getting the hang of it.  I’ve been spending a bit more time alone at work, my boss is pregnant and due in a month, and her mum, who works there with me, has been taking her to some dr appointments, classes, etc.  It’s been a bit odd to get used to: I have their dogs in the office with me, and when I leave the office, to show a unit or use the facilities, I have to lock the office doors, but unlock the childgates that keep the dogs in, one gets separation anxiety and will hurt herself trying to get through the gate.  There is a good chance, since one of the dogs gets such separation anxiety that I might have to dog sit when the baby comes, they don’t do well alone for more than an hour or so (they’re 11 and 13, so they need good schedules and things they can rely on).  They’re very good dogs, my work dogs, and I suspect that when I said I didn’t mind having the dogs with me while I work, that’s part of what helped me get the job.

So anyway, work was good, the 8 hours goes by quickly, and I can get a wee bit of crochet done, not usually a spawn, for those I usually have lots of bits and wire out and pliers and scissors, and well, too involved for work, since I don’t take  a lunch break.  I’ve been trying a 2D  sugar skull.  I looked at a few pictures of crocheted ones, and knew I could do that.  Here’s my first one, ready for some embroidered hearts and designs.  They’ll probably be slightly different looking, I’d like to try ones with different flowers in the eyes, or hearts.

sugar_skull,2D

 

I spoke a bit about hookers stealing patterns, or changing a few things and calling it their own.  It’s been quite a topic for conversation amongst hookers this last week.  I likened it to recipes, you can’t take Gordon Ramsey’s famous recipe, add a pinch of salt, a half cup of shallots, and cook for 5 minutes more, and call it your own, and publish it in a book.  BUT, before the internet and things, folks used to do that, minus the publishing part.  They’d take recipes, alter to taste, and then call it “Jenny’s special recipe,” sharing that recipe with friends and family as their own.  With the internet, and the ability to share being so easy, we now know that Jenny’s special recipe was not her own, but a recipe someone else created from scratch, and now Jenny is claiming credit.  Well, hookers are doing the same thing.  Some lazy hookers find patterns, change a few stitches, and then call it their own, even sell it, knowing that they didn’t do “the work” involved in creating a pattern from the bottom up (or top down as some of us create).  There are supposed percentages one can change a pattern and claim it as different, I call bullshit.  BULLSHIT!!! It’s not a new, different pattern, it’s the same original one with modifications.

The U.S. copyright office says patterns “MAY  BE” able to be copyrighted,  and that one may be considered copyrighted as soon as it is written down or put onto an electronic device that allows one to view it.  http://www.copyright.gov  Of course, none of us have/can seem to find a copyright lawyer friend, so no one knows for sure.  It is not copyright protected until you actually go do the paperwork.  You CAN do the work after someone steals it,  but they can always say it was written before yours, and then try to counter…it’s a mess.  There is a link to an article that says patterns are not generally copyrightable:  http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/CopyrightLaw/Patterns.shtml , which throws all kinds of other things out.  There are folks who are considering NOT creating anymore patterns because of some ASSHOLES.  I’d call them assholes to their face, that’s probably the nicest thing I’d call them. I’d throw in lazy, lame, untalented, and pathetic.  I know there are many, many bear patterns, but I swear, if you just start looking at what IS out there, you can come up with something that isn’t.  I do it all the time.  When I start a new project, though I’m not working up a pattern for it, I look at what has been made before, and make sure that my work is completely different.  I’ve never had a hard time doing that, and so I really can’t come up with a good reason for anyone else to do it.  If someone else has created the perfect pattern for something you like, use it, contact that designer if you can and tell her/him, spread the love.  That will get you many more positive reactions that for ONE PERSON to find out you’re a pattern thief.  And if I find out, you’re pretty much ruined… I’m not shy about telling folks “this person fancies herself a designer but is nothing more than a lame, talentless hack.”  I’ll blog about it, tweet it, facebook it, put it on pinterest and deviantART, I have friends who will do the same.  I’ll put it on reddit, we all know how things go viral there…

I just want to shake these people.  They’re causing real designers, real hookers with real talents, to possibly quit doing the thing they like. No one wants  to create a pattern for something,  only to have someone else claim it as their intellectual property.  Thieves are stifling actual talented folks!  That makes me so mad!!!  Again, it’s part of why I don’t create patterns.  I’m not so very gracious as to share what came from MY brain with someone else who couldn’t possibly create anything like that…  Bitchy?  Maybe, but at least I’m truthful.  Of course if good designers stopped sharing their ideas the thieves would have less to steal from, or maybe have to actually use their brains and create for themselves…ooo, actual work.

I really am so very irritated by these people.  I’d love to know this is reaching at least one person who steals, or someone who knows someone who does.  I’d love to know that someone reads this, and then when a friend offers to “share” a pattern she paid for, says “Nothanks, that’s stealing. I’ll buy it myself, it’s well priced.” (or ‘I’ll design one for myself that I really like”)   I’d love to know that someone reads this and becomes outraged when someone they know tries to claim credit for a pattern they just changed a bit.  This isn’t just about thieving. It’s about the artists, the creators, THE PEOPLE.  I don’t want to know those thieves.  They aren’t good people.  Someone who is willing to lie, and claim credit for someone else’s ideas, even if “changed” isn’t a good person.  Not someone worth knowing, and I’m actually sad that they know how to crochet. I like to think of hookers, or those who crochet, as good people, but this just lets me know there are some asshole hookers out there I might like to smash the fingers of…oh yea, I’m hard core!!!

I still wish for and look for a good forum to reach folks. I will also blog about it on occasion, so you’ll read about it more.  Probably until folks stop doing it.  No artist wants their creations stolen.  I’m sure if the crocheted sandal was on the other foot, and they finally created something on their own, the thieves wouldn’t want someone else to claim credit.  That’s how we have to think, would we want this to happen to us?  Even if your patterns are free, it’s nice to hear “Wow, thanks for this pattern it’s amazing, just what I wanted!”

 

So, I’m making Calvin and Hobbes for my friend Dan

calvin,kim'ssticksandstrings

Hobbes, the stuffed version,  is next.

Well, that’s what I’ve got… working on spawn, outraged by hacks. Loving my new home, my short commute, my job, the husband and dogs and cat.  It’s about time for me to put in a creepy movie and start hooking. I’ll see you next time!

Keep it creepy!!!

 

This Week’s Stuff…(not a very imaginative title, I know…yarnbomb, work, crochet)

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Hello friends!  Look at me bein’ on schedule! (It’s why I moved em to Saturday…day off,  process the week and all)

Settling in nicely, the house doesn’t look like a war zone…you know what I’m talking about. When WE move, there are always a couple days where stuff is EVERYWHERE and there aren’t piles of things and boxes and bags, so much as walkways through and over the piles.  There ARE a few random small crates in the house, but, really and truly, that’s not unheard of here.

Also finally getting a bit of a crochet rhythm back, which is nice.  I have “habits” and rhythm, that while not extreme, have me feel, “normal,”  and one of them is trying to put yarn in hand daily.  Odd, but it’s just part of the routine.  While moving, I didn’t, and I was thrown off…staying up really late, not sleeping well, unfocused.  Put yarn back in my hand daily, and sleep comes more easily, I process my day while hooking, rather than while sitting on the internet looking at creepy pictures.   It’s still a bit hard to do at work, I need to get things and put them in small bags so there’s not yarn and bits everywhere, and that there aren’t too many things to move if I need to get up.  It’s easier to follow a pattern at work, I don’t have to focus too much.  I have my lamp post that needs to be yarn bombed, this weekend in fact. I’ve made some stars that will go round it.

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I know, not creepy at all, but I like em. I’ll take pictures of the yarnbomb for next week.

Work is going well. Monday I had my first taste of working mostly alone.  I work most days with my boss’s mum, Sandy.  She was visiting her dad last weekend, and wasn’t back til Monday night.  I typically open and  close, and answer the phones, take payments, start new accounts, etc… but I usually have a few questions, and there are always a few things I don’t know, she answers the phone when I’m on it with someone else, hangs out when I need to use the restroom instead of me locking the office…stuff like that.  My boss is pregnant, and I just know that at some point I’ll have to work by myself, so I welcome the practice.  It just cements that there are lots of things for me to learn before then!!! (I’m afraid that folks will be irate and want refunds and a boss will come, and…maybe an alien invasion will happen then.  I’m afraid my boss Tiffany won’t want to ignore the contractions so as to tell me how to process a refund. I need to learn that stuff!)

Ok, so something has been nagging at me in the crochet community for a bit, and I’d be remiss in not at least talking about it.  This is really about “pattern designing” and probably has the most to do with folks who create patterns and give them away or sell them, which I don’t currently do, but might dip into soon.

Let’s get right to it.  Many folks create patterns.  They have an idea, create the item, while making detailed notes about what they’re doing,  and then write this out so others can use the pattern.  Sometimes folks get testers, sometimes not. It’s quite a process, to me, one I’ll try soon, but still, quite daunting.  I’ll tell you some of my whys soon.

So, some folks give their patterns away for free, and some folks sell them.  When you read the patterns, sometimes there are “stipulations.”  Most ask for folks to give credit for their design, and ask that you not sell their pattern as your own. (I’ll address these all separately.”  Some say you CAN sell the finished products, just give the proper credit (” I found a wonderful pattern by T. Crocheter!”)  Some say “Do not mass produce.”    Many say you can sell the product, just not on the same site as the one I sell the pattern on. And some tell you the pattern is completely for personal use, and not to sell the finished product at all, which just isn’t the law. But I’ll get there, lovelies.  Folks talk about copyright infringement, and stealing, and changing a few stitches and calling it theirs…*sigh* it can be disheartening for a designer or to someone like me who might want to design.  Now, by far, I am no lawyer, but have some info.  You can feel free to respond, but make sure with facts.

So.  I’ve read things BY lawyers, and here’s what they say about copyrighting.  The copyright pertains only to the written word, and the lawyer’s example was to use a sewing pattern.  I can buy a Vogue pattern, the original fabric used by them, and say that I can make clothes according to the pattern but not call them Vogue clothing. I CAN sell them, just not misrepresent them, even if I change a few things, eg fabric, a few stitches here and there, maybe add something.  I cannot mass produce, if it says not to.  So, let’s look at the crochet pattern.  You can take a free pattern or one you’ve paid for, use exactly the same yarn and stitches, and you CAN sell that item, regardless of what it says.  (Many folks like to respect the designer’s wishes, they just go and use some other pattern or make one up.  It’s a bit sad some folks want to try to say “for personal use only,” it never works out that way.)  You SHOULD  give credit somehow to the original designer.  (Many people don’t care if you’re using an original design or someone else’s. That only matters really to the hooker and the designer.What matters to the customer is the outcome. But if another hooker asks, tell the truth! Why do I have to say that!?!)  You CANNOT,SHOULD NOT just change a bit here or there, or a percentage, and call it yours. That’s stealing and we know how I hate that AND WILL CALL FOLKS ON IT.  This is how it works in the U.S., for the most part. These are not worldwide rules.  Apparently, in many european countries, folks consider patterns not to be anyone’s intellectual property since the designer didn’t invent crochet.  Also MANY european “designers” are really just folks who translated a pattern, and decided to make the hair different…  I call bullshit.  That person isn’t a designer, that person is an interpreter.  Now, that’s not a bad idea to have; if I’m a designer, it behooves me to get my pattern translated into many languages, and sell it that way: the more folks that can use my pattern, the more $, if it’s a a pattern I’m selling.  Still, not a designer.  This is the kind of stuff that is evidence of the downfall of humanity.  I don’t care if you’re a nice little lady with a family and you’ve been crocheting for years.  Don’t just change a few stitches here and there and call it yours, you’re a thief and lack moral fortitude. And should be slapped. Hard. In front of people.

So much boils down to credit given for who came up with the idea.  It’s a lot of work. You get an idea, create it, while writing it down, translate it into “pattern format,” so other folks can read– some of my instructions to myself are “increase a few stitches to make cheeks look rounder,” but folks following a pattern want a bit more than that.  There is so much work that goes into that, and all the original designer wants is a bit of credit for that.  Not for some petty jerk to come along, “change a few stitches” and call it theirs.   If I buy all the ingredients to make Famous Amos cookies per the recipe, but add food coloring and sprinkles and call them Kim’s Cookies, it’s not MY recipe, I adapted an original recipe, but I can’t call it mine.

Something a lot of designers don’t do is a few minutes of homework.  Is there already a pattern out there for what you’ve “created?”  The only reason I say that is that when you go to google or bing a crochet image, there are so very many monkeys, bears, owls, angry birds items, bunnies… that are visibly just a few stitches off.  This bunny is the same as that bunny but the ears are 2″ longer.  Is that a “new pattern” or did one of them just not do any homework?  It’s really easy to do these days, with everyone on the interwebs.  Trust me, folks, when I started making my zombies, I did a few hours of research, no one’s zombies looked like mine. It was, and still is, important to me.

I completely understand why folks might want to ask others not to sell the product, it’s part of why I haven’t created patterns.  For a couple years now my friend Mackena has been wanting me to write a book…which feels absurd.  We’ve talked about it, and it might be ok, though I’ll never have time for it, but I also was worried.  If I write down  patterns so folks could create their own zombies, no one would want me to make them anymore.  No one would buy from me, the original designer.  OR, worse, the world would be populated by spawn that look mostly like mine, but weren’t mine . (Not sure if I can take over the world with monsters that aren’t all mine…)  Also though, since people like to, I’m concerned about someone “changing” a few things, and calling it theirs…I have to admit, if I ever “caught” someone doing it, I’d knock that person off their feet.  (MEOW! Crazy? maybe, but it’s taken me a long time to find my “niche,” to find my artistic groove, and I’d hate to have it feel ruined.)  I’m really mostly a creator, writing stuff down takes me out of my creating frame of mind. Plus, since I don’t write down patterns, it’s all off the cuff, it’s kind of all one of a kind, except when I made 2 grinches exactly alike. (My friend Lisa wanted one for herself and one for her daughter, in case they couldn’t spend christmas together, they COULD watch the Grinch, a tradition, and hug their ginch!)

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The bottom line is, folks CAN take a pattern, and make it, and sell it.  Say what you’d like, ask folks not to, but that just won’t be the case.  AND, folks may just decide to go find  a pattern that doesn’t have stipulations, which drives them away from the designer.

In a more perfect world, we’d all come clean.  It doesn’t hurt anyone not to design original patterns.  No one is a better person for creating patterns, or original designs, rather than using someone else’s.  I wish I could get the world’s hookers in a room and just tell them all this and there would be one “aha” moment, and then everyone would just be truthful.  Then we’d have a cup of tea, and giggle a bit, and hook for the rest of the afternoon… If only…

Ok, so I’m done with this for now…I’m sure I’ll revisit when some others bring up my ire.  I need to eat a bit, and get moving.  Need to do some grocery shopping and hopefully go get some hooks, I’ve lost  a couple, and that makes me sad, and needy.

Have a super RAD week, my lovelies, and don’t stress if your favorite pattern, recipe isn’t your own. Use it, make it to the best of your abilities, tell folks proudly whose idea it was. There’s no shame. (I love Ghirardeli brownies)

And Keep it Creepy!

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OH BLOODY HELL I HATE THIEVES!..Or, for Rupaul fans, All T All Shade!

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Hello, my creepies! Hope your week has been wonderfully fantastical… I can try to hope, can’t I?  Oh, and just so you know, this isn’t really ok for the workplace…there’s no nudity, but there’s a bit of the profanity, because, well, I swear in the real world.

For those of you who don’t follow Rupaul, All T All Shade means I’m going to tell the truth, and I don’t really feel sad if someone’s feelings are hurt. It IS Kimland…

I really did mean to post up some cool stuff, I’m compiling a list of some of my favorite indie writers, and some blogs and amazon pages for you to check out. But this isn’t that post.  All the tragedies this week have me a bit down on people.  I know that not everyone is like this, it’s a small percentage. Why does it seem that a small number of terrible folks doing some really crappy things go to the forefront of our minds, when there are so many more doing good things… well, here we go…

A few weeks ago some friends who write crochet patterns and sell them found this site, where folks join, and submit a pattern to share, and then get “credits’ for that, toward a pattern they might want.  I’m sure that the idea  is to submit an originally designed by oneself pattern, but some folks weren’t playing by the rules. There were some folks who  bought patterns FROM SOMEONE ELSE,  and then submitted them as their own, now making it free for all  the other people on that site.  It even had my friend’s picture with her watermark, so folks knew who they were stealing from… AWESOME!  Because of the number of folks who had used the stolen pattern, if you searched for her pattern it came up on many other sites, way before hers.  There were many designers who were stolen from, some paid patterns, some free, but the bottom line is, people were stealing those patterns, representing themselves as the designers. It happens quite a bit, actually. I’ve seen people borrow from more than one pattern, and then write it up and call it their own, when what they should have done is write something like, ” I like Gertrude’s pattern for the body of the item, and Fifi’s pattern for the finishing, and Hortense’s bits for the details.  Instead, it’s written like a pattern of this person’s own design… REALLY?!? IT’S YOURS? BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE IT CAME FROM 3 OTHER PEOPLE  Folks are as quick to say something is of their own design, as they are to comment “Pattern Please!” when someone puts up a picture of their work.

 (I have a pet peeve about folks who comment “pattern please” when they see something they’d like to make.  If I have made something you’d like to copy, maybe you should possibly compliment my work JUST A BIT MORE before begging/demanding the how-tos.   Hell, even something so easy as, “I really love that, you did a great job.  I would love to make one for my _____. Who is the designer; is it a free pattern? or where did you buy it?”  You don’t have to write that every time, but “pattern , please” is rude, even with the obligatory “please,” which you just add so it doesn’t seem quite so rude.  Luckily for me, I don’t design patterns, so I don’t have to deal with it too often.  Every once in a while someone asks if there’s a pattern, and I usually tell them I’m not a designer, and it’s usually fine. There was a lady who tried to tell me what I do isn’t all that great and she could figure out my work… go  ahead…)

Back to the thieves!!!  It’s not like there’s a prize at the end of your life for the most patterns designed.  It’s ok to say you didn’t design it!  It’s ok to say ” I like your work so much and I want to have that exact thing of my very own.”  It’s not ok to shorten the arms on something, or change the yarn, and maybe change a couple stitches and then call it your own!  Hell, if that’s designing a pattern then every single hat and scarf I’ve ever made would be of my own design. I don’t make a hat from someone’s pattern. I pick a yarn, pick a stitch, make a gauge swatch, and then make the hat. None are like anyone else’s, but I don’t consider it that I designed a hat, I simply made something that was of a certain stitch pattern, and a certain yarn.

Folks like that make me suspicious of others… Lame right?  It’s true though.  Things like this happen, folks “design” things that are “inspired by” (read “stolen from”) others, and I start to become unsure of others asking about how I do things…  I understand that some folks are really innocent about it, I really do, and I feel like I do try to share with  folks quite  a bit.  I will tell folks stuff that I do for shaping, or how I do my hands, or how I make the dolls all top down, but I”m not going to hold someone’s hand and show them step by step, some of it is practicing embroidery, and that’s not something I can help you with.   I’ve had folks come fairly close to asking me step by step how I make certain things… and while I wanted to tell them to kiss my ass,  instead I went out of my way to find out what they do/make, praise it for what it is, and to really get them to realize they didn’t want to make what I make…it’s not THEIR vision. That doesn’t go on forever though.  You can only ask me for specific instructions on my work so many times.  Oh, and if you ask my friends for tips on how I do things, they don’t know, and wouldn’t tell you anyway, BUT, they DO tell me, and now you get nothing else, AND I won’t be nice about it.  I don’t love underhandedness. Do I do anything that others can’t? No, I don’t.  I don’t have  amazing fancy tricks that no one has learnt, but asking for specifics on how someone makes something, if there is no pattern available, is some underhanded shit, even if you liberally add how you like it…*sigh*

Theft doesn’t end there!  My friends who are clay artists tell me of people who buy something from them, then change the color of the clay and call it something different, and it’s “an original” with secret made up “new techniques.”  Folks make dolls and bears that are really just copies of more amazing ones they’ve seen, and suddenly it’s an original design. Some make exactly what others do, but cheapen on the materials, and charge more.   Some folks buy items JUST to figure them out. RUDE!   A guy on Facebook literally stole an artist’s picture; it was a portrait of a guy in sunglasses, and the guy the actual picture is of got on Facebook and told the thief he didn’t have the right to post it as his… He didn’t even draw a copy of the picture, he just copy and pasted the picture and called it his.  WHAT THE FUCK! That’s just blatant theft.  And the problem with all of this is that the folks who were stolen from get told to “stop whining, it wouldn’t matter/happen if your patterns were free.”

I’ve even stopped following the pages who won’t credit the artist.  There are facebook  administrators who won’t bother to find the artist, saying “it takes too long to look,” and if you tell them, they don’t even edit the post to add the artist, you CAN do that, and it doesn’t take that long… if looking for a few minutes takes too long, and you can’t properly credit the creator once that info has come to light, I can’t possibly follow that happily.  There are some pages who say they can’t find the creator, and ask for help. Cheers to them!  They’re usually happy to find out who it is, and give credit.  BONUS, the artist is happy too.

The bottom line is that STEALING SUCKS.  You don’t have to be a designer, no one says that you have to be the original creator of the design.  But give proper credit, tell folks the name of the artist whose work is so great you must make that thing, even if you change things a bit.

 Image1234    This bag isn’t my design, the original designer of this bag is BuddyRumi.  I didn’t buy the pattern, and mine is obviously different than the original, the face on mine is knitted, and everything is different, though my bag is based on her design.  I’m not going to write up a pattern so someone could make mine instead, that would really just be wrong.  I may make a couple more, and they’ll all be a bit different, I prefer it that way, and eventually they may evolve into something else, but again, won’t write a pattern and call it “mine.”

I would love to believe that a blog of mine would change things, but sadly I’m sure, folks will still steal designs, or create “their own” design from a few patterns that already exist, that they’ll claim art that’s not their own, and ask folks if they can share the secrets of others.  What I will tell you, them and everyone else, I’m not afraid to write about your pitiful practices, and I’m also not above outing thieves to EVERYONE!   Just one of the many little perks you get when you steal from others so very overtly. I label you for the thieving bag of manure you are.  

It doesn’t take much to say, “this isn’t my design, but I just love it,” or “I wish I came up with this, but the creator is_____.”  And I appreciate those people much more.

Just so you know all isn’t bad in Kimland, here’s a sugar skull I made, the pattern is not mine, but I like it. The jaw moves up and down a bit, and it will probably get just a bit more sugar skull detail, but then done!

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Keep it creepy folks!