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.
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!)
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!