It has been a week of standing on the sidelines and watching many designer friends deal with situations very unique to designers. I decided that it was time for a blog post on the trials and tribulations facing crochet designers.
Find yourself a time machine and step back in time fifty years. To crochet you had only a couple of options. You would learn from someone else and if you needed a pattern you would either go to the library and borrow one (where no doubt the designer had been paid for the design in the publication) or the local store that sold a little bit of everything and buy one, along with your yarn and probably most of your groceries as those stores had everything.
Of course most people didn’t need to use a pattern as there was often someone around to help show you how to crochet, but then you were limited to their abilities.
Right now you can go online and learn to crochet for free and there is a huge amount of patterns for free. Many designers offer free patterns and I know I have a few myself. But these patterns don’t magically make their way onto the web for everyones use. They take work.
This week I know of one designer who was almost in tears, due to having one of her patterns bought by one person and then placed for free on a website that is well known for doing this. Her pattern had then been downloaded over 5000 times for free. She complained about this and was told (by someone who claimed that they never bought patterns and all patterns should be free) that she was greedy. Patterns should be free. She pointed out that her crochet business was her only means of feeding her family, but the accuser did not seem to care. Patterns should apparently be there for everyone to just have. Doesn’t matter the hours of work involved in this pattern. It should just be free!
A lot of the bigger name designers can offer free patterns and still gain income. They get kick backs from yarn companies and affiliate links. Smaller designers don’t have these options.
Another designer friend did a giveaway to try and draw some marketing interest in her work. She gave away quite a number of patterns for free to people. Again, it was hard work for her. Out of all the people who took those patterns, only 6 bothered to say thank you!
Designers are mostly creative people with a love of crochet. But this doesn’t mean they should not be paid for their hard work. If you are offered a free pattern by someone, when you know it is actually a paid design, think twice before taking it. You could actually be taking food out of some families mouths by doing so. You don’t walk into a Bakery and just take the bread rolls. You don’t ask a Tradesperson, Doctor or Accountant to work for nothing and give you freebies. So please do the right thing and pay for your paid crochet patterns, and be thankful for the free ones given to you by the designer.
Also if you have to contact a designer, please be considerate of their time. The stories some of us could tell you about customer contact. We love to help you, but if you just so happen to do a blanket with chunky yarn when it should be make in fingering weight and decide you have an issue, please realise that the issue is your own. If your printer won’t work then call a tech person as a crochet designer can’t fix your printer.
I will end with the fact that most people who designers have contact with are lovely. It is just not always the case. But designers need to eat too!!!!
No Designers or crocheters were harmed in the writing of this post!