I had a phone call this morning: “Could I explain if the $6 patterns on my web site were just one pattern or a pattern booklet?”
I confirmed that it was a single pattern, but full of information and detail – I forgot to mention that they had been fully tested and thoroughly thought through, usually in several sizes, and each was a small knitting course in its own right. Unfortunately I’m never very nimble with my verbs when non-plussed or trying to defend myself! Totally brilliant and incisive afterwards, though.
“Oh,” said the lady: “I think that is very expensive.”
This just stopped me in my tracks. I have now spent about 3 full days writing, re-writing and problem-solving with this latest sock pattern (and I’m not done yet by several days, or counting knitting time). In order to write this pattern I’m drawing upon 30+ years of knitting experience, using a computer and four- digit-priced software, and I expect that she rang on our toll free number (which is what it is there for, but it is paid for by me). Yet after all that investment, for the price of three cups of coffee you may obtain this pattern and re-use it as many times as you wish.
One of the challenges that independent pattern writers face is the loss-leader patterns provided by those interested mainly in selling yarn. It’s fine for yarn companies to sell subsidized patterns to promote their yarn sales, but they constantly reinforce the perception that a pattern is only worth $2. Sorry, this would barely cover the manufacturing cost of a multi-page pattern with colour printing, never mind give me a few cents for all the thought, time and technology I’ve put into it.
I’m not sure just how many patterns a day the non-considering public think we can sell, but we would not eat well and would have to get real jobs and stop writing patterns. Patternfish, Knitter’s Vault and Twist Collective are all going a long way to help designers, but the discount patterns are still out there, setting the bar low.
Also, not all patterns are created equal! You do tend to get what you pay for, although this is not always true. Word of mouth and Ravelry comments are helpful in determining the true value and effectiveness of a pattern.
Anyway, enough time on the Soapbox, this doesn’t get patterns written! My latest design snag was the result of a rash decision. Made from the passenger seat the other morning without the aid of paper and pencil, as to how to align the stripes after the heel turning was completed. I gambled and I lost!
Look closely at the stripes, see how they fail to match after the gusset decreases are completed? I’ve now spent quality time with my pencil and paper and now all four sizes should be right on! Whoo hoo! (I’m fudging a little in this sock – please don’t tell.)
This sock has been affectionately fondled by Unbelievers: one and all have been blown away by how wonderful it feels. I’m using our Cat’s Pajama’s and Curious Creek’s Omo 50% silk/wool, both groan-makingly gorgeous yarns.
I have to try some mittens in this combo. I need to give up sleep and grow more arms.