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October 05, 2012



Great post. I buy more patterns than I can reasonably expect to knit and would probably buy more if I could keep my paypal account topped up! I appreciate that there are free patterns out there, but I have the utmost respect for designers and think they deserve to be recognized for their skill and hard work.


Those are beautiful patterns. Thanks for the tip.

Renee Anne

I'm excited to be taking a designing class with her at Stitches West in February :)

Seanna Lea

I consider it reasonable to buy patterns and I'm not going to balk about buying a pattern because it costs some money. The most expensive individual pattern I bought was a scarf pattern, double knit, called 52 Pickup by Alasdair Post-Quinn. It is an opus, a song of joy to double knitting, and even if I never break out the yarn and needles and make it, I will love it, all 100+ pages of it.

Designers and their are worth the money.


I have to admit that I haven't heard many people who don't want to pay for patterns - of course as a self proclaimed knitting hermit that shouldn't surprise me. I love the books I've gotten from Cooperative Press - and I love that it's such a great company!


When I pay for patterns, I'm paying for two things. First, I'm paying for reliability: I know that the pattern has been test-knitted for clarity and accuracy, any mistakes in the pattern will be corrected in an update or with errata, and that the designer will be responsive to questions. Second, I'm paying for the option to buy future patterns from this designer. If she or he cannot earn a fair wage, then they'll move to another profession, and I won't get their patterns. That's worth the price of a latte to me.

Caveat: I've paid for lousy patterns. I don't buy from those designers again. But usually I can vet a new designer by looking at project comments on Ravelry. Once I bought a pattern that promised a new technique: "an ingenious cast-on method making stitch counting for the project unnecessary!" The ingenious method: pulling the chunky yarn through both arm lengths two times. I felt scammed. But I've felt scammed by quite a few bad cups of coffee. And based on past experience, my chances of getting a good pattern from an unknown designer is better than that of getting a good latte from an unfamiliar coffee shop. So I'll go on buying patterns.


I totally agree with all that you have said. I just took a class with Anna Dalvi and I have Shannon and Coop Press to that for a most extraordinary day. I purchased Anna's book Ancient Egypt in Lace and Color from Coop Press and loved it so I took her course at Knit Lab today. People should be glad to support such creative , innovative people who give them a choice of wonderful things to Knit.


I've bought sewing patterns for years. So I have no issues paying for knitting ones. Paula from knitting pipeline said she buys a pattern from a designer if she uses one of their free ones. A great idea.

Ziggy is on my wish list. Hope to have the knitting chops to make it sometime soon.


I don't buy many single patterns; I am more likely to buy books and magazines. But I bought Ripple before I bought any of your books, and I've made three!

Lynne Phelps

I am happy to pay for patterns, and I prefer to purchase digital pattern books over paper. I just don't have space for more knitting books, and now that the jewel of my knitting bag is my iPad, I love PDFs! So I embrace the concept of co-operative publishing. But I sure hope you were better compensated for Custom Knits and Custom Knits 2, I love those books. I own both hardbacks and they are well worth the precious shelf space!


i had no idea designers were compensated so poorly for their work - that's terrible! i have no problem paying for patterns. unfortunately my pattern stash is becoming rather unmanageable - i'd have to knit one item a day to get it all done LOL. but i'll still buy them. please keep designing! and i have 2 of your books.


There are people proud that they've never seen any Star Wars films. I'll never understand.


Dare and the world always yields. If it beats you sometimes, dare it again and again and it will succumb.--Canada Goose,Canada Goose Danmark,Canada Goose Jakke,Billig Canada Goose


I too do not understand people who will not pay for a pattern. If I am going to spend $100 in yarn for a sweater, I could really care less if the pattern is $7. Especially if it is awesome. I usually just look for something I like. If it is free, cool. If it is $4, $8, $30 cool. Knitting is my hobby and most hobbies cost money.


I have not purchased many patterns, but I'm not anti-pattern. I'm a relatively new knitter (3 years) and so far there are just so many free patterns out there that I can't really justify it. Plus, I'm sure that the second I do purchase a pattern I will then be amazed at what I've been missing and then will have to buy patterns forevermore. That's my problem with yarn, I started out at craft stores scoring the cheap stuff and then, somehow, I got my hands on GOOD YARN and now I go in those stores and am like, meh. I do, however, buy a lot of closeout yarn at Webs. I've also yet to find a pattern that I'm so dying to do that I'll pay money for it. Basic socks, I think, no point. Doll sweaters, wool soakers - same deal. Baby blankets - maybe but I've made OpArt and Baby Shane and they're awesome and free (and each was $80+ in yarn alone, because I would never BUY a $80 baby blanket, but I'll buy materials for that much and then toss in hours and hours of labor). Sweaters - probably - but I haven't graduated to the world of making myself a sweater. And the first will be Oranje by Ann Weaver (go big or go home) and then I'll see.

So, the short version is I don't think patterns should be free, I respect the expertise and work that goes into a pattern, and should I find one I must have, I'll gladly pay for it. I just haven't found it yet.

Cambria Washington

I ran into a knitter like this once at the LYS where I work. She was of the opinion that because she was buying yarn from us, that I should copy a designer's pattern and give it to her for free. As an indi-designer myself, I was happy to explain to her why we would never do that.

Other than her, I've rarely encountered a "free-pattern-only" knitter in person but I know they exist. And I'm of the personal opinion that if I'm going to spend the same amount of money on yarn as a compact-car payment, then I want to do something amazing with it and I want to have some guidance in the process...hence paying for a pattern :)


We have a "free patterns only" person in our weekly knitters group. In fairness to her, she is young, single, and just getting by on a very limited budget.

For me - I don't mind paying for a pattern when I can see that it has been well designed. This is especially true when I find someone who has a fresh eye. I want to support the designer's efforts so they will continue to bring out new designs. Otherwise they may lose the incentive to do so.


I don't understand why people don't want to pay for patterns but I also don't understand why there are so many free patterns. It seems that with all the creativity, time, and expense that goes into creating a pattern that the designer should be compensated. I don't think designers can be making a whole lot as it is. It seem that designers devalue what they do when they offer so much for free.

A Knitters Notebook

Thank you for sharing this...I have never actually paid for a pattern unless you count buying a knitting magazine with many patterns in it. I only look at patterns that are on Raverly that are free.

I never thought about the person that actually made up the pattern...I am sure they would want to get paid for their time and creativeness.

Great Post!!!!



I have so many patterns that I bought but have yet to knit. Same goes for knitting books. As someone who is trying to break into designing, I understand the inherent difficulties and am more than happy to spend my money there. I'm actually part of an upcoming Cooperative Press project and you're right—it's more than fair, given the current offerings for designers.


I'm with you Wendy. I can never understand those comments. I have no problem paying for a well designed pattern. The less thinking and more knitting I can do the better!

Amy J

First, I agree with the swagger...I should learn how. Second, thanks for spreading the word on cooperative press and sharing the great designs :)

Erin R.

People who never want to pay, get all the fun stories, but they are definitely in the minority. I do buy designs, I've got at least one cute one from you, and the books, but I work very slowly. I'm pretty sure no one could survive off just me. :-)


LOVE your patterns - LOVE paying for them - I'm self-employed in health care and frankly, I would not be able to buy any patterns if folks didn't pay me.....

I completely support creative arts - - and love your work!!!


I was talking to my Mum about this yesterday. I mentioned that in the two years since I started my dissertation, I haven't released a pattern, but that I want to as soon as it's over(next month). I have a couple of designs that just need to be test knitted, photographed and formatted. I told her sales are picking up again now that the weather's colder.

While she's a keen knitter she's not in this internet knitting world, and she's been a bit oblivious to my designs. But yesterday it finally struck her - she said usually she get her patterns from books, which are very expensive (especially where she lives). I explained Ravelry's pattern sales model and she thought it was fantastic that you can pay such a small amount for a great pattern, often good pattern support from the designer, and that the designer gets paid almost the full amount. Cooperative Press's model is fantastic too.

I almost feel a bit guilty when I knit a free pattern these days!

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