Ok so lately I’ve been amusing myself by spending hours some time on the New Patterns section of Ravelry. I love to see what people are making and designing. And I really really REALLY love that people offer lots of free patterns here. Love. Free. Stuff.
I have however, noticed a disturbing-to-me trend. More and more people seem to want a ridiculous amount of money for their patterns regardless of how simple they may be. To clarify, the patterns are simple, not the designer…although the designer may be simple, I try to stick to the one slag per post rule.
Before I rant on though, I have to tell you that I am cheap. Cheap when it comes to certain things. These certain things would be patterns. Why would I (and should I) spend $7 US (in the majority cases) for just one pattern when, for a few dollars more, I can buy a knitting magazine and get 20+ patterns. And hey, if you spend enough time in bookstores (used or otherwise) you can often get great deals on older knitting books. In fact I just bought Loop-d-Loop for $7.00 CDN at Chapters. Yep, 43 patterns, many of which are pretty awesome, for $7.99. That’s 18.6 cents a pattern people. A very good deal by anyone’s estimation I’d say.
Which brings me back to my original pet peeve. Think about what you are charging for. Some things are worth the money. A really fancy shawl. A particularly interesting and/or complex sweater. Some blankets/afgans. A few toys. But overall no, I am not spending $3 US for a dish cloth pattern. Or $5 US for a simple scarf. I can reverse engineer ruffles. It’s really not that hard. And don’t get me started on slippers, most socks, hats and mittens.
I get that designing patterns can be long, tedious and difficult work. I also get that not everyone wants to start from scratch and design their own stuff. Most of the time I have no desire to do that….come take a look at my bookshelves that are packed to the gills with knitting and other crafty books and patterns. Besides, there is something inherently comforting in following a pattern and knowing that (hopefully) all of the bugs have been worked out and all you have to do is knit it. And I really am ok with paying for patterns that I like, that I can’t cobble together from patterns I have or that I can’t be arsed to reverse engineer. Believe me, I get it. But make it worth my while designers. Be like Ysolda Teague and her Whimsical Knits . Give me several patterns in one go. For 11 GBP (British pounds) I got ten patterns. And I love nine of them. And I will make nine of them. The 10th is, as DH says, just ok. Which doesn’t preclude me making it, it’s just not high on the list.
And before you start grabbing your pitchforks and flaming torches and begin marching on my house, let me just say that I do understand that pattern designers are trying to make a living. Selling patterns $3, $5 and $7US at a time is tough row to hoe. But sometimes designers (and regular people with non-designing jobs who are trying to make some extra bucks selling your stuff…can’t really fault you guys) you have to give your heads a shake. I will, in no uncertain circumstances, spend money for a pattern for a cowl/scarf/dishcloth/blanket/socks/shawl that you have “created” by using a bunch of stitch dictionary patterns. Just because you made it up doesn’t mean you need to (or should) charge money. That being said, people will buy stuff, even in this tough economy. As the saying goes, there’s one born every minute.
Now, if you will excuse me I have some new patterns to check out. It’s been at least an hour. I wonder what’s newly posted?