March 27, 2013

Why I post patterns for free

I have been getting a lot of people telling me (offline) that I should not post my patterns for free - that I should charge for them. I admit, it would help. I do not have a job and don't have any prospects for one at all at this time. But it makes me sad to be told I should not post any of them for free.

I may end up selling patterns someday, but I started posting patterns for free because I remember when I was first starting out, there would be really cute patterns for sale that I would buy and THEN find out that I didn't have the skill needed to complete it (because obviously, you aren't allowed to read over the pattern before you buy it). Or even worse, have you ever purchased a pattern where no matter how closely you follow the instructions, it never turns out like the photos that hooked you into buying it? I hate that (and I always hope that my patterns don't do that, but if they do, at least they were free). And being currently unemployed, I can certainly understand the frustration that is this: If you didn't buy the pattern, you could have bought yarn instead! Or, you can only buy one; yarn or the pattern. Now, choose which one... *jeopardy music starts playing*

And then there is another reason. I don't want to have to be Ferengi-like at all times. It seems like so much of the world has gotten to be that way. It's like you can't do anything without being charged. And I have to say I still believe in Gene Roddenberry's vision of humanity, even though every time I leave home, I am disheartened by the way other people treat one another. I think people are like that because of the way things are - things are hard and cash is needed for everything, and God forbid you (or a loved one, or both) should have anything medical going on or you won't even be able to afford to eat. :(

So, I enjoy creating patterns that are available (and I hope, desirable) for everyone because... it's just the Starfleet way. I delude myself into thinking that Gene Roddenberry would be proud of my miniscule little efforts. It's not like free patterns will feed you, but ideally they can make life more enjoyable at times when you need or want something to do for fun, to create something with your own hands. And I guess, other than offering free patterns, it's not like there's a lot else I can do to change the world or make it so that the human race functions happier and healthier.

Speaking of free patterns, I am currently working on the next one. It is based on a plushie I won from one of those claw machines. I looked up a how-to online and tried and won 4 prizes! (But first I had to find a machine like the ones described in the how-to - the "large claws" and the newer machines are pretty darned near impossible to win at, according to what I heard. I believe it.)

It was the fulfillment of a childhood dream - I was never allowed to play one as a child, since it really is "wasting money." But, when it comes to gambling, there are much worse (and much scarier) ways to waste money. So, I don't feel so bad about playing the claw machine. (And if anyone reading this wants to try the claw machine, too, I just have one piece of advice - there are times when absolutely nothing in the machine is "get-able" because they are all packed in too tightly or, if too close to the glass sides, the claw can't reach them.)

Here is a photo of the claw-prize-plushie that the new free pattern will be based on:

4 comments:

  1. Some of my favorite go to patterns are free patterns and I am so grateful to the people who created them. I make toys and doll clothes for charity and family and my money goes so much farther when I don't have to buy every pattern.

    I do understand why people need to sell patterns and most of my birthday/Christmas lists are filled with pattern requests. I do my best to help others meet their income needs. :)

    Follow your heart. When you feel the need to sell your patterns that will be the time to do so and you will have built a following of people who know your pattern style and will follow you to your paid patterns.

    I have done this with a few designers. As you mentioned there are some patterns I've purchased and ended up redesigning because the style/crochet writing style doesn't work for me. It would be nice sometimes to have a free pattern to preview how they document their patterns to see if the style of pattern works for your style of crocheting.

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  2. I think it's very generous of you to put your patterns up for free! I think the problem with selling them is that there is so much competition, but if you did want to sell them, having some that are free are a good way for people to see if they like the style of the patterns and to see how good your patterns are.

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  3. I just recently found your site and I want to thank you for sharing your patterns for free. And I enjoyed your comments regarding Gene Roddenberry as I am also a lover of Star Trek. I think people could acquire valuable lessons from Star Trek. I have made embroidery patterns (machine and hand) but I don't sell them. I started a blog last year but it hasn't gone very well so far. I want to share my patterns through that blog. Keep up the wonderful gift you have for creating such delightful crocheted masterpieces. You have a very special talent.

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  4. Thank you for sharing you patterns and letting people like me that are just learning to do amigurumi practice with your patterns. Its true that some patterns that are sold dont turn out to be as they should be, and it turns out to be very frustrating. Your patterns are very cute an fun to make and my kids like them very much. People like you that upload free projects make of crafts fun to make and let imagination and creativity flow and makes a lot of people happy...(me). Sooo, thanks again for making it fun to learn. :D My best wishes and blessings for you.

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