The Imitation Game

There is a great debate in the knitting/crochet pattern designer community over selling finished objects made from patterns. Some designers even go so far as to try to put a “license” on their pattern to restrict the sale of finished objects made from the pattern or to charge more for a pattern that people intend to make for sale in a craft show or on Etsy.

This NPR story reaffirms a lot of what I have read; useful objects such as clothing are not copyrightable.  The actual words and drawings in a pattern are what the copyright covers.  No one should make copies of a written pattern and distribute the pattern without the author’s (designers’) permission whether the pattern is free or has a cost.  What a knitter makes from a pattern (the finished object) is theirs to do with what they will.  They can give it away or sell it.  They can make 10 of them and sell those items too.  The actual finished objects are useful objects  and they have every right to sell them just like any property they own.   Whether a design is patentable is a different story, but if you have not sought a design patent, the point is moot.  What about patterns for knitted toys?  If the toy is an original design and you want to license sales you  need to get a trademark. (Mickey Mouse anyone?)  If you make a pattern for a “Mickey Mouse” toy, maybe you’re the one in the wrong…

People who write knitting patterns make their money from the sale of patterns.  (Or they wanted to draw traffic to their website or sale of other patterns by offering free patterns). They are hurt if you make copies of their pattern and give them to your friends who want to make it too.  I have created a couple of free patterns over the years and recently made one for sale.  I have never tried to ‘limit’ the use of the pattern.  If you want to make items from my patterns and sell them, feel free!  (Just don’t copy my patterns or class handouts and give them away please!)

Class Dismissed!

class with scarves

Today the weaving students returned with their woven scarves.  I showed them how to finish the scarves and make the big cut to take them off the looms.  Then the fringe was tied and evenly trimmed.  Check out the great scarves and the variety of colors!  Thanks Shirley, Nicole, Susan and Jean!  I had a great time teaching you!

Weavers School

warped class looms

I had a class of 4 beginning weavers today at Silk Road Textiles learning to warp and weave on Cricket Rigid Heddle Looms. I like to keep my classes small so that I can keep up with everyone and try to catch any big mistake shortly after it is made when it is usually easier to fix.  We use the simple method of direct warping, and within an hour and a half, all were sitting down with their warped looms, ready to weave.  They wove for a bit with my guidance, learned to measure picks for a balanced weave, then I sent them all home with my looms and instructions on what to do when they need to wind more weft yarn on the shuttle.  Since the yarn we are using is a long color changing yarn, care must be taken when winding shuttles to maintain the color sequence of the yarn.  They will return on Friday ready to cut the scarves off the looms and learn to tie the fringe.  I think they all enjoyed learning to weave as much I enjoyed teaching them.  Have a group of friends who want to learn?  Contact me and we can set up a session!

Students’ Scarves

I have been having quite a busy month teaching classes at Silk Road Textiles and at the WGGC.  This post is to show is the work of some of my students in progress.

This is from my houndstooth scarf class at Silk Road Textiles.  I forgot to take other pictures, but there were four in the class.  Some of the other color combinations were light and dark brown and blue and black.
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One of my favorite combinations is a purple green,

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or red and black

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Next is a set of photos from my class on faux ikat.  In this class we use handpainted yarns that are dyed in a particular way.  These yarns have to be dyed across the skein or “palindrome dyed” where the dyer paints the yarn across the oval of the skein.

Pooling Yarn

I show them how to make the colors “pool” for a faux ikat effect in their scarves.  You have to be willing to work with the yarn and let it determine the length of the scarf.

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H3

Halvorsen 3

I love this treadling variation.  (4,3,2,1,4,1,2,3) I may do the 4th towel with it rather than the 4th variation included in the book. (4,3,4,2,1,2)  I want to finish by tomorrow morning for my guild study group meeting.  I have caused myself a time crunch because I spent some unweaving time  yesterday. I had made 2 treadling errors in towel #2 and contemplated keeping that towel for myself and leaving the mistakes in. But, I decided to heed my own advice, I would rather keep a towel that didn’t have a mistake, so bit the bullet and unwove.  I wasted time over the weekend not weaving most of Saturday and all of Sunday because I couldn’t make myself go on with the mistake in, and I didn’t want to unweave.  It only took me about 20 minutes to unweave the 4 or 5 inches yesterday and much less than that to reweave.  I should have done it right away.  The towels would be finished by now if I had.

I need to leave to teach a rigid heddle class soon at the LYS and that will cut into my weaving time tonight.  Its a good thing I get up early with my son in the morning.  Hopefully I can push through and finish then before I need to leave at 9:30.  I used fusible thread in my hems, so a quick iron on the ends and I can take the cloth along to study group with out fear.  Washing,  cutting apart and hemming of the towels can wait until after the meeting.

I was there this morning teaching a knitting class.  I love my knitting classes.  It is so gratifying to see how successful people feel the first time they use increases and decreases to make something shaped like a hat in the round, rather than a rectangle or square.  Many people knit for years without going beyond the rectangle.  In my hat class not only do they use shaping, but they learn to knit on a circular needle and a set of 4 double pointed needles.  Such a simple project that creates skill and confidence when they complete it.

Everyone in the class wants to make a sweater now, so that will start in two weeks!