Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pattern drama


Note:  I'm a little opinionated in this post, but I hate to see the bullying going on out there.  

This post is going to be about patterns that look similar from different designers.  For me, 99% of the time when I put out a new pattern, it's the first time I've tried making something like that, so even if there is a similar design out there....it's new to ME (as in, I've never made it before), and I've decided to write in my own style as I've found that a few people actually LIKE the way I write my patterns.  Do I want to copy other designers? No, of course not!!  But since I KNOW I am not copying their written patterns, they really just need to stop getting their panties in a bunch and worry about themselves.  And if any designer is really THAT worried about my pattern looking like theirs, contact me and we can talk about it!  We can get an impartial moderator involved...both of us can send our patterns to them to compare and have them decide!  I'm 100% sure that that would solve the problem, since I have my own style of writing, and I doubt that even though the end results look the same, that they will be identical patterns.  (unless of course, they copied me, hahaha)

Now this hasn't really been an issue for ME lately (I just wanted to bring up how it has affected me in the past), but I'm seeing it happen to a lot of other designers.  Mostly because they are designing "character" hats that are all going to look the same (if made to look like the character!) and sure enough, someone who already designed that character is going to speak up and start whining "she copied me!"....sometimes without even seeing the written pattern.  Now first of all, we need to get something straight, both of you are writing a pattern for a  trademarked or copyrighted character, which could land you in some hot water if the company finds you.  I haven't been through it personally (as I generally refrain from designing character patterns) but I do know they will at least send you a cease and desist order.  Second of all, just because YOU designed a pattern based on that character does not preclude any OTHER designer from also making a pattern based on that character, I don't know why YOU all of a sudden think you own that character, I think the company would beg to differ!! 

So, something I've learned along the way in my short career is to just design the best I can, and TRY not to worry about what the other designers are doing.  So when my customers see two similar designs but decide to go with MY pattern because they've learned to like my style, that's my goal.  To write a great pattern and make my customers happy.  

Now, back to my first paragraph, I realize I could expand on that a little bit more.  When I say, "it's new to ME"...that's because I am figuring out that design/stitch on my own and trying it for the first time by my own experimenting, I have not used someone else's pattern to learn it.  I have a large collection of "stitch" books and I literally browse through them for hours looking for inspiration.  What are "stitch" books, you ask?  They are books with lots of different ways to put crochet stitches together to create a design....but not an actual pattern.  The majority of my designs can be traced right back to these books and I can tell you EXACTLY where my inspiration came from.  Want a few examples??  My Mia Beanie is the "2 and 3" stitch, the Ashlyn Hat and Ashlyn baby bonnet are "posts and shells", all of my Star Stitch designs come from "eyelet stitch", the Victoria beanie and my Victorian baby bonnet are "textured sc/dc #3"...however these two patterns look VERY different because the Victoria was heavily modified to work in the round.  My Mia Beanie is another one I could talk about, it has the "butterfly effect" with the bling attached and there are quite a few other patterns like that, however, I waited a long time to write that pattern because I was looking for a nice textured stitch for the rest of the hat since I don't like hats in plain double crochet.  Anyone can do the same thing I do with these books, that's what they are for.  However, not everyone can do the math involved, or modify them to work in the round, or write out a pattern (with multiple sizes) clearly and concisely.  So, that's why not everyone writes patterns.  However, if two designers have the same books for inspiration, that could certainly explain why so many designs look alike.  And by the way, crochet has been around for years...there is really nothing new out there.  I realize when I put out a new pattern that even without looking, there are probably several other similar ones published already, but since I don't know how those other patterns are written, I'm going to put mine out there too.  If people don't like it, they don't have to buy my pattern.  Harsh, but true.  :)

Who knew there was all this drama in the crochet world??  Honestly people, there is a whole world of people out there to buy your patterns....trust me, there are more than enough customers for all of us.  And if you write a good pattern, those customers will come back to you.  And if you provide good customer service when you need to fix a problem, they will also come back to you.  Just something to think about!  I KNOW customers don't want to see all the drama...they just want to enjoy crocheting.  :)

20 comments:

  1. Very well written and said.
    Thank You!
    Carolyn
    Nana's Whimsical Crochet

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  2. I will still buy from you and then buy the same pattern from others sometimes I need both to understand something I am just not getting in one pattern but the other explains that one part better. I like how you write and I love your patterns but it doesn't mean I don't have a duh moment every now and then. With as many pattern writers as there are out there of course there will be similarities but I can vouch that you all write differently and some explain way better than others or offer photos that help with those tricky stitches and other don't. Don't stress over the Drama :)

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    1. Thanks Rebecca! And don't worry, I'm not stressing....I just felt it needed to be said! lol

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  3. You're awesome and I 100% completely agree!! You said it so much better than I ever could have!! and now! I MUST look in to buying some stitch books!! I LOVE texturizing ;)

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  4. Hi Jennifer, I can't believe people are being like that. By law if you take someones pattern an alter it by 30 percent it is now your pattern. I have designed so many patterns and never published them and then I see some that look like what I did. I have never blamed anyone for stealing a pattern. And yes it is totally against copyright and trademarked laws to be copying a characters image. I have been crocheting for 22 years and am very proud if I see a look alike of my pattern.

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  5. That is exactly why I don't write crochet patterns. I've been crocheting for 50 years and I often make my own patterns; but, when you write them and make them public there is almost always someone else who has had that same thought, written a similar pattern, and wants to claim that you "copied" them. There are only so many crochet stitches and so many ways to put them together, and an awful lot of talented people out there writing down what they did. Very likely, if you write your pattern down, somewhere in history, someone already has written one "just like it." I think the crybabies just need to hush.

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  6. Jennifer,you are 110% right on every word you have said ..i wish this could be published in the book of crochet laws....LoL!!! thank you for writing this..good luck on your adventures..

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  7. Jennifer, I'm so glad you wrote this and have this view on it. There are many designers out there that get just plain nasty about things and start a lot of drama over it. It's sad because there are so many different ways to make things and come out with the same thing. I love your patterns! I think many designers need to understand that without all the variations crochet would become a dying craft just like Plastic Canvas is. I think everyone should appreciate the creativity and the craft and stop all the arguing and pettiness.

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  9. Thank you for your article, you are 100 per cent correct, and Beth gets to the jest of what I would say. Drama over a pattern, and the pettiness that follows such a claim is ridiculous, to the point that sometimes I wonder why a designer would want to be "followed" by a "nut case", if your followers stalk another designers customers or even their followers, that designer needs to stop this practice, that designer has no scruples in my book and I won't buy another pattern from her/him. Thank you Jennifer!

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  10. Ok, I realize I'm commenting on a 3 year-old post, but I appreciate your vent. I like Kim Guzman's caveat at the end if her designs. It's something like "I design a lot of patterns. Any similarity to other published designs is entirely coincidental." Do people really think a designer scours the web looking for designs to copy? Usually when I make something without a pattern it's a spur of the moment kind of thing or it grows out of messing around with yarn and stitches. Thanks for posting this. Some people really need to get over themselves.

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    1. Kim Guzman is very wise, I just love her! Thanks for your comment! :)

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