In which a rant morphs into something else…
So this was going to be a post about how I’d been getting rather a lot of a particular question lately (briefly summarized as “Knitting patterns are stupid and easy to make, so it’s basically a crime that anyone charges such an outrageous amount for them. And I don’t have enough money to buy both yarn and patterns, but I don’t like the thousands of free patterns that are out there, so how about you give me your patterns for free because I like them better than the free ones? Not enough to pay for them mind you, because paying for something dumb like that is ridiculous, but still better than the free ones. And I know you’ll say no because you’re really mean, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask!”), and how that question is pretty lousy. And how the answer to that question is and always will be a very firm no. And how, if you find yourself thinking ‘hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask!’ when considering asking something, you should maybe do a quick check to be sure the thing you’re asking for isn’t inherently unreasonable.
But that post was kind of a bummer. And I’m not actually sure the folks who most need a post like that would recognize themselves in it, even if they read it.
So I’m going to do something a bit more fun. I’m going to remind you of all the awesome folks you’re helping to support when you decide to buy my patterns or books (instead of telling me my work sucks then asking to have it for free). Because when you buy things from me, it not only helps me pay my bills (which is nifty, I totally appreciate that), it also helps support a whole bunch of other independent business people, too. And I think that is worth focusing on for a moment. So let’s break it down a little.
- Folks I pay directly as part of the process of creating books or patterns (fair disclaimer, I don’t pay all these people for every book and pattern, but I’ve paid people to do each of these things at various points in the process of creating books and patterns):
- Sample knitters (they make the pretty knitting you see in the pictures)
- Tech editors (they make sure your knitting goes smoothly)
- Content editors (they make sure the non-pattern bits make sense and say what they should)
- Technical illustrators (they make the instructional pictures that make your knitting easier)
- Illustrators (they draw the pretty bits that make the books prettier)
- Photographers (they take the pictures that help you notice the pattern and get you to make it)
- Graphic designers (they make the layout pretty and functional)
- Companies I buy things from as part of the process of creating books or patterns (same disclaimer as above, I don’t always buy all these things for every project, but they’re all things I have bought at various times in the service of various projects):
- Yarn companies (sometimes I request yarn support, but a lot of the time I just buy my own yarn)
- Tool companies (needles, so many needles)
- Notions companies (think folks who make stitch markers or needle gauges or button makers or shawl pin makers)
- Knitting software companies (the clever folks who make the tools I use to create good looking, easy to follow patterns)
- Companies that benefit when you buy my books or patterns through them:
- Your local yarn shop (seriously, buying my books or patterns at your LYS helps everyone…it helps the shop because they make money, it helps me because I make money, and it helps you because it means the shop is more likely to stick around and be there the next time you want to visit…there is no downside)
- Dyers (lots of the dyers I use carry my books and sell them at their events, the arguments here are the same as for the yarn shops, the dyers make money, I make money, it helps make sure the dyers are going to keep making all that lovely yarn you like so much)
- Ravelry (when you buy my stuff on ravelry, they take a little cut…their rates are super reasonable, and it’s the bill I’m happiest to pay at the end of the month because without ravelry I wouldn’t have a job, but they do get paid, and buying things there helps ensure ravelry sticks around)
That feels like an awful lot of good to do with a seven dollar pattern or a twenty two dollar book. I absolutely love that, together, we’re able to help so many folks have businesses they adore and are passionate about. And I have a sneaking suspicion a lot of you love it too!
So yay (and thank you) for everyone who understands that. You’re awesome, and you should totally feel good about yourselves. Your purchases reach a lot more folks than you might have realized, and you’re helping there be more of what you love in the world (yarn, patterns, yarn shops, ravelry, knitting)!