On selling…

Selling huh? Not a usual Amiguruthi topic. I wasn’t sure what to post about today. I’ve been working on two patterns plus an experiment for Mad Crochet Lab, so I’ve nothing concrete to post, and I was going to put it off a couple of days, until I saw a discussion on Facebook that I have to weigh in on.

The discussion revolved around selling items made from someone else’s free pattern. Now, my opinion is that if I designed the pattern and let you have it either for free or for a fee, what you make is still yours to do as you wish with. As long as appropriate credit is given to me as the designer, and you’re not selling the pattern itself, then why shouldn’t you profit from your talent? I’m glad to help you on your way to a little financial gain, be it cost of materials or a way over priced piece – if someone will offer you money for it then take it and enjoy the buzz of a job well done. Let me know its happened so I can link you up on here and enjoy your buzz vicariously too!

I know other crochet pattern designers who have the opposite response – they’ve designed it therefore only they can sell the finish piece. Which is fine too. It’s personal opinion and if they intend on selling then why should they let you set up as rival to them? It’s just business sense (I never INTEND to sell, which is why I don’t have this rule – if I did then I might revoke the privilege). Even if they don’t intend on selling, then it’s still their wish and should still be respected.

Anyway, the argument being had was that it was wrong for one designer to tell someone to not sell finished products made from their design, a wish that was clearly posted on the blog with the pattern. The fact the designer was incredibly rude to the person they were contacting to take down their Etsy listing didn’t help, and I agree was NOT the way to go about it. A polite email might have meant the issue never came up.


The people commenting on the thread (which was the seller asking if it was legal to sell from a free pattern against the designers wishes) were being incredibly rude too, ranting about how it’s illegal to try and stop someone selling their version and how the designer had ‘no right’ to stop her, and making hurtful comments in response.

Now hang on. I’m pretty sure if I tried to sell items I’d made from patterns in a published book that specifically stated not to sell them, then I’d be in the wrong. As a lot of the books do – or at least they limit the amount you can make and sell. Why is it different for a home crafter, self publishing on their blog? If it were my wish then I’d expect that to be respected, as I would respect the wishes of other designers. Just because a pattern is offered for free does not make it suddenly nothing to do with the designer. And if you disagree with that, then find a pattern you can sell, or take the opportunity to learn to design your own patterns. At the very least, restrict your selling to friends you know off line, and only take the cost of materials. Don’t put plough ahead anyway, stick it on Etsy, and get offended when you’re caught.

Mostly though? I was ashamed of my community. And that’s sad. The crochet community is the coolest community ever, the most accepting and the most generous, and it contains some freaking amazing people in it (yes reader I’m talking about YOU. You rock). it’s even better than the Brony community, which is saying something. But tonight? Instead of the polite, well mannered, respectful girls and guys that I’m used to, all I saw were petty, hateful people, ragging on someone trying to make a living from something they love and taking pride in their own work. And NO-ONE has the right to take that away from them, no matter how rudely they expressed themselves, and regardless of some unclear legality.

Aaand, end rant. Feel free to discuss and argue in the comments, but don’t make it hurtful or personal. Amiguruthi’s usual updates of silly critters and less seriousness will resume soon. In the mean time, here’s a cat image that makes my boyfriend giggle like a three year old.

human kitty


14 thoughts on “On selling…

  1. No argument from me.I have, because of creating characters from “licensed characters” as well as because of TMH lookied into it. Copyright laws only cover the written pattern, so,I can’t buy a pattern then sell it as mine. BUT I can take my skills and my materials and use a pattern I’ve bought and sell the product. It was when it was likened to a sewing pattern that I understood–I can buy a Vogue pattern and advertise that I make clothing according to Vogue patterns, and sell my wares, I just can’t claim the pattern to be my own. I understand folks might RATHER others not sell their finished products, but the reality is that it’s completely legal.
    Love your blog as always.! πŸ˜€

    • Yeah that’s always been my mind set tbh – your work, yours to sell. What I was opposed to wasn’t the argument – perfectly legal to do it therefore if someone really wants to they can – but it was the bile being poured out. The main issue seemed to be that the initial designer was rude, therefore that opened her (I assume her) up to being called all sorts of horrible names and having all sorts of wild accusations thrown about. You’re rude that’s worng, we’re rude that’s right sort of thing. It baffled me lol. I’m so used to people agreeing with each other!

      Either way, surely it’d be easier to say ‘Ok you don’t want me doing this, I’m good enough to be selling my work, so I’ll find someone whose ok with it and give them the publicity?’. x

      • Again, so right!!! With the way”the rules” are, if they don’t want you to sell your product, maybe they shouldn’t create patterns! Pettiness within the community makes folks look bad!

  2. As I’m fairly new to the whole process of taking a pattern, making your own version of it, and then hoping somebody will like you enough not to laugh while they are still within hearing range, I really can’t see why tempers got to the point that there were tears before bedtime.

    I have always assumed that, if a pattern is being advertised as free, or available for a fee then, whatever product is made from it, it is surely the person who made that product’s right to do with it as they will?

    I do agree that the pattern itself should never be sold on, and the designer of said pattern should always be mentioned, whether it was free, or paid for, as a matter of courtesy, if nothing else!

    One day, in the not-too-distant future, I really do hope that I’ll be good enough to make my own patterns, instead of relying on somebody else’s but, until then, whenever I make anything, I will continue putting a picture of it on to my Blog, and adding a link to the original designer, or place that I got the pattern from.

    And one day, I might even have the courage to try and sell what I make – once people stop shaking with laughter, of course! πŸ™‚

    • In a couple of weeks I’m going to be posting some of my very first ami’s. They are laughably crap! But in a year I’ve improved to the point I’m confident to sell my work if people ask, so I’ve no doubt you’ll get there too πŸ˜€

      • I really look forward to seeing them, then, as I admire anyone who manages to make an amigurumi that’s recognisable! Lol

        You give me the encouragement that, one day, I’ll be able to show somebody – other than my nearest and dearest – just what I am up to with my hook and tons of yarns πŸ™‚

  3. I have to agree with everything you said here. The bottom line seems to be respect. We can’t expect it if we don’t give it. And I admit that I was confused for quite a while about the legality of licensed characters so I made my free patterns of them available and asked others not to sell them in the past. But since I have a better understanding of that now, I have made it clear on my blog that all my free patterns (and even the pay ones for that matter) are available to make items for sale from. I do wish to get credit for the patterns, whether free or not, because although the end customer may not care who did the design, if I’m writing patterns for sale, then other crocheters are my customers and I’d like the word to get around where the pattern came from. I don’t think that is much to ask. And I still totally agree with all you’ve said above, but I guess my recommendation to other designers, to prevent any stresses in the community, is to NOT offer a pattern to the public if you want to sell the finished items yourself. I can’t agree more that it makes no sense to give someone the fuel to compete with you if that is not what you want. Great post about a very important subject!

    • That’s the most sensible way to go about it really isn’t? If you don’t want people selling it don’t give it away, and if you’ve been asked not to sell it find something you can sell instead.

      The legality is weird. I can see it’s because it not enforceable, but so many of the well know crochet bloggers have a don’t sell request up on their blogs that people assume it’s some big law. Strange place the internet! x

  4. P.S. That cat pic always cracks me up too! Thanks for that and lightening the subject a bit. You are awesome, just in case nobody has told you that yet today!

    • I always like to hear it just in case I forget πŸ˜‰ The photo makes the other half break down into genuine hysterics so I thought it a good way to finish and get back to the usual Amiguruthi randomness lol x

  5. Pingback: On designing… | Amiguruthi

  6. Pingback: Five things that annoy me about crochet | Amiguruthi

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