I have seen this on many crochet posts, usually it’s on a post someone has shared NOT the designer’s post (that would take real nerve), I mean OK it’s not instantly evident how long it takes to write a pattern but even if you just take how long it takes to MAKE the item his should stop.
Lets start at the beginning. The designer has learned how to crochet, but then so have you so that’s no big deal right. Do you have the crochet skills to correctly place increases and decreases, do you know how to combine stitch patterns or colour combinations to make an interesting or unique design. Yes, OK you do not need the skills of a pattern designer, if you wish to create the item using your skills and not buy the pattern then off you pop, no need to comment.
Still here, supplies, designers need them. There are two ways to get yarn: 1) buy it, this costs money, where ever would a designer get money from???
2) yarn support. This could come from designing for a magazine, book, yarn company, or from an agreement with a yarn company. Designing for someone else means you have to design what they want and may not work for the amazing hat pattern you have in your head. But designing for yourself with yarn support involves not only the time submitting the design but you have to have the tech editing done, photographs taken and edited, you have to spend the time publishing the pattern, money and time advertising.
We shall come back to time, you know how it can take two weeks to crochet a large item, or a month to knock out a king-size bead spread? when you have to write down each step, frog it a few times, make it look pretty on a page, make sure it makes sense, make sure your numbers are right, maybe even write instructions or four more sizes, edit the whole thing so it’s available in US AND UK terms (maybe another language entirely), upload your PDF to all of the relevant sites, write the “romance text” (oh how bad I am at that bit). I started work on the Rainbow Dash Blanket
At the very beginning of November, I sent patterns off to my wonderful testers at the start of December they have had a month to work on it and some haven’t found time yet, I have had enough feed back though. I will be publishing the pattern next Tuesday, nearly eleven weeks later. This is a simple pattern, no sizing, no pattern repeats, no increases, no decreases, very little frogging, the final blanket is child sized not king sized.
People need to know that a pattern is available, word of mouth is wonderful, with people sharing your work on social media all over the place, except they don’t, not as many as you’d think and that’s when they have the decency to include a link not just slurp your photo. I have Instagram, Facebook, Tumbler, and Twitter as well as this terribly entertaining yet informative blog. And some days I spend more time posting to social media than I do crocheting, it get’s very disheartening some days when no one is interacting.
Skills, supplies, time, if I did not charge for patterns I would never have been able to write most of my patterns (I did not know about yarn support at first), I would have to work out of the home and you know how much time commuting and housework around the job takes up, I would have roughly an hour a day to crochet, the Rainbow Dash Blanket would have taken over a year.
So please, feel free not to buy a pattern because you have the skills not to need the pattern or because you think you can find a free one close enough to teh design you want, but don’t begrudge a designer the option to charge, don’t complain that a designer would like to pay bills and eat food, if designers charging disappoints you so much you feel the need to voice your feeling think about how few patterns would be out there if designers couldn’t make a little (very little) money, I mean really very little money, in order to be payed minimum wage for the time it took to write the pattern (not including teh month the testers had the pattern for) at £6 a pattern I would need to sell 263 patterns, this does not include the £60 in yarn I used, so buy a pattern now and again, or don’t, but don’t complain about designers charging for their time.