Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Good to Know

I've chosen to make my Edgewater Collection free on Ravelry, for tax reasons. This means that there have been thousands of downloads of the patterns so far, and I'm thrilled that there's been so much interest in them and in my design work. Each pattern has been test knitted in several sizes and until yesterday I thought everything had squeaked by without any errors. Then, while I was knitting up the sleeve of a new Petrova (a relative of Glenora), I suddenly realized that a test knitter of Glenora had been right when she said she thought there was a typo on p5 at the top of the sleeves. Carol, one of my testers caught this, and I checked the body instructions leading up to the joining of sleeves and body, but I neglected to check the sleeve instructions. Sorry!


Now comes the interesting bit. I immediately uploaded a new version of the pattern onto Ravelry. When you SELL a pattern on Ravelry, notice of any updates is sent out to all purchasers in the form of a message. But, when a pattern is free, things happen differently. If you downloaded the pattern AND saved it to your Ravelry library, then you will receive a notice on your library page in the section labelled "Updates". In other words, you have to hunt a bit. This is the downside of patterns being free. If you are a Raveler, please ALWAYS save your free downloads to your library, and check for updates before you print.

Looks like a tall ship out on the lake today!


  1. To be honoustly, I do find it a bit (how do I say that in the correct way) of a pity that the most patterns on ravelry have to be bought. I realise that making a pattern is a difficult one wich costs a great time. And when it is really a beautifull pattern its oke. A lot off them are not so fancy at all.
    To me its like sharing technics that are known for century's that has become a money maker.
    I do find it brave that you make free patterns. Wish more would do.

  2. I disagree with your statement that pattern publishing is mostly about making previously known techniques available. There's a huge amount of design thought and understanding, and effort in grading (writing up sizes), writing, photography, and general production that goes into a well-produced pattern. I feel quite strongly that designers ought to be valued and paid well for their work. I have made it clear from the outset that my motivation for making this particular collection free has been tax planning. I am beginning to regret that decision, now that I realize the large audience that feels entitled to free patterns.

  3. Oh book! i thought Edgewater was to be a book/ ebook for purchase. I was puzzled by the string of free patterns recently. As a regular blog reader, paying for the collection would be a thank you for your sharing of ideas and techniques on the blog. Your designs are lovely, the patterns clear and well thought out; no wonder so many people are madly downloading. Thank you for your generosity.

  4. I had intended to produce the patterns as a book collection, but then I felt that what I had to offer really didn't compare all that well with the gorgeous stuff that's out there. So, I decided to begin to release the patterns this fall. To avoid tax complications, I also decided to make them free, at least for now. As I pointed out in my above comment, I'm coming to regret that, first because of the difficulty of notifying knitters of updates, but mostly because it seems to be playing too much into the hands to those who are only ever interested in free patterns and feel some entitlement to free design work. So, the "free" bit may change, taxes be damned.

    1. FREE is lovely but you should be paid for your hard work!!! Even as a small business, you should be able to write off the costs of your 'Studio' - a portion of the upkeep of the house & mortgage interest as well as phone, Retreats & classes, materials, supplies, computer expenses, yarn sent to 'test knitters' etc against the income from pattern sales!!! I think you might be classed as 'Artist' which is taxed differently too. Some Designers offer a FREE pattern out of a collection as advertising but not the whole collection!! Unfortunately, a lot of folks will always download only the FREE patterns. But some of them do fall in love with a Designer & BUY the others. Don't get discouraged. Just give 'em a taste next time, not the whole meal.

    2. Sharon, I'm married to a retired public finance (tax) economist, so believe me, I have lots of advice on the home front about this. I'm working on a solution that will allow me to charge for most patterns again, since I feel that that is probably the fairest solution for the design community.