Monday, May 24, 2010

Tip Jar

As Susan so kindly pointed out, Unstrung was recently chosen as the Free Knitting Pattern of the Day at Daily Knitter. (Some of you may have gotten here from there; Welcome! I hope you like the patterns!)

While I'm flattered by the unexpected attention (I have no idea who brought Unstrung to the Daily Knitter's attention--it wasn't me), it does put me in a bit of a pickle.

Those of you who've been following the Pattern a Week Project from day one know that I'd originally intended to release new patterns for free for a period of about a week, and then convert them to for-pay patterns. This went charmingly at first, but lately I've gotten behind on the converting-to-pay part. The reason is that I'm a busy mama, and the necessary editing and test-knitting of patterns that I require of myself to feel good about charging for them takes more time than I've currently got at my disposal.

But just because I'm too busy to start charging for some of those patterns now doesn't mean I was never going to charge for them; somewhere in the back of my mind was a plan, once this fifty-two-week adventure is over, to go through the backlog methodically and spruce up the chosen patterns. Not all of them; some of my patterns will be available for free forever, and the ones I've decided that about already are collected on the Free Patterns page.

So what's a girl to do when a pattern she'd intended to charge for someday gets listed on a free pattern site? Does she give it up for lost, along with any profit she might potentially have made? Does she (eventually) start charging for it, thus annoying and losing future visitors? Does she send polite e-mails to the sites in question, asking them not to list her patterns without her consent? Suggestions are welcome!

In the meantime, I've decided one thing for sure: since I am not going to be able to catch up on making new for-pay patterns any time soon, but yarn costs money, I've added a Donate button over on the left sidebar there.

If you have downloaded a free pattern from this site, and if you have found value in that pattern, or would gladly have paid for it if I'd charged for it, consider making a donation. Any amount is welcome, and I'd like to know if my work really is useful to people or if y'all are just being polite. ;)


  1. Yes I believe another site *should* ask you before putting it on their site. That would be good manners also.

  2. Lorna - Thanks for the input! I hadn't thought of it that way...I was worried that asking people to ask first would be rude on *my* part.

    (Also, I love your (former) yarn company and your book!)

  3. I think it would be nice if the other site asked first. Then you'd know. I don't know how they pick the patterns for each day.
    I don't think it would be wrong of you to charge for the pattern at a later date. You've said it would be free for a period of time.
    (Love your tip jar. Great idea!)

  4. I once had a free pattern featured at a popular website, and I didn't even know until someone sent me a link. As you say, very flattering. If I include significant information or links in my blog (which is still in its infancy) I send an email offering to withdraw the information if they do not approve. I haven't had a response so I'm not sure if that's not normal blog ettiquette, still figuring things out.

    I like your "tip jar" idea, but I see no reason why you shouldn't post an annnouncement that the freebie period ends at such & such a date. Ravelry offers expiring links for that (I think) and that suggests that offering freebies for a limited period is a normal practice.

    Sorry about the loooong comment, love the glove, and don't be discouraged - you got some free advertising and no one should get irked if you start charging for your time & effort.

  5. Susan - Thanks for the input. Once I get the Project back on its feet, I'm going to contact that site. :)

    Chris - That's a good idea. My problem is that I don't know when the free period would end, because I'm writing new patterns at the same time that I'm trying to make sure old patterns are ready for sale, and the new ones take precedence. Thanks for the encouragement!