Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Addiction For Sale

I've become extremely addicted to knitting (again). I do it every day at work during my lunch while watching X-Files on Netflix. I can't wait to go home to knit in bed while watching my new favorite show, Supernatural (reruns). I'm even looking forward to a road trip this weekend and the snowy destination, for it will give me long uninterepted stretches of time to work on several WIPs.

When I began knitting, I always kept all of my FOs. I felt that I had spent so much of my precious time out of my life that I deserved to be stingy. Plus, some projects are expensive depending how many skeins of yarn required and of course the quality of your fiber. I'm teaching myself how to crochet and most of my projects are small and only take a few hours to complete. I've found that I'm more likely to gift these items. Also recently, I've been purposefully knitting gifts. Even committing to knitting and crocheting several baby hats for the Caps for Good Project. (3 down; ? more to go.) Now everyone is asking if I will sell my line of knitwear.

Birthday Gift: Maybelline's Sweetheart Scarf ("self-designed")

First Crochet Hat for Caps for Good

I have always tinkered with patterns, especially since I refuse to prepare a gauge swatch and I never buy the suggeted yarn. I even create my own "patterns." Mainly, I design very simply from a stitch, a technique, and maybe a decorative edging. I never write anything down, I just start in a [thread]-of-consciousness manner. Some projects start with one idea and end with something very different, much like the formula for every episode of The Simpsons. Primarily due to the long expanses of time between the beginning and the end of the project. I have a summer tank in mind that I started 3 years ago. I've already been thinking of new elements that will completely alter my original design concept.

"Ugg" Booties reworked from Candi Jensen's Suede Baby Booties to fit my alternate yarn and knitting style

Self-designed crochet cloque and knit mobius scarf
If you look very close, you can see a photography project I "Zazzled" into a necklace of my husband

Even with my limited experience/talent, I still consider my designs my intellectual property. Thus, I am concerned with each designer's rights. I have come across a lot of items for sale from Etsy where I am familiar with the original design from either a book or a designer online. I wonder how much reworking of the original pattern/design was done to assuage the seller's sense of ethical responsibility? Or does infringement even occur to many of the sellers? Some designers are very "vocal" about the copyrights of their patterns and the intent/purpose of the final product, even when they are providing the pattern for free. Others are only concerned with the security of the pattern itself. There are some designers who don't limit their sharing. Knitting for Profit has a few patterns with permission to sell the finished items.

I can't see myself ever writing down my designs in pattern form to sell. But if I could find a way to ensure that my FOs would not infringe on any other designer's rights, I might consider mass knitting. Next, my friends will be asking about my photography and other art work. I feel like I'm going down a slippery slope... Heedlessly, Etsy here I come.