Monday, July 03, 2006

Just a random plug and moral question...

I found Wildhorse Farm Designs quite by accident yesterday. Lisa has some great (non-lacy! Okay, there was one lacy pattern I liked and bought) sock patterns (a little pricey, but what the hell), and really truly great customer service. One of the patterns I bought didn't download properly, so I emailed her. Within half an hour, I had a very apologetic response with the correct file attached! Blew me away! She seems very nice, and I'm glad I spent the money there.

Now for the moral/ethical question of the day. Looking at her patterns was very inspiring to me, both because they are fun patterns, but also because as soon as I saw the pics, I could start "deconstructing" them and figuring out the pattern on my own. I'm kind of proud of that, as it tells me that I am starting to be able to "read" not only my own knitting, but that I have learned enough about techniques and whatnot to start to read other people's as well. Now, my question is, is it okay to do this? I mean, if I figure out the Isoceles sock pattern and make the socks, but didn't buy the pattern, have I done something unethical? If anyone asked, I would, of course, tell where I had found the picture that inspired me to make them. Would I then give the designer credit for the inspiration? Or the pattern itself? Or should I just spend money on a pattern I don't need to make the socks? Discuss.


Coleen said...

you should definitely ask Amie this question!

Stacey said...

There are so many stitch patterns out there - thousands - all it takes it sticking it into a sock and viola - you have a pattern. To me, if you see a pattern you like and deconstruct it, you should be able to knit it yourself - I was thinking of using one of the lacey leaf patterns from a Barbra Walker book I saw on a sock, started designing, then realized it was almost exactly like another pattern I've seen out there....I guess there is probalby no cut and try answer - I looked at the Isoceles pattern and it didn't take long to figure it out. Legally - not sure...good question!

Amie said...

ROFL! How did I get dragged into this???

Okay, my answer is this - if you're making them for yourself, there is no problem. If you alter things to make it suit you more, there is less problem. If you sit down with someone else's pattern and really try to figure out what they've done, and take credit for the design, or worse yet take MONEY for it, there's a problem.

Personally, I often pay for designs, but seldom follow them, and almost never follow them to the letter (I can think of two instances when I did, one I went so far as to even use the recommended yarn, and I ran out halfway through the project, and the other is a Starmore, and it's the only sweater in existance I can find no fault with.)

Then again, ethics and law often have little to do with each other, and I am neither an ethics professor nor a lawyer, and I play neither on tv.