“Why do you charge for patterns? Why can’t you just give them to us for free?”. This is a question I get in my private messages on Facebook, DM’s on Instagram, and even occasionally via email almost weekly. I talked to many fellow crochet and knitwear designers about this topic and it seems this sort of message is very commonly asked. I think a blog post/video answering this question will go a long ways in helping everyone be on the same page about patterns and what it takes for us to get them out to you.
This topic is very close to my heart and I hope you guys take the time to watch the entire video. It means the world to me when you guys take the time to read my posts, comment on my photos, or watch my videos. You’re the real MVP. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below! I would love to hear your opinion on this topic after you’ve watched the video <3
Instagram: @Taylor Lynn Crochet | Email: Taylorlynncrafts@gmail.com
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Why Not Free?
Go ahead and watch the video below for the full explanation of why designers like me charge for patterns, or at the very least why we may charge for the AD-free PDF versions of our free patterns. I will leave a break down of things mentioned throughout the video below for anyone who wants additional or more in depth information.
Here are the list of questions I asked about how long it takes designers to do each portion of designing a pattern. I surveryed almost 30 other designers so that I could have the best data for you. I have the questions listed followed by the averages for both a small (hat, scarf, bag) pattern, and for a large (sweater, blanket, etc) pattern.
- How long on average does it take you to research and choose a yarn? Take the following into consideration: researching material,weight, drape,color options, cost er skein, number of skeins needed, availability of yarn in other geographical areas, yarn substitutes etc. Please answer in the number of hours it takes.
- SMALL: 2.3 hours
- LARGE: 7.8 hours
- How long on average does it take you to make the actual design. Take the following into consideration: swatching, getting gauge, try in multiple hook sizes, and yarns, # of times you have to frog or restart, creating or researching new crochet/knit techniques, take detailed notes of pattern etc. Please answer in the number of hours.
- SMALL: 14.3 hours
- LARGE: 28.3 hours
- How long on average does it take you to write pattern and format for readers? Take the following into consideration: Formatting for a blog post and/or formatting into a printable PDF. Do Not take sizing into account for this question, that will be added later. Please answer in the number of hours it takes.
- SMALL: 5.5 hours
- LARGE: 8.3 hours
- How long on average does it take you to add additional sizes to your pattern? Take the following into consideration: If small item could be made in Adult/child/toddler/baby sizing if applicable, the math involved, swatching, and testing various sizes etc. Please answer in the number of hours.
- SMALL: 6 hours
- LARGE: 10 hours
- How long on average does it take you to take and edit photos for the pattern.? Take the following into consideration: Finding good lighting, setting up equipment, taking photos, putting away equipment, selecting photos, editing and captioning photos, inserting photos into written pattern etc. Please answer in the number of hours.
- SMALL: 3.1 hours
- LARGE: 5.6 hours
- How long on average does it take you to work with pattern testers and/or tech editors? Take the following into consideration: Finding quality testers/editors, writing contracts for testers, finding new testers when testers bail, communicating throughout testing process, reviewing tester notes, editing pattern based on tester feedback etc. Please answer in the number of hours.
- SMALL: 11.8 hours
- LARGE: 11.9 hours
What do all those numbers mean?
That was a lot of information that you were given. In summary, all those numbers add up to roughly 43 hours to complete a pattern for a small project like a hat, scarf, or bag, and 72 hours to complete a pattern for a large project like a sweater or blanket. For just a small pattern it is equivalent to a 40 hour work week.
Most designers are working, going to school, parents, spouses, etc. This means that the 43-72 hours they spend creating these patterns, are hours they take from other areas of their lives. They worked on their next pattern instead of going to the movies with a friend, instead of dinner with their spouse, instead of catching up on housework… So much life was set aside to create these patterns.
Long story short, we cannot possibly justify doing all of this work for free. We need to be paid for the work that we do. No one goes to their job, works their 40 hours, and then doesn’t get paid at the end of the week. Even if we LOVE our jobs, its still work and we still need compensation.
You can still support designers without buying patterns
Buying patterns is amazing and really does help deisgners out in a really big way, but it is not the only way to help us. Sharing links to our blog, repinning our pinterest pics, sharing our pattern links to group pages, and commenting and liking our Instagram photos are all great FREE options to show support for your favorite designers.
You guys are what makes all these long hours hidden away in our craft rooms crocheting and typing on the computer worth it. We really do appreciate all of you. Without you, there would be no us! So thank you. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for being there and willing to listen.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Did you learn something new from this post? Tell me below and lets keep this discussion going! Thanks loves XOXO Tay