To be honest, I didn’t get it myself at first: why on earth would someone sell super simple knitting patterns? Patterns that are so easy that you can make out the stitches used when looking at a picture of the finished piece? Who the hell would want to buy them? And where did you get the brutality to charge money for it? Well, I guess that was my old, little, ignorant me, because I totally get it now. And since I’m planning on selling simple knitting patterns myself, I’m gonna explain it to all of you in need of enlightenment. :’-D
What I’m wearing: Monki t-shirt (I kinda wanna click this oversized beauty home too), H&M skinnies, Manfield shoes (very similar), Purl Soho scarf (handmade by me, yay!), Casio watch
Why would you sell patterns in the first place?
You don’t want people to make and sell your designs as their own, right? Of course not. Obviously, you can state in the pattern description that selling pieces made with your pattern is forbidden. Or that it is only allowed in small numbers when your name is mentioned. However, that involves a good deal of trust that buyers indeed won’t violate your terms. On the other side of the dime, there are a couple of important benefits that come with pattern selling:
- Free, valuable publicity! Customers that are making (and even selling) your designs, might generate quite some traffic to your shop! Many will proudly show their work on social media, especially when you make sure to repost.
- Passive income! We all know we’re never gonna get rich from selling handmade knits, ammiright? It simply is too time consuming. However, the time you spend writing up a pattern will continue to generate money as long as you’re selling it. I mean over and over again. Without you doing anything for it. *ka-ching*
- It’s fun! We all love a little writing, photographing, and graphic design once in a while.
- It’s handy! Since you actually write down what you’re doing (I never used to do that), you can easily remake and adjust your designs later.
Why sell simple knitting patterns?
That’s all good and stuff, but why would you charge money for a pattern that your buyer can easily design herself? (Or himself! Here’s to you crafty men!) When I just started knitting, I often wondered why this happens so often. The answer slowly started to dawn on me while I was designing pieces for Chain Twenty’s shop: perfecting the most simple knitting design is hard. Making your knitwear perfect, in size, shape, feel, drape, material, vibe, etc., depends on many different factors.
- On the type of yarn you use — it’s thickness, softness, structure, weight, color, you name it.
- On the needle size you use — do you want to knit loosely, thightly, or maybe even a combination of both?
- On the pattern — different stitches create different textures.
- On the size and shape — let’s quickly remind ourselves that we’re making clothes and accessories that we actually want to look good.
- I could probably go on forever. Or at least a long time.
Long story short, I often found myself endlessly studying the photos of the makers I admired to figure out all of these details. Not gonna happen of course. And all of a sudden I realized I couldn’t just ask for this information, because these makers have spent ours designing their pieces, possibly by trial and error. If I wanna know exactly how to make their designs, I should be paying for it. 🙂
Chain Twenty patterns
So here you go, that’s how I learned to value simple knitting patterns. And why I decided to start selling them myself too. Like… I made the scarf in these pictures with a free (!) Purl Soho pattern (exceptions make the rule), but I wished I had used the yarn they prescribe for it, because this cotton-merino is (besides gorgeous) a little too heavy for a long scarf. Don’t get me wrong, I love how it turned out, but if this was a Chain Twenty design I wanted to sell in my shop, I would remake it until it was perfect. You still may like this business-related post about my reasons to pursue a career in handmade design, because there you’ll find me wearing this scarf with another outfit (yay)!
The first pattern I’m currently writing up is for the Buttermint Blanket. It’s gonna be a-to-the-wesome so if you wanna be notified when it’s ready, here’s where you sign up for my newsletter (that will not be used to spam you, don’t worry).