Saturday, May 28, 2011

Selling Your Knitting (The Contentious Issue), and Bettering Yourself as a Knitter

Knitting for "profit" is an apparently contentious issue. The biggest issue that people seem to get their hackles up over is pattern rights... if it's free can someone limit the use to just "personal"? If it's not a free pattern, are you buying the rights to use the pattern for what you want, etc? How much do you have to modify something before it's original enough that you can sell the finished object guilt free?

Anyway, this post isn't about the moral economy of knitting.

What I've found useful, especially if you don't want to be paying for patterns, but want to sell your FOs, is that, well, you gotta make your own pattern. Which sounds daunting, but it doesn't have to be. It's a learning experience for sure, and your skills as a knitter will grow.

So, this is what I do. Say I want to make hats to sell. I look up a bunch of free hat patterns similar to what I want to knit. I read through them all, looking at cast-on stitches, decrease techniques, etc. I just read, read, read, til I have a good idea of the basic construction... and then I wing it. I should probably take more notes than I do, but whatever, you can do that or not. Once you have a good idea of the number of stitches that it takes to make a hat that fits, and even a basic decrease technique under your belt, you're basically in free territory.

And, like I said, it helps your skills as a knitter to grow. What you're doing when you do this is learning how to construct an object, rather than just how to follow a pattern. When you start doing that, you can start getting so much more creative with your knitting, because once you know the rules, you can bend them to your own whims.

It's a lot more work than just knitting up a free pattern and saying to hell with it and selling the FO anyway, but for me, I feel so much better being able to put something up for sale that I actually created from my own understanding of how things are constructed. I would like to consider myself some sort of textile artist, at some point in the future, and for me, this is how I can get there...

Wooden Bird

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