Think Big & Support Small

IMG_2054On my travels through the wonderful crochet universe the internet has to offer, I often stumble upon search posts and comments where people are looking for paid patterns  – preferably for FREE…

With that said, I have something on my mind. Before you think “Thats way too expensive” or “I dont want to pay that much for a pattern”, please consider this:

A finished pattern consists of something in between 40–60 working hours, occasionally even more. A pattern is not just a pattern, hastily scribbled on a piece of paper, in a few minutes only to be mass produced on an assembly line.. No, in fact,  You have to develop an idea, spend hours and hours of crocheting, counting, frogging, do more crocheting while taking notes, calculating and crocheting even more (and not even taking material consumption into consideration). The pattern then has to be re-written in a reader-friendly version to be sent out for a test drive. The test results have to be evaluated and mistakes and omissions are adressed. Upon this time the pattern will have to go through a graphical process, photos have to be taken (often a prop setup is required pre-photographing), illustrations and charts need to be drawn, then everything has to be combined into a nice looking finished pattern. Once the pattern is all done it has to be released: Blog posts need to be written, as do advertising posts for social media, information needs to be entered on e.g. Ravelry – and most importantly a comprehensive description needs to be written before putting the pattern out for sale. All this is a time consuming process, which cannot be converted into paid hours.

This calculation is simplified a lot but I bet You get the point (in reality you should also account for office supplies, computer programs, web hosting expenses, web- and other design expenses, support, web shop solutions, payment option fees etc.). *Please take into consideration, that all numbers are from a danish perspective and may not directly apply.

Let’s imagine for a moment, that “Mabel” spent 50 hours on a perfectly fine pattern. Once done she puts it for sale for $5 per copy. She sells 20 copies and ends up with a  $100 turnover. The $100 has to cover

  • material expenses for developing the pattern
  • working hours she spent on the pattern
  • revenue

Now, please ask yourself the following: Would you take any job for less than a Dollar an hour? Two dollars? 5? Taken all the above into consideration, $6–8 for a pattern is not particularly expensive. Or at least I don’t hope you think so.. Not many crochet pattern designers (*in Denmark) can make a living solely on their designs. But those of us that dream big and are working hard to turn a tiny hobby business into a livelihood need all the support we can give each other – and that means paying for patterns!

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