Thursday, May 30, 2019

Share the Link - a few thoughts on free patterns.

Free patterns. Free patterns and their distribution.

I have free patterns, and I'd say most designers have at least one.

Sometimes they are released as a taster - get a feel for the designers writing style. Sometimes they are a designers first foray into writing and they don't feel like they are ready to charge. Sometimes it's just free for a limited time. Sometimes the designers are paid by another party (like a yarn company)  Or paid in another way - the advertising or 'click' revenue they receive. Maybe it's none of those reasons, but whatever it is, the designer or still owns the copyright and distribution rights to it. (if a third party has paid the designer for the pattern, the ownership may be transferred, but the following still applies.)

Ownership and distribution rights. What does that mean? It means you can't copy or redistribute the pattern anywhere, which includes digitally. Uploading the file to another location is the same thing as redistributing. You might think that you are doing the designer a favour, by getting their name out there, but you aren't. Exposure isn't a legitimate currency - it *can* be a nice added bonus, but it shouldn't be the motivating force.

So what can you do? Share the Link! Copy and paste the URL. (That's the web address - www. etc) If there is a share button on a blog post, that is fine too. You wouldn't copy and paste this whole blog post if you wanted to share it - too much work! You would copy the link and share that! Same goes for patterns, it's actually the least amount of work - and, at the end of the day - the legal way to share.

Yep, legal way. Designers aren't being precious, they just want to fairly stand up for their legal rights.

Share the Link!

Designers do want their patterns to be shared, and made, and enjoyed.

Do you like free patterns - you might enjoy these! Click the link to be taken to the blog post, and share the link with a friend! And for what it's worth - I'm not a lawyer :)

Wind rose Heart

Chunky Hexies

Blueberry washcloth

Denimberry Washcloth

Strawberry Fields Beanie 

Big Circle Granny

Thistle Beanie

Summer Vibes Wall Hanging 

Thank you for reading today! Do you have a favourite pattern? Share the link with me in the comments. 


  1. One doesn't need to be a lawyer to know that stealing is wrong. Taking someone's pattern and copying it and sharing it elsewhere is stealing intellectual property. One doesn't need to be a lawyer to have some decency.

    Designers still need to pay the bills and 'knowing your name from exposure' will not satisfy that utility company!

    Unfortunately there are people who seem to think that arts of all kinds should be offered for free. They need to understand that when one pays for a crochet pattern, they are paying for all the knowledge and skill derived from hours of practice, learning and expense of education.

    Musicians, artists and designers frequently get asked to do free gigs 'for the exposure' even though they have spent many years honing their craft and many dollars on degree qualifications. They have earned the right to charge for their services like any other professional.