I was going through my "favorites" list on Ravelry this morning--sorting, tagging, that sort of thing. The majority of the patterns on my list are available for free and it got me to thinking. Do I always remember to thank the designer when I download a free pattern?
Just because a pattern is free doesn't mean the designer didn't spend a boatload of time on it, sketching, swatching, knitting, frogging, and re-knitting. And just because they aren't getting paid for their work doesn't mean they don't care about the pattern once it's out there for anyone to own. I suppose I'm looking at this from both sides of the coin, as a knitter and as a designer. It's a stretch to call myself a designer when I've got a whopping total of two (so far) patterns to my name, but I'm curious about the knitters who've chosen to download my patterns. Why did they pick them? Do they have a recipient in mind or are they just collecting the pattern for a future knit? How long have they been knitting? Boxers or briefs?
Personally, it feels a little weird to just download a pattern and not make some sort of contact with the designer. It's kind of like when they have the free food samples at Costco. I always tell the person who's handing out the stuff "thanks." I'm hoping it fools them into thinking I'm not stopping at every single sample station and calling it lunch. Oh please. Like we ALL haven't done that.
I guess I should be careful what I wish for. If every single person who's downloaded my patterns dropped me an email or left a comment here, I'd be slammed because I'd have to acknowledge their acknowledgement. (If they made Thank You for Your Thank You Note cards, I'd probably buy them.) But even if you didn't leave a comment or an email, I hope you like the patterns and I thank you for downloading them. If you are a designer offering free patterns, even if I've never downloaded your patterns, I thank you. Group hug!
* Vietnamese Proverb