Soapbox Alert!

If you are easily offended by the rants of an irate hooker, close the page NOW!!!

I have grown weary of folks who are not only resistant to but, also, simply refuse to pay for patterns. Mind you: these are often the same people who think nothing of downing truckloads of fast food or forking over $50 for a carton of cigarettes. How in the name of all that is holy can we designers be expected to be motivated to produce and be rewarded for our work if the masses of tightwads expect us to work for nothing? Before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, I realize and acknowledge that their are plenty of worthwhile, usable patterns available out there which are offered free of charge by worthy designers. I, myself, took advantage of this generosity when I was first learning the craft. But, I daresay, those designers did not depend on crochet to pay the bills. And, by and large, the patterns offered little or no challenge for the experienced crocheter and hardly contributed to the development of high fashion.

I have spent the better part of the last two years honing my craft as a designer and cultivating a following. I have spent countless hours working up my offerings and countless more hours slaving over the details of pattern writing, an experience made even more tedious considering the wide range of sizes I ALWAYS offer. Since branching out into designing for plus sizes, the job has become even more challenging and time-consuming. Yet, according the attitudes of many, I am not supposed to be compensated for my efforts.

A recent experience has convinced me that I cannot and WILL not again give anything away. I spent the  past six months participating in and contributing to an online group of crocheters. As an act of good will, upon joining the group I offered, free of charge to anyone who requested, a copy of my Hooded Ruana pattern. I responded to over 200 requests for the pattern. I normally charge $5.00 per pattern. You can do the math to determine the value of my offer. I set a time limit to my offer, stating, unequivocally, that I would not extend my offer. Can you imagine my frustration and, evenutally, rage when I started receiving abusive emails when I would not reinstate my offer after the deadline? And, most recently, in response to a request for patterns for a Crochet-Along, I offered my Hoodie pattern at a reduced price. Well, as my sainted mother frequently said, “No good deed ever goes unpunished!” For my efforts I was treated to a barrage of complaints and demands, some actually requesting I redesign the sweater to their specifications. Of course I was expected to do the extra work gratis. Why not? I was practically giving away the pattern already!

I’m done. I will continue, on occasion, to provide the members of my mailing list with free offers in appreciation for their loyalty. But that’s it! I’d rather quit designing altogether than to again be subjected to such ungrateful, selfish and unthinking behavior. It’s just not worth the effort.


13 Responses to “Soapbox Alert!”

  1. 1 Connie
    March 31, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Peter, I’m sorry for what you’ve been through. 😦 It’s a sad commentary on too much of our society. What can YOU do for ME .. while I do NOTHING for you in return.

    *big hugs*

  2. March 31, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Peter, I am very sorry that it came to this. I support your decision, and want you to know that I appreciate all your hard work and your generosity. If there’s anything I can do to support you (in addition to buying your great patterns, of course) please let me know.

  3. 3 LadySorce
    March 31, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Peter, I’m very sorry that you left the group. I was one of the lurkers there. You’ve done great work on your designing. I would not have expected you to re-work the pattern for just one person. Some just want everything handed to them on silver platter. I applaud you for standing your ground and not giving in!! I will keep your web site on my favorite list and visit there often. Keep up the great work!!

  4. 4 Sandy
    March 31, 2008 at 12:54 pm


    I am sorry to hear that you have left the group.
    But I can understand and I agree with you for your decision. I have not as yet purchased any of your patterns, but I do appreciate your time and effort for designing patterns for our plus sized bodies. You are to be congratulated for your time and efforts in doing so. If there is anything I can do please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you via your mailing list about new patterns
    All the best


  5. 5 Lanie
    March 31, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Peter ~~ So sorry that you left the group, but I completely agree with your reasons for doing it. You’ve been so very generous, and I definitely appreciate it. And, counting this one, I now have three of your patterns. Obviously you know I like your stuff! I’ll send you a picture when I’m done, but it might not be for months. This will be the first thing I’ve made for myself that wasn’t “flat.” Again, thank you, and sorry for all the BS you had to go through. ~~ Lanie

  6. 6 daisylies
    March 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Hi Peter,

    I just want you to know, you are not alone. I had joined a mystery KAL where a designer graciously let all participants have her gorgeous pattern free of charge, before it was released to the general public for sale. I considered myself lucky to even get in the door! I was soon disgusted to see many emails complaining about everything from the amount of time it was taking for her to release the first clue (which was not scheduled to be released for another month) to her suggested weight yarn for the project (lace weight, for a lace shawl), and one lady even wanting her to rechart the entire pattern just for her so she could use a sport weight yarn without having a huge shawl!

    So. I fully support your decision to never offer a free pattern again. I wouldn’t be surprised if many designers soon come to this decision, since the treatment you’ve gotten seems to be a typical attitude among yarny people towards designers. You do all this work, from conception of the idea to realizing the idea to translating the idea for others, and in multiple popular sizes, which is no easy task. Then to get this attitude that your time and inspiration and generousity and hard work count for nothing. It’s ridiculous.

    From now on, if you offer a free pattern, I say let it be to your paying customers as a promotional item, like buying this and this pattern gets you this pattern free. You put too much into your work to be treated the way I have seen. And I hope you realize that these few bad apples do not detract from how much the rest of us admire your dedication and skill.

  7. 7 Arlene
    March 31, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Peter, I am shocked and saddened by the behavior of people in our group. I have left plenty of emails in our group about my support of designers and people wanting something for nothing. There is a difference being thrifty and being cheap and basicly the cheap ones try to make their problem, your problem. These people are the eternal victims of life. You have been MORE THAN GENEROUS with your patterns and ,geez ,like you said people think nothing of drinking their lattes or 12 packs of diet Coke or cigarettes so plunking down $3.50 for a pattern is not asking to much. I know I was one who emailed you a question about some yarn so I am guilty of bugging you too. Its common sense that swatching is what was needed to do. In closing, I want you to know it really makes me angry that other crocheters who should know better have created this situation. I guess you didn’t realize that there are people that think the world revolves around them? -(sarcastic remark). Well you have done what you need to do for yourself and of course you can’t change anyone and if people get upset because you are sticking up for yourself well that is their problem. I honor your talent and skill and you have my total support Now I’ll see your patterns & thinkI knew him when. Arlene-in the top part of the South Bay Area in CA

  8. March 31, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Man, that just sucks! I feel so bad that you have to go through that crap. Some people ya know.


  9. 9 Debbie (BearMN)
    April 1, 2008 at 8:26 am


    From one bear to another, I give you a *hug* and *pats on the back*. I’m behind you on your decision to leave the group. I’m still amazed at the selfish attitudes of some….but not surprised. This is something that never changes. I wish you well on your continued designing…you do a fantastic job.

    Debbie (BearMN)

  10. 10 JoAnn
    April 2, 2008 at 8:22 am

    Amen to all of the comments. I love your patterns! There are always the whiners and the,You gave me an inch but I deserve a mile, people. I am sorry for that.

    I don’t think designers charge enough for their patterns! I could NEVER design! I am thankful for you and other designers. I just ordered the hoodie pattern. Hopefully I can make it look as good as your design!

  11. April 3, 2008 at 9:20 pm


    Dude! I couldn’t of said it better!!

    I truly know what you mean!!

  12. 12 Jo Tomecko
    April 4, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Peter, I’m so sorry for the bombardment of garbage you’ve received. I will never understand how some people seem to believe that the world was put here just for them & that they have every right to demand whatever they want. You deserve much better.

  13. 13 phreec
    May 3, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    i’ll add my 2c to the rest; AMEN. stand proud on this soapbox!! free patterns are a gift, not a right, and i am one who can honestly say i appreciate your gifts! i admit to occasionally pouting that i can’t find the pattern i want for free, but i would NEVER berate a designer for wanting to be compensated for the extensive time, effort, labor, and love they put into their work! a person may not be able to wear a pattern itself, but more energy goes into creating that pattern than goes into making the finished object! occasionally i’ve had to alter designs to fit my own needs (colors, stitches, sizes, yarns, etc, lol) and that can be a nightmare; i can only imagine how much more it takes to design from scratch, even for a designer who can crank them out like cookies! i don’t design, but i have taken on commissions (beadwork and crochet), and it’s INFURIATING when someone wants me to take on any of the financial burden for my own time and labor. i love that someone wants me to make something for them, but it’s ridiculous for them to expect it for free,IMNSHO.
    have i ranted enough? lol…suffice to say, i guess, that i really admire your work, and love that i can buy your patterns to make them myself!! not to mention how thankful i am that someone out there has designed plus-sized crocheted items that are dignified and stylish as well as realistic! thank you, Brother Bear, and keep on hookin’!!
    ~christi 🙂

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