Every time
Published On: February 22, 2024

Every time a pattern for a tiny thing gets popular I get comments like this. These read “I would recommend checking the price again. It is disproportionate to patterns for sweaters in 7 sizes” & “Nice design and commentary, but I simply cannot justify $10 for a washcloth….nor do I want to download 26 pages….a less expensive pattern would sell much better, imo”.


And I’ll be honest, they used to wreck me. But not anymore.

My full response is in the screenshots (transcribed below in case it’s hard to read or you want the links), but the gist is that everyone gets decide what they want to spend on patterns, & designers get to set their prices however they want.

My patterns are awesome and I’m completely comfortable with what I charge for them. You can see what’s in this one here. It starts with the cover and the admin bits (intro, yarn/gauge/sizing/contact info, stitch definitions). The pattern is next, then charts for six different variations. Then, you’ve got pictures, labeled so you can see which is which version, all grouped together at the end so it’s easy not to print them if you don’t want to. It ends with a little more admin stuff with answers to all my most common questions and the back cover.

And yeah, my patterns are long! That’s because they give you lots of detail and options and reassurance.

And yeah, lots of the things I make are small! But it isn’t any easier to write a pattern for a small thing than for a big thing. It’s often harder. Because if you look at a small thing and think “I need a pattern for that!” (as opposed to “I see how to make that, I don’t need a pattern”), then you probably want lots of detail and reassurance. And my patterns have that!

And look, I know most of you know this. Most of you are amazing and happy to pay for the work that goes into making patterns!

But I also know there’s another designer out there who just got one of these messages and it’s wrecking their day. So I call it out when this happens to me so that they know they’re not alone, that it’s ok to charge for their work, and that most folks are so much cooler than this.

Because really, you folks are damn cool! Thank you!

P.S. I blanked out the commenters’ names, because We Are Not Going To Be Snarky to people. I’m ok sharing their comments, because they made them in a public place where they knew I and other people would see them. But we are NOT going to do that internet firehose thing to anyone, because that is not cool.

Text of the reply in the screenshots transcribed below in case you’re using a screenreader or the screenshot is hard to read or you want to be able to click on the links:

Every time a pattern for a small thing gets popular, I get a handful of comments like this. It’s to the point where I have a standard answer for them, so allow me to share it with you.

  • First, you are, of course, absolutely free to buy or not buy whatever you like! Your budget is your business, and I would never want anyone to buy anything that doesn’t work for them or fit in their budget. That’s part of the reason that I offer a discount to folks on my mailing list and run a Community Supported Pattern program for folks who don’t have room in the budget for patterns right now.
  • Second, just as you are free to spend whatever you like on patterns, I am free to price my work however I like. My prices are my business, and I get to set them in the way that works for me. I write really good patterns. They take a tremendous amount of time and skill to produce. And I price them accordingly.
  • Third, I always wonder what makes a person leave a comment like this. Do you walk into a yarn shop or book shop or restaurant and complain to the proprietor about their prices? Or do you only do it online when you don’t have to actually face the person you’re scolding? Truly, what’s the desired outcome here? Do you think I’ll be so moved by your comment that I’ll change my prices? Is it an attempt to get a discount? Is it just a chance to be unpleasant?
  • Fourth, while I can’t think of a single good reason for a comment like this, I know most designers get them, no matter what their prices are. And I’ll be honest, a comment like this used to have the power to ruin my mood for days (and really, I suspect that is the desired outcome)! But now they just…don’t bother me. I mostly see them as an opportunity to talk about why comments like yours are weird and not cool. And every single time I do, I hear from other designers who have dealt with comments like yours and from other knitters who are more than happy to pay designers for their time and expertise. Because really, most folks are pretty cool…even if comments like yours sometimes make that hard to remember.

So yeah, I get to charge what I like for my work. You get to decide if it fits in your budget. And, while I can’t stop you from leaving comments like this, I can go ahead and say think it’s kind of weird and rude. But since you did, I’m going to use it as an opportunity to talk to designers and other knitters about pricing (there’s actually a section on my help page talking about pricing and linking to things I’ve written about it in the past).

Because these days? These days I’m completely comfortable saying ‘this is my work, this is what I charge for it, you’re welcome to buy it or not as you prefer.’


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