Thursday, April 10, 2008

RIP, MagKnits

Hmm, another RIP post. I hope this isn't going to be a trend! The knitting world lost one of its online mags this week - MagKnits, home to my very first published pattern, is no more. I won't get into the ugly details, but I do want to let you know what's happening with the three patterns I had published there.

My first dilemma was whether to continue offering these patterns for free, or convert them to my standard pattern format (which has added bonuses such as pretty colors and lots of text) and offer them for sale in my regular pattern line. The copyright always remained with the designers for these patterns, so that wasn't an issue. I had always written them off, though, because copyright to a design that's offered in free internet archives indefinitely is sort of tough to sell anywhere else. Now that the archives weren't an issue, I wasn't sure what to do.

There are some knitters who get really irritated at the idea of having to pay for something that once was free. They figure I got paid $50 (or yarn, or advertising) for my design - isn't that plenty? They don't realize that the pattern needs to be reformatted and re-tech edited since what we submitted was an originaly unedited document. If I wanted to offer it in my print pattern line, I'd need to charge for it to cover paper costs, etc.

Ultimately, I decided that I will be offering two of the patterns for free via Knotions, a new online knitting magazine whose editor graciously offered to format and edit all homeless MagKnits patterns and put them up on her site this weekend. If she's not completely overwhelmed, Kaibashira and Ziggy will find a new home there very soon (and I won't feel like I need to reformat them, have them edited and put them up on my website as downloads any time soon, although ultimately I would like to do so).

In case you've forgotten, Kaibashira:

and Ziggy (my very first published pattern):

I redid Ziggy's chart, since in the original version it wasn't very clear (I didn't have good charting software like I do now).

I am going to split the difference and publish the third pattern, my Vegan Suede Vest in my print line and charge for it. It wasn't overly popular, but I think I can rework it in different colors and different yarn (the original was Berroco Suede) and it will do much better. I'm currently thinking Cascade Sierra and ditching the lace-up front... We'll see when that happens!

Here's the original version of VSV:

Since this pattern was paid for with the yarn used to knit it and it took me FOREVER to grade, I don't feel bad at all about charging for this one now.

In other exciting news, the projects for Columbus are moving right along. I've got a preview page up with a few of the new designs that I've managed to photograph but we've got a bunch more in the hopper (keep checking the preview page for updates if you're impatient).

I'm also extremely excited to announce that Gardiner Yarn Works will be distributing Caffaknitted patterns by Katie Park. These are the cutest things EVER and I'm so excited to be able to give her wider distribution. I'm a little afraid of having the samples at my house, though (they're going with us to Columbus), because my kids are going to go absolutely nuts when they see them. I'm quite sure I'll be talked into making them their very own set.

Now I'm back to the never-ending pattern grading. This one isn't a raglan but has a stitch pattern (ribbing, if you can believe it) that's giving me quite the time of it. When you see the finished item, you'll see why. Even the seeming simple designs take some thought and foresight, as I found out when I joined the shoulders on this particular garment and realized that the ribbing didn't line up at all from front to back. Whoopsie!


Blogger msubulldog said...

Hmmmm...poor Magknits. Sounds like things got pretty snarky. So sad.

7:49 PM  
Blogger jillian said...

I read a little of the drudge on free v. fee patterns from MagKnits designers. Honestly, it just seemed like sour grapes. To expect anyone to do work for free isn't reasonable.

I'm so glad to hear about the arrangement with Knotions! Yay SavannaChic! Funny, how that's a brand new online mag helping out with the demise of a long-term one.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous larissa said...

Hi there,

Lots to say, but I'll have to be quick and just go with "Oh no, don't ditch the lace-up!"

See you soon I hope,

7:13 PM  
Blogger Lavendersheep said...

I have been reading a lot on Ravelry about this topic. There are a couple of things that have struck me as really bad:
1. They didn't give people any warning. In fact if you look at the Magknits group they announced the new one April 1 and then the site was down by April 7th. There were people who had bought materials or had just started projects that they hadn't printed off yet that are now high and dry until the designer chooses to do something else.

2. I have read that a couple of the designers, due to computer upgrades and other things, don't have copies of their own pattern because they too had written it off.

I just feel like this could have been handled better and a little better communication could have gone a long way.

8:20 AM  

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