Makes Me Wonder


Koi pond progress

I went to my second Meetup last night at the Columbia Borders. There was a good bit of excitement, as the Meetup is now an official event at the store (“just like Harry Potter!”) and tables are reserved for the group. I brought my Koi Pond sock to work on, as well as Mr. Penney’s sweater for folks to see in person. (Mr. Penney’s instructions: “Don’t let anybody with germ and cooties touch the sweater! I haven’t even worn it yet.” Me: “German cooties?”)

After complimenting me and the sweater, I was asked a number of times whether I designed the sweater. And my answer was always, “No.” My thinking was that this is an Ann Budd design as I followed the sweater pattern for a crewneck cardigan with set in sleeves with a 44″ chest and gauge of 5 stitches per inch from her book. I did some design work for the sweater. I added an intarsia design, added and subtracted a stitch here and there to make the stitch pattern workout right, etc., but the shaping of this garment is all Ann Budd’s, in my mind.

But when I would say this, the response I got sometimes was, “Oh. So it is your design.” Which leads me to wonder:

How many, and what kind, of changes do you have to make to a pattern or design for the pattern or design to stop being someone else’s and to start being your own?

I see this issue come up often on a number of lists that I belong to, but that usually deals with copyright; and that is not my concern at the moment. For me, this is more of a philosophical question, I guess. I do believe that there is no way I could publish this pattern on my own, because of my use of the Ann Budd book. I could be wrong on that count, too, though.

As I said, I put a number of my own spins on the pattern to make the sweater, but the structure is hers. Maybe I am confusing pattern with design. To me, pattern and design are mostly one in the same in knitting. Just changing the yarn used is not enough to claim a pattern as my own. Adding a stitch here and there isn’t enough either, in my opinion.

For me, I would have had to do all of the calculations instead of starting with what amounts to a knitting sloper. Someone else’s knitting sloper. Is using someone else’s sloper ok in the industry? I don’t know.

My head hurts.

Ok, I have been watching too much Project Runway.

In any case, thanks to everyone at the meeting. It was great fun.

Oh, and I am closing in on finishing up the socks in Opal Handpaint!

Opal Handpaint socks

6 thoughts on “Makes Me Wonder

  1. You may have used Ann Budd’s template, but that’s all it was – a template, based on a few calculations and standard construction techniques. What you turned it into is your own design.

  2. I agree with Mel. It was a template, but the design.. well that was all you.

    Mmm. Project Runway. I missed a couple epis though and I am now mystified as to where Jack has gone to.

  3. See, that’s a tough one. On one hand, I agree with Mel. the other? Well, it’s her pattern, and you made modifications. If you used another pattern by someone else, it would have been a different sweater, and maybe with the same modifications. If you referred back to the pattern through out the making of the sweater, it’s her pattern, again with your modifications. Or, it could be that you’ve made your own derivative work, based on or influenced by the original pattern.
    Now my head works, and I need more coffee…

  4. Did her pattern contain that amazing argyle design? Did it have a zipper? Did she pick out the yarn in those lovely colors? Mmmmm, I thought not. It’s all you, my friend!
    Loved seeing the sweater (and you!) in person Wednesday – it’s even more impressive up close!

  5. I did think of Mr. Penney’s sweater as your original design. I believe there are people who have used Sweater Workshop software to help them design an original pattern which they publish. You essentially did the same thing sans computer. I like how your socks are looking! Thank you for your comment on my mitts, the pooling was completely coincidental. Have a great weekend!

  6. WHo knows what is original anymore? It is definitely original to have made it your way.

    Project Runway beats Housewives of Orange County? Probably.

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