I'm part of several crochet groups on Facebook and I often come across comments full of complaints about the price of patterns. "No way am I paying that!" "They don't need to charge that much!" "$5.00 for ONE pattern?!". So why should you (or me) BUY that pattern? Here's my outlook:
1. You get to learn. I have a thirst for knowledge. I just love, love, love to learn about anything I am passionate about and crochet definitely falls into that category. You just never know what you will learn from a fellow crocheter. For instance, the Houndstooth Newsboy pattern by Jennifer Pionk from A Crocheted Simplicity taught me the terms for making a faux knit stitch. I didn't know it was called faux knit, nor did I know how to make it (well, not purposely. I actually did it by accident in one of my patterns and I didn't know what I had done lol ) Jennifer also taught me the concept of working back and forth when making something rounded, DUH! I never even considered being able to do that...if it was round you worked in the round, right?!
Another pattern I've purchased is the The Furrylicious Baby Boot pattern by Lorin Jean from Two Girls Patterns. I didn't know how to make the loop stitches, even though I thought I did. Buying her pattern forced me to learn the correct procedure for this stitch. As someone that has been crocheting for about 15 years, I thought I was at the top of my game, but the reality is, I can still be taught new things!
The Butterfly Breeze Poncho pattern by Pamela Dajczak from Sincerely Pam taught me the concept of using the treble crochet 2 together (tr2tog) as a stitch, not just a decrease. Hello?!
You just never know what's going to be in a pattern!
2. You become better at learning to read patterns. Each designer approaches pattern writing their own way. Every designer includes something different in their patterns from stitch abbreviations to stitch tutorial photos to helpful links. You can find resources you didn't even know existed. By having several patterns from different designers, your ability to understand where a design is going or what a designer is trying to say increases. And one designer may be able to explain something to you that was going over your head in another design!!!!
So why buy when you can download similar patterns for free? Well, there
are many reasons for this, but the big picture for me is that I am
paying a designer for what they have taught me and I am paying them for
their time and effort. I appreciate and respect the art, and the hard
work that goes into designing (ribbit ribbit)... and typing up a pattern...and editing it...and having it tested...and editing again... and all the
photography...and the editing of those photos (if the designer takes
his/her own)...and listing it...and helping customers when they get stuck (I know I offer this, I think most do?!). I have read several comments and it seems as though people
don't really understand the labor of love involved here. It takes SO. MUCH. TIME! And that's AFTER the hooking is done!
BUT my #1 reason, favorite reason, reason that really keeps me buying:
3. Designer's are forever grateful for every single purchase you make!!! Believe me! It doesn't matter how big or small their following is. It doesn't matter how big or small your purchase was. You could have put a loaf of bread in their kitchen or a new skein of yarn on their hook, so they can continue to work. Either way, you made a difference in their life that day. We love you for that!
Let's take a look at what purchasing just one $5.00 pattern can buy:
1 Gallon of Milk = $4.22
1 - 21oz Box of Cheerios = $4.49
1 - 22oz Loaf of White Bread ($1. 49) + 1 -16oz pkg of american cheese ($2.59) = $4.08 (Grilled Cheese Sandwiches anyone? YUMMM!)
1 package of socks - 6pair = $4.97
1 - 14.5oz bottle of shampoo ($1.98) + 1 -14.5oz bottle of Conditioner ($1.98) = $3.96
1 - 23oz bottle of body wash = $4.97
1 - 6oz skein of Caron Simply Soft = $4.49
1 - 3.5oz skein of Lion Brand Vanna's Choice = $3.99
1 - 3.5oz skein of Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton = $3.29
I know I have bought all of these things at some point in the recent past. And I am so, so, so appreciative for the help in getting them. All of my fans/customers, every single one, mean the world to me! Truly! Thank you!
And please don't mistake being a pattern designer as a hobby, because it isn't just a hobby. It may be something we love to do, but it is still a job! (I promise, there is stress involved lol) Really, I probably work longer days than most! But this gives me a way to stay home with my toddler and help support my family and I bet if you get to know the designer's behind the patterns you love, you will find a similar story with most.
Labor of Love!
Please continue to support the Handmade Revolution!
Buying patterns isn't the only way to support handmade. I understand bills and other expenses. I understand money gets tight. I understand wanting 5 new patterns, but only being able to spare the money for 1. So the next best thing you can do for your favorite designers or even just that one pattern you love:
SHARE IT! LIKE IT! COMMENT ON IT! (Do Not Share the pattern, just the links to where someone can get the pattern).
Share the links to Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy, Facebook, Blogs, Instagram...it doesn't matter, but tell other people about this fabulous new designer or pattern you just came across. Every share matters too. Chances are, when you share, someone else will love it too and then maybe they will make a purchase. And maybe they will share it. And the cycle goes on. And ya know what? We love you for that too!
Thanks for reading! I hope I helped you justify spending $5.00 on ONE pattern! ;)