This morning I awoke to a comment on one of my patterns complaining that $5 was too much for a hat pattern. It really bothered me. After sending a note to the person explaining that the pattern had several sizes and if she looked around it was the going rate (if not cheaper than some others including my other hat patterns), I deleted the comment. I considered sending her a free copy of the pattern and then I thought about how hard I worked to publish it.
You may be asking yourself now - "What's behind making up a knitting pattern?"
There are so many steps...first coming up with the idea, the yarn behind it and the swatch. Then executing the prototype is next - I'm working on some mittens right now that I ripped out four times before I got what I wanted. Some patterns I knit up several prototypes. While I'm knitting up the prototype I am taking copious notes.
Then there's writing up the pattern - a time consuming event in itself. Every little detail has to be correct and the format has to be consistent. Math is involved! Pictures must be taken too. A few of my patterns have tutorials on techniques - this is a whole extra step. Some of them have been tech edited and some have been test knit.
Then when you're ready to get it out there, you have a process to fill out on Ravelry - yet another step.
Lastly, pricing is always the hardest for me. I once was told I undersold myself with my pattern prices and I need to get more in the mainstream. So I researched other patterns and pricing and tried to put myself on par with others.
So, a lot of work goes on behind that $5 pattern. Don't forget that I don't get the full $5 in the end as both Ravelry and PayPal take out fees. I'm not planning on retiring on what I earn from my patterns but I'd like to think my time and effort are worth something.
Next time you wonder if you should spend the money on someone's pattern, think about all the work that went into it so you can just enjoy the knitting process. Also, if you happily download a designers free patterns, you might want to thank them by purchasing one of their pay for patterns.
Okay, off my soapbox and back to working on the new mitten pattern - I hope to release it soon.
Note: I've included ALL comments that have come through - one of the things I like most about blogging is sometimes it creates lively discussion. And as a point of clarification, it wasn't what was said about the price rather the manner in which it was said and it was done publicly as a comment on the pattern for all to see. It would have been nicer if I were PM'd about my pricing instead of calling me out publicly.