Answers About Purchasing Knit Patterns Online

I browse and peruse through hundreds of knitting patterns a week, like anyone who is dedicated to their craft. However I'm always perplexed when I see that some knitters put stipulations on their patterns.

They usually go something like this.

"You can buy my patterns but they are for personal use only"

"Feel free to make the pattern but you don't have my permission to sell the finished product"


"For personal use only. Or for charitable use."

Here's the deal with patterns like this. I did some checking. When you put your pattern out there in the world, that's it. You have no say so on what people actually DO with the product that is created from the pattern. They could sell whatever they make from it and there is nothing you can do about it.


Why? Because it may be your pattern but you don't get to control what people do with the finished product. You have no legal standing in court. ONLY THE KNITTED PATTERN IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. NOT THE FINISHED ITEMS THAT ARE MADE FROM IT. As a matter of fact, they could mass produce items made from your pattern in some cases. Now, you can't resell the pattern as your own. That is something that they can legally pursue against you. But anything made from the pattern is fair game unless the pattern had a patent, and you can't really patent clothing items in a lot of cases.

Now if they own the design, which takes money to do, then they can restrict the use. But I guarantee you, many patterns are not that original. They change a few stitches here and there and call it their own. One woman ripped off Vogue Knitting and said the pattern was hers. I laughed so hard, I fell out of my wheelchair. She even had the nerve to tell people not to sell items made from it.

There is one shop on that sells patterns but they have an annotation that specifically states that they will LEGALLY pursue people who sell the items they make from the patterns.

I make ottomans but so do a lot of people. I've seen patterns for them all over the Internet. How can you prove that you're the original designer of the project anyway when they've been made for years? I am able to make my ottomans at an affordable price. More affordable than most on Etsy. I'm not interested in selling that pattern or showing others just how I'm able to sell the ottoman so cheaply and you get the same thing if you spent $200+! I don't want to give away my secrets, nor see people that are out there making the same ottomans that I do by using some simple items to make the ottoman inexpensive but still give them the quality that they are looking for.

I've seen a pattern sold on where a woman stated that she would go after people that sell items from her pattern but SHE STOLE THE PATTERN FROM SOMEONE ELSE! It's unbelievable what people will accomplish..or try to anyhow. She took an old pattern from an old book made in the 80's, made one or two changes, and BAM she had a new pattern. I just so happened to be looking through my mother-in-law's old pattern books and found the pattern that she was selling. There it was word for word. And claimed it as her OWN! Ridiculous.

It's really ridiculous.

In some cases, patterns can restrict you from reproducing the items, when there is licensed art work in   the knitwear. Things like that can be restricted but how many times are you really going to see that? It happens but rare.

Say if the designer makes an original art piece and copyrights it. Then using intarsia or duplicate stitch, she recreates the art piece in an incorporation of her item. That art piece can stop you from reproducing it and selling it. But I ask people who do that...WHY EVEN MAKE THE PATTERN TO SELL IN THE FIRST PLACE IF YOU'RE GOING TO GO THROUGH ALL THAT TROUBLE? It's so ridiculous. Yes, make it for yourself, but people can't sell the finished item. It's all really really silly.  But this is a big argument with the knitting community. It's trademark infringement, not copyright infringement.

Now a seller can make an argument and state that you entered into a contract when you bought the pattern from an Etsy store stating that you wouldn't sell the finished item after you reproduce it. But it most likely wouldn't hold up in any court in the US. You may even get laughed out of court. Why even waste your time with this nonsense? If you want to sell patterns, fine but telling people what they can do with the finished product is not right, nor do you have a legal leg to stand on when you do so.

Avoid knitting patterns with trademarks and logos when you are thinking of selling these items in your store. They are protected and places like Disney are actively looking for people who do this all the time.

If you see a pattern that you want to buy because the finished item would look good in your store, pay no never mind to those people. However, many pattern designers would like a shot out so that others know that it's their pattern. It's ONLY THE COURTEOUS THING TO DO AND SHOULD BE DONE. It doesn't have to be, but remember Karma. It will be done to  you. It's not the right way.

Lets make the world a more courteous place starting with you.

But pattern designers, if you don't want people to sell the items you make from the pattern, then DON'T PUBLISH THE DAGGONE PATTERN! YOU HAVE NO LEGAL STANDING.

you have no legal standing.


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