My current work in progress:

1. Ashburn, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Woolfolk Tynd in colorways 6, 7, and 8 on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

The Fickleness of Moi, Part Deux

Work commenced on my sweater being knitted from my handspun Corriedale. I started it with the feather and fan pattern on the lower edge.

Eight inches into the back, I decided I didn’t like it. So I ripped it out, and restarted it using a vine lace pattern on the bottom edge, only getting a few rows into it before going to bed Friday night.

corrie011605 The Fickleness of Moi, Part Deux

I woke (way too early) on Saturday morning, thinking about vine lace. Vine lace, grape vines, grapes.

So I got up and charted out a pattern for a triangular lace shawl. Clusters of yarn-overs to depict grapes on the top part, with a deep border of vine lace around the border. Then a knitted-on lace edging.

I made a foray into the stash room to look for the perfect yarn. Having an obscenely large stash has its advantages — I found the perfect yarn. 100% silk yarn, dk weight, from Spirit Trail. It’s hand-dyed in lavender and pale green.

silkyarn011605 The Fickleness of Moi, Part Deux

So I started the shawl.

grapearbor011605 The Fickleness of Moi, Part Deux

I’m knitting on US 8 needles. Pre-blocked it’s about 5 stitches to the inch. I expect it to block out to 3.5 or 4 stitchs/inch.

grapearbor011605a The Fickleness of Moi, Part Deux

And to ensure that the winter blahs stay away. I’m spinning some handpainted merino roving.

roving011605 The Fickleness of Moi, Part Deux

Here’s what the singles look like:

singles011605 The Fickleness of Moi, Part Deux

Lucy watches from a safe distance!

lucy011605 The Fickleness of Moi, Part Deux

About that eBay Auction . . .

A question from the comments concerning last week’s post about the eBay auction:

Just curious, would you feel the same way if your link was included in a ‘knitting on the net’ type book for sale in bookstores?

That’s not the point. I responded via email to the commenter thusly:

Links of mine have been included in a book — and the author emailed me first for permission, by the way. Also, there was no statement in the book encouraging people to use my free pattern to knit something for sale (in direct violation of my copyright statement) like there was in this ebay auction.

My original complaint was that this woman was using a link to my website to advertise something she was selling. And that is indeed in violation of eBay’s listing rules.

At some point the seller removed her link to my site and revised her auction description to include this statement:

Because of copyright laws, you cannot sell the patterns themselves. You can, however, sell what you make with them. All of these links take you to the web sites of many people who have taken the time to share their time and talents on the internet free of charge. You can of course print out the pattern on your own computer, knit it and then sell the finished item.

Charming, no? I sent her a message politely asking her to remove the link to my site from the list she is selling, pointing out that her statement is in violation of my copyright statement (which is clearly posted on each of my free pattern pages). She sent me an email saying she had removed my link.

I emailed her back the following:

You might want to check the copyright notices on other free patterns you are including in your list of links — many of them state in their copyright notices that the pattern may not be used for commercial purposes. Either that or not tell people in your item description that they can knit items from these patterns and sell them.

And she actually revised her auction description to take out the crap about selling things made from the free patterns. Good.

This morning I received several emails from her, all containing this message (which I see I’m not the only one to have received):

I am a 63 year old woman who has chronic pain due to mercury poisoning and my husband is unable to work. I am applying for social security benefits but this is taking a long time. Since I am home bound and cannot work, I thought this idea to share knitting patterns that were offered free was a good idea. I have to pay 40 cents to list this auction, pay another 40 cents to eBay in final value fees and then if a buyer pays with PayPal, they charge another 40 cents. So, my profit margin was not too large. I am sorry that many of you have decided to carry on a campaign to threaten and belittle me. I cannot fight you any longer. I give up. Whether or not you believe me is not important. Please tell all of your friends to leave me alone now.

I responded:

As a long-time user of ebay, I am well aware of their pricing structure. I also know their rules for listing. I emailed you directly rather than file a complaint with ebay about your using my graphics to advertise your auction (and later about your encouraging people to make things to sell using copyrighted patterns) as a courtesy. Nothing in any of my emails to you was combative or unpleasant.

One of my friends pointed out your auction out to me — that’s how I found out about it. I do not know who else may have emailed you about this auction — I certainly never asked any one to.

As far as I’m concerned, as long as you don’t use anything from any of my websites to advertise your auctions, or encourage people to make things to sell using my copyrighted patterns, there is no problem. Please stop emailing me — I received the email below from you several times. Thanks.

So there you have it. Call me cynical, but the hard-luck story she carted out makes me think she’s just a scammer.

When someone emails me, wanting me to send them copies of copyrighted patterns and I refuse, 9 times out of 10 they respond with a hard-luck story and tell me I’m a monster for refusing them.

I had one instance last fall where a woman emailed me wanting a copy of a pattern I didn’t even have. When I responded telling her this, she starting flooding me with venomous emails, saying the pattern was for a dying child and what kind of cold-hearted bitch was I to refuse a dying child?

The funny thing was that after this happened I was comparing notes with another blogger. She had received similar emails from this same woman with the exact same story about the same dying child. A couple of years before my experience.

Sad, ain’t it? It takes all kinds.

Comments

  1. Your merino singles are gorgeous! I see you’re using the Lendrum (Lenny?) — I’m in the market for a wheel, myself, but as I live waaaaay out in the country, it’s hard to find a place to test drive different wheels. The two you have are on my short list, and I’d also love to try a Schacht. Someday…….

  2. i am floored! did you get that f..l..o..o..r..e..d (envision pecking computer with single finger from beside the coffee table, lol) by that last email you spoke of and how someone could even write that. i admit i am surprised on a regular basis by what you have endured as a blogger, but that is outta the park.

    on the positive though, i just love that spirit trail yarn as i always do. and 100% silk too! that’s going to be one gorgeous shawl. and your singles from that merino roving are gorgeous. that’s what we need to look at on all of these cloud filled rainy days we are having around here lately.

  3. Almost sucks the joy right out of blogging, doesn’t it?? :)
    Don’t you just love Jen’s Spirit trail yarn? I have some waiting (impatiently) to be made into socks! the shawl is gorgeous!

  4. You are a saint. OMG. I’m absolutely agog that people do these things, and yet you still manage to be magnanimous and continue to provide an entertaining blog. Jeez.

    Anyway, I love those merino singles. The colors are so pretty…

  5. Gosh, no! I’m not a saint. Not even close! :-)

    And I’m not the oly blogger who deals with this stuff — not by a long shot!

    It helps to have a sense of humor. :-)

  6. Hello, Wendy. Lurker here. You do endure the darndest things, and I thank my lucky stars every day that you do. I get so much from your blog — inspiration, goading, the idea that I could do some of the same someday. Keep it up — Lucy too.

  7. Oh, such happy singles of your handpainted merino roving! Jolly colors sure to give winter blahs a good pinch in the rear! BTW, you’re a good spirit. =) I hope you have a really fun 2-day workweek!

  8. Oh, wow… the yarn you’re using for the shawl is gorgeous… and some of my favorite colors… I’m off to take a look at the website… thanks for sharing!

  9. Wendy – when you share the awful things that people to through your blog, it helps the rest of us who experience bad blog experiences, lets us know we aren’t alone or crazy or…thanks!

    LOVE the shawl. The stitch pattern looks gorgeous in the silk, amazing!

  10. The ebay auction seems to have been removed. (I scrolled down to the earlier post. I was curious to see what free stuff she was linking too.)

  11. Okay, how much drool do you wanta to land on my keyboard? First the pictures of the shawl and the Spirit Trail yarn, Then you have to wave that gorgeous merino roving and singles in my face! What a mess my keyboard will be! Beautiful work! I love the colors and textures! Thanks for sharing. Sorry about the eBay frustrations…

  12. Wendy, to your comment that “It takes all kinds,” which is something my mother always says, I heard this wonderful response not long ago: “No, it doesn’t *take* all kinds…it’s just that there *are* all kinds.”

    Wonderful? Yes!

    Nicely done, by the way; tough to stay neutral and polite, while not being wimpy…you were right on the money.

  13. On behalf of all of us who offer free patterns, thanks for taking on the eBay seller.
    On a more positive note, aren’t those Spirit Trail yarns just luscious.

  14. Wendy, I love the shawl idea and the yarn you chose. And the handpainted merino you’re spinning looks good enough to eat! Is it by any chance Outback Fibers’ Tropicana? http://www.outbackfibers.com
    NAYY, just an addicted, um, satisfied customer.

  15. Oh darn, so does that mean if I send you a picture of my scabby cat (she has some sort of vile skin condition) and tell you she’s dying (she’s about 11 years old, she can’t have more than 8 or 9 years left) you won’t send me a pile of patterns that I can knit up and sell?

    I’m very disappointed.

    Thank you for the blog, and the beautiful work you do. I’ll add the eBayer to the list of Those Who Will Be Up Against The Wall, Come The Revolution.

  16. I love that vine shawl – it’s going to be stunning. I’ve been wanting to try some lace but so far only brave enough to swatch. Your shawl has encouraged me to give it a go.
    How are you able to keep the designs lined up with the edge – do you keep repeating the pattern or do you need to fudge a bit with plain knitting? Or do I need to select a design with an even number of stitches to the repeat?

  17. People will try to do almost anything to justify their actions. I’m a demonstrator for a company that sells rubber stamps and scrapbooking supplies (I’m like a Tupperware lady, but I sell stamps instead of plastic containers). It is against our agreement with the company to sell current products on eBay (or other auction sites, but eBay’s the biggest), but people do it. Very frustrating. *grrr*

  18. i’ve seen the same scam!! while of course i personally don’t know if the person you’ve encountered is running a scam, i’ve heard the same story many times before… and even though i do have a rather entrepreneurial (sp?) spirit, it’s just not cool to sell information to people that’s free and available in the first place… though i guess it’s the buyer’s own fault for not doing research first, but still… come on, people!!

  19. Love the variegated yarn!

    Not quite the same – but once I was asked by a bidder to establish a Buy Me Now price. When I did – she responded with a long story about having to support her son with cancer, etc.. and how she couldn’t afford very much. I’m skeptical these days too.

  20. Wendy, you handled that person with class and dignity while standing your ground! You go girl!!

    And for the record, if this person is 63, why is she looking for SSI benefits because she *can’t work* ….um, if she really is 63 she is already eligible for social security!! Something’s fishy here :)

    Unfortunately, the Net being a media of little accountability allows/encourages a lot of *those kinds* to crawl out from under their rocks!

    Knit on, Knit Avenger Wendy!!!

  21. Wendy, you handled that person with class and dignity while standing your ground! You go girl!!

    And for the record, if this person is 63, why is she looking for SSI benefits because she *can’t work* ….um, if she really is 63 she is already eligible for social security!! Something’s fishy here :)

    Unfortunately, the Net being a media of little accountability allows/encourages a lot of *those kinds* to crawl out from under their rocks!

    Knit on, Knit Avenger Wendy!!!

  22. Shirley, in PA says:

    Wendy, your own sweater designs are lovely. I’ve had Barbara Walker’s books for years, but barely used them. Now I am inspired to design a sweater myself, using some Calmer I bought last year. I like the idea of a pretty lace pattern on the bottom of a short sleeve sweater. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  23. It amazes me, the number of disabled 63 year old women that have found e-bay!

    Is there an organization/union/collective of them??

  24. I absolutely love that Spirit Trail yarn~ so yummy. And your shawl is going to be gorgeous. Gotta love a large stash. :)

  25. Diana & Orion says:

    Hi Wendy. Just wanted to send some kudos on the varigated yarn — it’s stunning.

    Also to say it never ceases to amaze me what kind of new scam this electronic venue will birth. Good for you for standing your ground. And a particular thank you for not letting this kind of thing (or the Dish-rage Queen thing or ANY of the bizzarre stuff your success here seems to draw) derail you or keep you from producing your wonderful blog.

    I am far too addicted to it *lol* and would miss you desperately if you suddenly dissappeared.

    Of course, then I would have to take tome off to come to DC and stalk you…

    (and just because you cant see me grinning here I will confirm that was a JOKE)

    hang in there — and for God’s sake, give Lucy that homespun shawl you’re hoarding at the office!

    Di & Ori

  26. Diana & Orion says:

    Hi Wendy. Just wanted to send some kudos on the varigated yarn — it’s stunning.

    Also to say it never ceases to amaze me what kind of new scam this electronic venue will birth. Good for you for standing your ground. And a particular thank you for not letting this kind of thing (or the Dish-rage Queen thing or ANY of the bizzarre stuff your success here seems to draw) derail you or keep you from producing your wonderful blog.

    I am far too addicted to it *lol* and would miss you desperately if you suddenly dissappeared.

    Of course, then I would have to take tome off to come to DC and stalk you…

    (and just because you cant see me grinning here I will confirm that was a JOKE)

    hang in there — and for God’s sake, give Lucy that homespun shawl you’re hoarding at the office!

    Di & Ori

  27. Diana & Orion says:

    Hi Wendy. Just wanted to send some kudos on the varigated yarn — it’s stunning.

    Also to say it never ceases to amaze me what kind of new scam this electronic venue will birth. Good for you for standing your ground. And a particular thank you for not letting this kind of thing (or the Dish-rage Queen thing or ANY of the bizzarre stuff your success here seems to draw) derail you or keep you from producing your wonderful blog.

    I am far too addicted to it *lol* and would miss you desperately if you suddenly dissappeared.

    Of course, then I would have to take tome off to come to DC and stalk you…

    (and just because you cant see me grinning here I will confirm that was a JOKE)

    hang in there — and for God’s sake, give Lucy that homespun shawl you’re hoarding at the office!

    Di & Ori

  28. Dearest Wendy,
    I have an addiction and would like to cease working to spend all of my time focused on my problem. I am addicted to knitting. Please help me by sending me all of your stash. Or, if you throw in orange cowboy boots at least a good portion of it. If you do not do so, I will have to send rude emails. ;-)
    The shawl. Goregous. The merino handpainted is STUNNING! I played with my tiger yarn over the weekend. Can we say YUMMY?

  29. Perhaps it’s time for another blog-notice like the one about copying patterns? Something on the order of “Trying to make me feel like a heartless bitch because you have some awful thing going on in your life will not only not get you what you want, but it will make me angry…and you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

    I teach, and so I am often subject to sob-stories (usually at the end of the semester, and usually from someone who’s skipped class/missed handing in assignments). Doesn’t work on me, either.

    The fact of the matter is, we ALL have problems. When a student comes to me with a story about something, sometimes I feel tempted to say something like “I see your [whatever life tragedy] and raise you [whatever bad thing's gone on in my life in the past six months]“. It’s good to be kind, but I don’t think it’s good to trot out all the horrors of your life as a plea for special treatment and rule-bending.

  30. People just amaze me some days… *shakes head*

    But can I just say, your ‘grape’ shawl is just gorgeous! It’s going to be fabulous when you are done with it!

  31. Stealing is Stealing. People think if it isn’t something that they can hold in their hand that it’s somehow okay. Also….if I’m ever a disabled senior citizen can I rob a bank and use her hardluck story and my ID to get off? Maybe this will only be valid on certain days like retail and restaurant discounts to seniors.

  32. Her excuse sounds like the MASH episode where Klinger kept having relatives die or get pregnant, or both, all trying to get out of the army.

    By the way, at 63, Social Security should be almost automatic, no need to prove any disability, just apply for it. She needs to work on her story.

    Happy day off

    Kathy in Mpls

  33. Ugh. I hate stuff like that. I once had a seller not actually mail me a book i had paid to purchase used (from abebooks). When she couldn’t produce a tracking number, I contacted the company. I got a song and dance about her being disabled and unable to conduct business.

    (I know there are individuals with disabilities who sell, but how come everytime sonething illegal comes up we get the same story?) Ultimately I got my book– 8 weeks after ordering it (postmarked when I first started to complain).

    Good for you for keeping an eye out to protect your rights. :)

    m

  34. Oy! I don’t have mercury poisoning, but I am starting to go crazy from listening to my son’s Gameboy Pokemon music — got any handouts for me?

    I love your handpainted merino, and I can’t wait to see how it looks plied.

  35. Thanks for the hat pattern you posted recently.
    I used Koigu doubled on US #9 and added the number of stitches you suggested. It turned out great!

    –Marcia

  36. Your “Grape Vine Shawl” is absolutely gorgeous. You did pick the perfect yarn for it. It is beautiful! It really does look like little grapes.

  37. 1. I love your site, and have been lurking for many months now.

    2. GORGEOUS yarn. I love the spinning but have not the time nor the coordination. :)

    3. Re: ass-tastic eBay sellers, it’s ALSO against eBay policy to charge buyers a fee for using PayPal. So fake-63-yr-old-disabled-ladies can just go ahead and BITE ME.

    4. Keep on keepin’ on. Again, love the site (and the kitty pics).

  38. judith gilbert says:

    hi Wendy -

    hmmmm, I believe you just caused a run on Hollyspring Homespun’s Autumn Afternoon colorway – I just went to order some and they are evidently completely out!!! you enabler, you…..

  39. Hey Wendy – I’m a long-time reader, first-time commenter. Your creations never fail to amaze. I’m interested in the exchange you had with the ballsy ebayer, and I followed your links to the info about copyrights. I read it all, but I’m a little confused about why a knitter can’t sell something s/he makes using a copyrighted pattern. Is there something in copyright law that specifies this, or is the justification simply that the designer can state what can be done with a pattern, i.e., “don’t sell anything you make from this pattern”. I don’t see a clear difference between using your Betty Crocker Cookbook to make brownies for a bake sale, and using Stitch ‘n Bitch to make a scarf for a craft sale. Or maybe the brownies thing is illegal too! I’m honestly not looking for an argument, I’m seeking to understand. I’ve never sold anything I’ve knitted, but I may consider it in the future, and I’d like to do it right, without being too scared to do it at all.

  40. Well, a little more research, and I think I found my answer on knitty.com. It seems that selling something knit from a copyrighted pattern is not necessarily incorrect. However, if the designer specifies that items made from the pattern not be sold, then it is definitely not okay to do so. That helps me to understand! If only crazy ebayer had done a little more research of her own…