My current work in progress:

Roscalie Cardigan by Alice Starmore, knit from Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift  on a US 3 needle

Two Goods, a Bad, and a Good

Good: I got an email from Shanti’s mom last night, letting me know that the Hats for Sailors project has received 337 hats this year! You can read about it and see some awesome photos of the hats on Shanti’s blog here. Wow!

Good: The winter 2011/2012 issue of KnitCircus is available here! My article for this issue (page 37) is a tutorial for creating a tubular cast-on for ribbing and includes a free basic watch cap pattern.

As you know, the magazine with the articles and reviews is free for anyone to view online. To get the patterns for the designs, you can either subscribe to the magazine or purchase pattern collections (for a very reasonable price!), or purchase individual patterns. All information about purchasing patterns or a subscription is here.

Would you like to win a free pattern collection for this current issue? Leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am, Eastern Time, this Sunday, November 20, 2011 to be entered in the drawing. I’ll draw ten names at random from the comments and each of those ten will receive the pattern collection in pdf format.

Now for the Bad.

**ETA: I removed the links to the offending site because it has apparentl y been taken down — we seem to have gotten someone’s attention**

I really do try to keep a positive voice in my blog, but every now and then there is something that irks me enough that I feel the need to post about it. My topic today is this “free knitting pattern” website.

It was brought to my attention yesterday because there on the front page of the site were posts (without the photos) lifted from my blog with no indication of the source and author of the posts.To be more specific, they were lifted from the RSS feed from my blog. I know this because the copyright notice that displays at the bottom of the feed for each of my blog posts was also there:

“Copyright © 2011 This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright.”

Can’t state it more plainly than that, can I?

There was also content from other blogs on the site, though I am not sure whose blogs they were, because nowhere were any of the posts credited to their authors.

And there were also a lot of free patterns — many from Knitty and some from other sources.

I sent a message to the creator of the site (there’s a line at the bottom of the page attributing the site to a web design firm) via the “contact me” form on the parent site. I pointed out that they were using my material without my permission.

I checked the site this morning and noted some changes. The blog posts were no longer displayed on the site. So someone read my message (but of course did not have the courtesy to respond to it.) However, if I type a title from one of my blog posts in their search box, the post pops up in the search results. They just removed the links to the stolen materials. The blog posts are still all there.

When I looked this morning the free patterns were still there. I note that the source for some of them are posted (I believe most of them are from Knitty), but in the ones I looked at, none of the designers were credited. Knitty does state very clearly on their site “Reproduction prohibited.” I did email Amy Singer, editor of Knitty, to let her know in case she has not seen the site.

Amusing things about this site: at the bottom of the page there is a line of text stating: “We have created a place for knitters to share knitting patterns, ideas & tutorials.” Ha! At no time did I submit my blog posts to be posted there.

There is a form you can use to submit a pattern. It amuses the hell out of me that someone submitted this as a pattern — I did a screen capture of the page from their site:

Click on the picture to enlarge it. I was so impressed be the creativity of the person who submitted that, I submitted my own pattern.

Can you tell that I am annoyed? It really does irk the hell out of me when content is taken from other sources online and reposted without permission and without giving credit.

An aside that is sort of on the same topic: I have noticed that people/entities who are violating copyright by illegally distributing patterns invariably refer to this as “sharing.” It has gotten to the point that I cringe when I see/hear the word “share.” I get a surprising number of emails asking me to make them copies of patterns I have paid for. When people email me to ask me to copy a pattern that I’ve purchased and send it to them they invariably say “Will you share the pattern, Wendy?” You know — implying that I am being greedy by not sharing them the pattern.

The request always starts out sweetly: “Will you share the pattern?” When I respond saying that the pattern is not mine to share, that it is someone else’s copyrighted work, the next email I get (99% of the time) states either that the requester wants the pattern to make something for a child with a terminal illness,  or the requester (or the requester’s spouse) is out of work and cannot afford to purchase patterns. When I respond to this email to say that distributing copyrighted work is still not legal no matter who it is for and that there are plenty of free patterns available to knit, the response I get is usually unprintable. But the gist is that I am an evil bitch denying a dying child his or her last wish, etc.

I wonder if these people go to the designer first asking for a free copy? I’m betting not.

But I digress.

So this is my public service announcement. If you are a knit blogger, check to see if your content is on that pirate site. Enter the title of one of your recent blog posts in the search box to see if it has been stolen. Don’t bother entering the name of your blog since none of the content is properly credited and the name of your blog is not displayed. If you are a blogger whose post has been stolen or a designer whose pattern was stolen, let them know that this is not acceptable behavior. This contact form worked for me. Let them know that just because you have made your work free that does not mean it can be copied and posted without permission or attribution.

I know this is not the only site that is doing something like this. But if we can get through to this site and get them to take done the unauthorized content, that’s one fewer site with stolen material, right?

Okay, I can’t end this post with a Bad, so here is another Good:

My little princess. 🙂


  1. please put my name in the pot for the drawing. As to the offending website, I work part-time at yarn shop and the shop owner and I will get out our soapboxes in a flash when I customer comes in with a free pattern (from a blog or other copyrighted source) that was given to them with a yarn purchase at a competitor yarn shop. We will blow the whistle too.
    southparknitter´s last blog post ..The Queue

  2. I really like the most recent Knit Circus. Good for you, Wendy! Thank you for speaking up for what is right.

  3. Knit Circus is great and so are you! I love your blog and your books. I have 3!

  4. Susan (sjanova) says:

    Thanks for the reminder to check the issue of KnitCircus. I can see I need to learn another cast-on. I’d love the pattern collection. I have this fingering yarn that might work nicely for Ripen. Hmmm.

  5. I’d love to win the KnitCircus patterns. Thanks!

  6. Oh wow, I can’t believe how blatant some people are… wait: yes I can! Especially in the vast anonymity that is the Internet, all the worst features of how people treat others seem magnified way too often.
    Good for you for standing up to them!
    Anne B´s last blog post ..Quit feeding the beast

  7. Kristen Machowski says:

    I can’t believe that some people are so rude.
    I’m glad you ended with a cute photo of your little girl shes adorable.

    Please be kind enough to enter me in the drawing. Who wouldnt like new patterns.
    Good luck everyone.

  8. The new KnitCircus looks great!

  9. When I clicked to find the pirate website, I kept getting a link back to Google, MMMMMM!
    Thanks for the post and opportunity for the pdf!

  10. Ayana Stukes says:

    It always amuses me when people say they “don’t understand copyright infringement” simply p put- If you understand the concept of stealing then you understand copyright infringement. Stepping off soapbox and headed over to read Knit Circus 🙂

  11. What a mess, sorry you had to go through all that! I’d like to try your watchcap!

  12. Good for you for trying to keep the pirates at bay. Love Knit Circus!
    MicheleinMaine´s last blog post ..Notus Floral in Blue Project Bag with Purple Ribbon

  13. Just have to agree with everybody who commented that you do not have to SHARE any pattern that is under copyright. There are indeed tons of free patterns at Ravelry and other sites, lots of them.