Cottage Knitting Fickleknitter Patterns

Posted on Feb 01, 2010. 11 comments

The age of digital goods has created tension between knitters and designers. It used to be that patterns were written and published anonymously with the goal of selling yarn. In the age of the Internets (thank you Al Gore) Indie pattern writing has shifted into a cottage craft, where the behind the scenes pattern writers have become designers with a public face. I know many designers who spend a lot energy feeling frustrated and time worrying about copying/distribution of their intellectual property in a way that keeps them from earning. But the problem is that all that time and energy spent is taken away from creating art. I don't believe in DRM or other measures to make knitting patterns hard to use. I trust my customers and want them to be good knitters and happy human beings. You won't see DRM on my patterns any time soon. In fact it is my hope to create harmony between knitting designers and knitters. You can't have the former without the latter after all.
I started writing my knitting patterns with the hope of covering the cost of my knitting expenses. After I left the corporate world of cubicle land to become a stay at home mom I discovered I had to make sacrifices, particularly luxuries. Sadly spending $200 on yarn for one sweater (that would only end up covered in spit up) became something done in the past tense like sleeping through the night and eating a quiet meal, the things I did in my previous life as a Dink (Dual Income, No Kids). After the birth of my daughter although I was on call 24 hours a day working harder than I ever have before, I felt guilty because I wasn’t contributing to the household finances that paid for my knitting.
But in reality knitting is good for me and those around me who wish to stay alive and unharmed. Knitting keeps my blood pressure down, my brain active and engaged, and helps me be positive role model for my daughter. My hands aren’t idle. It provides solace in times of great stress and grief except for those times the knitting is responsible for grief, stress, and very bad language. It gives me a break from hard tasks, and produces something that I can give away to those that I love. Even though I can’t be there for the birth of my best friends son, she’ll put those wee baby socks on his wee tiny new born feet and know I am thinking of her and sending all my love one stitch at a time.
I spent a lot of time working on a plan to help make my knitting habit pay for itself. What worked for me was designing patterns for other knitters. But I also spent a lot of time figuring out what I can contribute to help make knitting pay for itself for other hard working moms like me.
And after some research I discovered there are knitters who knit for friends an family who have a great desire for indie produced knitted items (not sure about that? Spend a few minutes visiting, any of the cloth diaper boards, or hyenacart). But I can’t fulfill that market since my goal is producing patterns. So who better to take advantage of that need? Other knitters like me, who are on a budget but eager to keep knitting through all crises, poopy diapers, spit up, and beyond.
It's such a simple solution, to allow folks to purchase a cottage license. A cottage license allows the knitter to sell as many knitted items from a single Fickleknitter pattern as they desire to knit, keeping all the money they make. A Fickleknitter lifetime cottage license on one pattern runs $100. It allows you to hand knit items from the pattern to sell. You keep all the profit and I'll happily send those poor knitless souls your way.
So without further ado I'd like to introduce my first Lifetime Cottage License owner, Amber. If you need a pair of Mama Janes (or want to show your support for a hard working Mama) but can't or don't have time to knit, please visit her HyenaCart Shop.
Amber keeps all the money she makes from selling her Mamas, which she promises to use for whatever she wants. I hope she spends it on yarn that makes her happy. I asked her to write a little introduction about who she is and what she does. Please visit her and help support Indie business.
Hi my name is Amber and I’m addicted to knitting! I am a stay at home mama of 3 beautiful kids and soul mate to my wonderful husband. I have been knitting for a little over a year and I pretty much do it every day! I started knitting because I cloth diaper. I wanted to be able to put beautiful hand knit longies on my son, but I couldn’t afford the custom slot price tag so I decided to learn! I love it! I had compliments on my knitting so I decided to sell custom spots and that soon turned into a Hyena Cart store. I am currently working on getting licensed to sell products made from The Fickle Knitter’s beautiful Mama Janes and Baby Janes pattern. I can’t wait to start on this new adventure. My other hobbies include sewing, scrapbooking, and blogging. I would rather knit though. I am semi-crunchy, although I do some things like cloth diaper and sew and knit a lot of our clothes I still don’t do A LOT of crunchy things. I would like to dread my hair soon. I recently taught my 9 yr old daughter to knit and it’s fun for us to do that together. My husband is my swift and my 2 yr old son always picks up my ball of yarn when it falls to the ground, he soooo thinks he is helping me! I love my life and my family and I wouldn’t change it for the world! This is me! Welcome.


  • Posted by Amber on Feb 16, 2010

    Thanks everyone! I’m excited to work with Michelle and sell tons of these babies! WOO HOO!

  • Posted by Maureen on Feb 08, 2010

    That sounds a great way to do it. I spend far too much on patterns but a bugbear of mine has been one particular individual in my local S’n’B who disregards copyright and intellectual property in so many ways. She asks for copies of patterns (never buys them herself) and has no qualms about knitting up multiples from said patterns and selling them on with complete disregard for the ethics and legality of it all. I never hand over copies to her as I think “I’ve paid good money for this – you can afford the yarn – stump up for the patterns you cheapskate”. Sorry, rant over…didn’t mean to hijack…oops!

  • Posted by mindy on Feb 09, 2010

    Oh. We need to talk!! (see what happens to me after being snowed in…)

  • Posted by Amber on Feb 16, 2010

    Thanks! I look forward to many sales from this pattern! Thanks so much for working with me Michelle!

  • Posted by Kruse on Feb 02, 2010

    That is a brilliant idea and I am thinking seriously about signing up and kniting up those wonderful produce bags of yours! I hope this plan goes well for you.

  • Posted by Natalie on Feb 03, 2010

    Very cool – interesting to see this in action.

  • Posted by AlisonH on Feb 08, 2010

    Cool! And hi, Amber!

  • Posted by Lyssa on Feb 01, 2010

    That is a really cool idea!

  • Posted by Kath on Feb 01, 2010

    Excellent plan!

  • Posted by Sandra Singh on Feb 02, 2010

    What an awesome idea!

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