I'm flattered (I think…)

So a few days ago I got a nice email from a publicity person at Interweave Knits who informed me that in a Knitting Daily poll, Sideways Spencer came in among the top 11 (an odd number, which makes me think perhaps it was #11…) The email continued (emphasis is mine):

On January 30 we plan to announce the opening of the voting period among our finalists to narrow down the field to the Top Five Patterns, which will be published in a complimentary eBook titled The Best of Interweave Knits – The Readers Choice Awards Collection, available in Spring 2008 for a limited time as our gift to our loyal readers and fans. All finalists will be honored in the eBook, but only the Top 5 patterns will be published; the eBook will only be available for free download for four weeks, after which it will be permanently stowed in the Interweave Vault.

Should Sideways Spencer be voted by readers into our Top Five, do we have your permission for one-time electronic rights to publish the pattern in this limited edition eBook? By participating you are not giving away any additional rights and we’re not asking for exclusives. You will be paid $400 for the one-time re-use of the pattern (the sponsor is calling this prize money).

I am flattered – really. I’m thrilled that folks like the design and make the effort to tell Interweave Knits. And it’s very savvy of IK to take advantage of the average knitter’s desire to re-investigate designs they may have missed – good strategy! But my problem is, they’re giving the pattern away. As I said in my reply:

This is very kind of you, I’m flattered –

If you were offering to sell the pattern, I might say yes. But once something is given away for free, it loses it’s intrinsic value.

I can’t let that happen to my creative and intellectual property, regardless of what kind of press or publicity this may garner.

If you were to give away this pattern, you would – in effect – be taking mortgage money out of my bank account. Something that hand knit designers can scarcely afford (especially these days…)

Timing is Everything!
It’s especially ironic as I’ve been toying with the idea of reworking Sideways Spencer (one of my favorite sweaters), working it up in more sizes and simplifying the instructions. (Similar to what I did with the Circular Shrug from VK, when I rewrote the instructions to ‘universalize’ the pattern so that you can use it with any yarn for any sized woman.)

My way of writing patterns is different than a lot of other folks, and there had been some problems with the IK pattern which sprung from my own oddball pattern writing style.

I think I’ve corrected this in my new version, which I’m calling Sideways Spencer Redux. I’m in the process of knitting up a new sample now, as a matter of fact.

Don’cha Wanna?
(sorry, you canna… I have my 25 knitters, ye bonnie lassies!)
So – because I wanted to get 50 other eyes on this pattern before I repackage it and sell it on my website – I’ve opened up another free test pattern giveaway. This time I’ve sent the pattern to the first 25 folks who emailed me, with the understanding that they are NOT to email, copy or send the pattern to anyone. Mums the word!

It’s NOT a free pattern, but a way for me to exchange what I hope is a fun knit for some good comments & critiques from a self-selected bunch.

No pressure, no rush, no deadline! Just let me know what you find, tell me if you’re enjoying the knit, and have a good time. And so you can determine whether this is a good knit for you, and as a sweet little c’mon for the non-free pattern… here is the first page of the pattern with the pertinent info…

And soon – oh, please, very soon – I’ll have the new sample finished and the pattern up for sale!

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