I have a lot of friends who are teaching, speaking, selling or attending VK Live, and believe me when I say I hope everyone has the BEST TIME EVER!
Knitting is a beautiful thing. Even with the small disputes between folks – the same kind of disputes that crop up in ANY industry – knitting (& crochet) are a great place to be.
I only hope the best for VK and this event. I want them to make tons of money, for folks to spend (and get great value for that spending) AND for all of the marketers & teachers to be well compensated. It’s a big pie, folks, and the more fairly it’s divided, the quicker folks will return for the NEXT pie eating contest. There’s some analogy in there, you figure it out…
But [ominous music] WHILE folks are enjoying their time at VK Live, please take a few moments to consider that the compensation for knit designers has stayed pretty level with what it was in the 1980’s. I’ve written about it before, and instead of going into the gory details here I’ll just refer you to previous posts.
It’s important – as consumers & producers of knit content – that we ALL are aware of where Vogue stands in their compensations practices (photographers, models, editors – they all earn much more than they did in the 80’s when working for Vogue. Knit designers, not so much…)
And, perhaps most egregious, Vogue retains ALL rights to every pattern so they can re-use them over and over with little or no compensation to the designer. Vogue pays designers 10% of the price of every online pattern sale (actually, I receive 0% because I wouldn’t agree to these terms)
The other major player in online magazine pattern sales, Interweave Knits, pays designers between 20% – 50% for each pattern sold. It’s a sliding scale based on how exclusive the designer is with the pattern, and whether they become an affiliate of IK. It’s a VERY intelligent setup, and it allows the designers more autonomy.
There is no union or guild for designers [yet.] All we can do as designers is to stand together so those of us who are better known may have an impact on the incomes of those coming up. If we don’t, the revolving door of designers who publish a few pieces then burn out because they can’t afford to stay alive on less-than-minimum-wage fees will continue.
Quality pay = quality designs. Just sayin’
So please, have a GREAT time at VK – I seriously mean it! Have great classes, sell LOTS of yarn, and most of all just enjoy the whole knitting culture. But take a few moments while you’re there to think about the compensation that the folks who’ve designed all those pretty sweaters receive. And if you’re so inclined, share your thoughts with the VK Powers that be.