Frequently Asked Questions
… and some not so frequent, for your viewing pleasure.
Your crochet technique is weird. Why do you mainly use one hand?
I have crippling repetitive stress injuries (carpal tunnel) in both hands. The more severe nerve damage and pain in on my left side. My left hand does not have as much dexterity or control and develops severe cramps and pain if I engage it too much in my work. As I learned crocheting I held the hook, yarn and work in a way that was manageable and functional for me. What looks weird to some is intuitive and normal to me. There is no single right way to crochet, it’s a results driven process. The finished product (individual stitches) look the same, so in my mind this is not a big deal. However you hold your hook, yarn and work, the actions to make a stitch (yarn over, pull through etc.) are the same.
Where do you get your plastic safety eyes and noses?
I mainly buy my eyes online from 6060 on etsy, who has a decent selection of eyes, a small selection of noses and great prices, or at GlassEyesonline.com where there is more selection (especially for noses and wacky eye colours) and better prices. The bulk pricing at GEO works out to around half the price of the 6060 eyes, although the manufacturing is less clean. Once applied you really can’t see much of a difference between the two, but the GEO eyes tend to have bigger or more awkward looking backings (invisible once applied though) and the occasional little plastic nardlets here or there from the manufacturing process (I pick them off).
Do you sell your amigurumis or your patterns?
No, for four main reasons. The unfortunate reality of my work is that time is money. A piece like the Bouncer Big Daddy took over 11 hours to make and cost probably $10 in supply purchases required to make him. If I charged around $20/hr for my labour, which is what I would honestly need for it to be worth my time, the cost would be over $200, and that is without shipping factored in, which is within the realms of the silly. Not only do I not think he is worth that but I would feel like an ass trying to sell him for that kind of money. Secondly, I enjoy not being sued for infringing on the intellectual property of companies by profiting from the image of trademarked characters. Thirdly, I have been, since the beginning of my amigurumi odyssey, disappointed with some of the money grubbing ways apparent in the amigurumi community. Between the free patterns being stolen and resold, patterns for trademarked characters being sold with no regard to licensing the use of the character from the rightful owners of said intellectual property and virtual reproductions of other people’s work being sold left, right and centre, I figure there are enough folks out there making money off this stuff without me needing to cash in. And fourthly, open source has been a staple of the nerd community since the dawn of the internets and I believe in it entirely and contribute to this ethos in my own way.
You are super, how can I repay you?
I am now accepting tips or donations via paypal, but there are so many ways to show appreciation that don’t cost money! I am tickled pink by facebook likes, subscriptions to my youtube channel, twitter follows, links to my website and friends on ravelry. I get gooey inside when I see finished projects based on my patterns and kind words or five star ratings on my patterns.
I think there is a mistake in your pattern.
Although not a question, yes, possibly. My patterns are transcribed as chicken scratches in a notepad while I crochet a piece from scratch. My focus at the time is on crocheting, not notes. I crochet by doing, I count like a drunk octopus. Stitch counts and I don’t get along… seriously, I took out a restraining order. I do my best to get it right, but I don’t have this hobby so I can do math, so you’ll have to forgive me if things don’t seem to add up sometimes. A polite comment on the pattern post is the best way to clear up confusion, request investigation and possibly prompt me to fix something if indeed something is wrong (8 times out of 10 it’s misunderstood instructions vice actual pattern errors). Douchey comments however are a good way to piss me off. Just sayin’.
I am confused by _______ in this pattern. Help?
Please leave your question in the comments for that post then check back, I will answer you there. Chances are if you are wondering about something, other folks will be perplexed in a similar way, and they will have the opportunity to see your question and my response providing clarification. I am a benevolent nerd thrilled with the concept that folks are actually making my patterns, so I will happily lend a hand where I can.
If I make something from any of your patterns, can I sell my work?
Yes, you can. The way I see it, my patterns are the instructions, you aren’t selling that, you are selling the blood, sweat and tears as well as the supplies you poured into your piece, so I have no problem with that, so long as you are a normal person who is selling handmade crafts. If you are a commercial establishment with a sweat shop full of 5 year olds, not so much. Let’s be clear however, any consequences, issues or problems that might result in the sale of items made from my patterns are your issue not mine. You may not however, under any circumstances, sell or reproduce the patterns (the instructions) themselves.
I used your pattern to make something and made some changes/tweaks here and there. Can I publish this as my own pattern now?
Typically, no, you shouldn’t. Crochet patterns often require minor changes here and there to suit personal preference, gauge and skill. Modifying portions of a pattern is not unusual and is in no way the same kind of process as designing a pattern from scratch. If a pattern or construction technique influences or inspires a unique and original pattern of your own, then credit given to the author along with publication is certainly appropriate, but if the pattern used was modified as you went, it would be cheesy and somewhat dishonest to represent it as your own work.
If I translate your pattern can I publish it or provide you with the translated version for you to publish?
No. I have a Google translate button for every post and encourage individuals translating for their own use, but redistribution or publication is not permitted.
I saw someone selling/auctioning your amigurumi patterns, did you authorize that?
Why no, I didn’t. I am a staunch believer in the value of free, and when it comes to my patterns, I keep them all that way. If you ever see a pattern of mine up for sale or auction, please take a moment to let me know the URL so I can follow up on it. In previous instances, a polite email to the auction host site resulted in immediate removal of the listing. Please don’t ever send hateful mail or post nasty comments on my behalf though.
I don’t understand or need help with the instructions in another author’s pattern. Can you explain it to me?
I recommend that requests for pattern support or assistance be directed to pattern authors for two main reasons. First, if the pattern contains an error or is explained poorly, it would be helpful for the author to know this. Directing your question to them will assist them in better appealing to their intended audience and refining their pattern writing skills. Secondly, should there actually be an error or an opportunity to enhance/clarify the pattern, by directing the question directly to the author, or whenever possible to comment areas for the pattern, other users will benefit from the question and resulting clarification or correction, should they be experiencing the same issue. I prefer not to get involved in helping people with other patterns because in all honesty, I barely have the time or desire to support my own.
I need help with another author’s pattern and they do not provide support or cannot be located. Can you explain it to me?
There are many crochet groups online that are welcoming and supportive communities of generous users who are happy to help folks with questions and issues they experience. Check out Crochet on Ravelry, reddit.com/r/crochet/ or crochetville community forums to request assistance.
I am looking for a pattern you don’t have for some other random thing, can you tell me where to find it?
Have a look at the Ravelry pattern database to see if you can find it or use a search engine.