Pondering Thievery

Hey, it’s been two years since this thing started! Thanks for sticking around, Reader(s).

So, in lieu of a project photo (still waiting for my siblings to send photos of their presents) I have a question I thought I might pose, perhaps get feedback on it. Or rather a situation, not so much a question.

The situation is this: I see a knitted good, in person or in pictures. Sometimes, this knitted good is deliberately sought out, sometimes it is encountered “in the wild”. After a passing observation of the item, it becomes clear the manner in which it was likely constructed, and I soon find the bare bones of a pattern in my head.

Following this, suppose a reasonably accurate facsimile is produced. Mind you, no actual pattern was ever consulted in its creation, but the end results can be said to be the same. To whom does the credit belong? And what if the pattern/author cannot be found, if it’s just copying a friend’s accessory or something seen on a thrift store sweater?

Complication: say the pattern in question is not free. Is its author due any compensation for merely inspiring an educated guess, despite their pattern never actually being used? And does the answer to this question change if the user makes money from it?

For the record, I’ve only done this type of thing for personal use, never for profit. But I’m still not quite sure how to feel about it.

  1. patsy said:

    No, you did not use the pattern only the picture for inspiration. The finished item belongs to you and you can sell it if you want to, the choice is yours.

  2. Monika Riney said:

    Agreed. It is as much yours as if you read a sonnet then wrote a sonnet. You are not plagiarizing because you received inspiration from a thing of beauty already in existence. Neither are you plagiazing because you are imitating/recreating its form.

    Btw–I just stumbled on your blog a few minutes ago while looking up instructions for the Honeycomb Brioche stitch. I see you and your wife moved to Maine not long ago–Welcome!! I’m a knitter/spinner in Winthrop, Maine. Is Good Karma farm yours? I will seek it out next time I’m out your way.

    Happy knitting!!

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