In Defense of Free Patterns

Some people argue that free patterns reduce the pool of buyers. Others are convinced that after someone tries a pattern, they are more willing to purchase them later. It’s true that large numbers will never buy patterns, as long as they are available for free. But it’s also true that free patterns introduce potential buyers to the technique, which eventually results in sales.

I’m in the “other” group, so my web site includes several free patterns. To help teachers spread tapestry crochet, I even designed special projects for them. Why should I help teachers? Why not?

Free Tapestry Crochet Projects
These free Basket, Thread Amulet Bag, and Felted Amulet Bag patterns were specifically designed for teachers.

Teachers can spark interest in tapestry crochet – and like a pyramid scheme, their students will teach others, who will show more people, etc. So, I’m hoping that teachers will really embrace tapestry crochet!

Yarn companies distribute free patterns to promote their products. My free patterns are advertisements for tapestry crochet. I love to hear that one of my free patterns has enabled someone to learn the craft or expand their skills. After someone tries them, they are more likely to purchase a book or magazine that includes tapestry crochet projects.

Tapestry crochet is not for everyone, but lots of folks could benefit from this craft, both financially and personally. Its thrilling that the internet makes it possible to share ideas around the world. With time and patience, and very little money, stylish items can be tapestry crocheted and then marketed. Because the finished products are lightweight and neither fragile nor perishable, they may be exported. The resulting income helps stabilize the local economy and the endorphins released while crocheting produce a happier society.

OK. Back to reality. Free patterns are part of my answer to increased visibility – and it’s working. My books are not flying off the shelves, but they are slowly making their way into loving homes. I hope this explains my motivation and that you will use and share my free tapestry crochet patterns (and maybe even buy some in the future).

10 Responses to “In Defense of Free Patterns”

  1. Judy Grivas says:

    I absolutely agree with your philosophy, Carol! When I discovered your books and THEN saw your site, I knew I had found a home. I began by making graph pattern afghans, and now want to make something using tapestry crochet entirely.
    Thanks so much for being here for crocheters!

  2. Françoise Y. Beauchamp says:

    Hello Carol, YES I agree with you about free pattern or in my case free sample.
    I make crochet teddy bear and I did sale some after I have give away a few.
    I have all your books (the 3 of them). I would like to make my bear with your TC technique since they are make in the round and eventualy with beads and also felting them.
    For know it is practice, practice and practice. In the round it is OK but I have something in mind for your flat TC without turning and my left hand is a bit slow to learn for the coming back row but I love it.
    Thank you for every beautiful things you are doing, I will give a try for the sweater with the crochet borber and the knit middle.

  3. Mable says:

    I love it that you use free patterns to teach tapestry crochet, Carol. I learned it after you talked about it on crochetlist at Yahoo Groups, where I am also a member. At that time, I lived in Brooklyn, NY & was making dice pouches to sell at gaming conventions in NJ – where I worked with a demo group teaching people how to play collectible card games. While I was enjoying testing different stitch patterns to come up with new looks for bags, learning tapestry crochet gave me a way to create pouches for gamers to use for their dice that had the symbol or the name of their specific game on it. I haven’t yet had the finances to purchase your books yet, but I certainly plan to. =0D Thanks so much for giving those of us who love to dabble in the design world but do not call ourselves designers a way to learn new techniques to play with.

  4. Wheat says:

    Let me be really clear.

    © MyMarkDesigns
    I have no problem with those who make the decision to share their own intellectual property, aka/Complimentary Patterns as a sampling for those interested in their patterns, charts and instructions.

    Nor is there any reason, why, if these gifts suit your needs – artisitic or budgetary, should not continue to use and enjoy legitimately acquired patterns, charts or instructions…

    I reserve my distress continued

  5. meowy says:

    After I tried your little amulet bag with the triangles on it there, I went and bought your book on Amazon. :) I’ve made a bigger bag since I made the first amulet bag but the yarn I used got fuzzy after a while so I quit carrying it. Caron simply soft is not so great for purses that get a lot of use as it turns out haha I’ll have to make another in acrylic :)

  6. Chloe says:

    I totally agree with you! While no one is obligated to give out freebies, it’s a nice thing to do and I think it’s mutually beneficial.

    Also, I’m really glad you started this blog! I love tapestry crochet for so many reasons and I love all the beautiful examples you’ve posted here. Thank you!

  7. arwa says:

    as kim says carol,Im so excited for you!
    your blog looks fantastic,and Im pressed your photos are so great .I wish to be in youre tepestry crochet classes.

  8. CrochetLady says:

    My comments, a few years late . . . I am at the stage where I can copy a stitch I see without any trouble. BUT I still buy patterns and books. Stitches are like the list of ingredients in a recipe: they exist. It’s how you put those ingredients (stitches) together that make a fine dish (object). I’m a good cook, too, but I still buy cookbooks to enhance my skills. I love a free pattern that gives me an idea about how to use a stitch or pattern, but I love to find patterns that are finely crafted and subtly made, and I will gladly pay for them

  9. Laurie says:

    I am with CrochetLady. It is very rare indeed that I find a stitch or pattern I can not figure out, BUT, that being said, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time I want to go somewhere!
    One of the most important parts of free patterns to me is that you can see how clear and literate the designer is. The advent of the Internet (which I bless every day) has brought with it a bit of a shambles in the way patterns are written, and I want to stay in my happy place when it comes to my crafting.
    PS First time here and am very impressed with your eye and your teaching!

  10. Trisha says:

    I spend a lot of time browsing through crochet sites looking for new ideas to try out. If I find something interesting I test it out and then look for projects that I can expand the technique on. I am now researching geometric crocheting ideas which was what lead me to your pages. I would never have thought of doing some of the things I have seen on your pages. I am going to be trying some of your tutorial ideas and perhaps I may even become creative now that you have inspired me.

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