10 July 2011

One for six or twelve for twenty?

In the words of Sinead O'Connor,
Nothing compares 2 U
It appears as though I am the last of my kind and that makes me a tad bit anxious.  Perhaps it is because I am "cheap" or maybe I am just "old".  I am unsure of the reason but I do know that I am, what appears to be, the last of a dying breed of knitters.

Many of the younger knitters seem to appreciate the instant gratification of buying a single pattern.  While I can understand the desire to purchase exactly what you want, exactly when you want it, I can not understand the justification of spending almost 400% more per pattern.  Yes, I know that there are exceptions - undiscovered talented designers being the biggest one - and I can appreciate them.  There are many patterns that I find on Ravelry that I love but I just can't justify the cost.

If I were to purchase my patterns in this fashion, there would be so much more that I couldn't knit because of the cost involved to simply get the pattern.  I would much rather wait and be the proud owner of a collection who has enough monies left over to purchase the necessary yarn to begin making a project.  Sure, I could attempt to revamp my budget to allocate a slush fund specifically for single pattern purchases - it would basically cannibalize my latte fund... which, now that I think about it, is always at nil.  Now there's a true monetary picture of how it would work out for me - the fund would always be empty... and not from use!

Pokey poses the argument that the simple desire to own the piece justifies the cost of the pattern... and to some extent he is correct in his thinking.  He also feels the same way about spending $8 on a jar of sauce when the $1.50 jar tastes exactly the same - he's a label snob and he admits it freely.  I understand it and there are a few things in this world that I won't be frugal with because there is a definite quality difference between the two.  That doesn't really apply here though because the pattern is the same, no matter how you purchase it.  Even when you look at the more expensive yarns, those are more easily justified because you can get years of enjoyment out of a garment which off sets the cost over time.  The reality of you knitting the same pattern repeatedly until you get the same value percentage return is nonexistent... even with socks.
True love, forever

Hopefully, technology and the public's need for instant gratification won't cannibalize the pattern book industry.  The act of getting a new pattern book is a completely euphoric experience for me - the smells, the sounds, the sights and textures.  You can't recreate that with a downloaded pdf.  Give me a good old fashioned book any day - I've got a crisp twenty waiting.


  1. I can agree with this. I don't find the price of Online patterns very attractive and I will always prefer books.

    I think PDF's have there place but I think the prices are too high. When I design my patterns I plan to sell them for a few pennies. I think that is the way to go!

    On a totally unrelated note, I find it annoying that digital copy-write stops you from sharing with friends. I understand you don't want it readily reproduced, but on the other hand, books are meant to be shared. That is my belief.

    So there has to be some sort of middle ground!

    Wishing you all the best.

  2. I know what you mean - there are quite a few patterns that I've wanted to knit but the cost is too high for me. I also think that some digital patterns don't take into account the fact that the knitter will need to print the page - which is costly when there are giant colour pictures throughout.

  3. But you can pay $20.00 for a book and end up never knitting more than one pattern from it which is why many people prefer to pay 5 or $10.00 for a pattern they want. I love books too, but to be honest, most of the time the one pattern I knit from them ends up being a very costly pattern.


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