Why? Part I

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Why - Yarn Obsession

My daughter’s favorite question right now is ‘why’. No matter what it is, if she notices something she wants to know why it happened, didn’t happen or worked out the way it did. I love answering her questions because they only come from her and, if I’m lucky, I don’t usually get the same question twice. I also love answering her questions because she’s learning and I’m here to help her with that.

This post is split into two parts (Part 2 Here) to help you, who are learning about the business of crochet, whether you’re customers, clients or artists, get some answers to the ‘why’ questions that often pop up. Keep in mind, these are not just my questions but also questions that other crochet professionals have received and submitted via survey. So as you read, consider that the answers are mostly universal to many textile artists.

Why are there ads on your blog?

This is an interesting question that is often asked. The answer is, because as a crochet professional my website is my ‘office’ and in order to pay for the cost of running my office efficiently I need to be able to pay for the maintenance, upkeep and growth of my business. Advertising on my blog allows me to keep working in an industry I love and offer many items for free because advertisers will pay to be put in front of my audience whom they feel is right for their products. Without advertising we’d need to charge for everything we now deliver for free and we’d need to increase the prices on those things we offer for pay. Advertising helps us to keep being independent and generous business people.

Why do you charge for pdf downloads of free patterns?

Having free patterns on the blog  means traffic to the blog, which in turn means advertising dollars to my account. If you download a free pattern from a website, you no longer have a reason to return to that page, and maybe that website to view and use the pattern. Traffic goes down and advertising revenue goes down. The cost to download the pdf is to offset the possibility of less traffic because of an easy way to receive the pattern without ads.  Again, this is our livelihood so costs and expenses need to be offset in different ways.

Why DON’T you offer pdf’s?

See the above question. In offering pdf’s I’m making it easy for you to never return to my website. Reducing my traffic. Reducing my advertising dollars. Reducing my income.

Why don’t all your patterns come in multiple sizes?

Some patterns don’t need specific sizing. Some patterns may need specific sizing but that’s why the gauge is usually given to help you, as the crocheter, figure out if you need more or less stitches and rows to get the right gauge. Then there are the clothing patterns that take a long time to create. Speaking from personal experience, I’ve released a pattern at a medium size (the average size needed) then I’ve gone back to re-work or re-calculate for larger or smaller sizes. Not every crocheter has the time to do that much work on a pattern is being offered for free. Our time if valuable because it takes time to create and run a business. However, we know that if we offer the pattern as a paid pattern, many will simply ignore it. Therefore, we’ll offer it at the size we have time to create it in and sometimes for pay in a different size. We’re not trying to “get you” we’re working to keep our businesses going, feed our families and make sure we’re maximizing our time.

Why doesn’t this pattern have a symbol chart?

Some patterns may offer both a symbol chart and written instructions. Creating symbol charts, again, is highly time intensive and in order to maximize time not every pattern is going to offer a symbol chart. Also, not everyone can read a symbol chart (most people can’t) so making sure the pattern works for the majority is important in making sure there will still be traffic to the pattern.

Why are some patterns free and some patterns paid?

Sometimes it’s best to have a mix of inventory to help balance the income stream. Which patterns are free and which patterns are paid is entirely up to the designer. Each business has it’s own expenses to consider and therefore they know how much they need to make in order to stay in business. If having a balance of free and paid patterns works for their business model, they’ll do it. Some people offer everything for free with no ads on their site, do not compare them to someone else. Chances are they are doing it as a hobby. Free patterns are a courtesy, not mandatory. Those who truly value crochet as an art will be just as happy to download a free pattern as to pay for one because they understand there needs to be a support of the industry on a whole.

We love what we do and we’re excited to deliver new items to our audiences as much as possible. However, we cannot do it at the expense our families our businesses and our sanity. Sometimes when we hear so many ‘why’ questions it can be discouraging. Then we remember why we do what we do and find new strength. I hope this post will help you understand and be more empathetic when you see all the work that has gone into something that’s being offered for free and grateful to support the artist.

What are some questions you still have and would like to see answered? Ask them below and you may see it in the next segment of “Why?”


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