September Meeting Recap: Copyright for Knitters, a Pattern Tracking Tip, and Yarn Support
For our September meeting, we learned how to better keep track in patterns, about yarn support, and a little-discussed topic among knitters: copyright!
Keep Up with Events
The latest in Guild happenings include Dye Day with Abstract Fiber. Lori Patterson has graciously opened her studio to a small group of members to learn about hand-painting yarns.
We will raffle off 6 members to go to the October 6th Dye Day. To enter the raffle, check your email! We sent an email to members on September 15th with details on how to enter the “online” raffle.
If you didn’t see it, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Abstract Dye Day” in the subject line and let us know you want to be entered into the raffle.
Let us know if you want to be entered by September 25th. We’ll draw the raffle and let you know whether or not you won a spot on September 26th.
Kathryn Hendrix, a friendly face at For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton, shared with us a tip she discovered on how to keep track of decrease/increase rows when knitting sleeves, hats, etc.
Simply grab those light bulb-shaped stitch markers in the amount equal to the number of decrease/increase rows called for in the pattern plus one more.
For example, the sweater sleeve pattern says to decrease two stitches every 12 rows 9 times. Pull out 10 stitch markers, with one in a different color if you can. Secure the different colored one to your needle, and attach the remaining 9 to that one like they’re keys on a keychain. Every time you decrease, take off a marker and place it at the decrease. When you run out of markers, you’re done!
Business member Michele Bernstein of PDXKnitterati told us about yarn support. As a designer and teacher, she helps grow her business and supports other fiber entrepreneurs by collaborating through yarn support.
Yarn support is when a yarn designer and a knitwear designer forge a mutual agreement. The knitwear designer may be inspired by a particular colorway and decides to create a pattern around it. Michele’s Concentric Cowl perfectly shows off KnitCircus Ringmaster Panoramic Gradient's color-play, for example. Michele’s pattern and the yarn are a great pairing, and each party gets exposure, making it an ideal yarn support situation!
How do you engage in yarn support?
Michele’s designs show her unique vision, are relatively swatch-forgiving (cowls, scarves, shawls, and hats, yay!), and support yarn designers in the spirit of our close-knit community. Learn more about her on her blog or see if there’s a spot at her upcoming retreat, a collaboration with crochet designer Laurinda Reddig.
Program: Copyright for Knitters with Parna Mehrbani
Intellectual Property lawyer and knitting instructor Parna Mehrbani shared her professional tips on how to not violate copyright as knitters, designers, and teachers. Her experience, education, and warm personality made this a fascinating program that sparked great discussion!
We hear a lot about copyright and intellectual property today, especially in the entertainment industry. While the knitting community is small in relation to the above, and the law isn’t keeping serious tabs on us, it is important to be aware of copyright guidelines because it is such a small community.
You’ll find a lot of discussion on the internet about copyright, and like a lot of things on the internet, it may not always be factual. If you’re questioning your own or someone else’s practice of copyright, here are some tips care of Parna.
What Is Copyright?
It’s not a trademark, a trade secret, or a patent. It protects the expression of an idea, not the idea itself. You can’t copyright an idea. Things like the written pattern of your raglan sweater design is copyrightable, but not the idea of a raglan sweater. That’s why designers will often add a note on their patterns, whether they are free or for purchase, that state something like “All rights reserved. For personal, non-commercial use only.”
How Do I Not Violate Copyright?
Generally, if you're asking yourself if you may be infringing copyright, check yourself. Remember, designers are often self-employed or run small businesses. And, as noted, the fiber arts community is not that big. To support each other, refrain from distributing purchased patterns for free or for your own profit, hosting classes on a pattern without the designer's permission, or selling finished projects from a pattern you did not create. Remember, this applies to books as well as PDFs.
Your Rights as a Copyright Owner
As a pattern writer or knitwear designer, you have rights of your own. You may reproduce, distribute, and display your work as you wish.
As an Intellectual Property lawyer, Parna isn’t crazy about the misunderstanding of facts on the internet. If you’re concerned about violating copyright or suspect your rights have been infringed, start by consulting copyright.gov.
Thank you, Parna!
Show and Tell
An update from Lesli on her whirlwind Tour de Sock experience: she finished 14th overall out of 600+ finishers! Her total time was 41 hours and 55 minutes among 6 pairs of socks. Check out her FOs above. Congrats and amazing work, Lesli!
October 11th - Next Meeting
See you next time for Sivia Harding’s program on incorporating beadwork into your knits!
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