There’s a saying I’ve seen/heard quite often lately: “It’s a paid knitting pattern so I don’t want to share anything about it.” This is generally said from anything as large as entire charts to as small as individual structures about a pattern such as cast ons, motifs, techniques, and notes.
In some cases, of course, it makes sense to not share that which you’d like to share. For instance, if the entirety of a knitting pattern consists of a four row repeat, it’s probably not a good idea to share the four row repeat. Likewise, sharing large charts that’ll give away the entire pattern isn’t really a good idea. Sometimes, however, it doesn’t make sense not to share.
If you really need help with a part of the pattern, for instance, and posting that part of the pattern won’t give away the entire pattern, then it’s probably okay. If you find part of a pattern really cool and want to share it and it doesn’t give away the entire pattern, then it’s probably okay to share. In fact, there’s a pretty hard and fast rule about what to share and what not to share: if what you share won’t allow most people to duplicate the pattern without having to buy or look at the pattern then it’s probably okay to share it. If what you share will allow most people to duplicate the pattern, then it isn’t okay to share it.
It gets a little tougher with free knitting patterns, but in my opinion they should be treated exactly like paid for knitting patterns. Why? Because though the pattern might be free, the designer still wants people to get the pattern through his or her knitting pattern. If someone on a podcast gives away the entire knitting pattern and people start knitting the pattern from the podcast they probably won’t remember the pattern or designer, they’ll remember the podcast and begin to associate the pattern with the podcast. This isn’t very fair to the designer.
Again, it’s okay to share parts of a pattern so long as you don’t give the entire pattern away. This is true of both paid for and free knitting patterns.
What do you think? Should parts of patterns be shared at all? Let me know in the comments below.