Over the past year or so, there’s been a spectacular discussion on social media about inclusivity in the fibre industry. It’s run the gamut on topics, from diversity in designers and models featured in magazines, to size inclusivity in garment patterns, to financial accessibilty.
It’s this last topic that I’ve been pondering in detail. You see, when I first started knitting it was absolutely an investment in my mental health. I was struggling with then undiagnosed health issues, and went from being fairly active to completely sedentary. Keeping my hands and mind busy kept me from totally giving in to despair. But the health issues also left our finances extremely limited.
There are a LOT of free patterns out there. And some of them are quite good, but the quality can be variable. Another way to get free patterns is by test knitting, which I picked up pretty early on, and still enjoy doing. So there are ways to get free or inexpensive patterns for people on a tight budget.
As a designer, it’s extremely important to me that my patterns are as high quality as they can be. In addition to personally being a stickler for details, I get all my patterns tech edited and test knit. But this costs money, as does the yarn for the sample, not to mention the time I spend creating the pattern in the first place. Since my health issues keep me from working a conventional job, the money that I earn from designing is my only way to contribute to the family finances. So pricing my patterns has always been a balancing act. I want to keep them accessible, but I also want to value the time and money that I invest in designing. Up until now, I have consistently tended to slightly underprice my patterns in order to make them available to as many people as possible.
I’ve seen several designers move over to a “pay what you choose” method of pricing, and I think that’s what would most honour my desire to keep my patterns available to those on a tight budget, while still valuing the cost of both money and time that designing requires. I believe that those who are financially able to pay the “true price” will do so, allowing those who cannot pay full price to purchase the patterns at a lower price point.
Without a coupon code, you’ll pay the full price, while codes SDW20, SDW40, and SDW50 will get you a 20%, 40%, and 50% discount, respectively. These codes will work on any individual SDW pattern available on Ravelry. Simply add them to your cart and apply the code.
Have you purchased from any other designers using a “choose your price” model? Have you wanted to purchase patterns that you would be unable to pay full price for? Are you a designer who’s tried this approach? What’s your take on this attempt at balancing valuing your work and keeping your work accessible? I’d really love to hear your opinion.