Posted by mousewrites on September 9, 2004
I have a few knitting questions for the blog world in general:
First I present to you the case of Donna:
I want this sweater. It was seemingly designed just for me. I fit the measurements perfectly, which I cannot say for 99% of knitwear patterns. I usually fall just beyond the bust measurement; XL measurements hit around 44-46 inches, and I’m squarely in the 48 inch range.
So when I found Donna, I was overjoyed! A sweater that would fit me, and that I’d love to make. And wear, for christsake! (Note to little inner voice: Yes, I know I could buy a sweater like that. Shut up.)
But I have a problem. Donna, wonderful Donna, calls for 12 skeins of Lana Grossa “Point”, which, at 121 yards a skein, works out to 1452 yards. Point is 96% cotton, 4% elastic, and knits to 5.5 sts/inch on #7. The cheapest I’ve seen Point for is $7.95, which would bring the total to a whopping $95.40 for the sweater.
Sweet Baby Cthulhu! I’ve never in my life owned a sweater worth that much. Not only am I unable to pay for that, I’d be afraid to wear it!
So I looked around for a substitute. Here’s what I found: Cascade Fixation.
Fixation knits up at 5 sts/inch on a #7 needle, which is slightly smaller. I might be able to fudge that with my typically loose gauge, though. What worries me more is this: Fixation is 98.3% cotton, 1.7% elastic, giving it 3.7% less elastic than the Point. But it’s only $4.50 for 100 yards, bringing the total to $67.50 for the sweater, which is still a lot, but a savings of $27.90.
What do I do? I can’t really afford either option. I could try to knit it out of something else, but if I’m going to go through the process of sweater knitting (my first one) I should be pretty sure that the end result won’t horrify me off knitting forever.
Opinions? Suggestions? Large cash donations? Kidding, kidding…
Second question: I present the case of Klaralund.
This is a lovely sweater as well, by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton, in the Collection Book 2. From what I gathered from all the Klaralund-alongers, it’s four rectangles; front, back, and each sleeve, with the sleeve edges forming the neckline. Now, I don’t have a yarn question, or a errata question (though Wendy has the errata up on her site.)
I have an ethical question.
Is it totally and unequivocal wrong to look at a technique, (or, in this case, read about a design) and say, “hey, that’s pretty cool. I bet I could make something like that,”?
I’ll never buy Collection Book 2 ( there’s only 2 – 3 patterns in it I’d maybe do), so it’s not as if I’m going to copy the pattern verbatim and do Hamilton out of any money. My design wouldn’t BE Klaralund. I wouldn’t call it that. And I wouldn’t attempt to make/sell a pattern, or sell the sweater for money. But this isn’t about the money. It’s only 17$. Even I can afford that. My question goes beyond Klaralund.
Where is the line between inspiration and intellectual property theft? Is it theft to put together a sweater with four rectangles after reading about a sweater made of four rectangles? Is it theft to look at a sweater and make one similar? Not to sound too pandering, but if I did this, would the whole of Blogland look at me and dub me as a “low down dirty copyright infringer”?
Comments are more then welcome; I’m begging you for your opinion.