Jenny Gordy’s shirt, mitts kits & Elsewhere

Round-up of links for knitters and sewers

The most-answered question of the week was my open-ended Q about moths; I’m planning to read through it all today/tomorrow, but thank you so much for all the in-depth responses! The most-asked question of the week would be regarding that cute striped shirt Jenny Gordy was wearing in her Our Tools, Ourselves photos — lots of people wondering if there’s a sewing pattern for it. According to Jenny, it’s a Madewell shirt from a few years ago (i.e., no longer available), and the closest pattern I know off the top of my head is the Kalle Shirt + Shirtdress pattern, pictured above, from Closet Case Patterns. (Which happens to also be on my shortlist of contenders for Summer of Basics!) It doesn’t have the neck gathers like the one on Jenny, but you could easily replace the center-back pleat with gathers back there. And maybe widen the cuffs at the sleeves.

Also, Verb has restocked the beautiful Log Cabin Mitts kits (pattern here) in their incredible Range rambouillet, which is a truly exceptional small-batch yarn that sadly won’t be repeated, so if you desire a kit (or skeins) hop on it!

Other than that, Elsewhere:

– Such an important subject I’ve been trying to figure out how to bring up, PLEASE READ: The cost of a knitting pattern

– For those of us who are likely never going to make our own: Responsibly made underwear

– All the praise hands for Lynn Zwerling of Knitting Behind Bars

– Fashion over-consumption is “a monster of our own creation. But there seems to be a growing (and welcome) consensus that it’s time to cut off its head.

– “You get it from your mother.” Well, yes and no.

– And congratulations to Katrina Rodabaugh! Can’t wait to get my hands on her book. (To which I contributed a little quote, full disclosure.)

Have the most amazing weekend, everybody! I’ve got some secret knitting to finish up. ;) How about you?


PREVIOUSLY: Jane Adams and Elsewhere

25 thoughts on “Jenny Gordy’s shirt, mitts kits & Elsewhere

  1. Oh, you’ve been reading my mind (or maybe I’ve been reading yours !), but with today’s Kalle shirt and yesterday’s Kelly anorak, I feel like you approve my plans for SOB (which are turning into a love letter to Heather Lou and her patterns) !
    I’ve been carefully reading the Style Bee post about responsibly made underwear, and I wish I knew more options for us Europeans, because what’s the point of buying responsible garments if they have to cross half the world to get into my hands ? So, in that perspective, I’ve started to sew my first bralette last Sunday.
    And last, but not least, have you seen the last video Andrea Rangel posted on her Instagram ? Just stunning !
    I wish you and Bob a lovely week-end !

    • Merci! I just saw Andrea’s post this morning — I took a class in that once and decided I would way rather purl! But it’s always so fun to see how differently we all do things.

      And it sounds like you’ve got an awesome SoB-3 in the making!

  2. The article of cost of a knitting pattern hit the nail on the head! I am a CPA and a knitter and I have often wondered how pattern designers have a profitable business.

    If you do the math, like Beatrice did, you can see that patterns are probably underpriced, given the number of units you would have to sell.

    There is this belief, that if you operate a small business, you must be comfortable enough financially, to be able follow your dreams.

    The reality is quite different. Most small business owners are consumed with a passion to “do their thing.” It is rare that a small business is profitable immediately. Most small business owners make tough financial choices and often “go without.”

    When you buy your next knitting pattern, you should get a warm fuzzy feeling. You bought a pattern that you can’t wait to cast on. You also supported an artist and their creative soul. But wait…there’s more: you helped with their rent, grocery bill, paid for school supplies, etc.

    This is the priceless gift we all get from supporting all of these creative folks and their small businesses.

    • I’m always surprised when people say that knitting patterns cost too much, or should always be free (which is a whole ‘nother complicated discussion) — to me, I can’t believe how little people charge for their ideas and efforts. It’s an odd situation, a market (indie patterns) that didn’t exist until about 10 years ago, following a long history of patterns being either given away or sold in booklets by yarn companies for whom they were meant to drive yarn sales, rather than being so much of a revenue stream unto themselves. So knitters are understandably unaware of all the complexities and costs and varying business models and so on.

      I’m the one who buys patterns I admire or that inspire an idea in me, just to pay tribute to that. And because reading patterns is how I learned much of what I know … they’re so valuable!

      • Oddly, people don’t charge enough for their ideas and efforts. I agree with you…the indie market is new and very different from what existed before. Articles, like this one, are great because they educate and foster discussion.

        I am blown away by this indie hive of creative energy. They inspire and teach me, too.

  3. I am so excited about Katrina’s book! In fact, I am going to save mending my favorite jeans until it comes out. (Not hard, since summer is early and fierce this year.)

    As for pattern pricing: I was cutting out some of AVFKW’s hand-made khadi cloth the other day, and realized that this material was the embodiment of story that I wanted to continue telling. I’ve been thinking about that a lot, while considering fabrics and supplies for my summer projects, and I have found it to be a really useful rubric for who I would like to support with my crafting and how much I am willing to pay for that. If it means I need to make fewer projects a year, that’s okay.

      • Yes, sewing is especially tricky for me, both because the fabric market isn’t very transparent and because I’m still quite new. Yarn I know will be “worth the investment.” I’m not confident yet that I won’t ruin fabric with some newbie mistake.

  4. Since I can’t create a knitting pattern I am happy to buy them. But I do have to wonder when one comes out and then you keep getting updates due to errors. Is it that it was not proof read or tested well or is that normal?

    • I think it can depend on the designer or the process they use. We’re all human and no matter how many eyes you have on something, things can get overlooked and mistakes can happen. Happily, you’re getting notified of the errata before you’ve gone too far down the knitting process!

  5. I’ve wondered whether pdf pattern designers make enough money to justify the time it takes to do a good job. It didn’t seem possible to me and now I know it isn’t a lot of the time. Recently came across Beatrice Perron Dahlen (Thread & Ladle) on Ravelry and love her designs.

  6. I couldn’t get that shirt out of my head either! I knew it was from Madewell (I have so many of them in other patterns) but it would be so neat to finally start making my own in prints & fabrics that *I* like. One day I’ll sew my first garment, and I this shirt would be a great goal to hit!

  7. As usual, so much here! I could go on about the cost of knitting patterns just from observation on Ravelry for years. I remember trying to create a crocheted heart pattern for myself. It took me forever and it seemed so simple! After that I looked at my beautiful purchased or free knitting patterns in a whole new way. Couldn’t help but think of the creative energy, determination, time and costs of putting a clear pattern together. That article on creating patterns confirms my thoughts and more. Much more. So good to get a glimpse behind the scenes.
    The Kalle shirt pattern – a must have. Thanks for that, too.
    I could go on!

  8. I think knitting patterns are, by and large, underpriced for the time and work that’s put into them, especially for designers who aren’t connected to large and/or well-known yarn manufacturers or publishers.

    And even then, many designers aren’t paid for what they create for big companies (especially when their patterns are offered as freebies) but are promised wide exposure via their connection to those companies.

    Problem is, once a few of your patterns are offered for free in one place, it’s difficult to get people to pay for what might be an even better design from your own site or shop.

    I think another factor is that makers who are learning a new craft don’t want to invest too much money when they’re starting off. It’s why we all have skeins of what we didn’t know at the time was poor quality yarn that we’d never even look at after knitting for years. So beginners often look for free patterns, and I can’t fault that…but at some point, you’ve got to be willing to cough up the bucks for good quality, well-written and well-formatted patterns. I don’t understand forking over $120 for a sweaters’ worth of yarn but not wanting to pay $15.00 for the pattern to go with it.

    This doesn’t apply only to knitters: embroidery, sewing, recipes…if there’s a thing that can be made by hand and people can get its pattern or instructions for free, they’re less likely to pay when it’s available for purchase.

    On the other hand, you’ve got makers who, by the very fact that they know how much work goes into their own knitting/sewing/baking/quilting/etc., are more than willing to pay for patterns, especially from indie designers. And we’re willing to promote them in any way we can.

    Frankly, I think patterns are bargains, because I nearly always knit or sew more than one of a garment or accessory. Examples: I think I’ve made four Wolf River pullovers already, and I’m on the second of what will be at least four pairs of Morgan jeans.

    (Apologies if I sound grumpy here, but after seeing a few LYS’s and indie dyers around here close shop over the past couple of years, I’m saddened that we’re somehow killing parts of the industry that feeds our own craft.)

  9. An excellent Elsewhere this week Karen, thanks! I agree, patterns are well worth paying for, and I have sometimes bought them just as a form of encouragement or thanks, even if they may not get knit up for a while. It’s a minor part of the cost of a project, and I am lucky enough to be able to afford the cost. I’ve always felt that those of us that CAN afford it (patterns, responsibly sourced products, etc.) SHOULD buy what we can (within reason of course), else the economies of scale to bring such things within reach of all will never be achieved.

    But the link that really spoke to me was the one with the idea many people have, that skill with a craft is received somehow as some sort of gift or genetic trait rather than through hard work and practice. Exposure through family may certainly trigger an interest, but as any of us who have spent evenings muttering curses under our breath as we rip something out for the third or fourth time knows, it’s work to get good at something! It’s nice to have that work acknowledged, rather than glossed over.

  10. A well-constructed and presented pattern is worth more money than designers charge. I will happily pay 15 bucks CDN for a good one. But a mediocre pattern does irritate. An analogy: I’ll spend a fortune on a gorgeous meal but I will resent spending a moderate amount of money on a meal that’s just so-so. This is why I only buy patterns from reputable indie / other designers and I carefully note the good ones and the bad ones.

  11. The top Jenny was wearing is still available at Madewell in other colors! I just bought a white one last week :)
    And over the weekend I happened to cut out a Kalle Dress! I’m really into that cut, apparently!

  12. Pingback: Elsewhere: Overlapping make-alongs | Fringe Association

Comments are closed.