Thursday, 31 January 2013

Fashioning the Fab Four (Part 2): Fab Four Fine Print

Fab Four almost complete, at rehearsal
Most crochet and knitting patterns sold today are sold with the proviso that they are for personal use only; e.g.the purchaser of the pattern can make as many items as they like from it, but cannot re-sell or copy the pattern or its products and make a profit that otherwise would have gone to the designer.

The idea is that the creator of the pattern should reap the rewards for their hard work and intellectual property.

Some pattern publishers will allow purchasers to sell the products that were made using the pattern (because the materials and craft skills are that of the purchaser) but will not allow the sale or copying of the pattern.

When you purchase a crochet or knitting pattern, you are buying the right to use the pattern, not to own the pattern.

This is not going to be a long essay about intellectual property rights or laws (which vary according to jurisdiction). That is a whole topic unto itself and I will share some links to further information.

One needs to be mindful of the rights of the designer when using a pattern for non-personal purposes and especially when some extra benefit is to be gained, whether it be for monetary profit or not.
In the case of the Fab Four project, it is not my pattern. It was designed by a Spanish knit & crochet designer Monica Rodriguez Fuertes. She makes a lot of "little friends", many of whom have their patterns published in Crochet Today magazine, which is how I came across the Fab Four.

Because I hoped the Fab Four would raise some money, I needed to find out the pattern owner(s) and whether they would be agreeable. The pattern owner is not always the original designer of the pattern. There are all sorts of contractual arrangements between designers and publishers. Sometimes the designers retain the rights to their patterns; sometimes they sell the rights to a publisher. Sometimes the pattern owner is not clear but usually there is a copyright notice somewhere in the publication.

I feel very strongly about creative people getting all due credit for their work so my first search was for Monica Rodriguez Fuertes. I could not find her name listed anywhere on the usual internet resources but then, not every designer is online.

Next job was to write a letter to the editor of Crochet Today. I figured that they would be able to contact the designer on my behalf or redirect me if necessary. It was also highly likely that the magazine may have bought the rights to the pattern anyway.

The Senior Editor, Marina Salume could appreciate why I wanted to make the Fab Four: "We loved that project when the "Fab Four" arrived in our office."

I briefly explained why I wanted to use the Fab Four as a fundraiser and reassured that I would be pleased to credit the designer and the magazine as part of the display. I made sure I gave very specific details about how I would use the products to raise money; e.g. a raffle or auction; and to where the proceeds would go. The editor was satisfied with that, gave me permission (with the critical words "for that purpose") as long as I sent them a photograph of the finished project.

That's easy! So with every encouragement, including an invitation to join the Crochet Today Ravelry group (Crocheters Today), I was set to get started with the happy knowledge that I had the blessing of the publisher.

I was so excited! Not only for getting permission but because it gave me a chance to showcase the work of other clever crocheters. If I were a published designer, I would love to know what people are doing with my designs.

Crochet Today magazine has published a profile on Monica Rodriguez Fuertes in the March/April 2013 issue which should appear in local (Australian) newsagents very soon. I can't wait to get my hands on it because I have persistently asked Crochet Today to tell me more about her! (I wonder if that is why they decided to do the profile, although Monica has so many patterns published, all cute and gorgeous I bet many other readers have also been keen to know.)

That is partly why this instalment of "Fashioning the Fab Four" has been so long in coming. I was hoping to do a small profile of Monica Rodriguez Fuertes on Lupey Loops and wanting more information. I wonder whether part of the delay may be that she lives in Spain and Spanish is her first language. Sadly, it is not my first language and even though my children learned Spanish at school, not enough sank in for me to correspond in Spanish.

Crochet Today kindly directed me to Monica Rodriguez Fuertes' online shop at Etsy. If you would like to see more of her beautiful work and/or purchase one of her patterns, she has two online shops: HandMadeAwards and TheCupOfTea. (No wonder I like her designs if she is a big fan of tea like me! Me and tea–that's another story!)

I have sent an email to Monica Rodriguez Fuertes and I do hope to tell you a little bit more about her on Lupey Loops in the future for those who miss the magazine feature.

With permission granted, it wouldn't be long before I had the Fab Four ready to raffle… or so I thought…


The following links about copyright and intellectual property are not a substitute for personal professional legal advice.


  1. The fab four is awesome!

    1. Thank you for your compliments, Cindy! I am so sorry it has taken me so long to reply - how embarrassing that years passed before I saw this message from you. Somehow my system did not notify me that there was a cute little comment from you. Please forgive me and accept my apologies for the long delay.