So after I wrote my last post, I left Wendy a comment to let her know about it. We had an email conversation about the coincidence, and came up with the idea of a coordinated pattern release: we’ll release our patterns on the same day, and link to each other’s patterns. I love this solution!
I have seen posts on blogs and forums which accuse designers of ripping each other off, sometimes when designs are very similar, but sometimes just when a design bears a vague resemblance to another design. While it’s undeniable that plagiarism does happen, I think that much more often designers just have similar ideas. When you consider that we’re often responding to trends, it is not surprising that more than one person would be inspired to design something in a particular new shape, with a characteristic detail, or in a stitch pattern that seems relevant and interesting.
When I wrote my last blog post, I had intended not to publish my pattern, because I hated the idea of knitters accusing me of ripping off Wendy. I was so happy when Wendy wrote with a friendly and cooperative solution. And really, this has been pretty representative of my experiences with many designers: they have been helpful and generous, willing to share experience, knowledge and opportunities.