Reading Between the Lines: Email Pertaining to Written Patterns


Crochet Diagrams

Learn to Read Diagrams to Open Up More of Your Choices

Last week, I got an email that had a tone of attitude or sense of entitlement pertaining to crochet diagrams. The woman wanted to give me 15 crochet diagram patterns so I could write out the instructions for her.

I detected the tone as she needed it all done within 4 days. It’s not like she could possibly crochet all 15 projects that quickly! Something isn’t right in this email and I think there is more to the picture here.

In the email she told me that she has no interest to learn how to read crochet diagrams. She found the patterns from various spots online and they appear to be screen shots. You may suspect where my brain is going at this point.

So there are a few things wrong here:

  • Her sense of timing for me to get what she needs done isn’t my timing. I’m not just sitting around here twiddling my fingers. So that offends me to begin with.
  • Even if I wanted to do that, what she is asking me to do is to violate a stranger’s potential copyright. How do I know the pattern isn’t already written for the diagram?
  • The diagrams are professionally done which tells me something may not be right here.
  • By helping her, she has the potential to throw me under the bus and hold me liable as it will by my writing that will accompany the pattern if she is distributing it.
  • I have no idea what she plans to do with the instructions. So I am not going to open myself to a potential lawsuit.
  • I have no idea if her plan is to sell the patterns. This is all too common where people will re-write an established pattern and try to sell the pattern. We see this from time to time on other websites. I want no part of that.

So here’s my beef:

She has 15 patterns she wants written out because she doesn’t understand diagrams. If there are so many, wouldn’t she be better to say to herself, “Gee, so many great patterns, I best teach myself how to use these diagrams?”

I’m of the firm belief and have been quoted through my years of The Crochet Crowd of “when there is desire, there’s a way!”

In this case, if she has no desire to learn how to read crochet patterns when she has a strong interest to have 15 diagrams converted to a written pattern… That is something she has to figure out for herself. I figured, if she wants it bad enough, she will pull out a diagram chart and begin to learn like everyone else does. There’s a lot of free resources online to learn how to read patterns. Don’t make it other people’s problem if you don’t want to do the leg work on your own. That’s not fair to everyone else.

So before y’all might say to me that maybe she has a learning disorder that requires this. One would think, if she is asking me to write the pattern out that she is able to comprehend and understand. She wasn’t asking for a video, so she is able to understand written patterns.

So something isn’t right and there’s more to the picture here I feel.

  • What do you think?
  • If someone were to ask you to do this… what thoughts would cross your mind?
  • Is there more to the picture here?
  • Do you think she should learn to read the diagrams or am I being too hard on her?

Share your thoughts below in a comment. Would love to know how you would react to this type of letter and thoughts you may have.

Just so you know, I won’t be doing the work for her… just in case it wasn’t obvious. I’m going to use my gut instinct and follow that hunch that something isn’t right and there’s more to the story.

Advertisements

About Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

I am Mikey, owner of The Crochet Crowd Blog. I'm a 'hooker' at heart with the passion to crochet. I am from Ontario Canada and teach how to crochet online through YouTube Video Tutorials. From a simple idea and being at the right place and time in my life back in 2008, the concept of The Crochet Crowd was developed. I'm here to hook and share. Come follow my crochet journey and share yours with comments here and you are most welcome to share your creativity within our Facebook page.
This entry was posted in Advice & Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

131 Responses to Reading Between the Lines: Email Pertaining to Written Patterns

  1. arlette1013 says:

    My goodness she sounds spoiled. I learned to read diagrams over 30 years ago (well before you tube) when I came across a book published by Ondori in a bookstore. I learned by correlating the symbols to the names of the stitches. I fell in love with diagram crochet ever since. I still go back and will read a pattern but if I have the choice I take the diagram. Stick with your gut this sounds fishy. Have a good day.

  2. Nancy Guhr says:

    I can’t read diagrams at all. It’s as if there’s a jumbled wire between my eyes and my brain. But, if I wanted a pattern bad enough, I would keep trying or give up. If I knew somebody well enough, I MIGHT ask for help, as that is as hard for me to do as read a diagram! So, I could understand asking for help with 1, but to actually write out a pattern for 15? A bit brazen of her if you ask me.

  3. embertouchtehfire says:

    This does sound weird. I have a reading disability where some times it just seems like the letters on the page keep rearranging themselves so when I learned to crochet I learned from diagrams.

    The best thing I would do for her is explain that since you have no idea where the patterns came from you legally can not re-write that pattern because of copywrite law. BUT I would explain to her how the diagram works. Like the image above seems to be one for a granny square, and it comes with a legend that says all you need to know is basically how to slip stitch, chain, double crochet, and double crochet in the same stitch for a cluster. That way if she is like me explaining the stitches hurts no one, and might fix her issue if she realizes its not that hard to fallow a diagram.

    If that doesn’t help her out and she doesn’t provide a better view point of why she needs them and where they are from then I would just flat out know it was a pattern ripoff scam. I hate when people do that. I have a lot of toy patterns I put up for FREE online and I was informed a friend found a one of them about a month later on etsy being sold for $5. That makes me mad, because I provided it for free and also said if people liked it they could donate money to their local animal shelter as payment. Instead someone who set up shop on etsy made money (that could have gone to a shelter to save lives) off my work, and everyone who bought from her is out $5 on a pattern that was free to start with. Its a hassle online to prove your work and identity, I was luckly it only took 3 months to get her etsy shop closed and then to go around to all the other sites and get it removed from those as well.

  4. Sara says:

    This does sound weird. I have a reading disputably where some times it just seems like the letters on the page keep rearranging themselves so when I learned to crochet I learned from diagrams.

    The best thing I would do for her is explain that since you have no idea where the patterns came from you legally can not re-write that pattern because of copywrite law. BUT I would explain to her how the diagram works. Like the image above seems to be one for a granny square, and it comes with a legend that says all you need to know is basically how to slip stitch, chain, double crochet, and double crochet in the same stitch for a cluster. That way if she is like me explaining the stitches hurts no one, and might fix her issue if she realizes its not that hard to fallow a diagram.

    If that doesn’t help her out and she doesn’t provide a better view point of why she needs them and where they are from then I would just flat out know it was a pattern ripoff scam. I hate when people do that. I have a lot of toy patterns I put up for FREE online and I was informed a friend found a one of them about a month later on etsy being sold for $5. That makes me mad, because I provided it for free and also said if people liked it they could donate money to their local animal shelter as payment. Instead someone who set up shop on etsy made money (that could have gone to a shelter to save lives) off my work, and everyone who bought from her is out $5 on a pattern that was free to start with. Its a hassle online to prove your work and identity, I was luckly it only took 3 months to get her etsy shop closed and then to go around to all the other sites and get it removed from those as well.

  5. I totally agree with you Mikey. I have seen pattern diagrams before and studied them until I have the pattern straight in my mind when I crochet. I am not seasoned crocheter. Sometimes even written directions can confuse me. But I keep at it til I figure it out. Definitely something is wrong with this request.

  6. Ange Rattai says:

    I would be offended as well. To assume someone will spend that much time and effort as a favour to a stranger is obnoxious. If I had received that email I would reply with a link to a site that shows tutorials for diagrams and advise that crochet crowd is not a bulk translation service. Besides there have been numerous charts posted for what each symbol means…she can take the time to write them out herself using the chart. Plus it appears she has a suspicious motive for so many at once…I wouldn’t get into hot water for this.

  7. Victoria Webster says:

    You do plenty already. Why pick the difficult to read patterns when there are so many lovely and easier patterns. That woman has a nerve.

  8. Nancy Henson says:

    I taught myself how to crochet pineapple doilies that were written in Japanese. I couldn’t read Japanese, but I studied the symbols in the pictures and figured it out. If you want something bad enough, anyone can do it!!

  9. Christy Boyd says:

    This type of thing is what is so frustrating for artists everywhere… she might as well just have asked you to take a Renoir and duplicate it for her to hang at her house. Freaking weirdo. People need to respect artists’ work.

  10. Yes, follow your instincts 🙂
    I am wondering do you have a good link for reading diagrams… I have never paid any heed to them and now you have peeked my curiosity… Thank you for all that you do for us!

  11. Jodi Vowell says:

    I definitely would NOT figure out her patterns for her. the fact that she even asked is so RUDE!

  12. bunky749 says:

    Wow- what a nerve she has. If I come a cross a pattern I don’t understand I try to back track to the original designer and ask questions there. With all that you provide us with, she doesn’t have a clue how much work you do to provide us with your terrific content in the blog, website and free patterns, etc. What a nutcase she is!! Where does she get off demanding you do it in 4 days or any time frame? I can’t help wondering what planet she is from.
    File her request in the garbage, Mikey!!!!!
    Thanks for all you do.
    Barbara R

  13. Rachel Davis says:

    I have tried repeatedly to learn to read diagrams. I just can’t do it. My brain doesn’t function that way. If there are no written instructions, I just skip the pattern and move along.

  14. denise tribble says:

    Mikey, I dont think that you were being too mean to her and Ifeel the same way you do, and I would listen to your gut feelings. Also, I have worked for the courts in NJ fo 29yrs and this email smells to high heaven to me and I think it is very arrogant of her to ask anyone for help and then rush them!!!. I would graciously let her know that I am quite busy and suggest that maybe she can find someone who lives near her to help her read the diagrams. They do have free classes at your local craft store, library, evening schools and I am sure if she were to go there with the diagrams, they would help her figure them out.

  15. Gina Nixt says:

    How could anyone even ask another person for that kind of time. So rude.

  16. Pat West says:

    Mikey – You are not being too hard on her; you are not being hard enough. The levels of rudeness and entitlement in this country, and maybe in yours, have reached new heights. If she wants to do these projects so badly (and what is this four days nonsense?), she can get off her duff and learn. No one should expect people to do something for them when the only reason they can’t do it themselves is that they are too lazy. Maybe if she exercised her brain, she could figure out diagrams and many more things.

  17. Karen Costle says:

    Yup, it seems like she’s pulling a fast one and trying to “get out” of paying for patterns by being rude and arrogant to you. Not nice.

  18. Sue says:

    Mikey this is very strange.. if she was asking for help to learn one pattern.. then you could send her little diagrams if you chose to.. but 15 patterns .. no way . something is not right.. and wow.. does she think because you help everyone so much.. it is your duty to do as she has told you .. to me it is just rude and wrong..

  19. i would not write out the patterns either. what i would do is tell her to write them out herself. tell her what all the symbols are and maybe talk her through part of one but that would be the most i would do. i do not understand how some people who are excited about a pattern would not want to struggle through and use a pattern, i feel they are easy anyway. i have even used swatches and figured out a pattern, where there is a will there is a way.

  20. Glenda says:

    That’s just plain rude and shows a lack of manners. No matter what her motivation for contacting you, there is an old saying “Never look a gift horse in the mouth”. It holds true to this day. (BTW, horses, like people, get gum disease as they get older, and horse buyers would inspect the mouths of potential purchases to check their age.) You are definitely a gift horse for us crafters!

  21. Rosalie Wright says:

    Always go with your gut and refer her to a utube video of your choice like the one you have already….tell her you do not provide chart translation that’s not your business to do that…she needs to find someone else to translate it for her or she needs to learn on her own…I’ve noticed the blogs from foreign places tend to post charts online from books in USA and other places,while tempted to crochet them its just not right so I don’t do it I follow my gut…I wouldn’t want someone to take advantage of me and my hard work so why would I do that to someone else.

  22. Well said. I get this so many times when I post a picture I think is so beautiful. I taught myself to read diagrams so that I could crochet the beautiful patterns. I will not translate a pattern unless I get the permission to do so from the creator. Thank you so much for experessing my concerns.

  23. Lisa Shott says:

    I too agree that this sounds a little fishy. As far as her learning to read diagrams, something I have not yet mastered, I recently watched your video on how to read diagrams. I feel that if she would utilize this video and take the time to sit down with her diagrams that she could translate them herself. Then if she has questions, she could email you about them, but demanding a response in a certain time frame is not right. You do not have to provide us with the FREE videos and resources that you do, but you do because of the kind of person you are. Apparently some people want to take advantage of you because of this, but most of us greatly appreciate the work you do to help those of us, like me, who like to crochet, but haven’t had much training or who are looking for some inspiration for the next project. Stand your ground. Don’t give her the written pattern, but give her suggestions on how to translate it herself.

What do you think? Is Mikey bang on or out to lunch? Leave your thoughts here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s