A frivolous post for a long term project

Here’s the collection of geeky holidays I have so far (thanks in large part to my friends on Google+), starting with the one that’s next to arrive:

You might be wondering what I’m going to do with these. I plan to turn them into stitch patterns, of course! I’m not going to do all of them in a year; I’ll work on them sporadically as I feel like it. You will note that some of them are math jokes (i.e. Tau day), some are random (i.e. Talk Like a Pirate), some have to do with string geekery, and some celebrate certain fandoms (i.e. Towel Day). Feel free to suggest more; I don’t want more than one for a given fandom, though. I also don’t want the dates of fan conventions. (There’s too many). And I reserve the right to skip some if I feel like it.

I’ve had a suggestion for the 8th day of each month, which is apparently sacred (in South America) to Mary, the Untier of Knots. I’m not sure it fits in so well, but I’m thinking about it.

Two Random Things and a Question

This morning, you get two random things and a question, because that’s what I’ve been thinking about in relation to the blog.

First, I’ve been thinking about the whole Creative Commons thing. I’ve been putting the loosest Creative Commons restrictions on my stitch pattern posts in an attempt to help show that I don’t mind if people use the stitch patterns in their work. The restriction in question simply asks people to attribute the work to me (because that’s how Creative Commons works).

The thing is that this doesn’t really match up with US copyright law (as I understand it) about things like stitch patterns. The part of my blog posts that are covered by copyright or Creative Commons are the words and the illustrations. If a designer uses the stitch pattern, but writes their own instructions or makes their own charts, they have the freedom to do that without attribution.

So, I think I’m going to stop putting the Creative Commons notices on future stitch patterns, and will try to think of an appropriate note to add at the bottom. I would very much appreciate getting credit, especially since I’m putting the stitch patterns out there for free, but I won’t get upset if designers use the stitch patterns without attribution.

Second, I just want to give you a heads up that sometime in the next month or so, I’ll be moving my blog to my own website. The design and transfer are still in the works, but it’s getting closer. Keep an eye out so you can update your RSS feeds or email subscriptions.

Finally, the question. I’ve been trying to think of a list of what I consider to be “geek holidays” for a project. Here’s the ones I’ve come up with: Pie Day (3/14), May the Fourth, Ada Lovelace Day, and Talk Like a Pirate day. Anything else come to mind?

A useful index to keep blog posts in

By popular demand, I’ve put on my librarian hat and indexed the more than 200 posts I’ve written so far. I’ve tried to index posts in multiple categories where relevant, though I might have missed some. The index is a page on my blog, and is therefore always available in the menus at the top of the site.

I skipped the announcement posts for my individual patterns; instead, I’ve linked directly to my Ravelry designer page. I will probably be adding a better page on my site for a list of all my patterns in the long run, but this will do for now.

Two hundred posts! Thanks for sticking with me. I’ve been having a blast.

the 2015 VAT mess

TL;DR: if you live in the EU and buy patterns from me after 1 January 2015, your purchase will be redirected from Ravelry to LoveKnitting.com and the VAT for where you live will be added to the purchase price. The pattern will still be added to your Ravelry library. Unfortunately, Ravelry promotions that are anything other than one which gives you a free pattern won’t work anymore because of technical limitations.
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Stitch Maps (including the one for “Greenland”)

stitch map for free Greenland stitch pattern.

I think I posted about Stitch Maps a while ago. Anyway, they’re a different kind of knitting chart, like a cross between a knitting chart and a crochet chart. They show the shape of the knitting as well as the individual stitches.

My Patreon backers have pledged enough to let me subscribe to Stitch Maps at a premium level, so now I can post high-quality stitch maps with my stitch patterns on the blog as well as with my patterns for pay. Don’t worry; this will not replace traditional charts or written instructions in my work. It’s just another way of looking at things that some people find easier to read.

You can see all the public stitch maps I’ve made so far on the Stitch Maps website. (Please note that if there’s not a blog entry linked, it’s not one of the stitch patterns I designed.) I’ll be gradually adding stitch maps to the blog posts, starting with the one for Greenland, my last post, shown above.

I hope you like them!

Hello, Knittyblog!

If you’re coming in from the Knitty blog, hello! It’s good to see you here.

I realized after looking at my site stats that the navigation on my secret code pages wasn’t as clear as it might be, so I’ve added a link at the bottom of each page to the next in the series. There’s also a dropdown menu at the top of the page, under “Embedding Meaning in Your Knitting”.

You might also be interested in my newly-released pattern, Bread and Roses, designed using my secret code methods.

A Patreon conundrum

In my enthusiasm for getting started on Patreon, I didn’t think through all the tax-related ramifications. I knew I might have to pay income tax on the proceeds, and am glad to do so. However, I didn’t think about sales tax.

The reward I had envisioned falls under the sales tax rules where I live. This means that if I keep providing exclusive digital goods for patrons, I would be legally required to find out whether patrons lived in North Carolina, and if so, pay the relevant sales tax to the state. I’m not inclined to do this; I don’t have any way of finding out where my backers live through Patreon.

I’m going to go ahead as originally planned for this month, but I can see a couple of alternatives for after that:

  1. Provide no special rewards for backers (just, I hope, the satisfaction of supporting someone who’s providing useful content for free to anyone who likes it).
  2. Let backers suggest words for me to encode, but make the resulting stitch patterns non-exclusive and free to my blog readers.

I’m inclined toward number two, since it’s closest to the original reward.

What do you think?

Secret Code Stitch-of-the-month club via Patreon

I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like to put a donation button on my blog so that people who find my posts useful but don’t want to buy my patterns can make a donation if they like. I don’t want anyone to feel obliged, mind – this is information I happily provide for free. At the same time, I am trying to make some money from being a designer. So I’ve been trying to figure out an optional way for people to send me money if they can and if they feel my posts are useful.

I recently heard about Patreon, which is kind of like a variation on Kickstarter. In this case, it’s a way that people can support people who are making things they like. Creators can either be funded for specific projects or can set up a subscription if they post content regularly. Like me! This seems even better to me than a donation button.

So I thought I would set up a Patreon account. If you would like to subscribe (a dollar a month, or whatever you choose), I would really appreciate it. If enough people do it, I’ll be able to get rid of the ads on my blog, pay to be able to publish stitch maps with my patterns, and who knows what else.

In exchange, I’ll give you an extra stitch pattern each month that I won’t publish elsewhere. (Edit: I’ve changed this) There will always be an option that isn’t lace, even if it’s only a chart that can be used for colorwork. Note: colorwork charts can also be used for Tunisian crochet colorwork, cross stitch, needlepoint, beadwork, quilting patterns, designing weaving drafts… In short, anything that’s designed on a grid.

I think we could call it a secret code stitch-of-the-month club. (Even though not all of my patterns are based on encoding things as knitting.)