Thursday, October 11, 2007

Treading Water

Hi Everyone!

Okay, so I mis-judged my readiness to jump back into the knitting world last time I posted, but I really am catching up now.

I dug through 4000+ messages (darned Knitlist) and sorted out over 200 spreadsheet requests. As of right now, I am caught up with Mermaid. If you haven't heard from me about a Mermaid request, please resend your request.

As Ricki posted, I will be distributing the modified Small Mermaid. I also have a Large Mermaid that someone else adapted and that I need to process. At this point, I am not ready to distribute either of these sizes. If you ask me for Mermaid, you will get the Medium and I will put you on my update mailing list where I will announce the availability of the other sizes once I am ready.

I still have about 100 Ballerina message to respond to and a smaller number of LaStrada ones. Not to mention random requests for spreadsheets that don't exist (or if they do, I don't have them). :) I'll probably hit the LaStrada requests next because there are fewer of them, so I won't get to Ballerina until next week (because I will be away from my computer this weekend).

As for Ballerina...I know there are some errors in the spreadsheet, I'm going to be working through the e-mails about that. I'm also concerned that my spreadsheet is being redistributed without my permission, albeit in a modified, corrected/completed state. So far, I've been very careful to verify that everyone I send the spreadsheets to owns the patterns they are derived from. All along, I have been aware that I'm treading a very fine line in copyright which is why I have not just posted the spreadsheet to my webpage and been done with it, it certainly would have been much easier for me and made all of you a lot happier. While the spreadsheet is a different interpretation of the pattern, it is still Ms. Falkenberg's design and distributing the spreadsheet without care is a violation of the spirit of copyright if not outrightly illegal.

I'm not sure whether Ms. Falkenberg is aware of the spreadsheets. I've sent them to over 400 people so far, most of whom have been very pleased with them. If she should inquire, I want to be able to show that I have guarded the distribution carefully and I have kept records of every copy I have sent out. But if she asks me to stop distributing them, I have to in order to avoid legal troubles for myself and also potentially for Becky as a facilitator of distribution. I know that can be frustrating for all of you when my life prevents me from responding quickly, but I think you'd rather know you can get them eventually than be barred forever. So thank you for being patient.

I have considered other methods for distribution, or to solicit some helpers, but I need to work out some technical issues there first. And I'm going to wait until I have caught up on the requests before I put any effort there.


Sandra D. said...

Thanks Amy. Your efforts are appreciated!

Linda@SquabbleHollow said...

Just wanted to thank you again for sending out the Mermaid spreadsheet and for all your hard work and generosity.


Honor said...

I'm not a Hanne Falkenberg knitter (yet)but I'm a bit puzzled. Are the patterns really so poorly written that these spreadsheets are needed? If they are, then Ms Falkenberg should surely be *paying* you to produce them for her punters, shouldn't she?? Otherwise, far fewer knitters would be buying them from her.

It sounds as though you are doing a great job! Honor

sherri said...

I think the patterns are horribly written and very confusing. I am just praying that I can finish up Ballerina. For as much money as I spent on this kit, I expected the directions to be as clear as Amy's spreadsheet. What I got was GREEK. Hanne should pay Amy or anyone else who can offer a clear consise set of instructions. I bet she'd sell a lot more kits.

Ros Ritchie said...

Amy - it's great to have you back with us and I entirely support your desire for integrity around the whole spreadsheet thing. Hope life is a bit more on an even keel for you.

Welcome back!


Helen said...

I consider myself quite an experienced knitter (even though it's a few years since I was really active). I've done loads of Aran stuff in my time, and Fair Isle patterns, but I have to admit that I've had some trouble with my Mermaid pattern.

Admittedly it's the first time I've ever knitted something where you start at the front edge so I've been thinking that it because it's very different from what I've previously knitted. However, so far I've had to e-mail the owner of the store where I bought it to ask her exactly which rows to do the decreases (she had offered help when I bought it so I felt OK asking her!). She had already shown me how to do an i-cord. That was something new for me. And last week I had to go and look at the one they have knitted up to check what the edge stitches look like (due to the rather unclear instructions I had knitted them on the wrong side for a few rows). This is all before I've got to the second gusset!

So I'm looking forward to receiving Amy's spreadsheet.

I suppose it's our fault really. We should give Hanne F feedback so she can improve her pattern description. She's probably unaware how basic she needs to be for dumbos like me. In fact I think I'll tell her!

amy! said...

Honor --

There are several factors at work with Ms Falkenbergs's patterns. One is that they are translated for a number of languages and that Ms. Falkenberg's English and knitting terms sometimes differ from what most U.S. knitters are familiar with.

Further, the patterns are very compact and have a lot of economies such as "repeat this section 2 times" or "work section A, then B, then A, then C, then A, modifying A each time as follows". Or in the case of Ballerina "work a mirror image of the first half of the pattern". It's not that they're badly written necessarily, it's just that not everyone's brain works that way.

Plenty of people have knit her patterns without a spreadsheet. I found that I could, but that I had a hard time figuring out where I was each time I came back to the pattern. I wanted something more straightforward to work with, so I wrote out the Mermaid spreadsheet. And since I went to that effort, I decided to share it. It has made making her patterns much more enjoyable for the people who have used it. Some people like the hunt and figuring out what the pattern means. Some people just want a clear easy-to-follow set of directions in order to get a beautiful end product.

Jinx said...

Well' we're all working with translations. Most of you with the English one, I with the German one. I thing the instruction I use is well written and very clear, no problems at all (and I'm a knitter for one and a half year now). Maybe it's the translation that works so badly for you?