Tuesday, January 19, 2010

whoops! and a quandary

I completely forgot to post photos of the tatting I did for x-mess!

I don’t have a really good shot of it, and wont until the aunt that I gave them to comes back from Mexico. But here it is:

tatting (2)

This was adapted from a pattern I saw online at free-tatting.com
Forgive the wonkyness of it, I hadn’t stiffened it at this point, it was fresh of the needle.
This is one of those hard call pieces. Do I make more to sell, or is it too close to the original inspiration? At what point is a piece yours and not someone else's? I never looked at the pattern for this, I saw the image and made up my own version, is it mine, or is it still theirs? I have no idea how close the stitches are to the original, and I didn't use the multitude of beads that they did.. but..is it my creation?
I just don’t know, and I need to decide soon because I have several requests for this exact set.
I haven’t had to worry about this much because until I started tatting all of my work was completely mine. But, with something like tatting, I needed to look at other patterns to figure out what the hell I was doing. Now I can see a piece and make my own version of it… pull out that ring, add another here, up the stitch count…
Lately my work is adaptations of vintage doily patterns. Pull out the center part, add a bit here and there, and voila! brand new piece. There isn’t really anyone that is going to call me out on that.. and in some ways there are only so many things you can tat, only so many ways to make rings and chains that eventually you are going to come up with an original creation that someone, somewhere, also came up with as an original creation.
Example, I came up with a wicked cool cross a few weeks ago while playing around with old thread. I had never looked up crosses because they just aren't my thing, but my thought was that lace crosses would be very sellable to the Goth market. My intention was to make a choker out of them that could be worn either inverted or not. 3 days later I found the exact same cross on a tatting site that I had never visited before. I blew up the image, and sure enough it was exactly the same. So back to the drawing board I went, because the last thing I want to do is rip someone off, intentionally or no. But yet… I did come up with it all on my onesies… and I have not yet seen a repeating cross choker.

So what is a tattered girl to do?

As a side note, and update to yesterdays cake… the cake was apparently dead on to Sister’s, the frosting was not. Apparently it had the exact same taste, but the complete wrong consistency. In theory by the time my Aunt J visits, or my awesome Colorado cousin gets her butt back to VT I'll have perfected it. Anyone want to help me eat the experiments?


  1. Difficult question on copyrighting patterns etc. I tend to stick to the more unusual stuff when designing and must admit I have been a little annoyed to see people selling stuff made from my patterns on places like Ebay and Etsy without asking first. I happily give permission for local fairs, charities etc but do like to sell my OWN designs from time to time online, so prefer people to 'check before listing'. I think it's good manners to state who a designer is when reproducing something of theirs or put 'inspired by' or 'adapted from' against something you've done if you've altered it. I spend hours and hours and sometimes many weeks on a pattern and have seen one of mine reproduced badly and claimed by somebody else with VERY little alterations. Not a good feeling. I think you have made some super points and very thought provoking too. SO pleased that you are giving it such careful thought.

  2. Ha! mother says I'm over thinking it... But I would hate that feeling of working hard to create something, and have someone else use it for sales. It's just not good on any level.

  3. Brilliant stuff indeed! Id be interested in seeing how its done in a step by step guide.

  4. Oh its easy love! you just loop thread onto a needle, and pull it through... over and over and over and over again! tedium. but worth it

  5. Well, it's lovely, but Jane gives a good guideline for manners. Some designers do get a bit cranky if they see their stuff being sold without credit...some get cranky if they see their stuff getting sold without credit and others don't care unless the person says it's their own design.
    Always best to check with the original designer first I guess like Jane suggests. Laws are fuzzy with the copyright stuff and it all boils down to how litigious the original designer is so the permission asking thing is the best policy. Good luck with your decision! :)
    ~TattingChic ♥

  6. Oopsy... I meant to say "Some designers get cranky if they see their stuff without credit and some get cranky if they see their stuff being sold even WITH credit..."

    Sounded like a broken record in that past comment!

    ~TattingChic ♥

  7. Hello! As Jane says, with freebies it's always best to ask. Harder when it's modified though, I generally say "inspired by", but then I'm usually only making for me or as a gift, not selling.

    The choker idea sounds interesting, I think you might be on a winner there. =)