If you are a crocheter who uses crochet patterns you will find that there is a huge variety of both free and paid crochet patterns. Crochet patterns can range in price from absolutely free to in the teens for one pattern! This may leave you wondering why some are free, and why some are not. Today I’m going to explain the free vs paid patterns dilemma!
Free Crochet Patterns
Designers who do not charge for any of their crochet patterns are usually making an income from those patterns in other ways. They are likely bloggers who receive payment for traffic to their site through ads and affiliate links. Often times you will find a free pattern on a blog, with the option to buy the ad-free, printable pdf version of the pattern. This is another way the designer makes money. Having that option at a low cost, for those who want it, provides one way for him/her to make money from that pattern.
Designers who don’t charge for their patterns sometimes work in collaboration with other businesses and get paid by doing that. These designers will design for or work with magazines, yarn companies, big box stores, etc. They get paid by these companies that they work with.
So all designers receive some form of payment for their work. They just receive payment from it in other ways than selling the patterns individually. You can support these crochet designers and bloggers by visiting their site to read their patterns and sharing the links to their blogs and free patterns with others. Also, if there is a product you plan on purchasing, check to see if they are an affiliate. If so, purchase the product using their link. They will get a small percentage back for that purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Paid Crochet Patterns
There are also designers who charge money for their crochet patterns. These designers are usually known as independent crochet designers. Selling crochet patterns is their main form of income. They may also have a blog or website but it doesn’t bring in the revenue that selling their crochet patterns does. These designers may also collaborate with other companies, but they either don’t get paid for it or they are not consistently working with companies to supplement the income they make from pattern sales. For the most part, they just design and sell crochet patterns independently.
You can support independent crochet designers very easily…by buying their crochet patterns! If you can’t buy or are not interested in their most recent release, you can also support them by sharing their work, and interacting with them on social media. The more engagement they get, the more their posts are seen. Which hopefully will lead to more customers and sales! Also, if you cannot buy, do not try to find their paid pattern somewhere on the internet for free. Just don’t do it. Be respectful enough to the designer to let the pattern be a paid pattern.
Why Some Designers Have Both Free and Paid
I can’t speak for all designers, but I will tell you why I have both free and paid crochet patterns. When I first started I was only selling crochet patterns. Ravelry was my go-to place for pattern sales. Those patterns were marketed on Facebook and that was it. I had no need for a blog or ad revenue or anything of the sort. Four years into my business I finally created a blog/website. A year later, I monetized my site with ads and joined some affiliate programs. Because I started out selling patterns, my paid crochet patterns from Ravelry are my main source of income. I have been there the longest and have the most patterns there.
My website does have quite a few free patterns on it. My free patterns are posted on the site to drive traffic to it and to give readers an idea of what my writing and project style is like. But I also like to use this website for informative posts, such as my post on “Crocheting Garments” and “Choosing the Right Yarn for your Projects“. I want my website to be an educational resource for all crocheters to come to for both information and free patterns!
So now you understand the reasoning behind choosing free vs paid patterns. Every designer is working to build his/her business and create a sustainable income doing something they love. Your support means the world to each and every designer you come into contact with! I hope this article helps you to understand how you can be a great help to your favorite designers, even if you can’t spend a dime!