An Original Thought

How original is original? I have recently started to try my hand at designing; I have quite a few patterns in the works, a few still to write up, one already crocheted and one on the hook. These are all mine from start to finish sometimes with a little help in between but still mine.


These are for another story.


How about those where I’ve tweaked someone else’s pattern? I changed yarn weight, or hook style. How about where I converted from regular crochet to Tunisian crochet? Am I still following someone else’s pattern or has it become mine?


I often wonder this as I download a pattern I like but want to change it to suit me. If the original pattern is a baby afghan but I want to make it for myself, obviously I need to make it bigger. I’ll change the hook size and the yarn weight from baby to worsted, is the pattern now mine.


I see a great pattern but it’s done with single crochet and some other regular stitches. I change the single crochet Tunisian simple stitch and I adapt the others to a suitable Tunisian stitch, is it still the original pattern?


Most things begin with a template. Prototype is a word bandied about in R&D. Everyone wants to build a better something.


However plagiarism is also a word thrown around development companies, schools and the publishing world.


I remember when I was in school and I didn’t do my homework and I had to copy someone else’s I word change a few things so the teacher couldn’t accuse us of cheating.


So is it innovation, a better afghan?




Is it cheating, changing a few things so people won’t know?


5 responses to “An Original Thought

  1. I think you are talking about derivative works. A derivative work has the basic elements of the original but also has an added creative element. You would have to obtain consent from the original author so I guess the real question is when is a piece so different from the original that it is a completely new work, rather than a derivative work?

  2. El that is a really good point. So how do you determine the difference poaching, a derivative work and completely new work.

    I think if the style changes it’s new right? Because if you are making a sweater it can only be so different.

  3. I think you have to also consider what is in the public domain. The general shape of a sweater cannot be copyrighted by anyone but perhaps the color design and motif can be original and can be copyrighted. There are obvious copycats and obvious original work but those in the gray area are hard to determine. That is why lawyers get paid so much to convince the judge that they are right. I guess the artist just has to create and wait. If the artist does not get sued then perhaps it is an original work (or the original author does not want to waste his time).

  4. True, although lawyers and all that stuff are such tedious wastes of money and time.

    But try this scenario, I send my pattern to a magazine, it’s original, I have shared it with no-one previously.

    You receive some gorgeous yarn and start playing around with it. Your end project looks exactly like mine. But you have never seen mine because my work was only published around the same time you finished yours. However you sold your pattern on your blog. Who’s right?

    It’s kind of out there but stranger things have happened.

    I am all for copyrights and protecting your creativity but the gray areas are rather large.

    I visit crochetville site regularly and alot of what people post in the show and tell section are very similar, in fact sometimes only the colours are different but most everyone say it’s there own design. I myself saw a number of ripples and thought that’s what my next project should be. Are our creative juices at an end?

  5. It may not be fair but the first creator has the copyright, regardless of how the other people came up with that same item. But I suppose the second person could argue that the pattern was not original and therefore not copyrighted because she came up with it on her own also.

    I do think that they grey area is too large but I guess it happens because “creativity” is not a science and is hard to describe.

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