Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Praise ... and a Quibble

When's the last time someone trusted someone else in the retail world? Never, you say? Well, almost.

The current economic climate (Cloudy days ahead, chance of continuing flooding, run for your life!) has made all of us a little cynical about each other, I suppose. And, let's face it--it's not that easy to make a living. We have to take every opportunity.

So I'm always happy when I can support a designer or a supplier in the yarn business. No, really--it's not that I need or want more yarn or patterns, I'm just trying to do my part to keep the economy going. (Hush, now! Don't be cynical! It's not becoming!)

Anyway, last week I saw that one designer for whom I have the utmost respect is giving up publishing her quarterly newsletter. Part of the explanation seems to be that digital downloads--and particularly Ravelry downloads--are costing her money because of copyright infringement.  Sad, but definitely part of the digital publishing world these days. It's affecting every single medium from newspapers to hard-cover books.

On the same day, I saw a pattern on Ravelry from another designer that piqued my interest. Went to the website and found Janet Scanlon. Yes, Janet who designed the My Constant Companion felted bag we all made ten years or so ago.

I saw two felted bags that got my attention--quick there's a new one there now! Why didn't I see it before?-and clicked order. I got a message that told me to email her and she'd send it. And bill me later. What? Is she crazy?

I emailed her and ordered. She responded immediately, apologizing that she'd have to charge me postage. Uh, yeah ... of course. Again, crazy?

Two days later the patterns arrived. With an invoice. Shipping was ... uh, exact postage. Crazy? Each page of the pattern comes in its own vinyl protector, with the pages stapled, so you can knit from the pattern without taking it out of its protector to turn the pages. Amazing!

So--praise. Janet is a woman who still believes in people. (And, yes, I put the check in the mail already! Did you have to ask?) She advertises a product, sends it on trust, and it's just what she promised and you wanted. Amazing in this world of mistrust and thievery.

But, and here comes the quibble, she prints her patterns on that same blue paper that Fiber Trends used to use. Do they still? I don't think so. People stopped buying them because they were too hard to read and I think FT has now gone to a different color.

Why the blue, somewhere between turquoise and cobalt? I've always heard it's to keep people from making copies or scanning the patterns into their computers. BUT for me, it's a problem. My eyesight has always been sort of dicey and these days it seems to be worsening every day. I am struggling to read these patterns. I can read them but I have to be in a very bright room--definitely not my bedroom where I usually knit. Not enough contrast for these eyes.

Bottom line: Go to the website and buy her patterns. (Check out Mercury, the messenger bag! Oh, my!) Knit one of them. But just among ourselves, Janet, I'd rather have paid you upfront and gotten the pattern on a lighter piece of paper that I could read.


Anonymous said...

Whatever you did, worked! I am gettin your posts on my email. Did you send any of this post to the designer?? She needs to understand that "old" eyes need contrast as well as good light. I hope you will get an answer.
Will go to website and see what her designs look like.


Anonymous said...

random technical comment :-) your link has an extra character in it -- ITYM