Pattern Design Question

I just recently picked up a back issue of Interweave Knits – Spring 2004 – and I saw the Waving Lace socks and loved the lace pattern. I’ve also had 4 balls of Karaoke Mermaid here for some time, and they keep asking me to turn them into a scarf. Well, what better pattern to use for a yarn called Mermaid than Waving Lace! So, I’ve started designing a scarf pattern that is knit in the round using this lace pattern.

So, here’s my question: Can I publish this pattern as “mine” even though I sorta stole the lace pattern from someone else’s pattern? :help:

Personally, I wouldn’t think so, since there are so many stitch pattern directories, etc, out there. And who’s to say you didn’t think of it, too?

Here is an article from Knitty that talks about copyrights.

Ingrid! Happy New Year! :smiley:

I just took a look @ the Knitty article, and it’s still not clear, but only because I’m not sure if the lace pattern used in the socks is a “traditional” lace pattern or an Elizabeth Clark original. I’ve searched a few online stitch libraries and have yet to find it.

I wonder if I’d be covering my bases if I gave credit to E. Clark re: the lace pattern, and I wouldn’t necessarily have to use her chart for the pattern, either. Because I’m adding a border and a slipped stitch “seam” on the scarf, I’m writing out everything in text anyway.

Also, I don’t think posting the lace pattern as part of the scarf pattern would be an infringement on her sock pattern because it’s not giving away the sock pattern; however, I do understand that original lace designs deserve just as much consideration as the garment pattern.

:?? I guess I need to go and think about what to do. Heck … maybe the scarf won’t turn out right, anyway. (But I hope not!)

From a designers standpoint, I would contact the original designer. Find out whether or not the lace itself was an original creation or from a different source, and then go from there. It is difficult if not impossible to “copyright” a particular stitch pattern or method. The creativity {and copyright} tends to go with the way you assemble all these different parts into a pattern/finished item. For example, I can’t copyright a granny square, but I can copyright a tote bag I designed using granny squares for the construction of it. Clear as mud?

I don’t see why you can’t. (Double negative, no?) How can a stitch be copyrighted? Their “pattern” is socks; yours is a scarf.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I’ll continue to research this just to make sure I don’t step on anyone’s toes. I guess the way I feel about it is that if I had designed a certain lace pattern, I would appreciate being given credit for it even if it was used in a completely different type of garment.

Off to celebrate the new year!! Cheers, everyone!

Can you google the name of that particular stitch/lace design and see if it is used anywhere else, or otherwise “public domain”?

Good idea, Kristen … I tried some limited searching and didn’t come up w/ anything. I keep thinking I’ll run across the pattern sometime with a different name, but so far, nothin’.