This may be a dumb question, but

I know that if someone is going to try and knit/crochet objects to sell, they may not use a copyrighted pattern. I completely understand that, and understand the reasoning.

Where I’m beginning to get confused is in what would be considered “copyright-able” and what would be, actuall, in the public domain? Say we’re talking scarves, dishcloths, blankets, bags… There are only so many ways to make them. Ribbed, garter stitch, stockinette, knit on the diagonal, knit in the round, etc.

I’m wanting to try and make little “grab bags” to sell at consignment shops, but am afraid that somewhere, somehow, I will infringe unwittingly on a copyright. I knit the bags in the round on dpns as I don’t like to do seams. Isn’t that pretty much a universally accepted way to make the bags?

This has me so confused. I want to try and earn a little extra $$ with my craft (economy has hit us HARD!), but don’t want to do anything wrong while doing it.

Thanks for any insights!

Where you would come into ‘trouble’ would be if you copied a pattern exactly.

If you are making things without the use of a pattern, I would say you are OK.

Granted, there are very few ways of making the items you listed but, as long as you do not use a pattern, you should be set.

the other thing you can do is contact the publisher of the book or magazine… crochet with heart (no longer in print) allowed it’s readers to make 3 of any item in the magazine to sell and that was it.

When in doubt, don’t do it… but some people who create the patterns may have guidelines on what they will and won’t allow. It never hurts to contact them and find out.

Here’s the thing-- if you make a scarf in a 2x2 rib, someone’s gotta a lot of d–n nerve saying that you stole the pattern. I mean, just where did THEY get it from?! But if you made a Kaffe Fassette sweater, well, then you’d be hard pressed to say that you just happened to come up with the same intricate flower pattern in the same repeats. It’s like saying you infringed on a copyright because you wrote a cookbook that said that the way to make scrambled eggs involves heat. But if you exactly copy Emirl’s recipe for a 3’ tall apple-butterscotch-nutmeg cake with his signature vanilla-bourbon sauce, that’s another all together. So if you make the above mentioned scarf, or some dishcloths in a basketweave pattern, I just wouldn’t worry about it, and I’d keep away from anything like Nicky Epstein’s felted bags or Sasha Kagan’s mittens.

I think you got some good answers already, but I thought I’d share this site which I recently found via a Ravelry discussion.

It was last updated in 2003 but has helpful info and IMO clears up some of the copyright confusion.