Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tatting, quite an interdisciplinary craft

Where to start? I like to feed my blog with tatting images, patterns, ideas. This time will be a different. I am way to new in this beautiful tatting world and my voice should be not loud, but I was educated with a big default: when I see an injustice I have to react.
Unfortunatelly, in the last 2 months I had to react 3 times. There is some sort of pattern in this.
Normally I am quiet when someone posts his/her own work after a known pattern. I do not have the right to do it. I did it maybe too, when I was learning. I also have to confess the sinn of having copied something I liked very much, saved in my computer with no mention what so ever about the source or the pattern.
Big, big mistake. Now I can say it.
I should have known better from my linguistic studies: copy 1 book, it is theft, copy several ones and compile the information, it is an original study.
I remember myself 2 years back, when I discovered tatting. Dit you not have also this compulsive need of saving everything you saw? Pictures, patterns, links (yes, I had a file with links wich grew and grew and grew until I got smarter: bookmarked the pages, so I ended up with a huuuge list), they all got in folders, and subfolders, and other folders.
It all went like this until I started the blog. Then somehow the bookworm in me remembered some esential things about information: I realized that I cannot just publish anything I want, unless I own the rights of it or if I quote the source or ask for the permission to use the info (pictures included).
Why this intermezzo? Because of the last hapenings. Yes, there are "hapenings" in tatting. A good hapening is the release of a book. A bad hapening is the theft. And unfortunatelly the last one repeated 3 times, with 3 Italian magazines.
For the first one, it is was Tattsabug with her Owl needle pattern, remember? And the turtle from Handyhands. Got over it a bit, they were free patterns, and so often done, they are common territory, the source is often forgotten. Like the 5 or 6 petals rosette.
The second one was a bit different: Jane Eborall was affected, with her beaded ladybird pattern. Edda Guastalla traced some more patterns from this magazine, like the Cherry blossom of Grace (and Grace had the honnesty in 2013 to admit that she was not that original with it, although she was not inspired by any other pattern). All of them still free.
I do not want to mention that it is common sense to verify a bit and to mention the author. Any publisher should know better. Not my speciality.
I even remember that I was so "échauffée" and I said "They copy everything! The next one will be one of the patterns of Marilee Rockley?!)
I am so sorry I said it. It was the case with this magazine, announced for end of April.
Not 1 pattern, but at least 3 patterns of Yarnplayer (Marilee Rockley) I can identify on the cover. For the 4th I am not sure... This time, it is huge, in my eyes. The Carnival earrings I don't know for sure, but 2 of the patterns, the Rotation Pendant  and The Blue tatted necklace (lila on the cover) are protected by copyright, and they can be purchased in the Etsy shop of the pattern designer.
I only hope justice can be done.

The publisher will try to hide behind the nice saying: "We published only the result of the work of our collaborator." But in the shop it is so clearily said: "you may NOT distribute the pattern"...
This makes me sad; beyond sad, actually.
I imagine how it worked: the publisher decides to make a tatting issue, then they contact a tatter and convince her that it is legal to publish the pictures of her work. They OBMIT to tell that publishing the pattern IS ILLEGAL. I am not talking about moral or ethics anymore, we get with this this one in the grown-ups world, folks.
A designer spends time, material to design a piece, to test it, to work it 2-3 times untils it lays perfectly. And he/she spends again time to verify and to prepare the pattern. As we know Marilee, she also makes stunning pictures and tutorials, and gives also the technical explanations for the steps. This IS TIME AND KNOWLEDGE. And then putting all toghether that we have a well done pattern to follow. For some of her pieces we are so blessed: they are offered generously. The other ones are sold. And the one who wants them HAS to BUY them. The pattern for Rotation pendant costs something like 2,55€. Do you think it is an unfair price? Me not.
It would be time that when we put the shuttle in the hands of someone, we should also teach some discipline in getting inspired, teach not to miss-use a pattern, not to steal. That there are some rules to respect.
I would start by sorting the information we choose to save in our PCs or tablets, you name it. It is not that hard to re-name a file we choose to save. And when we publish the picture of our work, we should not forget to mention the source if inspiration. So simple. It takes some seconds. But this shows respect.
I love the tatting groups from FB I am in. I do not want them to get lost, but do not expect that I keep quiet when I see something like this occures.
As I said: I do not know how to write Italian (already known fact), but I can copy the entire Divine Comeny with no mistake. Do I have the right to say that the text belongs to me, only because I know how to put some letters on the paper?

P.S. In the meantime, the picture dissapeared from the FB thread. The comments are still there.


  1. I recently happened upon a site on the internet that had Marilee's Up and Tat'Em book all scanned and open for anyone to use the patterns, so I contacted her and told her that I wasn't sure what should be done, but that I thought she ought to know. And there was also an Iris Neibach book on there too. I think that people ought to think about all the work and money these designers put into their books and be courteous enough to respect them!! :)

    1. Yes, I know. It is not the only book scanned and friendly offered. There are at least 3 places I know with such recent or protected books. I am not hypocite, I saw them but I would never think about working the patterns in there and then show how brave I am or worse, wait for applause. My patterns have not the weight of Marilee or Iris, but as thin as they are, it takes a lot of time only to put on paper (draw, write, explain) the pattern it - self. Then you have to wok it several times and to take intermediate pictures. No one sees this effort. I understand, maybe it is expensive to buy a book, but to buy 1 good pattern is cheaper than a magazine. And it can motivate the designer to do more.

  2. I'm very sorry that it's happened again! :-(

    1. Grace, this time is a bit bigger... And I am sure they tricked the poor tatter, telling her that is absolutelly legal.

  3. I agree and this is a very interesting site to check out that explains in detail laws on this matter because some people want togo too far with there patterns as well

    1. Madtatter, thank you so mush about the link. After the first reading of the article, I may be wrong, but:
      1. A pattern is a procedure, process or method of operation, for making something. The specific instructions for making the item might, might, qualify for copyright registration but that copyright only would cover the written instructions, not the patterns or what was made from the patterns.
      2. The pattern, not the end product, is the subject of the registered copyright.
      In this case of Marilee's patterns, we talk about reproduction of a pattern and re-publishing an already published (and protected) pattern.
      There are other articles on the pattern matter:
      for knitting patterns:, pretty relevant. From this one I like these paragraphs:
      "Can I make a copy of a pattern for a friend?
      No. This would specifically be infringement because you are copying the work to deprive the author of a sale. You should have your friend buy a copy of the pattern for him/herself.

      Can my LYS make copies of patterns from magazines or the Internet for customers, even if the patterns are not to be sold?
      No. This conduct is infringement as it would deprive the author of a sale; i.e., the customer would otherwise purchase a copy of the pattern if you did not give it to them."

      And this isby far my favourite:
      Bottom line: as soon as a pattern was published (no matter on wich form) it is protected. In USA: "Copyright protects: commercial prints, labels, artwork applied to clothing, collages, dolls, toys, drawings, paintings, fabric, floor, and wall-covering designs, computer artwork, needlework and craft kits, patterns for sewing, knitting, crochet, needlework, photographs, photomontages, stencils, cut-outs, technical and mechanical drawings, diagrams , weaving designs, lace designs, tapestries."

  4. It's sad to hear how much this has been happening lately. You put it very well how much work and time goes into putting even one pattern out there to share, free or not. I hadn't thought about explaining courtesy and copyright to new students but you are right, if they aren't told they don't know what is acceptable and what isn't.

  5. Let's not forget that these are only the ones we hear about!!! In other languages and far distance places in the world it's probably happening too. The same patterns are being published over and over and over again. Leaving aside the copyright issues (which are important to sort out) I think that this will lead to people giving up the craft as when they buy a magazine/book or steal the same they'll find the same old, same old patterns. I look at the never ending supply lately of Chinese pattern books and (from what I can see) they are producing the same patterns that have been in the arena for years and years and years. I'm wondering if eventually people will stop tatting because it will become boring finding that every book or magazine you buy has the same patterns in?

    1. I saw yesterday in FB a picture with one hurt hand, covered in blood. Text "When you photocopy, share an original pattern and choose not the pay the author, you kill him". I thought it is exagerated. It is not. Creative people will be fed up by being used and they will cease to share. This is the moment when a craft will slowly stop to evolve... Just like you said... What I do not understand: there are so many gorgeous patterns shared, free patterns, why steal? I hear always as an excuse: "I am not so creative!" In my eyes it is the cheapest excuse ever. From not being creative to countig the ds on the screen or worse, making copy/paste to a pattern, there is a huge gap I would call being dishonest.

    2. If someone isn't that creative they can still buy the pattern. There is no need to make illegal copies. Or they can use one of the many, many free patterns out there.

      One thing is that it is sometimes really hard to judge wether the pattern source is legal or not.

      I would never think that a magazine publishing a pattern doesn't have the right to do so. I would also think that there is no need. They could politely ask the designer and lots of them would be happy to have their free pattern printed if the magzine also provides information about their books or pattern stores or whatever else there is. And if one designer is not willing, there are so many out there... just ask someone else.

  6. This is exactly why I have no desire to sell any patterns. I'm not good enough yet to really design anything original but when I am, I will still not post patterns. Why publish something that will just get stolen? I tat for my own enjoyment and so that I can give gifts to people that cost me very little. I really don't have much desire to move it into a business.

    1. Trish, In every profession we would have, we would sell our knowledge. This is also the case. I want at least that my husband has no reason to rise his eyebrows when I must buy supplies... The persons using stolen patterns are doing it also to sell the items and not to offer them to friends, I saw for most of them nice fair posts and announcements about the next event. And this makes the whole thing a bit weird: I would not sell an own pattern (material, time invested) for 3,50 and the ones using it would sell for at least the double.

  7. Not long ago I made a collar according to a free model. I thought that it was a vintage model. In fact, it was the plagiarism of a recent book.
    But I wonder how you protect you from the copy. I see that you share your patterns on your blog and you put on sale the jewel. What prevents anybody from realizing your model and from selling it?

    1. For this cases when I share the pattern it is ok to be used. I do not really care if the name of the author is mentionned. What disturbes me really is when someone takes this pattern and publishes as her own. It was the case in one of the Italian magazines. I do not share all the patterns and if I choose to sell the object I always say "original pattern" assuming that people are honnest. Dumm thing. Fun fact: it hapens always with Italian tatters not with the other ones.
      I post a last object made, some hours later comes the copy. It is not an exageration. For the snowdrops earring ( it was the case. I published the foto in FB, 3 hours later came the first pair done by an Italian tatter with the comment: "I will post the pattern a bit later". I got really mad, so I rushed and put the pattern in the blog. I intended actually to sell it. I have to learn...

    2. I am not amazed! It is completely disheartening, especially as the buyers look at the price and sometimes forget the other aspects... Yet your jewels have a very particular design.
      I also ask myself this question. I put a Creative common License on my blog. I hope that It's useful!

    3. Lilas, this Creative Common Licence did not intimadate the ones taking the info from Jane's Eborall blog. I think we all know and accept that there will be always someone stealing and working a stolen pattern. The really disturbing fact is to have the nerve to publish them and to sell the magazines also on-line with HandyHands partners...

  8. I just read this after seeing Marliee's post and came to see what happened. I just wanted to commiserate a bit and add that the fear of these sort of things weighs heavily on my mind every time someone asks me to post a pattern and I know it keeps me from doing it too often.

    1. Hi, TotusMel. Thank you for stopping by. When 1 pattern is already up, we assume that somehow, it will pirated. Not fair, not legal, but we cannot do anything. When the pattern is a free pattern, it is more than ok to be used. But when someone counts on the screen the ds, re-makes the pattern (adding or obmitting ds, picots, beads) and then publishes it as own work, then I get a bit mad.
      In this case of Marilee they used those protected patterns and they publish them with no permission of Marilee, obviously with no mention of her name.
      How did you feel when you found out that someone was selling the pattern of your barefoot sandals (the one from the Instructables)?
      By the way, barefoot sandals... It was after I found your barefoot sandals in 2012 that I got hoocked to tatting. I wanted to make beaded barefoot sandanls, I found one day your "Queens" and that was it for me. Learned about the technique, made the first flower after your video. Thank you.

  9. Dear all, I agree with you that the cover of this magasine is shocking. Plainly copying someone and publishing it, is a crime. What are these people thinking? They must be very rude to start with; they have no respect and no scruples. Poor Marilee.

    On the other hand, with all these discussions going on, I am afraid to start a blog and showing what I do.
    I would love to have a blog, firstly for myself, to organise my ideas, and ask all my dear tatting Godmother fairies ( all of you) for advice.
    I would also like to have something to show my students, with patterns or explanations in Dutch. finally, with this blog, I hope to attract and interest new people in Belgium and the Netherlands. Tatting used to be very common here, until all handwork suddenly vanished in the 1980's.

    I am not interested in selling anything, only in quiet tatting for myself and for new tatting students. I have also stopped buying things, since I still tat with my first Aero shuttle, bought here in Belgium in 1979; it is still the best one I tried.

    But, I am a scientist, and I know that many things are discovered at the same time by different people. Oxygen for instance or the evolution theory were discovered by two people. Boyle's law is called" loi de Mariotte" in French.

    I am worried because you mention Grace's cherry blossom. Such a simple pattern can easily be invented by different people around the world at the same time. As you said, we all dowload the same patterns, buy the same books and read the same blogs. That is how we get inspired, then produce something ourselves that is different and similar. And very often, patterns and techniques are older than people think.

    For example: I recentlly read an article written by Georgia Seitz about Ankars. She mentions "Rina's exercice". This prevents gaps between rings and chains. Well, when I learned to tat from a sweet nun in a hospital 30 years ago, she tought me to do exactly that. I really don't care who invented this technique and from who the sister learned it. It is nice that Georgia, Rina and sister Bernadette all taught this technique to other people. This is how tatting will not be lost for future generations.

    So, it is true that this italian magasine is way out of line, and hurt Marilee. On the other hand, discussions about copywrite may scare beginners and tatting is difficult enough as it is. Difficult to learn, I mean.

    I seize this opportunity to thank all the blogging tatters, I learned so much about tatting in the last 3 years, thanks to you all!

    1. Tally Tatty, you resumed so nicely all my feelings too. We will must have from time to time this kind of discussions, because there will be always an attempt to do something not quite legal. There will be a small storm, then silence. The Earth will continue to spin and our shuttles also.

  10. Hi Corina, I did not entirely agree with you, my piece was not merely meant as a summary of your thoughts.Like everybody else, I was shocked that this italian magasine stole Marilee's pattrens. But I was also shocked by reading what you wrote in the following sentence:

    " and Grace had the honnesty in 2013 to admit that she was not that original with it, although she was not inspired by any other pattern). All of them still free".

    ADMIT ! That sounds like someone being tortured by the inquisition. That is a big word for such a small motif!!

    I do not often visit Intatters, although it is THE site for information. But I am reluctant to meet the tatting maffia, the tatting police, the tatting detectives, the tatting layers, the false accusations and the tatting inquisition. And people do get punished, if only by words. Please, this is a hobby! A type of lace that we WANT to teach to others, we WANT to multiply it.
    It would be wiser if Intatters hired a real detective in Italy to find out what the editors of that magasine have to say.

    I waited 3 years to start a blog because of all this. In the meantime, I kept reading other people's blogs, and I saw many of 'my' ideas pass. Which is only logic.

    PS: the cute little books are Japanese, not Chinese. They are ideal for young beginners. Aren't these our target group?

    1. It is not about inquisition, it is about being honest. Grace made a pattern wich after was identified like having long ago done by someone else. She never saw the flower before (dimpled rings or chains)... The Italian magasine used her open pattern from 2013 up the to number of ds and the description of the joins. This is what I do not like. And if we want to teach I would like to believe that we teach also some respect for the designers.
      This is a craft, it can be a beautiful hobby too, but for some other tatter this is more that habby, some simply make their living with it: tatting, creating new designs, writing books, spending time and material to tweack a new design, attempting every simple fair... It is a job and this choice should be respected.
      And not respecting their work by stealing it, by taking advantage of it, by illegally spreading the copyrighted contents, this is not something one should pass to his/her students. There are beautiful free patterns, antique and modern ones, given generously to everyone. I do not find fair that a free pattern of Jane Eborall was published under another name. I do not want to touch the aspect that the magasine costs almost 5€ (almost 6 USD), so it was not charity gesture...
      Spreading the beauty of tatted lace, YES. Allowing that dishonesty and disrespect spoil this world: a definite NO.

  11. You said it, Corina, and you said it well. And I agree with you about this BIG accident and people who live from their tatting.

    But concerning the many small incidents, I feel that there is a which hunting going on. People will often give the impression they copied, simply because they re-invent. I often laugh when I see a pattern in a famous book, and then I see the same pattern in a magasine that is much older and in a diffreren language,..;

  12. Dear Corine, now in Italy the same publisher you mentioned in the post of 15 april issed a new number of the magazine as you can see with your pattern mentioned in the first page. I'd like know if you autorised it or not.

  13. Dear Corine, now in Italy the same publisher you mentioned in the post of 15 april issed a new number of the magazine as you can see with your pattern mentioned in the first page. I'd like know if you autorised it or not.
    Dear Corine, now in Italy the same publisher you mentioned in the post of 15 april issed a new number of the magazine as you can see with your pattern mentioned in the first page. I'd like know if you autorised it or not.

    1. Dear Sara, I must thank you so much! Not only that this reaction is a sign that this blog entry is read but also that it reaches consciences. Balm for me.
      After the storm with the illegal publications of the patterns from Jane Eborall and Marilee Rockley, Edda Guastalla did some pressure that justice will be done. Jane Eborall, on her side, got also this problem solved. Edda tried really hard to convince the tatters and the publishers to be more accurate in their choice of the patterns. This issue you showed me is the result of Edda's efforts in this direction. The flower and the set are her work. She named it with my name because of the use of the beads ... and because she wanted to make clear that the flower published some issues ago under "Daniela's flower" was in fact my pattern:
      I thank God that there are people like Edda and you.
      Happy tating, Sara.

    2. Hello, I am novice six talented and I hope to one day become as good as you ... I admire you very much and thanks for the patterns that you have available for people who want to learn hello thanks

    3. Thank you, Maria. I hope this helps.