A New Way Of Making Things

Edited November 6th to add: Wow! What a week. I was not prepared for the response - which I take responsibility for because perhaps a bit more research on my part would have led to a different decision about wether or not to have my patterns featured. My patterns will no longer be available on the Making Things App. I apologize to anyone who felt pressure to sign up because of this post. I signed on to this experiment with a “let’s see what happens” attitude, knowing that if it didn’t work out I could have my patterns removed and walk away. So many good questions and comments came up after I posted this last week and when I didn’t have the answers to them it just didn’t feel right. This experience has taught me a valuable lesson about not associating my name with anything that I’m not able to stand behind 100%.

Making Things

Up until very recently I was the type of knitter who printed out her patterns. I only worked from paper copies. Mostly because I am a creature of habit, but also because I am terrified of technology and we are probably among the least hi-tech households you’ve ever met! Slowly but surely I transitioned to working from patterns that I had downloaded onto my cell phone (we don’t have a tablet). It was kind of a game changer for me! I was hesitant to move away from paper patterns but even I will admit that working from my phone really works for me. Why am I mentioning this? Well, because I have a brand new knitting app to tell you about and it’s going to revolutionize the way we interact with our knitting patterns. It’s called Making Things and it just launched today! I just signed up, and if you’re a new knitter or an old pro, I think you should seriously consider doing it too.

There are so many very cool things to say about this app but first things first you should just head right on over there and check it out for yourself and then come back here for me to finish my little chat about it ok? I’ll wait.

Alright, so now that you’ve checked it out, what do you think!? The way I see it there are two major components to the app, the first being the technical aspects that you can read about here. The app includes so many very cool features like a highlighting tool, a notes section, a split screen for charts. It also includes in-app pattern support, which is amazing for you as a knitter but also for me as a designer. Instead of sending me an email if you run into trouble with a pattern and waiting for me to get back to you (I answer questions as quickly as I can but still, you’ll likely have to put down your knitting and wait for my reply) you have immediate assistance. That’s amazing!

The second aspect, and if I’m being honest I think this is the part that has me the most excited, is the incredible pattern library that is available on the Making Things app. Every single one of my self published patterns will soon be available on the app. There are so many incredible designers involved in the launch and I am so thrilled to be a part of it! The apps tagline is “Netflix for Knitting” which is a really great way to think about it. One monthly subscription gives you access to over 1000 patterns! Every pattern in the curated library has been tech edited, has high quality photographs and is of professional quality.

As a designer, I think that the payment plan is super interesting and is a completely new way of thinking about how we as designers make money from knitting patterns. Before now, we would sell individual pdf’s for a few dollars, needing to sell hundreds (thousands?) of patterns every month to make a decent living. With the app, designers are given a portion of the monthly subscription cost every single time a user interacts with one of our patterns. If, for example, you have a favourite sock pattern and you knit it 4 times in a year, the designer will get compensated 4 times as well! It’s revolutionary! I think of it kind of like royalties, an artist makes money every time their song is played on the radio, the designer makes money every time their pattern is knit on the app. Neat right? Groundbreaking really! I’m mentioning all this financial stuff so you know where your $11.99 is going, you know that you are still supporting your favourite designers when using the app instead of buying directly from them and also because I think it’s just so interesting to think about paying for patterns in a completely new way, I way I had never even considered before I heard from the creators of the app, but a way that makes so much sense.

Is it competing with our beloved Ravelry? No. Ravelry is a community with groups, project pages, a completely different infrastructure and I think that the Making Things app only complements it. Though I’ll be using the app to knit my patterns, I’ll still be adding my projects to my project page and chatting about them in my group.

The app brings our amazing community of knitters and designers into the 21st century and re-imagines how we interact with our patterns. The makers behind the app are, well, actual makers. As in it was designed by knitters for knitters! They also happen to be incredibly kind, smart, motivated and committed to their work. Chatting with Megan left me feeling inspired and also really excited about the future of our industry.

So, there you go. An exciting day for our industry. I can’t wait to see where Making Things takes us next!