Thursday, 31 January 2013

Coincidence or not??

As I have already told you on several occasions I am not a prolific designer.
Each one of my designs takes ages to make and design, I put my heart and soul into my crochet, I do it because I love it.
So when I discover that someone might have copied me I get very upset and angry.
My designs are very personal to me and I feel betrayed and helpless.
My initial reaction is to shout about it and make a huge fuss, then calm down, forget about it and move on.
Yesterday I was made aware of the pattern below.
I decided to sleep on it and to see how I felt in the morning.

Lily is probably my most popular pattern, it was first published in 2011 and was a best seller almost instantly.
It has nearly 2300 hearts on Ravelry, plus loads of projects.
We have sold thousands and thousands of copies of the Lily pattern all over the world.
It always has pride of place on our stand at shows and always gets lots of attention and admirers.
Lily was designed in honour of my mother, so is very personal and special to me.

Our Mini Skein club grew out of the need for mini skeins to make Lily.

Last year not only was the Lily pattern in my blanket book, its also the cover photo.

So why am I so upset??
I'm upset because I found the links to this.....

The motif is almost identical, the foundation chain has more stitches, round 2 uses trebles instead of half trebles and round 5 is missing.

My Lily chart.

The other one

You can find it HERE on Ravelry.
You will notice the published date is January 2013.
There's a Facebook group HERE
and best and most upsetting of all it's been published in a book which is currently selling on Amazon.

Now you tell me...
Is it a coincidence?
Am I overreacting and being too sensitive??
Should I grow a thicker skin and be less of a drama queen??

I don't know, what do you think?


  1. It is remarkably similar, the petals are identical. Can you tell if she bought your pattern?

  2. Hello Amanda :-) I think if I were you, while quietly seething inside, I would try to see the positive angle... focus on it being a huge compliment that other crochet designers admire your work and want to emulate it / create works inspired by it. It hasn't been 'copied' outright, in the sense that the copyright hasn't been infringed in the charts etc. and she looks like a fairly well established/published crochet designer in France so I don't know that she's intending to use your glorious Lily pattern to gain notoriety etc? I think you should take as a sign that you are well and truly the Queen of motif design and blazing a trail along which others can only hope to stumble in an effort to keep up ;-) Truly... preen your feathers and bask in the knowledge that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  3. Have you contacted the designer for a comment?

  4. I can understand your anger/upset I can almost feel it for you. But I can't seem to find out he right words to explain so I'll leave it at that

  5. It's very similar & it's not a common shape (like circles or hexagon s). It may be a coincidence or it may not. Two designers could come up with similar designs without being aware of it or she could have see yours & deliberately done something similar.I guess you'll probably never know. As a designer these issues will surface from time to time, sadly. I understand why you are upset though.

  6. I came across the design on Ravelry's "recently added patterns" and recognized it immediately. I went to the site to see who had copied your design and noticed that the part of the chart showing in the photo was nearly if not exactly the same as yours. I feel your anger! I am working on mine now from one of your kits. So glad I have the original!

  7. I sympathise but be careful you don't infringe the other designer's work by publishing her chart on your blog.

    1. Thanks for the warning.
      The chart photo was copied the facebook group.
      I wouldn't of posted it if it hadn't already been posted on-line.

  8. I have crocheted embellishments very similar to these two designs. I have never seen the charts (or photos) for these designs before.

    My inspiration came from Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman - motifs number 40 and 41. I started with those two charts and then changed parts of them to better suit what I wanted, including having groupings of three dc at the base of each point, and picots at the tips.

    Although they are similar, I do think it is entirely possible for two (or more) designers to independently come up with similar designs.

  9. The legal perspective is that the two aren't the same, so there are no grounds for copyright infringement. Additionally to the person who won't even put their name to their comments, the fact that Amanda has linked to the pattern, giving credit to the other designer for her work, negates all infringement there as well.

    I think, Amanda, that you need to listen to what Meadowyarn says and just take it as a compliment. Your designs are amazing.

  10. I know what my husband would say - you can't prove it's copied because it isn't identical, so don't let it get to you and move on. Easier said than done, I know. I'm the sort who stews over things like this.
    But I have to say, I've seen many bloggers playing with flower motifs and making scarves with them lately. So it's absolutely possible that this blogger came up with her design without ever having seen yours.

  11. Yours is prettier, lays flat and has a different feel about it. I would not worry Amanda, have confidence, wow, you have sold over a thousand! There is no way getting around copycats, this always happens to a good thing. I don't think you can say it for sure. What we can say for sure is that your designs are the best! : ) And, a good, discerning eye knows the truth, be happy and free in your confidence about your work, love it!

  12. You are taking it too personally. Star or flower motifs have been around for centuries. And the motifs aren't identical.

  13. Hi Amanda
    This issue of copying, plagiarism, passing off or however you want to call it is one which we've had to deal with and dig deep into our souls in order to put it in some sort of perspective.

    My husband is the photographer Nick Fleming - you can see his work at And on lots of other web sites which we don't know about, and all over Facebook with quotations, usually by some spiritually enlightened person, posted to send people to someone else's web site. And in magazines who've never paid for the use, never contacted us to even ask permission and even those who did contact us to say that they don't pay for art or copy but would we like to pay them to advertise when they've already used the image for their own purposes. The best excuse was an official Indian tourism magazine who told us that because they printed the image back to front that they didn't even have to credit the photographer. Now we have people employing Nick's assistant in India when he's not there to take them to places where Nick photographs. And here's the thing: they're not Nick, so they are never going to get the photographs which Nick does, they lack his patience, his powers of observation and his ability to connect at a higher level.

    I run a course for women called Be the Woman You were Born to Be, Several years ago when we first launched it online a woman who knows me started a web site called Be the Goddess You were Born to Be and one of her other projects, designed to send people to her Goddess site, was a daily motivation. Mysteriously the daily quotations were uncannily similar to ones which were part of the Be the Woman course and only available to the women who have paid to join Be the Woman. It didn't take long to work out who was leaking her the information.

    All this made us stop and reflect on what is ours and who we serve. I totally understand your frustration at being copied, even if it is coincidence, which is entirely possible. The only way that I found in your situation to remain at peace within myself was to know that I was being encouraged to take the next step forward with the next creative project and someone else now was responsible for not sleeping well at night if they were the copyist. Not me.

    Also, even I, who only came to your blog recently totally blown away by your Lily pattern which I fully intend to crochet later this year, would now recognise one of your designs, patterns and colour choices a mile off. Your spirit and inspiration shine through your designs. That's the bit which makes you you and that's the bit which no one can copy.

    For me, what I'm looking for now is how you develop from here because you've just had affirmation, accidental or conscious, that what you're doing is good and worth replicating around the planet.

    On a financial view point, the Lily design in and of herself is important, but as you said yourself, it is a means to selling more yarn, and selling more yarn which is crocheted into your patterns will be the best promotion of you, Natural Dye Studio and the rest.

    There's a yogic story of a master who was given a drop of the elixir of life. Much to the horror of his students he ran immediately and threw it into the Ganges. The students stood by jaws wide open, stunned that the Master had thrown away the greatest opportunity to make money: imagine having a drop of elixir which pilgrims would pay to come and bow to. Millions of rupees had, to their eyes, literally just been thrown down the drain. The Master turned to them and said "it belongs to no one, the only way for it to survive is to be part of every drop of the sacred river." That is the level of understanding we all strive for.

    with love, blessings, gratitude
    Guru Kaur

    1. Guru

      thank you for your kind thought.
      You certainly have an interesting perspective on copying :-)
      I think you have made some very valid comments

      love amanda

  14. I understand your frustration Amanda. But no one can take away your inspiratin, hard work and beautiful creations. They are yours whatever will be done with it. But I certainly DO understand your feelings!
    Fortunately some of your friends have placed very valuable comments. I thank them for their wise words, since sometimes I too have to deal with "copycats" and I have learnt from them.
    So be angry, calm down, enjoy life and go on designing beautiful things, Amanda.
    Hope to see you in Cologne.

    Jo An

  15. Totally understand the annoyance and frustration with designs that seem to be copies.
    Just to show you that it is so very easy to find similar designs from different designers that you would think were copies or inspired by, I added your blog to my list of blogs to follow this morning, then started to take a look around, I also have a star pattern that is similar (I don't do charts) and then the triangle pattern appeared and my first thought was...that looks familiar, a design idea I started and never develeoped back in July last year but you could think it was copied or at least inspired by, so it does happen.... I am sure it wasn't though just a coincidence yet again.

    Having been in design all my working life now retired, I crochet for fun mostly, but do see an awful lot of what looks like copied designs on the web....personally I think the mathmatics of crochet is more likely to be the culprit, only so many ways of doing any one shape....colour choice may be copied, but again if colours are taken from similar sources we would all come up with similar ideas.

    Love your designs..the shapes combined with the colours as a whole make them yours so....
    Put it behind you and move on, because it can eat you up. I've been there done that, many times in my early days of designing.

    I came across your blog because I was looking at the Wonderwool Wales site, I am hoping to visit in April.
    Hope to say hello
    Sue x

  16. Out of curiosity i Googled crochet triangels to see what i got and found a post from 2007...we could both be accused of copying lol
    I had never seen the post before.
    Hugs Sue x

    1. Hi Sue

      My triangle motif is a very simple motif and I'm sure there are hundreds of variations of the same design.
      My triangle designs are focused on the colour and pattern rather than the motif its self.
      I designed my variation, but would never accuse anyone of copying it, it would be like accusing some one of copying the granny square motif - :-)


    2. You got very hard with crochet designs..a granny is a ganny is a granny.
      Good luck with all the shows
      Still hoping to make the Welsh show with a couple of friends
      Hugs Sue x