Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Of Copyrights and Knitters

Much has been said on the net about knitting and copyrights (and -wrongs). Much has been said about SWMNBN's approach to the knitting galaxy, many denizens of which admire, nay even love her. It has been chronicled very carefully here. And of course the late-breaking tale of plagiarized patterns: read about it here. Well, tell me what do you think of these?

The photo on the left (please excuse the glare from my flash) is the cover of Patricia Roberts Knitting Book; 1981, W. H. Allen, ISBN: 0-491-02635-8, which I just received today from a fellow Knitswap member. The photo below is the cover of a new knitting book for those allergic to wool or for those who want to explore the world of non-wool fibers for knitting. Both feature nude (or so they want you to think) young women artfully disguised by their knitting (yes the young lady on the PR cover wears socks; I'm sure the floor is quite cold). Both feature nearly 3/4 profiles (not full-face) of the respective models, both feature colorwork knitting (but not Fair Isle!, nor intarsia with bobbins). Is it wild coincidence? Is it a case of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery? Or are we about to see more knitting books featuring nudes on the cover hiding behind their knitting? If so, can we get some variety in the knitting? Daring lace (LOL), really nice Aran cables (would keep the models quite warm), an intriguing Fair Isle?


fleegle said...

I think publishers love to be "inspired" by earlier work. If it worked once, maybe it will work again.

By the way, did you know that you cannot copyright a book title? That was decided many years ago...how may ways can you say "Introduction to Chemistry?"

On the subject of American design, I frankly think that American publishers are afraid of scaring off knitters with designs they consider too complicated or "fussy."

I have lots of patterns from the '70s that are timeless and handsome. I don't think I've seen a sweater pattern made in the last ten years that I wanted to bother with knitting.

And I am not sure you can run to me for help with the Japanese, but I will surely try my best to figure out whatever is confusing.

BB said...

But is it a copyright violation vis-a-vis the photo?

Good point about titles, even fiction books have the same titles.

In the past decade I'd have to count the last Starmore and check the date on a Pat Roberts sweater that was in VK. Oh and the Jamieson shetland books; there are some nice designs there. So designers would rather bore adventurous knitters? They won't be selling me their books any time soon. The last American patterns (note - just patterns) I bought were for shawls and socks. I stopped getting the magazines a few years ago when the designs were so awful imo. I buy older books that appeal. right now I'm after Christian de Falbe. Remember him? Wonder why he stopped designing. He did entrelac designs to-die-for. I think he's Belgian.

For me, one of the big challenges of the Japanese patterns is resizing sweaters, since I am not petite (ahem). My inclination for some of them is to go to a thicker yarn and check gauge. You are so far on your shawls, you must be able to decipher the patterns pretty well. Me, I just swatched the Bavarian panels for Am Kamin for daughter #2, who then decided she wasn't in the mood for purple. After I bought 10 balls of amethyst Jaeger wool-alpaca. From England. with shipping. **teenagers**

fleegle said...

No, sorry. Only English.

Dear Fleegle,
Forgot to ask, is this book bi-lingual (1 page japanese, facing page english)? would be so nice.

fleegle said...

So designers would rather bore adventurous knitters...

No, it's just that they are designning for the ever-present non-adventurous knitter. Let's face it, lots of folks would be scared off if the pattern were too complicated.
They sell more books by dumbing down the patterns, I think.