Monday, December 20, 2004

Is it just me?

Since I've started offering free patterns and even more now that I have a blog, I've noticed a certain unattractive trend. Now, don't get me wrong, I love getting mail from people. I enjoy discussing knitting with folks. I certainly don't mind when people ask me questions about my blog, patterns or puppy, but I'm distressed by a fairly regular stream of emails.

There are two types in particular:

Firstly, I get a great many emails from people asking me for highly specific patterns. Someone might write and say something along the lines of "I'm looking for a bathing suit pattern for a six year old girl using chunky yarn on number 13 needles. It cannot have any left leaning decreases."
These people will sometimes close with: "Do you have a pattern like that?"

Secondly, people will contact me, out of the blue, having never spoken to me. They'll email a photo of something they like and ask me to tell them how to knit it.

Now, neither of these requests is, in and of themselves, objectionable, but I find it frustrating that folks make no attempt to know me before presuming I'll give them these free services. It feels to me like there are many people who don't want to take the time to look around for patterns on their own and they'll simple search for a few minutes then email the owner of the last free pattern site they went to.

There was a time when I would spend an hour or more writing up a custom pattern for people to accommodate their request. More often than not, I would not receive a response. When I started feeling a little tired of that, I would spend my time using google to look for free patterns that fit their request. Still, no response. At this point, I've started to feel that it isn't worth my time to help strangers because they don't value the effort I put in. This is an unpleasant feeling and not the person I like to be.

Keep in mind, this is not to disparage any of the lovely people with whom I have occasional or frequent correspondences. This blog has helped me meet some of the nicest folks and the goodwill between us is a joy. What I don't care for is feeling that the fact that I offer free content means strangers are entitled to more.

I'm wondering if others of you out there have this same experience? For me, it's not so much the request in and of itself but the fact that a person would not feel it worth their time to even acknowledge the effort put in and thank me. I may be taking this all too seriously, but I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

In knitting news, I've been working a little on my "mindless knitting" which has languished while my time has been in short supply. Of course, the weather has been in the 80s so I've needed a scarf like I need a boot to the head, but it'll be nice to have a simple ribbed scarf when it's finally complete.

I actually have some thoughts on making it less simple. I'm not sure what I want to do with it, but it will be something properly Marnie-esque. I have one more ball of the mohair blend which would give it a great length but I may save some of it for end treatments. We'll see.


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Marnie Talks

A blog devoted mostly to my knitting and crocheting, but occasionally just there so I can hear myself type.