a tale of two hats & some mystical mojo
When I was in high school, I had a BFF named Carma. Yes, that's the correct spelling and, yes, her parents were probably hippies, lol. Despite her unusual name, Carma was a wonderful friend; bright, funny and down-to-earth. Today, however, I'm feeling particularly friendly with the other Karma.
Here's what happened...
If you've been reading the baa baa blog, you know that, recently, I encountered some pretty serious copyright violations. In one instance, one of my PDF files was lifted directly from my website and misused by another.
In order to help protect my work, I decided to move all my patterns to Ravelry, and to charge a fair price for them. To help ease the transition, I decided to give each pattern away for free for a few days, so knitters would have time to adjust.
It was a tedious, but necessary, process that required me to undo countless hours of website set-up and editing. To help take the sting out of all the extra work, I "cognitively reframed" it as an important lesson in my budding design career. Yes, I really did that. And, yes, it really helped :)
Fast forward to September 26th and, finally, I'd finished all the back-end details and was ready to re-publish two patterns: The Glen Abbey Hat & The Elm Road Hat. I went into my Ravelry shop, set phasers to "free", then went to bed.
The next morning, all knitty hell had broken loose...in the best, most wonderful, most surprising way possible. I awoke to find The Glen Abbey Hat & The Elm Road Hat occupying the top two spots on Ravelry's Hot Right Now Top 20!
For me, this was the knitty equivalent of having my name in lights. Suddenly, I could imagine knitters around the world asking, "Who the heck is this Alexis Adrienne person?". I even got a 'congratulations' e-mail from a local yarn store that had never been particularly warm or welcoming to me (actually, that might have been more weird than wonderful).
And all of that was great; I was very grateful for the recognition. But a girl's gotta eat. Once the flurry of free downloads was over, I had to wonder, would I really, tangibly, be any further ahead? Happily, it turns out, YES! After all that positive exposure, knitters actually started purchasing my patterns. Can I get a Hallelujah?!
Isn't it ironic that after years of hard work, planning, and strategizing, it took a reactionary move to propel me forwards? I mean, if that blatant misuse of my pattern file hadn't happened, I never would have felt so deeply betrayed, never would have been moved to protect my work and assert my right to fair compensation, and never would have had the same sudden audience for my patterns, or the resulting sales.
Karma is normally known for her more bitchy qualities; payback for slimey, icky behaviour. But when you're on the kind end of things, when you're trying to do good in the world with an honest, open heart, it turns out Karma really can be a girl's best friend!
I'm Alexis, the knitter/designer behind cold comfort knits. My favourite animal is a sheep (obvi). My primary knitting fuel is coffee. And my inner child is actually an inner senior-citizen.