Exciting times! Patternfish is 24 days old today. We thought you'd be interested in finding out what's happened so far.
We already have hundreds of buying members from both hemispheres, and have sold hundreds of patterns not only to Canada and the United States but to Great Britain, Switzerland, Portugal, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, and Ireland as well. We have sold more individual patterns than we have members-- well done, everybody!
This delights us beyond measure. But all you dear faraway customers-- encourage your own designers to list with us too, so that North Americans can buy patterns from YOUR countries. Fair's fair. Who are you most proud of? We want to see their work and express our reciprocal appreciation.
Suggestions from customers have been invaluable, and sometimes embarrassing. It was a week before we actually thought to put "Contact Us" at the bottom of the screen; 'firstname.lastname@example.org' had always been present and worked, but we were wrong to assume everyone would know that. Ahem. Fixed.
Based on customer suggestions, we have added extra search criteria in the 'Advanced Search' function. You can now search by technique (intarsia, lace, fair isle, felted, modular, and so on) in addition to other new other categories.
Another customer worried that the original 5 minutes we had allotted for the initial download link was too short. Again, we had wrongly assumed that people would know that you could have as many tries at that as you need, and that the pattern lands up permanently in your pattern stash anyway... so we increased the download time from 5 to 30 minutes, and added extra information about the size of the file (so you might be able to guess how long downloading could take, based on your internet speed) and instructions on what to do if the link did run out (just click to get a new one). Thank you, concerned customer. You made the site better for everyone.
Actually we have added new clarifying text all over the site, and will continue to do so. Tell us what would help.
We have also changed to a new, better mail provider, since some of our initial membership signup emails were not being delivered. Signup should be much smoother now. But the possibility of our confirmation emails being held up in spam filters is always present; make sure you check them.
It's really important that we be able to email you, primarily because of letting you know about any errata that might be issued. Notifications of errata appear automatically if you go to your pattern stash-- you'll see if a new version of whatever PDF's you've already got is available to download-- but we'd also like to be able to email you personally if it happens. So try and make sure mail from patternfish.com is not held up in spam filters if you can.
The biggest single order we've had so far is 17 patterns at once. It was epic, we were thrilled, and we tell everybody we know. That's really something.
Heartfelt thanks to all of you who've bought, made suggestions, and told others about us. One darling customer even emailed to say "I've fallen in love with Patternfish" and enclosed a press release SHE had written to put in her guild's newsletter, so that we could make it available to others wanting to do the same thing! How humbling! So we'll have to post something like that soon.
But the very best thing of all is that so many of our customers are repeat customers. They buy once, then come back and buy again and again, secure and happy. Cheers. Thanks. Forward.
TNNA. Clara, Pam, Betsy, JoLene, Amy P., Edie, Tracy, Stacy, Jill, Susan, Kate, Courtney, Lisa, Robin, Veronik, Karma, Carol, Amy S., Jillian, Lucy, Diane, Joy, and on and on, I know I'm leaving out hundreds... new friends, old friends, overwhelming.
Then our blog commentors-- so kind, and encouraging, and I don't even know most of them; just strangers being wonderful.
Every single one of all these people said things like "you give me hope"; "wow"; "fantastic"; "it's about time"; "have you got..." (which sometimes we did, sometimes we didn't); and "this is so exciting!".
Which it is. And yet the curious thing is that none of it has happened in isolation. Had Amy Singer not founded knitty.com more than five years ago I don't know if we would exist. The Yarn Harlot fuels all of us, and has for a long time. The Twist Collective promises to be a smashing new addition to our intellectual internet arsenal (Yarn Arsenal-- why is this not yet a store?), guided by the unique and discerning eye of Kate Gilbert. Somehow there's a splendid atmosphere here in Canada, in whose climate all things knitting spring to life. See the Fall 2008 Vogue Knitting if you don't believe us.
Clara Parkes wrote a happy piece about us in Knitter's Review, which came out late Wednesday night. Thanks, Clara!
Some lovely people wrote in and requested patterns like "Cables From Hell" which was advertised in the 90's and came from Kapp Kitts of Sanborn, N.Y.
Now, can we not try and find out if outfits like Kapp Kitts are still around, and if they'd be willing to list their patterns with us? I'm sure the person who requested this really represents thousands of others in the same boat. Patternfishers (your staff) won't be able to devote all their time to it, but if there's something special you want, then let that company know that you want to buy their product in this venue.
The patterns that have started arriving from independent designers are a treat; well-photographed and imaginative beyond words. You'll see them all over the next few days.
Some improvements requested by avid blogmentors (commenters?) have already been implemented. This means you, Norsknitter. How about that! Keep 'em coming.
Welcome to Patternfish.
Our intention is to be the best site for selling pattern downloads in the world. Old, new, vintage, modern, independent, corporate, everything. All in one place, all as secure and beautiful and appealing as we can make it.
Please read the "About Buying and Selling" and FAQ pages to find out precise details about how we work. Apparently not everyone knows about Lightboxes; see "About Buying".
If freelancers are really good at designing, and love it, and want to do it full or part time, we think they should be able to make a fine (eventually, we hope, a wonderful) living at it. We want to see designers release whatever they want to make in their preferred yarn, at whatever point in whatever season or year. To publish their work in a beautiful, strong, effective venue that's advertised and promoted on their behalf, and treat them like movie stars— that's largely what Patternfish is for.
Happily, we can accomplish a lot of other things at the same time. We can make patterns from companies available all the time, anywhere, so that no store model is ever without the tool you need to sell that yarn (of this, more in a later post). We can show any company's designs around the world and include the unexpected in your search for— for example— DK children's things. We also want to honour the patterns of the past, to make them available to scholars or the just plain curious. These may often look dated or silly (not that we will ever have an editorial opinion about specifics). But somewhere, there's someone who was dreaming of just that very thing, and they'll make it and cherish it.
We are a civil site. For the nonce you can only comment on a pattern if you've bought it. Comment-wise, we encourage constructive ones. Meanspirited or nasty observations will likely be removed. Every pattern will be somebody's favourite and we know you'll respect their choices... and the right of every pattern to simply exist.
However, we love to laugh. Helen Gurley Brown said that you can say anything you want as long as you say it like a lady. We tend to agree. And we adore the kind of wit Spinal Tap's manager displayed when someone remarked that the band's sales were tanking; he said something haughty like, "our appeal is becoming more selective". If you can criticize in this velvety way, we are in awe. Teach us how by example once in a while.
We bow to our early adopters and first publishers, who trusted us with their precious intellectual property and believed in what we do. If you like this site, seek them out, thank them, and buy their patterns. They are Veronik Avery, Linda Benne-Finnie, Body-Grafix, Cabin Fever, Classic Elite Yarns, Elizabeth Fallone (Elizaknits), Barbara Gregory, Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton (Hamilton Design), Robin Hunter, Interpretations (Denise Powell), JCA Crafts (Reynolds, Artful Yarns, and Unger), Mags Kandis, Lanaknits Designs (hempforknitting), Ilga Leja, Maureen Mason-Jamieson (Kinver Beach Knit Design), Robin Melanson, Sally Melville, Naturally, Danny Ouellette, Perl Grey, the Thomas Ramsden Group (Robin, Wendy, Twilleys, Peter Pan, Waterwheel), Red Bird Knits (Robyn Gallimore), and Jane Thornley.
It's been a long wonderful slog these last few months putting all this together. We're going to take it a bit easier over the next few days and see what the response is, and fine-tune things. Then we (there are three Patternfishers) go to Columbus, Ohio for the TNNA trade show, where we look forward to meeting as many of you as we can. This is by way of saying that over the next week you shouldn't expect to see too many new patterns. We might need a bit of sleep first.
Next time we want to respond to comments and questions. Anyone?