A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Born to Fly


How do I wait for heaven?

Who has that much time?

How do I keep my feet on the ground…

When I know that I was born…to fly, yeah.

My inspiration today is from eleven-year-old Jaden Carlson, a nice little hit off her new CD Born to Fly.

This little mind will not be tamed and subdued by misfortune.  I will rise above ’em.

The truth is every single thing has a beginning, middle and end. The key to a joyful life is having the faith to hang on tight to hope, even when the end doesn’t seem to be anywhere in sight.  My greatest glory is not in never failing, but, in rising up every time I fail.

And this time, I have succeeded…in reverse-engineering/created my very own birdwing, inspired by Stephen West’s design released in 2010.

I don’t always want to be trendy and to look like Crowd Member No. 75.   Thus, cabling was added in a portion of the wings–towards the tips–to imitate feathers.

When I go to a restaurant and my husband or children really like something, I’d give it a go in the kitchen sometime at home.  What I won’t do is take some of it home in a doggy bag and start to analyse it and break it done into its component part as far as how much seasoning and which cut of meat was used.  The same idea should stand for reverse engineering fiber arts/knitted goods in that I gain an inspiration from something and set out to knit myself something similar.  I see a hat in a passing and take a mental note of its most endearing qualities, but, I don’t nick it off the passersby’s head and run away with it ’til I’ve counted the rows and stitches and marked down where the decreases lie.

Isn’t it easier to just purchase the pattern?

I love to put my knowledge and skill to use and challenge myself 90% of the time.  Rather than “copying,”, I take rather the “inspiring” angle.  Yet, each time I venture into reverse engineering play, I always question:  Is it unethical to directly copy someone else’s original design, taking measurements and specifications of my desired project, and create my own with a similar design to gift–or even sell the knitted items for profit–depriving someone of rightfully-earned income?

It’s a good feeling when I can replicate a design and turn it my own with added personal touches.

If making profit out of the reversed engineering goods is unethical, what about this?  I knit samples regularly for yarn shops and am compensated for ’em in U.S. currency or yarn.   The patterns are always “copies.”  Yes, the shop has the official” patterns, but, they are for sale…and eventually be gone.  At some point, the knitted/crocheted samples would be for sale too once the marketing value has been depleted.  That seems to be ethically acceptable by all, though?

After the Oscars each year–within a week–there are Vera Wang and Versaci knock-offs intentionally designed to be as close to the original as possible.  Shows are produced and aired on public television showing the original and the copy side-by-side…same color, same design, cheaper materials…obviously intended to be an affordable replica for the masses.  Garments are then sold. They were designed to be sold, to purchase the knock-off, instead of purchasing the expensive original.

There are inexpensive knock-off perfumes, designed to smell as close to the high-priced original as possible for sale in every drugstore in America.  The name subtly changed and in print on the box is a reference to being similar to or inspired by which I suspect is there not to give credit, but, so you know which one to buy.  Now, if corporate America is able to do that, then why, for heaven’s sake if I see a sweater in a magazine, write my own pattern, and admittedly my own (not a stitch-counted version) am I not able to sell or distribute the pattern or even sell the item particularly if I add…inspired by…or based on…and credit the original designer?

I can see some of you are already getting upset.  I’m sorry.  I agree that, if a pattern is for sale and is available, then it should be illegal to intentionally copy that specific pattern for the purpose to sell it myself.  However, reverse engineering…similar product, same measurements, different materials, same basic design, not really seeing a problem.  A size 34 is still a size 34, I ain’t going to be able to make that different.  Just look at automobiles, all manufacturers are reverse engineering parts.   It’s why when I go to buy a replacement part, I can choose between my dealers.  It’s why Chevy and Ford pick-up trucks look similar.

That being said, don’t worry, if I attempt your shawl pattern or in some child-induced sleep deprivation craze attempt your felted art piece, you are not going to see me reverse engineering it and sell it.  I do love designing and playing.  Someday, I will put my own work out.  I digress.  Question of the day.  Is examining images or counting stitches, to purposefully replicate an item, over the line…or not?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

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Comments on: "Born to Fly" (5)

  1. Are you the nice person who’s been putting knitting on some of the fixtures at Old Mill?

  2. You AND your dynamic Bird Wings are such a breath of fresh air. I would love to hunker with you sometime and talk about all of this you posted. But I think in the age of ‘Indie design” pretty much is radically different and evolved from the day where artists had to hope for luck and to be given a chance by the big companies (record, design, anything) . SO congratulations Sarah !!! I love your design. Where can I purchase it ??? 🙂

    • Absolutely…we will chat ’til the day ends and well into the morning sun, sista!

      Go to Stephen’s site for the pattern. I won’t want to take his money away. This was inspired by his idea and I just so happened to “borrow” and ran with it 😀 Thank you though my sweet, undying cheerleader. 😀

  3. Your birdwing shawl takes my breath away! What a talented knitter, that you could look, be inspired, and knit it, and of all the projects on Rav I’ve seen, yours is far and away my favorite.

    I love and totally agree with your thoughts here. Knit on!

    • Thank you for your kind words. Not sure if it’s “talent.” In my case, it’s more like I have a trying time staying focus, following line-by-line instructions. It’s much easier to make my own. Thank goodness my father-in-law likes this. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know what I’d have done then.

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