Until this past Saturday, our official line on printing copies of Knitty patterns was pretty strict for LYSs. Only the customer could print their copy, and only on their own computer. Well, times have changed. I know of many, many LYSs that have a dedicated internet workstation for their customers, and some have that workstation attached to a printer. So I decided it was time to update our rules. We hope this will please many of you…we think it will!
As of June 1, 2013, we are officially encouraging yarn shops to let customers print their own patterns on shop premises! We have heard that some customers are not familiar enough with the internet, or are too eager to get started, to have to wait till they get home to print out a Knitty pattern, and a yarn sale might be lost. Since one of our goals at Knitty is to support the Local Yarn Shop, a lost sale for an LYS is something we want to help avoid. So whether you allow a customer access to your own computer/printer or provide a workstation for customer use, both methods are officially approved by Knitty, effective immediately. Charging in any way for this service, however, is not permitted. We feel this is a fair compromise that works to benefit everyone in the knitting community.
This still means the knitter is printing their own copy. They just don’t have to wait till they get home (or get someone who understands the internet to do it for them). We hope it means more happy knitters, happy LYS owners and that makes us happy, too.
Why can’t LYS owners charge for this privilege? Because that’s exchanging money for a Knitty pattern, even if it’s just to cover the paper and ink. That’s still not okay and never will be. LYSs can set their own rules — like a free printout if you buy the yarn to go with the project. That’s totally up to them. We don’t want people taking advantage and printing out pages and pages, and then just saying “toodeloo!” (But knitters are better people than that, aren’t they?) If a knitter wants to keep track of a Knitty pattern to browse at home, suggest they add it to their favorites on Ravelry, perhaps?
Feel free to spread the word about this change. If anyone gives you a tough time, you can point them to the official LYS FAQ page on Knitty, which also includes much of the information in this blog post.
Long live the LYS!