Making Things (the app)

Update to this Blog post | Added March 2019

I chose to withdraw my patterns from the Making Things platform, having listened to the stories of designers choosing to leave MT over issues of representation and inclusion, and seeing many designers and subscribers withdraw over this controversy. The platform quite suddenly became too small, and it lacked the diversity and community I felt was necessary for it to thrive and continue to be a place where I could meaningfully contribute.   

I have preserved the original post below but have deactivated the links and removed details surrounding the patterns I had intended to host on the Making Things platform. It remains an example of the hopes I had for this new platform in the knit and crochet marketplace. I am still committed to taking risks with my business and to finding opportunities to engage in a vibrant and supportive community, one where the voices of all are heard and actively engaged.

Dec 31, 2018 - As you may have already seen on my Instagram feed, something new has arrived in the knit and crochet world that I am super excited about: we have an opportunity to make our favorite things in a whole new way with the Making Things app! I’ve joined this platform as a launch designer, which means my Spout patterns are available to subscribers. I think it’s a fantastic new option for designers and knitters, and I encourage you to check it out and consider joining this making community.

What is it? The creators are describing Making Things as knit and crochet patterns meets Netflix. It’s a growing resource of designer patterns that are open and accessible to all monthly subscribers. That means you can read and work on anything without purchasing a single individual pattern. Cool, right? I really like the idea of browsing and choosing what to make in this way. It’s also a curated collection, so all the patterns are of the highest quality, tech edited, tested and professionally photographed. The entire pattern library is a super selection of beautiful things, so you don’t waste any time searching and browsing through all the mediocre options on other sites. I think of it like the choice I make in all my shopping: I want a quality experience that is convenient and easy and gives me the best possible options.

And there’s a whole lot more to Making Things! All the patterns are made to be totally interactive with nifty tech tools. You can highlight, mark row progress, make notes, keep track of several repeats at a time, and even reach out to online help 24/7. It’s like having a knit tutor with every project. They’ve made a video library of tutorials to watch too. You can get live help and video demonstrations all on this site, without needing to browse around in Google or wait to meet up with help at your local yarn shop. This experience is meant to make your personal knitting time more enjoyable and stress free. Help is with you all the time, anywhere.

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It’s a new way of thinking about your knitting pattern library, that’s for sure. You might still purchase a pattern now and then. (There are some favorite designers of yours that don’t participate on Making Things, let’s say). But being a subscriber to MT means you will have a growing collection of patterns and resources available to you. More and more designers are getting on board. And you are going to see designers that you’ve never noticed before, on Ravelry, for example. On that site, the popular patterns are always put in front of you first. Emerging designers don’t get exposure and miss getting seen unless you really work hard to find them, by changing the search functions on that platform. For the most part, the popular designers stay popular. The most viewed patterns continue to get the most views.

This is why I’m really excited to be included from the beginning in the Making Things community. As an emerging designer with a smaller body of work I especially want to be noticed and have knitters try out my patterns. Making Things gives me a platform where the visibility is equally shared among all the designers. They also suggest my patterns to users based on their preferences and things they are already making. More knitters looking at Spout patterns and seeing the quality of my work means more growth for me.

The Making Things team is taking a fresh approach to designer compensation. The subscription fees are shared among the business making and servicing the product, and the designers providing the patterns for users. It’s definitely a risk for me to give up potential individual pattern sales and make my work totally available to all the knitters of Making Things! MT reformats my patterns in an interactive digital form that is only accessible on the site, and in return I get paid if knitters choose to make any of my patterns. MT is committed to sharing half of all the subscriber fees among all the designers. As you make things on the platform you are actively supporting everyone. We are all in it together! It’s the cooperative relationship that the makers of MT want to foster that has me so excited to be included.

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Adam Boelkins