Techo-Bug Baby Dragon

Highway 16 Cowl in its first launch onto Ravelry

Most of you will have realised that my knitting patterns are free. 

All of them are tested and two are professionally tech-edited.

One of them is due a re-write soon. I do this regularly anyway, and always after feedback.

Charging for patterns is a simple technological problem for me due to Tax Regulations overseas; Ethically I have no problem with Tax, but the system put in place for e-sales into the EU does not give me any confidence. I did research the whole process and it seemed simple enough but at the back of it all were the three monsters - The Fear of Being Audited By HMRC, The Need For Fast, Reliable Broadband, and Global Time Differences.

I have had enough experience with Government Departments to know that you need to have sufficient evidence for your defence and a willingness to work with whatever requests and impositions are put on you. Being audited by the Inland Revenue Department is scary and it's in your best interests not to invite suspicion. 

Fast, Reliable Broadband on the outer edge of Auckland City is a myth, a desirable and coveted aspiration perhaps. 

....and lastly, Global Time Differences for me here in NZ mean delays and waiting up at night to make a futile overseas phone call to a call-centre that is closed.

So, the decision to keep my life simple meant not charging for patterns.


-that does not mean the monsters are all appeased. I still have another one, a baby monster if you like, a playful dragon who roars and charges around occasionally through the back of Ravelry, Scribd and Blogspot chewing through links and nudging pages off their URL.

Me in the Highway 16 Lace Cowl hiding from the Techo-Bug Dragon
I use Blogspot for my web-page because it is free and it carries graphics and text reasonably well. I use Ravelry for display as it is free, perfect for knitters and formats information beautifully. I use Scribd for hosting my patterns because it is free and I can load large files there. To make all three sites hold hands, I have to point the links from Ravelry and Blogspot onto Scribd. Most of the time these web-sites all play nicely, but it doesn't take much before the baby Techo-Bug Dragon stomps around waving his head and tail knocking things over.

It's when they fall over that I generally start getting messages from knitters. I am eternally grateful for the patience of these people...and again, Gobal Time Differences come into the mix so delays abound. 

Whether it was wisdom or common sense or whether moving up a technological notch was just going to be too much for me to handle, I am relieved that the worry of pleasing paying customers by selling downloads of patterns never became a thing. I can relax knowing that "Free" means "I am willing to share so long as you know that this web-site is not a Hot-Shot Slick Techo thang!"'s a humble little venture and I am learning as I go along.

Highway16 Cowl without the Tech-Bug Dragon
So if you ever have trouble reaching the relevant sites I can send the file to you personally....have done that a few times already.

I do not want to move from free and accessible sites but it may be necessary if you and I are constantly being let down.

The pattern above (and down-loadable from the side-bar) was the latest to suffer from the Dragon Baby Tech-Bugs. It's still a popular one. I still wear the sample and it's a good entry into lace-knitting.

Please take care,


Fiona MacBride

Tin Shed Yarns