Thinking About The Future

KW_photo00For the past eight years or so, we've enjoyed a surge in quality indie designers offering amazing patterns for us to download. A digital revolution has changed crafting completely: knitters (and crocheters) came out as the winners because we suddenly had all these fantastic designers at our disposal with just one click of a button. From Ysolda Teague & Stephen West to Kate Davies & Gudrun Johnston, many designers started with a single pattern and gradually started growing as designers and businesses. I don't know if you know, but the knitting & crochet community is going through a bit of a sea-change at the minute. Making that same journey is going to be awfully hard in years to come and the real losers are the knitters and crocheters.

It's a dull and technical thing, really. The EU is changing laws about digital sales (in an attempt to stop Big Business from dodging taxes) but the UK is implementing the laws in a way that's very damaging to small sole traders (if you want to learn more, Woolly Wormhead has written extensively about it).

Digital downloads have changed the knitting industry forever but incoming legislation will complicate things immensely. The knitting community I love and treasure so much will now become an bit of a gated community for many aspiring designers. It worries me and saddens me because I am a firm believer in diversity and innovation.

On a tangentially related note,  I found this essay by an American indie rock band interesting. They talk about the realities of going on tour and how they are "making it" rather than "having made it". Sometimes it really hits you hard when you realise how much daily grinding is involved in creatives trying to make a reality of their dreams and talents.

Me? I wrote an article for Wovember about the relationship between sheep, wool and designer. Because that is where I am at and that is what I do.

ETA: I write this from a UK perspective because that is where I live. However, these law changes affect anyone who sells digitally online to EU customers - even designers living in Australia, the US or Easter Island.