We all love to find free patterns; especially when we are in awe of the beauty and sometimes simplicity of those patterns. Unfortunately, and all too often, I receive emails from my cherished readers, asking what happened to a particular pattern which they've always been able to find at the BellaOnline crochet site, but no longer exist there.
First, I'd like to explain where these patterns come from and how we acquire them for the BellaOnline crochet site and can offer them, to our valued readers, for free. There are a number of ways in which I acquire patterns for my crochet site. One way is that I might design a pattern and put it on one of my personal web sites and share a link to that pattern via BellaOnline. I haven't been doing that much lately, due to the fact that I'm working on publishing some books which will incorporate many of those patterns. Once I've decided which patterns I'll use in the book, I can then turn loose of some of the other patterns to share here. Another source for free patterns is that another designer will contact me and request that I share a link to their site on BellaOnline. All too often, these persons will share a small handful of free patterns, but the bulk of their patterns are for sale and, to these designers, to have a link to their all-too-few free patterns is a tremendous and free source of advertising if done through BellaOnline. And, the site owner has requested that we watch these requests carefully and to try to refrain from sending our readers to sources away from BellaOnline. All too often, I've found that many of those designers will receive a large following from our very own readers and then will pull their free patterns from their site, or will change the link or in some other way remove access to any free patterns.
There are also those designers who offer a large amount of free patterns. Sometimes, after a long time of supporting them and offering them our free advertising, they decide to reclaim their offering and may offer these "once free" patterns into a book for sale and thus, are no longer free to our readers.
While I thoroughly understand the frustration and disappointment of my readers, we also must respect the rights of the designers. BellaOnline respects the copyrights and talents of the pattern designers and is one of the few web sites which will not lay claim to a pattern just because it is offered free of use. When the designer desides (for whatever reason) that they no longer want to offer access to their free patterns, we at BellaOnline hold no claim to the work they've spent into designing those patterns. They are free to reclaim them at anytime and with no questions asked.
And, while this may seem unfair to our readers, it should also offer comfort to know that should you design a pattern and work out some agreement with one of the editors, you can feel safe to know that if and when you decide to reclaim your pattern, BellaOnline will not lay claim or ownership to such pattern.
So, what can we (as a team) do to help keep patterns free and not be frustrated by having broken links, etc? The main thing is to communicate. If you see a broken link at the BellaOnline crochet site, the first thing you can do is to contact me via the email link on the crochet sites main page. Let me know the URL of the broken link, the name of the pattern and any further information you can think of. Quite often, I can fix the broken link. And, sometimes, I can find another pattern similar to (if not exactly like) the pattern you're looking for. Sometimes, if I have a picture, and I have the time, I'll design a pattern similar to what you're looking for.
So, let's work together by communicating about anything that might need fixed, changed, found, designed, etc on our crochet site, where we're attempting to keep free patterns up; where crocheters of various skill levels can have an enjoyable experience finding patterns their looking for.