Pattern stealing

Hi guys!! so today i wanted to talk about a controversial topic, everyone knows thats pattern stealing is really bad and shouldn’t be doing it. But i wanted ta make a little test and check where do you draw the line of what’s stealing and what’s inspiration

  1. Referencing a photo
  2. Taking parts from a couple pattern and free handing the rest (example: you’re making a gog plushie and you take the pattern for tail and ears from some different patterns but freehanding the rest)
  3. taking a part of a pattern and freehaning the rest
  4. joining a couple patterns and marking as your own
  5. taking the whole pattern and marking as your own

So let me know down below where do you think stealing starts, and also does the line change whether the pattern is free or not? I’d really love to hear your opinions :heart:


I draw the line at the first part of four. As long as you dont label it as tour own I dont care.


if you make sure to give credit, maybe it starts at number 4. if you DONT give credit, it starts at number 2.

but in my opinion, if you’re going to make a pattern, then just make it yourself (you can take inspo tho!)


I think 5 is the only one that’s stealing, but idk. Maybe give credit to other patterns?


For me, it’s mostly about if you credit the maker or not. Of course, if half or more the pattern is directly copied, that’s stealing. But if something if INSPIRED and credited, then I think it’s fine.


This is pretty interesting I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it, I don’t see how the topic is controversial though so no worries there, personally inspiration and directly taking from the pattern are very different to me

  1. No, since there wasn’t any look into the pattern there isn’t any pattern to steal from

  2. Depends, if you were to share/sell the pattern as your own with no permission/credit from the original designer(s) for using parts of their pattern then yes, but if it’s for personal use to make something then no

  3. Same as 2

  4. Yes, as someone worked to create the whole pattern that means taking from it is stealing, more stealing and combining shouldn’t be considered your own, however if given permission by the designer(s) then no

  5. Absolutely

I think it also depends on the laws involving copyright where you live, for the most part the crochet community follows the ethics/morals rather the law. For example in the U.S a designer only has copyright over the pattern and their photos they have no control over whether you can sell a make or not but some still say they can’t sell makes (while allowed by the law crafters usually listen since it’s ethical/moral), alternatively in other places copyright says designers do have control over that

Because of the differences I assume it’ll be different as well with parts of the pattern and whether it counts as stealing through the law rather than the ethics/moral of it, so I can’t say for sure what is truly considered stealing for patterns when the laws differ from place to place so it’s really interesting to see what others have to say both from a legal standpoint and their personal opinions :smile:


From a designer’s point of view: Personally when it comes to creating and selling patterns you should not look at others patterns, you should create your own design. If the person is unable to produce the product from scratch then in my opinion they are not ready to create their own patterns. Taking even just ‘parts’ from others patterns is incredibly lazy and overall unfair to the original designer who took their time to create the item. Mixing 2 patterns from other designers is also stealing and incredibly lazy. Same goes of course to stealing an entire pattern. In my opinion this applies to both free and paid patterns.

Inspiration in my opinion is regarding the design. If you like the idea of something that you saw (for example a mouse with a hat) and wanted to make one of your own, you would be inspired by their design and therefore should credit them within the description

So my advice is to not read and take parts from patterns etc to avoid any unfairness towards other creators :sparkles:


Absolutely number 2. If youre taling parts from other peoples patterns its not your pattern. Period. Especially if you are selling it.


Theres a fine line between knowingly using parts of others patterns, and getting inspiration from an idea.

For instance, you may have a cupcake pattern that ends up looking similar to another (the more generic the color and shape, the more likely it is to have an unknown twin). However, if you truly sat down, did the work yourself, and by happenstance is similar, its really not stealing.

Utilizing techniques you learn isnt stealing either.

The line comes when you knowingly pick parts and line for line reuse or amalgamize for your own pattern. Theres no reason to frankenstein parts, when using your own works feels more rewarding and more authentic. Granted, for amigurumi, there are only so many shapes and stitches achieveable.

Therefore, as mentioned above, the more generic the shape, the more open it is to having a twin. It happens a lot with no sew patterns i find.


I think I might be a little funny about what I would call stealing… My morals may be a bit extreme?

But I personally try really hard to not use other crochet pieces as inspiration. I personally am able to replicate most pieces that I see pretty easily. So for me seeing another person’s finished piece and drawing “inspo” from it… It feels too much like replicating it for me to feel comfortable using it as inspo. I personally draw inspo from clay artist, digital artist, animated shorts and movies (all the previous, I like to see how they simplify shapes), then I take my understanding of those simplified shapes and make my own sketches in my style.

To me, writting a pattern to make it look like another creator’s pattern, is stealing an idea at the very least. If the pattern already is available, why copy the idea in the first place?

But I am also aware that, there are only so many sts that you can use in a certain order to achieve the same generic shape. Like, a circle, a tube, a cone, square, triangle, etc; they’re all easy and follow the same pattern - so there’s nothing you can do about that.

I think the only pattern I’ve ever used parts of (off the top of my head) was complicated knots (youtube) fidget slug. I used like first 3?4? rounds as my starting face for my banana slug (magic ring, incs, and bbl placement); but the rest, all me.

I’ve used techniques I’ve learned from other patterns, but I don’t actually used the patterns. A lot of the times they won’t fit my pattern.

I personally think that used multiple different parts of many patterns, and saying that its yours is too far. I would rather tag each individual creator and say what patterns of their pattern was used.

So for me, I think all the list has the potential to be stealing. The only leeway I think there is, the parts you’re using, like if they are generic shapes, that’s just common knowledge of how to make those shapes.


I have my various reasons on talking about such topics, but this one in particular is definitely worth speaking about. I also just want to point out that theres so many patterns out there that are similar, or have the same idea, and some are hard to find the original concept/creators idea of the pattern, so it all depends on how you look at it. Of course its not okay to take a pattern (especially it being free) and trying to sell it off for profit, because that’s definitely where it gets wrong there. But I can understand the amount of concern for everyone. I myself, only have free patterns out there, so I’m at a huge risk of getting my patterns stolen or sold for profit. But thats my choice, and theres not much I can do about it if it happens. I think that designers just need to be mindful about the risks, but theres a lot of benefit to it as well.

Overall, its just really sad in general that people will take and steal peoples original work that takes so much time and effort to come up with and complete.


For me, 2,3,4 and 5 are stealing, you should just make it all yourself. And it is the same thing whether it is a free pattern or not.

The number 1 is more complicated, because creations influence other creations, and sometimes people make something from a design that is not crochet. Or there are patterns that are so commonly made that they don’t really belong to someone anymore (like the bees, cows etc.)

I think if you make a pattern, you should not reference a photo from someone else’s pattern, but create your own design. Maybe you can look at what’s generally made to get inspired, but not copy someone else’s design.


As a designer, I have in my copyright statement that my pattern can not be reproduced, in part or in whole. Meaning taking part of my pattern and copying it into yours, credit or not, is stealing!
I agree with others stating that the more generic shape you have the easier it is to have others that look like yours, but purposefully taking parts of a pattern to add to other patterns or your own ideas is stealing.
Number 1 is a little trickier, as you didn’t read the pattern to copy it, BUT reverse engineering is still immoral, in my opinion. You didn’t have the idea on your own, you used someone else’s idea and figured out how to make it without paying the designer. If you are doing it for your own personal use (not selling the final object or the pattern), it is a little less immoral, but I still feel the designer earned to be paid for the pattern


All of the pattern. That is yours and you should be the one that gets all of the credit.


Thanks for making a post about this, I think lots of people need to know the difference between creating and stealing a pattern. Here is my personal opinion on the topic:

  1. I think it’s great to use someone’s work as a reference, but you may want to give the designer some credit. You didn’t actually see the written pattern, but their work gave you inspiration. If you use someone else’s idea, at least change it up a little to make it your own. For example, when I made my diglett Pokémon pattern, I did look at some similar patterns, but I shaped the nose a bit differently, I made it shorter, and used different techniques than the ones I saw.
  2. I think it depends on how big or detailed the parts are. If it is something simple like an animals ear, you probably don’t need to give as much credit as you would to a whole dragon’s tail, or something like that. But still, that part was someone else’s idea, and they deserve credit.
  3. Pretty much the same as 2.
  4. If you don’t give any credit to the pattern owners, I would definitely consider that as stealing. You didn’t create anything original, so why should you call it yours?
  5. Taking a whole pattern is definitely stealing, whether you give them credit or not.
    As you can see, most of it depends on whether or not you credit the pattern owners, however there are some clear lines. I hope this will be helpful to someone!

Not sure we need a copyright statement to make it wrong to copy. Whether it is the pattern or a picture of the make. Sadly we are seeing way too much of it.

I disagree on the statement about crediting the original designer for the idea making it ok. I see pictures online or something in real life and create a pattern. Not another pattern.

But, knowing this happens is why I never share my (original) ideas before they go live.


You don’t need it. Many, myself included, add it just to remind people and to have an extra leg to stand on in case it’s needed


I mean when I make something from scratch, I use basic shapes that I’ve learned from making things. There are just so many ways to make a shape in crochet, like a ball shape is going to resemble someone else’s ball shape in the pattern, and each bunny or bear will have similarities because of that. I don’t copy patterns. If I find out I bought a pirated item, I won’t use it until I buy the original even though I paid for it. I completely understand when people get upset when people steal their pattern verbatim, but if someone is using the same basic shape, it seems like you can’t really get upset if there are some pieces that are similar… a bear’s ear is shaped a certain way or whatever. I won’t pull from another pattern but might accidentally end up similar or same even just trying to get the same critter or a basic granny square or a hat since our head sizes are the same.


1- i think referencing a photo is fine as long as its for inspiration, not for copying
For clarity on what i mean. inspiration not being, “i like this flower frog, i should make a flower frog”. more like, “i like this flower frog, maybe i should add some plants to my amigurumi”

2- it has to be a small part, like everyone learned how to make a sphere from another pattern, u dont reinvent it, as you follow more patterns, you learn more parts that work for your project.
Its unrealistic to expect your pattern to be 100% unique, you had to learn everything from somewhere else
I feel like people dont realize just how much of their patterns are learned through others. Take my pierogi pattern for example: at some point i learned how to make a circle, i didnt invent that. I also learned how to crochet pieces together to make no sew joins. And making frills were one of the first things i learned when making clothes for my toys years ago.

3-4- for personal use, not pattern designing and selling (doesnt change if its free)

5- NO


The most fundamental element of design is to bring your OWN skill and creativity to the table. What do you do best? What do you like making the most? What do you wish existed that doesn’t? What unique influences can you draw on? How can you take it to the next level or make something new rather than regurgitating the work of others? It can take a while to figure this out, and most artists continue to grow and evolve throughout their lives.

What’s the controversy? Assuming you’re talking about “taking/borrowing” (stealing) from other’s designs without permission to make patterns to pass off as your own original work (and not just making things for your own use and amusement), the entire list is copyright infringement and theft. Splitting it into levels is just haggling about the level of theft of someone else’s work. Saying where you stole something from doesn’t excuse theft if you don’t have permission from the designer.

I’m an advanced crocheter and I could duplicate just about any design and sell it if I wanted to simply by “referencing” a photo of someone else’s design for “inspiration” or counting stitches and rows, but I would NEVER do that when creating a pattern. It doesn’t matter if a pattern is free or paid. I always start with my own idea or inspiration from the real world or other media.

As others mentioned, many designs and shapes are similar. There are only so many ways to crochet a strawberry, turtle, cow, etc. so some resemblance is unavoidable, but if a designer can’t write the entire pattern on their own, they need to hone their craft until they can. Passing off a mashup pattern as original is unacceptable.