This collection of weaving charts, Piglet’s Portfolio of Priceless Potholder Patterns, is the work of Piglet Evans and Matthew Simon Cavalletto.
Available for Free
All of the material in this collection is available to everyone for free under an “open culture” license.
This means that you can use these charts to weave as many potholders as you’d like to use, gift or sell, at no cost and without limitation.
It also means that you can print out these charts, make copies of them, give them to your friends, use them as classroom materials, share them online, combine elements of these charts with techniques from other sources, modify them to create your own versions, and so forth.
The Creative Commons CC-By-SA license imposes only two limitations on your use of this material:
• If you share these charts, we ask you to provide attribution, either by mentioning our names or including a link to our website; this is taken care of automatically if you print or share complete pages without trimming off the footer that appears at the bottom with the link to potholders.piglet.org.
• If you bundle these charts into a new collection, by publishing them in a book, web site, or other medium, we ask that you make that collection available to others under the same “sharing-friendly” license terms as we’ve used here.
Open Culture and the Fiber Arts
While we understand the factors that drive some people to try to guard or monopolize their creations via claims of copyright, trademark, and various types of moral right, we have chosen a different approach, as outlined above, and we encourage others to consider doing this as well.
As a matter of United States law, basic techniques for “the design of a useful article” such as potholders are not protected by copyright, and many weaving patterns (including some in this collection) are so old and widespread that they are part of the public domain; on the other hand, some decorative designs as well as the specific words or photographs used to illustrate a pattern in a book or website are implicitly covered by such protection. The boundary between these categories can be difficult to discern, and endless hours have been spent arguing about whether various items should be considered copies of others, or which kinds of sharing each item should allow.
Thankfully, creators may simplify such questions by releasing their original works under an open culture license.
As a matter of principle, it seems to us that the whole universe of fiber arts is built on millenia of people learning techniques from each other, and then combining and reusing and adapting them. Making things out of string is one of the most fundamental developments of human history — our shared patrimony as a species, stretching back a thousand generations to the Paleolithic era — and after all of that time, to suddenly declare that a certain pattern of strings, or a certain pairing of colors, is uniquely your creation seems profoundly misguided; at heart, these crafts belong to us all.