Archive - Dec 14, 2005 - Forum topic

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What is the difference between inspiration and imitation?

What is the difference between imitation and inspiration? I wonder this as I am currently working on a scarf that I have "designed" in that I took a stitch found in Nicky Epstein’s Knitting on the Edge and put it in a scarf. It is hardly a leap of imagination. Regardless, when I wear this scarf into my LYS and the nice ladies there ask me where I got the pattern, can I say I designed it, or should I say I got it from a Nicky Epstein book?

On a broader level, I have--as I’m sure many of us have--altered a design to better suit my tastes. At what point an altered design become its own design? If I knit a Kathy Zimmerman sweater in green Cascade 220 instead of Classic Elite, have I "designed" a sweater? What if I add an embellishment, or maybe do a garter rib in K4, P2 instead of K2, P2? When does the sweater stop being Kathy Zimmerman’s design?