Uploading that new pattern to Ravelry got me thinking about something I really ought to have put more thought into earlier. You see, my pattern is listed on Ravelry under my actual name as the designer, but the “pattern source” is called “Whitknits Ravelry Store”, while my username on Ravelry, and many other places, is an obscure German word with cultural/ethnic connotations I have no actual claim to (I originally chose it because it was the title of a violin piece that I like to play). What a mess! When I started this blog, I didn’t really imagine I’d try to publish patterns in any way. I didn’t really put too much thought into the name, either (when your first name is “Whitney”, and you knit, it’s a pretty obvious choice!). When it came time to choose my “Designer” name on Ravelry, I just picked my own real name, because it seemed like the right thing to do. Hence having the 3 identities. I mean, on some level, it’s no big deal…I can think of several indie designers on Ravelry who have the same sort of thing going on.
Where it gets tricky, for me, is that there’s actually another whitknits out there, an online yarn shop. They’ve got the “.com” domain, while I’ve got the “.net” (for email, and the like…my blog is still hosted on WordPress). I’ve gotten emails before from people who think I’m somehow associated with that shop (which is how I learned about it in the first place), but I’m not, at all. I didn’t know they existed until fairly recently, and I think my little blog might have actually predated their online presence, slightly, but that probably doesn’t matter. Anyway, I feel a little bit weird that my patterns currently say “whitknits presents…”, and are listed under the “Whitknits Pattern Store”, on Ravelry, given this situation. I suppose the latter is probably easy enough to fix on Ravelry, and the former would only require making small changes to 2 pattern .pdf files. But it feels weird to me to use anything else. My actual full name is kind of unwieldy, with my last name being a long, hyphenated beast with an unusual and frequently misspelled German name as its first half. It’s the sort of name you’d (be forced to) change, if you were going to be a movie star or something, you know? I mean, I like it, because it’s mine, and there are only 3 people with my last name in the entire world, but it’s not really the sort of name I’d use as a “brand”, you know? I also don’t want to use my Ravelry username, because while I chose it for its role as the title of a favorite violin piece, I feel a little bit guilty of cultural appropriation, given what the word actually means.
It’s not really a big deal, in the grand scheme of things. But I do intend to put out more patterns, so it would be nice if I could figure out what the heck I want to do about the situation before I do that. Sometimes I wish I had a name that rolled more easily off the tongue (which, incidentally, I would have had, had I changed my name when I got married), or that I’d had a bit more creativity when I originally named this blog. C’est la vie. Any advice?