Saturday, September 1, 2012

You Can't Afford Me.

That's my standard response when people ask me to make things for them. (You know, when you're knitting in public and they "joke" that you should make one for them, sometimes even if you've never met them before.)

In the same way, I have put off anyone who says that I should "make money" at knitting. They obviously have no idea how many hours go into a project and how cheap it is to get "something just like that" at Walmart.

Despite all this, last fall when the owner of the local knit shop had someone come in that wanted a sweater knit, she game me their name. I put it off for months (fall being my busy time), but at some point called and said we could talk in January when I had more time. I also named a ballpark price in our first conversation to see if that was a deal breaker. It was not.

Through one thing and another, our meeting was postponed until February. It turns out that she used to knit sweaters for her son (and others), but now her hands are not up to the task. For Christmas, she wanted to get her son a hand knit sweater, and I was going to be the one knitting it.

From there, she directed me to her son to ask him what kind of sweater he wanted. He was surprised by this and completely unprepared. We exchanged emails for six months to finalize a pattern. We did not find any ready-to-go pattern and worked on making one of our own. The process was both interesting and painful. I think I used up all my wages in email/design time and am making the sweater for free. But even with the price I named, I knew this would not really be a money maker. It was an experience I decided to try. A new sort of challenge.

The real problem with all this is that I am now committed to knitting a big sweater during my busiest season. I put them off last fall because I was too busy to even think straight, and here I am the next fall. Need I remind you I work for a haunted house? Busy time--it is now. (Although I try not to think about it, we open in less than two weeks.) Plus it's canning season. I could be doing a lot more with the garden right now.

Anyway, I do knit all year. I just have to do "thinking" knitting now, even when I come home fried from nine hours of go, go, go.

On the plus side, the client decided on an alpaca blend and it is quite lovely to work with. A little warm, but I'm not one to mind that too much. The first picture above is the swatch I did last spring and emailed the client pictures of. He didn't like it exactly, so we had to adjust from there. I finally got the go ahead on July 31st with our revisions and have been working on it quite a bit since.

So much so, that I have this much done---->
Unfortunately when I remeasured it, I found out the armhole is too large and I'm going to have to rip it about half way back. That means I redo all the colourwork. despair

There are a lot of long floats in this pattern, too. Tricky, yet I thought I was nailing them. But they will all disappear. sadness

So if it seems like I haven't been doing anything but little projects around here for a while, this is why. I have been saving myself for this big project that I kept thinking was next in line. Now it's here and taking all my knitting time at home. It's sometimes hard to get myself started on it, but once I get going, the colourwork  carries me along. Then I just have to stop myself from worrying that I'm making it the wrong size or that it won't fit in the end or any of the other million things I can worry about while making a sweater. (Just like my grandmother, who at one point told me she couldn't knit things for a particular person because she worried too much about whether it would fit and whether they would like it.) Send me good thoughts--I could use them!

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