Compulsive

You know how some people are compulsive liars? Or compulsive gamblers? Cheaters? Or the like? Notice how compulsion seems to be linked with negative character traits?

I have a dear associate/friend who is a compulsive giver. She would host/have yard sales at least once a year. During which you’d often leave with a backseat or trunk load of things for about  $2-$5. You felt as if you were committing highway-robbery. Happen to see her wearing jewelry you just adore and can’t stop fawning over? No worries. She’ll take it right off her neck and slip it into your bag without a moments hesitation.

Now, if you’re think the stuff is cheap or not of value you’d be wrong. Most of her jewelry is handmade and designed by her son and it looks like the majority of the popular stuff you find today worth a shiny penny or three. She wouldn’t even bat an eyelash over spreading the love and care. Over just giving.

I’ve often struggled with this. Like many of us the more we value, cherish, or enjoy the item the harder it is to let go. I’ve made conscious efforts to let go over the years. When I’ve encountered prime opportunities to give and every inclination urged me not to, I did so just to spite myself. I’ve spoken of my desire to make more things for myself this year. I’ve also spoke of the labor of love Viajante was for me. In addition, I’ve guestimated the amount of time and therefore its over all worth. A bit over $2,000 USD.

I inwardly and vocally proclaimed I would love it, I would wear it, and no one could get me to part with it. And then this happened…

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That’s Mother Dear by the way not me. It fits her perfectly. And all I can say is

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it’s a compulsion.

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You CAN’T afford me

I’ve had a few recent discussions lately about making things for others without any compensation for my efforts, abilities, or own expense. It was a favor when you really think about it that they even thought to ask ME of all people anyway. [Please note the extreme sarcasm] I’ve mentioned the most recent which was my nine-year-old niece assuming—wrongly so—that it would be cheaper than store bought to do so. Who ever knew that making things for people you love would backfire to such a degree?

Well just moments ago I was on Ravelry and someone posted a thread asking for an experienced knitter to make her a garment because she felt it would be too much time and effort to do it herself…

I mention this because someone in said thread pointed to a site that actually calculates what one should charge for time, effort, skill, and expenses in doing such said thing. I—curiously— because I’ve had not one, not two, but three request in one month for a Viajante shawl/wrap/poncho from three separate people. I put in the cost of materials from the most recent yarn purchase because I bought with another Viajante in mind. I also put in a guesstimated time amount for how many hours I dedicated to this thing. (Initially I said about 750 hrs but, then recalculated with about 600 hrs instead.)  To get this I deducted 2 of the 7 months time frame my projects page states. For one reason is because I set it aside for that long. Then I rationalized that I didn’t knit for 30-31 days straight so I cut that in half to 15 days. I also didn’t knit every hour of the day so I started at 10 hrs and then decided 8 hrs was more realistic. So, 15 days over a 5 month period at about 8 hrs per day comes to about 600 hrs.

Then it ask you to determine your skill level. Novice – Competent – Expert. I realistically rated myself at competent. I am more skilled and know more techniques than a mere novice but, I have to actually consult others modifications to most patterns before I implement my own. Often times I find a new way to learn to properly read my knitting when implementing a certain technique so I thus consider myself competent but not quite an expert. How much with a 10% profit does it suggest I charge for this endeavor? Those who undervalue handmade crafts still yourselves: $2,076.00 USD 

By the way that does not include shipping. I’ll just give you a chance to let that marinate and sink in…

I think now I can legitimately reply when asked to make something, “You really can’t afford me.”

Curious to price your beautifully made handcrafted items? Check here.

I’ve reached that point

I’ve had a hard time settling on one thing. For starters: I have been pattern designing (sorta). My current version of such an endeavor consist of my sketching and trying to figure out if such a thing is even doable plus where and how to begin to implement it.

Karmen and the twins spent the weekend and after making officially clear that Karmen has out grown her cardigan and going through some tears that she was losing something I made specifically for her, she decided on her own to give Kori the cardigan. But, this of course was after agreeing to make her anything she wanted to replace it. She tried to get me to agree to make her a Viajante! What is with everyone and this pattern? It’s gorgeous but, what makes people think that I’m going to invest this much time into making one for them? At most I’ve been offered for the person to purchase the yarn for it. The yarn!!! What about my time and effort?! No, just no.

Then Karmen has the nerve to say it’s cheaper for me to make it. I had to correct and readjust such a thoughts for her very quickly. After, at minimum purchasing the yarn— assuming I’m not spinning it myself— then you want me to invest the time and effort and my constantly less than stellar hands (tendinitis for 12 years now) for you!!!! Are you all insane? No, just no.

I also made clear that she doesn’t show the proper respect and appreciation for the projects I’ve made for her thus far. I also, explained for her that my attempts thus far of making this a year of selfish knitting is failing miserably. I’ve already gifted, made, or have currently on the needles projects for three different people. I don’t mind making things for others but, considering I’m the knitter I’d really like my wardrobe to reflect that fact which it will never do if I can’t make something for myself.

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I decided to make myself some fingerless gloves. I’m on my third attempt of the first one. Initially I put the red after the black and that I didn’t like so I then started with the Palette but, it’s the only one without nylon in it’s content so I worried that having that on the fattest part of my arm made me worried that it would stretch out to quickly. So I restarted with the black, eliminated the red all together and you’ll get to see how I’ll do the rest of the color sequence later.

I’m trying to resist the temptation to cast on Dragon Scale by Denise Plourde but, I really, really want to badly.

That’s it; it’s the air

The past few weeks have been surreal. Here’s why: I’ve had an energy surplus within which I knocked out a significant amount of the remaining yardage of Viajante. Spinning had dramatically increased. I had spun more in January than I did when I first picked what to spin and started the leader and cop on my chosen spindles. Then, two Wednesdays ago a few things went awry.

First, I stabbed/jabbed myself in the finger with my epipen after which blood, numbness, pain-like I would imagine natural childbirth coming out of your thumb would feel like-and bruising ensued.

Second, my energy level began to resemble more the thing the energizer bunny out lasts than the energizer bunny himself. I was sleeping so much I did good if I was awake 4 consecutive hours.

Third, as a result of the low energy little was getting done. And although I reached the bind-off portion a good week ago. I played yarn chicken and lost therefore having to rip back both the cast off and the last row prior (one stitch at a time) in the lace section.

Now, the reason I say somethings in the air because what I’ve been dealing with I’ve read from the blogs of other knitters that they’ve had similar incidents themselves the past three weeks. It’s contagious apparently and proximity and geographical location makes no nevermind.

I got books from the library and ordered a few of the ones I really enjoyed (with yarn for another Viajante) from Knit Picks. That’s a condensed version of what the photos are from the previous entry.

Viajante?

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Done. Yet to be blocked or the ends woven in. That’s for another day. Let’s just bask in the glow of it being officially off the needles.

Numb thumb out!

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