Things your dentist should not say to you immediately prior to a tooth extraction: oooh this looks worse than I first thought, there may be complications. Thanks. As it happens, it all went swimmingly and one of my two offending teeth has been removed. I’m waiting for the local anaesthetic to wear off and then I am going to have lunch (soup) because I am ravenously hungry and, no matter how yummy, smoothie is not filling. In the interim, I’m going to watch a LOT of West Wing, drink smoothie, debate whether class counts as ‘excessive exercise’ and blog about my latest yarny adventures…
Those of you paying attention may have noticed that the ‘knit’ part of ‘knit two, pointe two’ has been somewhat lacking of late in this blog. The thing is this: after I finished my amazing cardigan of joy and awe, Favourtie Auntie’s blanket and a few tiny jumpers for a friend’s brother’s ice hockey tournament I’d kind of knitted myself out. It happens from time to time. I’d run out of yarn, I’d run out of inspiration. So I left the knitting element of my life alone for a few weeks and waited for the need to pick up my needles to come back.
It has done, don’t worry. I’ve knitted a few bits and pieces for other people and then my balletic knit need came back. Remember last summer I knitted a bag for my pointe shoes? That’s been shifted over for carrying my tap shoes in and this lovely thing is my new shoe bag for ballet:
The yarn is a King Cole Galaxy, people it has SEQUINS in it. SEQUINS. There is nothing that is not awesome about sequins. The pattern is a slightly adapted stitch pattern from this book, the stitch itself is called Origami.
I’ve also knitted myself a bun cover in the left overs that starts in the white section of the yarn and blends down into the black. I’m planning on using the very last scraps for one that starts in black and blends down to white.
Now it’s with the bun cover that the real thinking starts to come in. My lovely friend N over at Serendipturas wrote this post recently about the difficulties in valuing your crafty time properly. There are regular questions I get asked about my knitting usually along the “how long does that take” and “how much do you charge” and “why don’t you start a business” line. Let’s take each of these in turn:
1. How long does it take? The answer, chums, essentially is: how long is a piece of string? The problem is, I don’t sit down and measure my time; I just knit. A pair of legwarmers might take me a fortnight because I haven’t had a lot of knitting time or they might take a weekend. A bun cover (unless I go wrong and get stroppy) probably takes an episode or so of West Wing. My amazing cardigan of joy and awe took about six months because it spent a lot of time ‘hibernating’ under my bed thinking about what it had done. A pair of socks will probably take about a week. When you work full time, your time for everything else is limited. My knitting time these days is train journeys or when I’m in for a few hours in front of a DVD. I can’t put any guarantees on time frames.
2. How much do you charge? I don’t. I knit for gifts or I knit for myself. If my friends make requests and they’re realistic (for reference: gladiator sandals are not) then I’d rather leave them for birthdays. I wouldn’t even know where to start to charge for a commission. If I wanted to do it to give myself a realistic wage (what even is minimum wage these days? It was about £4 when I was earning it), would anyone seriously want to pay ~£100 for a pair of socks, say? No, they wouldn’t, no matter how beautiful they were. That’s why knitting as a gift is easier.
3. Why don’t you start a business? Because, quite simply, that would take the joy out of my knitting. I knit because I like it, not because I want to make money from it. And what if I lost interest halfway through something someone had commissioned from me? It’s all well and good to banish something I’m making for myself to under my bed for six months to think about what it’s done, but it really isn’t the done thing to do that to someone else.
I admit I’ve considered it from time to time: setting up a nice yarny sideline in bespoke ballet knits. Realistically I don’t know I’ll ever do anything about it (because my default setting is pathologically lazy). But maybe I should.
C’mon chums, convince me why I should at least give proper consideration to setting up a yarny sideline in balletic knits.