I won’t knit for money. I won’t crochet for money either. I should say I won’t anymore. Its something I’ve done before but that is firmly in my past. I’m talking about knitting (and crochet) commissions. I won’t take those (anymore). Period. End of story. Never. Again.
Did that sound convincing? I sure hope so because the Christmas season means that I’m inundated with requests to knit something for someone and they will pay me for it. I’ve turned down seven such requests so far and three of those were in the last week. I’ve said no, and I’ve been polite, and I’ve been firm and I want credit for that. You see I’ve caved on this issue in the past and I’ve regretted it.
FYI, I have been knitting but it was all of the normal payment-free kind of knitting. In fact, I finished two things this week! Sadly I can’t back that claim up with pictures. One of my Finish-Off’s is a Christmas prezzie for mom. If I show it to you then she’ll see it (she is lurker around here) and I want it to be a surprise. After she gets her wooly goodie I’ll put a picture up.
Unless I forget to take the picture which is what happened to the other Finish Off I accomplished this week. A co-worker drew my name in the Secret Santa. She doesn’t know me very well but she had heard that I was into knitting. So she bought me two skeins of very cheep acrylic yarn (which I don’t mind at all because I am not a yarn snob!) and what she thought was a set of knitting needles. In reality she had bought crochet hooks. Some insensitive person fell all over themselves to tell her those were not knitting needles at all. My poor Secret Santa felt silly and probably dumb and didn’t seem to believe me when I told her that it was fine and I crochet too. So… I proved it to her by making her a crochet headband out of the yarn she gave me. I thought that was the Christmas thing to do. Except its Christmas and I’m going out of my mind with last minute Christmas stuff and I forgot to take a picture of the headband. And now its gone.
But getting back to those seven knits I didn’t make and therefore didn’t get paid for…. I fell pretty good about that. Since its nearly Christmas I’m nearly out of the woods and may finish this year up having not been paid to knit. I know that other knitters, plenty of other knitters, are happy to take commissions. Not me. I hate knitting for money. Its illogical and I’ve tried to get over this. But I just can’t. I love to knit. I really like money. I absolutely hate knitting for money.
The first time I was asked to knit on commission I said yes. It was new (to me) and I’m always up for new things. knitting on commission was awful. I didn’t get to pick the yarn or the pattern or the deadline. All of a sudden knitting was a job! I struggled to finish and near the end of that knit job I didn’t even want to look at the project. I told myself “Well I won’t do that again”. But time passed and I let myself get talked into to knitting a balaclava for money. The lady I made it for told her sisters about it and… I was buried in knitting commissions. I made a few hats, I finished off a sweater, I made two pairs of socks, and I resented every stitch. I knew I had to stop or I’d end up never knitting anything again. Then one of the sisters offered to pay me $900 to make 30 pairs of socks in six months. I told her no way, not a chance, and to please lose my number.
Does that make me crazy? I can’t explain it but every time I knit for money I feel angry. Is that ridiculous? My own knitting makes me relaxed and happy. Doing other people’s knitting makes me want to punch someone.
The last knit commission I took was about a year ago. A very wealthy lady in her 90’s asked me to finish a lace-weight stole she had started and she was willing to pay me for it. I said no. She doubled her offer. I said no. Then she told me that this would probably be her last Christmas and she really wanted this stole finished so she could give to her oldest friend before she past. And I caved. I finished the stupid stole and that sweet old lady paid me even more than we had agreed upon. But one year later… about three weeks ago actually… she called me again asking if I would make her another stole. Guess that hadn’t been her last Christmas after all. I said no, by the way. Then I blocked her number so she couldn’t lay another guilt trip on me.
Tell me I’m ungrateful. Tell me I’m throwing good money away. Tell me I’m being unreasonable. Its okay. I’ve told myself all of those things more than once. But I just can’t get over how much I hate knitting for money. If I can get through this year having knit only for free I’ll be happy. And more than a little bit proud of myself.