On rare occasions, I am required to knit something in exchange for money.
It is difficult as knitting is a craft I am compelled to do for myself, or people in my life that I care for. It's my love language.
When a business deal is involved, my needles mysteriously become lodged in large, Imaginary concrete blocks and I find it difficult to get started, and even more impossible to complete the project. If I accept money for a piece of my work, I have to answer the question: What am I worth?
Cue existential crisis.
If you go out to retail shops, hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, are all available at a myriad of prices, depending on the weight and quality of the fiber, where the yarn was sourced, the design, the size, etc.
Machines do the work I do, at a much more reliable pace.
I am as obsolete as a lantern lighter.
However, people don’t often realize that hand knitting wools are much different than yarns used with industrial knitting machines. I often take cones of wools I buy from factory sales and have to hold It triple or quadruple to knit a sweater. It’s plied more loosely and just doesn’t last as long as most hand knitting wools do. Fast fashion has given us a one season wardrobe. Hand knits are meant to hold up for tens of years if made well.
In order to avoid the internal crisis from someone telling me "I'll give you $5 for a pair of socks"(good sock wool usually costs about $30-40 per pair), I usually just say, "no thank you"to the person asking. It leaves them a bit confused, but rather than explaining about my distaste for the cheap materials they will bring me to use, breaking down into a puddle of tears over their lack of understanding about my "career" and how they've devalued me as a person with their offer, "No Thank You" does the trick.
This week I have to suck up all of my bullshit virtue, be stoic, and bang out a few samples for the publishing company I've been working with. This time it's much easier, as, they are lovely people and the books we produced together are also very precious to me. I'm just imagining the work as part of helping book sales, and I'll ignore the paycheck when it comes.
I'm a high maintenance human being.