Thursday, February 28, 2008

Voodoo: Good, Bad, and Kind of Cool

There has been some voodoo going on around here regarding my old handknits....

Good Voodoo


A few months ago, when I was at a conference in Indianapolis, I was standing in line at Starbuck's wearing my Voodoo wristwarmers (made in December 2006, in Malabrigo worsted, Polar Morn). A woman in line in front of me noticed them and complimented them. I accepted the compliment happily and we talked about how convenient and functional wristwarmers are for people who need the use of their fingers in cold situations (I realize that there are many, many people who think wristwarmers are ridiculous in the extreme). It was a happy, warm fuzzy moment, and I was particularly flattered that someone dressed as sharply as she was thought my humble handknit wristwarmers looked great. She left and I continued to wait for my latte.

A few moments later, she returned. She handed me her card and said, "I own my own clothing store here, and if you ever wanted to sell some of those, I could definitely find a market for them."

Most of us who make things by hand have, at one time or another, had a friend tell us we should sell what we make. Few people realize how unprofitable it is for the average knitter to make things to sell. First, unless you are also a designer, there is the copyright issue. Secondly, there is the issue of how much time goes into a handknit and how to value your time. Let's say that someone would pay $20 for wristwarmers (which may be optimistic). If so, then $6 of that would go toward materials (these can be made with half a skein of Malabrigo), then if you sold them directly (i.e., no middle person), you'd get $14 profit - spread out over how many hours? I'm guessing it took me 4 hours at least to make these. So, that's $3.50 an hour. Or, enough to buy 4 more lattes. Not really what I'd call "profitable." (If there's a middleperson, then cut that profit in half - $1.75 an hour, $7 total, 2 lattes). Finally, there is the issue of how much stuff I want to make for myself, my family, my friends - I can't even keep up with those things I want to make, so how would I ever crank out 20 wristwarmers to sell? (even if I came up with my own design and somehow managed to whip them out in, say half an hour, there's just not enough time)

Still. Y'all. It was unbelievably cool to have a clothing store owner offer to sell my little handknits in her store. The validation! The affirmation! The brief dream of making the big bucks until I did the math! Wow. I kept the woman's card and keep thinking I'll at least make her a pair of wristwarmers of her own, but so far I haven't found the time (see third reason, above).

Bad Voodoo

This happened three months ago, right around the same time as that trip to Indianapolis, and it has been almost too heartbreaking to write about. After I returned from my trip, I could no longer locate three of my handknit socks.


Waving Lace socks, made in July/August 2007
These were so special to me because I worked on them during our fateful trip to the beach.



Monkeys, made in March 2007
My first and only (so far) pair.


Simply Lovely Lace Socks, made in July/August 2006
My first lace, my first fingering weight yarn, my first size 0 dpns, my first picot cuff, and possibly my favorite pair of socks. These fit me better than any others I've made, and the pink never failed to cheer me up.

There are not words for how sad I am that I have lost three pairs of handknit socks. I cannot imagine where they ended up. I have searched and searched my luggage to no avail; I contacted the place I was staying in Indianapolis, and they have not turned up there. I am sure you people understand the grief of losing them.

Kind of Cool Voodoo

So I randomly checked my sitemeter yesterday and discovered that I had double the number of hits as usual. When I checked the details, I discovered that my little felted eggs had been featured on Whip Up! How cool is that? (I'm so far behind in keeping up with Whip Up in my Google Reader that I doubt I would ever have noticed them on the site myself). I made these little dudes back in March 2006, in a rather obsessive fashion. Based on CurlyPurly's free egg pattern, these are stuffed with wool scraps and then felted. At first I felted them to try to obscure the fact that my decreases looked wonky. But after I'd done it, I decided I preferred the felted look.

felted eggs

This was the picture shown on Whip Up.
But my really favorite picture is this one:

my little felted Robin's egg
Taken with my old Canon Powershot,
shown in a gorgeous clay bowl that Chris gave me.

5 comments:

Annika said...

Oh, I do hope your socks turn up.

nova said...

Three pairs? How can three pairs be missing? I am certain they will turn up, they have to!

Songbird said...

Oh, how strange!
A pair I made for my daughter disappeared last summer. In an odd set of circumstances, I ended up at her dad's house, asking to use his bathroom. Guess what I found?

TracyKM said...

How sad about your socks. Do you have plans for the lonely soulmates?
That's great about the wristwarmers. I have a classy SIL who lives just outside Indianapolis in a very posh area; I was thinking of making her a pair of lacey ones from some alpaca she brought back from Peru for me. Nice to know that they might actually be appreciated and accepted, LOL.

dickie said...

I get "you should sell your stuff" often as well... sometimes even from fellow knitters when they know, very well, that I've knit directly from a pattern. Hmmm. I totally agree that it wouldn't be very profitable... unless we could speed up our knitting by a lot. ^_^

Also--I hope you find your socks. =(