Friday, 1 May 2015

More crochet and a dilemma

Welcome to my new follower TillyTrotter.

My current WIP is a single blanket for the small spare bedroom, which has sunshine yellow walls, aquamarine curtains, plain stone colour carpet, and cushions/pictures in splashes of yellow, aqua, green, blue and peach.  The bedding is plain cream.


The colours are a bit muted in the photo, sorry about that, they're actually quite a bit brighter.  I've chosen them to complement the existing colours of the cushions etc.

I've recently been asked if I would make a double bed size blanket for someone, for which they would pay me.  After giving it some thought, I've gracefully declined. 

I crochet because I like it and find it relaxing, however, even though I enjoy doing it, I can only crochet for about an hour at a time as I find nowadays it gives me an achey pain in my left shoulder and neck.  Something to do with posture I guess and to do with getting older(!!), as I didn't have this trouble when I was younger.  Consequently, a blanket, even a single size one, takes me several weeks to finish.  I don't crochet every day....there are times when I get a bit fed up with it and don't do any for 2 or 3 weeks.  If I was doing it for someone who was paying me, I'd feel obliged to get on with it and finish it much quicker....that would put me under pressure, I wouldn't enjoy it and thus it would take away my reason for crocheting in the first place.

And then there's the cost.  Those of you who crochet will know it's not particularly cost-effective to do it, yarn is expensive and crocheting something large or intricate takes a long time.  The pleasure is in finishing it, a beautiful thing that you've created yourself.  The yarn alone for a single size blanket would likely cost upwards of £30, depending on the yarn chosen.  And how do you put a price on the amount of work that goes into it, the sheer number of hours and weeks that it takes to do it?  I couldn't even begin to quantify that.

I am seeing more and more people at vintage fairs who are selling homemade crocheted blankets, though I can't imagine that they make a lot of money out of it....unless they crochet a lot faster than me.

I guess it must be the same with quilting....I'm sure that must take a long time too.  Do any of you sell your quilts or crocheted/knitted blankets?

9 comments:

  1. I think you are right to decline. I made a bed cover once, it was for me so no real pressure, but it became a chore as each round gets bigger and bigger and you never seem to get to the end ! not to mention the weight on you lap/knees.
    I don't think 'non-crafters' realise the amount of work, planning and effort that goes into home made items. Thankfully the 'home-made = rubbish' attitude has gone, but crafters don't get a fair price. If we were paid per hour, no one could afford the items anyway !

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  2. I agree, it is impossible to put a realistic price on your time, if you asked for say £10 an hour, on top of the material cost, the price would be way out of reach for anyone to buy. Do it because you enjoy it, dont let it become a chore. I make things (blankets, toys etc) as gifts for people, so the cost of my time isn't a consideration, I just do it for pleasure. Joy x x

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  3. Making for others always seems to take the pleasure out of it, Why not teach them to crochet instead, I use to make various craft items to order after a few years it became a chore I then switched to teaching workshops after 5 years that became a bit of a chore as some would come to learn and other just to socialise and they spoiled it for those who really wanted to learn, at the moment I craft purely for pleasure but may well go back to doing selected workshops, but will never go back to crafting for others. :-)

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  4. I can't knit or crochet but I have made a few quilts and sold them on Ebay, but they take so much time and there not much profit in it, I will however make a few smaller lap quilts for us for next winter.

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  5. I crochet for myself, mainly blankets and only in the winter, once they get large enough the heating has to go off or I would melt. I quilt and sew for pleasure and family. I have sold a few things and given others away. To sew for a profit would take the pleasure away from me, plus you would have to work like a demon to make any sort of money.

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  6. You were sensible to decline that invitation. When I used to make knitwear with my machines, a neighbour asked me how much a cardigan would cost her so I worked out the costs of yarn and time and gave it to her - she said "oh I thought you'd do it for about £3.00! Some cheek, eh?

    I am glad that you have started this blog Sue, see how many new blogs I now have to read because of your followers - hours of fun, thank you!

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  7. I would decline as well, it's your hobby not work, I do a lot of cross stitch but never to order. I am happy to give away finished items if I have no use for them. There is only so many you can have on show. My joy is the stitching, I don't buy kits and keep loads of threads in my stash.

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  8. If I EVER manage to crotchet anything, it will be for my eyes (and use) only!! I think you're right to say no as these things take so long to complete!

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  9. I agree, do not risk losing the pleasure it gives you. I am fairly new to this blanket making lark, having been introduced to it by your good self. I am currently making one for my bed. I have two as throws for my sofa and armchair and have made two for special French friends. I will only give one as gift to someone I know appreciates it. I love hand made things in my home but know not everyone feels this way. I would never take money for what I make as I do not want the pressure to produce perfect things.

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Thank you for your comments, I love reading them!