Do people ask you to make things?

I am not talking of family members here or very close friends.

Last January someone saw me wearing this:  (the new one on the left!)

The new and the old
The new and the old

And asked if I could make her one. Oh she said she would pay me for the materials and a bit more! Well I wasn’t fussed about the bit more but she is a generous person herself and I thought I could fit it in in odd moments so I agreed but told her it would be a few months coming.

In the end though when I told her how much it had cost me to make – (yarn and a new reel of shir elastic – about £7 I think) – she just paid me that, no mention of more. I think she was expecting it to be cheaper!

0258-finished2

Now on Tuesday this week I wore this:

0272-fronview

And I had one of my friends saying how lovely it was and would I make her one – she would pay me for the wool and my time. Well I told her that I wouldn’t be able to charge her for my time as that would count as ‘income’ and involve the tax man but I was thinking ‘How much would she be prepared to pay for my time if I told her how long it would take – 2p per hour?’

She was quite persistant though and then just a few minutes later someone I don’t know personally also asked if I would make her one. Again there was a degree of persistance with the request made more than once, in spite of my having said no and explaining how long it might take.

Do you gets these requests? How do you respond?

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14 thoughts on “Do people ask you to make things?

  1. I often get requests. Sometimes I can direct people to my Folksy shop because what they want is already available (at a fair price), but often I get asked to make things like socks that take an age and I say ‘no’ after explaining exactly how long a pair of socks takes to knit. Just occasionally, though, I enter into some bartering and this does work well. For example, I made a pair of socks for someone in exchange for some leather work: handles and base for a bag. I love this sort of exchange and would happily do it more.

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  2. My experience is that most people who don’t make anything with their hands think that you’ve knocked something up during an episode of Grantchester. Tell them to go buy their own wool and that you charge 10 quid per hour. That will shut them up. Unless of course you like the person, in which case you can bring it down to 8. People who DO make their own things will know what love and care and time has gone into the making of the item, and will not expect something for free. I once had a customer at a market who bought a BonBon, and then decided to buy one for her friend as well. I knocked a bit off the price because she was buying two, but she refused – said she knew how much work had gone into them and she preferred to pay in full !!!!! Now THAT’S the kind of person you want……. 🙂

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      1. Yes, I like Grantchester. I’ve been to lots of the places around there so it’s lovely to see the context. My favourite stuff to watch usually involves lots of sleaze and drugs and murders and dirty streets, so G is like a breath of fresh air 🙂

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  3. I have just finished making some of your beautiful snowflakes and I saw this post … I knit and crochet and in the past I have made things for others, though less so now as I find that the people who are most insistent that they’d like you to make something are often the least grateful, but perhaps that’s because they don’t know how much time, money and effort is spent on handmade items.
    I also work in a yarn store and people are very often surprised at how much it costs for the yarn alone, let alone the making time costs!! We have a making service for those who want handmade items but who cannot make things themselves, but the cost comes as a big shock and is often considered too much to pay. I think people nowadays have got used to buying cheap, mass-produced clothing items.

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    1. I think you are correct about people getting used to mass produced things being so cheap. I made clothes up to my early twenties but then it became cheaper to buy them and so I couldn’t afford to make them anymore. Glad to hear that you liked my snowflake patterns. Feedback is always good.

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