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Topic: how do you let a muggle down nicely when they ask you to knit something?  (Read 119713 times)
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Legerdemain
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« Reply #770 on: July 18, 2007 04:14:34 PM »


And I wouldn't knit socks for someone for 20 dollars (even if I added the cost of yarn).  Did he eventually leave, or just stay there until it was his stop?

He got up and sat somewhere else after a few minutes (or rows of knitting).  Teehee.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2007 04:15:07 PM by Legerdemain » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #771 on: July 18, 2007 04:21:33 PM »

 
I picked out one of the harder ones in the book and specified that it had to be well done.


That is the best part of the story,because when people ask you to knit things, they're so picky about what they want.  If you do relent/cave and actually make something, if it doesn't match exactly what they expected, boy, do they let you know!  Way to go, wootwoot!

I knew I had better set down some rules because, although he's a good friend of mine, I wouldn't put it past him to fold a piece of paper into some vaguely fish-like shape and then argue that he'd fulfilled his end of the bargain because paper is made of wood. 
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« Reply #772 on: July 18, 2007 04:23:43 PM »

And then you remind him it must be carved, so he stabs it with a knife?  Cheesy
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« Reply #773 on: July 18, 2007 04:45:42 PM »

And then you remind him it must be carved, so he stabs it with a knife?  Cheesy

Exactly Smiley
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Firefairy
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« Reply #774 on: July 19, 2007 12:49:49 AM »

I am a relatively recent knitter, so I haven't had this problem with knitting yet, but I do creative and custom sewing, and made the mistake of letting it be known that I do corsets, which I think might be worse even than the horror stories here. Everyone wants a corset, and no one thinks it should cost any more for a custom corset with a dozen touchy measurements than for the mass-produced ones in the goth shops. Bleh.

I did the first one, a recreation of the Frank floor show corset in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, for $250 including materials, and have deeply regretted it many times since.  Including fittings and sequin work, I think I ended up making about $2 an hour, and thanks to a hard deadline and the recipient missing two fittings, it ended up being perfectly made except for being about six inches too short (I glitched when I corrected the draped muslin and never got the chance to correct it).  Not only did I get other people expecting me to do the same for the same price, I got grief from the recipient for the next several years about the length.  Angry  He did finally stop when I told him it made me want to strangle him every time he brought it up, though.

For dealing with clueless muggles, three lines have come in most handy.

1: It isn't hard, but it is very time consuming.  I can teach you, but I don't have time to do it for you.

2: Materials cost a lot more than you think, especially if you don't want it to look skanky.

3: I have enough pastime projects at the moment.  If you want me to make you something, you would have to hire me.  (see below)

Given that I do work for pay, I have had to figure out how to deal with the "I'm your friend, don't I get a discount?" trick.  Here are my job criteria, which have done very nicely at keeping the punters at bay while allowing worthwhile jobs through:

1: You can either buy the materials on your own, or I can shop with you.  Either way, I only work with materials I approve.  You are responsible for both "parts", such as fabric, thread, etc., and "consumables", such as needles, cutter blades, and so on. The parts all belong to you until the project is completed, and you are welcome to have them back at any time, along with any unused consumables.  When the job is finished, you get the finished project and I keep the leftover materials.

2: My time is mine, and I work like a prepaid phone card- I will work until your payment has run out.  You can then either take back the project as it stands or pay me to continue.  You must pay for at least one hour of work at a time.  I do very touchy custom work, so my estimates are as accurate as I can make them, but I do not currently guarantee them.  If I encounter a complication that significantly alters the estimate, I will notify you, and you can decide whether to continue or take the work as it stands and I will refund any unused labor payment.

3: I "officially" charge $15 an hour for actual work, $7.50 for shopping.  (In practice, this is usually reduced to $10 and $5, respectively, so that people feel as though their guilt trip worked, without my hating their guts by the time the project is over.)

4: My "friend rate" makes your project my highest free-time priority.  I will work on it in preference to other projects, but I will still take time off for other things.  I will likely work on it for about an hour a day four or five days a week, but a deadline is not acceptable.  My base rate gets you a minimum of two hours a day, five days a week.  More time daily can be negotiated for a higher rate or bonus if you need a particular deadline.

5: If you wish to lower the Labor costs, I would be happy to teach you to do the simple but time-consuming parts of the job, such as pinning hems, so that you can do them yourself, leaving only the skilled portions for me.  Lessons of this type are charged at half the working rate, but are usually so short that I toss them in free.

6: If you miss a fitting, all deadlines are adjusted by the delay thus caused.  I will not continue working until the fitting has been completed.  If this causes a hard deadline to become unreasonable, a new rate or bonus will need to be negotiated.
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« Reply #775 on: July 19, 2007 01:03:45 AM »

Those are all GREAT suggestions, Firefairy!  I've had more than enough people ask me to make them something and only expect to pay me $50 for the whole thing.  I wish I had known everything I've learned from this thread before, but I think learning lessons like I did on your own sticks a little easier.

Now if somebody ASKS me to sew them something, I expect something in return, in full, BEFORE I start working.  Wink
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« Reply #776 on: July 19, 2007 06:45:39 AM »

My ex-boyfriend wants me to knit him Knitty's "kumo".  I told him that I would knit it AND buy the yarn if he was willing to sit in the same room with me the whole time I was knitting it so that he could see how much time it takes to knit something like that.  He hasn't said anything about it, but I'm thinking about knitting him something small for his birthday.  I already gave him a pretty green scarf, so I was thinking a Slytherin Scarf, since I'm almost done with mine.  And I have to order more yarn anyway, since I'm making a Hufflepuff scarf for one of my oldest friends (I've known him for HALF MY LIFE NOW!!).
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« Reply #777 on: July 19, 2007 09:49:45 AM »

My ex-boyfriend wants me to knit him Knitty's "kumo".  I told him that I would knit it AND buy the yarn if he was willing to sit in the same room with me the whole time I was knitting it so that he could see how much time it takes to knit something like that.  He hasn't said anything about it, but I'm thinking about knitting him something small for his birthday.  I already gave him a pretty green scarf, so I was thinking a Slytherin Scarf, since I'm almost done with mine.  And I have to order more yarn anyway, since I'm making a Hufflepuff scarf for one of my oldest friends (I've known him for HALF MY LIFE NOW!!).
That seems very reasonable to me. He'll get a healthy respect for how long it takes and appreciate the project more. I also think a small thing is wonderful. MY hubby has a great respect for my crafts after seeing me stay up all night for a swap or skip naps, music practices, and social events for baby shower gifts. (babies are the most appreciative people ever.)

Those are all GREAT suggestions, Firefairy!  I've had more than enough people ask me to make them something and only expect to pay me $50 for the whole thing.  I wish I had known everything I've learned from this thread before, but I think learning lessons like I did on your own sticks a little easier.

Now if somebody ASKS me to sew them something, I expect something in return, in full, BEFORE I start working.  Wink
Ditto! Those are some awesome tips and I think I shall use some of them in future. So far I've been unscathed in my craft (knitting, crochet, and sewing) but I feel this thread has really prepared me for the future. Smiley
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Amethyst
« Reply #778 on: July 19, 2007 10:29:16 AM »

My ex-boyfriend wants me to knit him Knitty's "kumo". 

I just had a look at kumo. One of those sleeves alone would take a long time, let alone the whole thing.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2007 03:54:24 PM by Amethyst » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Firefairy
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« Reply #779 on: July 19, 2007 03:32:48 PM »

The biggest mistake I see crafters making is taking "comissions" without taking it seriously.  If you let people get into the "we're trading minor favors" attitude, you get horror stories.  If you make it clear that they are hiring you to produce a high-quality luxury item, and make them take it at least as seriously as they take hiring a handyman, they tend to be a lot more polite, and you are much less likely to hate them by the time it is done.

The most important thing is to keep the entire thing on your own terms- don't let them define the job, you do it.  They don't know what they're asking most of the time, and they might or might not really be willing to pay, but when you let them set the tone, you are asking for trouble.  Keep in mind, they get carried away just as easily as we do with ooh-neat factor, without the knowledge to stop them when they get to the impossible. :-J

Key to keeping control is never quoting them the true minimum you would work for (even to friends and family), because they always seem to think they have he right to bargain, and always reserving right of refusal on materials if they are choosing them.  I usually apply some psychological warfare to make them feel as though they couldn't possibly be sure to choose the right materials without me shopping with them, and remind them that the materials are theirs- if they buy the wrong stuff on their own, it's not my fault, and I'm not using it.
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