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Topic: how do you let a muggle down nicely when they ask you to knit something?  (Read 158858 times)
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« on: November 03, 2005 11:47:21 AM »

What do you do when a non-knitter asks you to make something knitted?  How do you decline nicely?

It really bugs me how people think knitting is fast and easy, like sewing.* I recently had someone - a friend no less! - ask me to knit her a dog sweater and "generously" offered to pay 10 measly bucks. 10 bucks! That would just cover the cost of the pattern, never mind the yarn!  When I tried to explain that to her, she assumed that I was just trying to think up excuses not to do it.  ARRRGH!  Is there a better way to convey to muggles that knitting is time-consuming, and not easy, or should I just think up plausible lies from now on?

* EDIT: I don't mean to suggest that all sewing is fast and easy, but only that it is relative to knitting, e.g. knitting an elastic-waist straight skirt is much more time-consuming than sewing one, because with knitting you are making the fabric.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2007 08:26:20 AM by ax174 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2005 11:59:55 AM »

Offer to show her how if she buys all her own supplies..

That'll stop them.

I'm making a purse for a friends birthday in a few days, she liked mine and wanted one only bigger..
I polietly explained that it'll be her ONLY birthday present because it'll be a $35 purse..

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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2005 12:00:52 PM »

Well, first, if it is really something you don't want to do, I would just say that.  You have too many other projects going on, stuff you need to finish by the holidays, and you don't have the time or desire to knit a dog sweater.  However, if it is really more a matter of knowing that your work wouldn't be appreciated, then I suggest this:

First, you could tell her that you would do it for $10 to pay for your time, if she bought the yarn and pattern, and then make a joke about it being sweat shop labor.  I don't know how big a dog she's got, but a dog sweater could easily be a 10 hour project for me, or more.  I'm not a fast knitter.  Make sure she knows that $10 even for just your time is really just a pittance, and that it wouldn't come anywhere near paying for the materials.  If you make a joke about sweat shop labor, you might (I would say probably, judging by the people I know) get a question as a response, like, "Oh, how long do you think it will take?"  That's when you can say, oh gees, maybe 9 or 10 hours.  That's only a dollar an hour, so you're lucky I like you.  And if they are asked to buy the materials, they'll probably ask right off the bat how much you think that would be, which of course leaves you the perfect opportunity to tell them exactly how expensive it can be.  And if they don't ask, but agree anyway, then they'll find out for themselves, and there won't be any accusing you of excuses once they go to the yarn store (or even the craft store, or even WALMART!) and see what it will actually cost them to provide you materials.

If the problem is they don't believe you when you try to tell them these things, then you just have to give them real-life examples.  Make sure you knit in front of them sometime so they can see just how many square inches get knitted in an hour, or something like that.  Or you could even offer to give them a demonstration.  Tell them that a dog sweater wouldn't be a difficult project and offer to teach them so they can make it themselves.  If they take you up on it, they'll learn soon enough how time consuming and expensive it is, and if they don't then you can accuse THEM of making excuses.  Cheesy

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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2005 12:05:22 PM »

i never ever ever offer anyone something that i knit/crocheted unless they're close to me, as in, immediate family members and close friends.  and if it's like more than a scarf (i just finished making my friend a full-bed sized afghan) i let them know that it's going to take months and months and months.

if more aquaintance type people ask me if i'd knit them something, i just smile at them vaguely and very noncommitally and shrug.  i won't even say i'd think about it.  if they know me well enough, i'd laugh humorlessly and give them this look that says you-know-how-long-this-s***-takes,-knit-one-yourself.  for me, knitting is about my pleasure, not theirs.  if i care enough to make them something, then i would.  my best test?  knit/crochet a fast scarf/other project that's totally their style and favorite color.  if i don't see them using it, i won't make anything else.

the friend i spent more than 6 months making an afghan for, she first stole my lapgan that's this really useless lacy thing that covers just about nothing, and she would always hang out on heir couch or in her room with it over her lap.  i knew she wouldn't take the larger one for granted.
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2005 12:19:33 PM »

So over the summer I knit a pirate rat ( https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=43477.0 ) as a contest prize for an event known as Ratfest. Pirate Rat was much appreciated and a few attendees asked if I'd make them one. One girl pleaded (but nicely) and offered to pay me. I just kind of smiled and said "It was a lot of work and I really don't want to do it again." Everyone seemed pretty understanding. I just won't knit for money because I'd have to charge SO much to make it worth my while that I'd practically be committing robbery.

Be polite, but firm. You don't want to get yourself into a situation. People don't realize what it takes to knit something nice; it's not their fault, they just need to be educated.


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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2005 12:24:48 PM »

i am running into this a little bit too, but not with knitting, with sewing. i have a coworker who spied my zipper pouches a while ago, and offered to buy some off me. i don't know what i was thinking, but just wasn't prepared for it so i set a $5. price tag on them. that was fine. the fabric was stuff that had been in my library for months and i was pleased to use it up.

well, recently she requested more. these ones are to be larger. so i made them 5x7, but then i pulled the corners to make them have square bottoms. well, when you pull the corners in you sacrifice the outside perimeter (make sense?) but the pouch looks nicer when it's full of junk,
not so bulky and bubbly.

well, i can tell from her reaction that she's not diggin them and and isn't really impressed with them. the price tag is still just $5 so i think she's getting a quality product for a small investment and she's being a pinhead. but the trouble is, she has already said that she wants me to make her some purses for christmas gifts. oh the pain! i can just picture it now.  i guess i'll just have to suck it, and tell her i can't make them.

my mother said that i should just say no, with as little detail as possible, as pleasantly as possible. but sometimes that's easier said than done!

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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2005 01:34:19 PM »

hahah you know how I feel about this. Tell them you're busy knitting for xmas. Yes, use this excuse even in the summer LMAO
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2005 01:40:41 PM »

I've gotten a lot of heavy hints for knitted stuff, mostly from (male) coworkers. I learned quickly that as soon as the words, "Ok, just go to the yarn shop and buy whatever yarn you want me to use..." come out of my mouth they are falling over themselves to get away. And then the subject never comes up again. Heeheehee.

Seriously, people really cheap out once they realize that handmade sweaters and scarves typically cost a LOT more than they would be willing to pay for at a store.

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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2005 01:45:12 PM »

I just tell them straight out no (I get asked a lot, I mean on a daily basis)

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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2005 02:24:59 PM »

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one that feels this way.  I even blogged about it, that's how much it annoyed me.
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