Monday, February 14, 2005

Crochet Crazy

Yesterday I gave my nephew his camouflage scarf he asked for. He loved it. Since I had leftover yarn I made him a matching cap to go with it while we were at my parent's house for Sunday dinner. My other nephew spoke up saying that he wanted a hat too, would I make him one. I asked him what kind, and he asked for a "Rastifarian" one out of purple and navy blue. Then his Mom asked if he would actually wear it, and he said only at home. So she told him to pick something that he would wear all the time. So he changed his "order" to a navy blue hat just like his brother's. So I went to Wal-Mart with my SIL and we bought the yarn for his hat. Then she comes over with 10 skeins of Homespun and asks if I will make her an afghan like my Mother's. You see about 2 to 3 years ago I made my Mom an afghan out of Homespun yarn in the Ripple Romance pattern. SIL fell in love with it, and has always commented on how she would love one. I always told her if she would buy the yarn I would be glad to make one for her. So last night she took me up on her offer. When we returned to my parent's home I told my Mom how SIL had bought the yarn so she could finally have her afghan. And my oldest DD speaks up with "Aren't you going to make the afghan for Mrs. Smith*?" I was quite puzzled as I had no idea what she was talking about. She explained that her teacher had sent home a note asking if I would be interested in making an afghan for her. After we got home I fished the note out of my daughter's very messy backpack. Sure enough there was a request for a baby afghan! It seems that she saw my daughter's poncho at school and loved it so much she wondered if I could make a baby afghan for her brother and SIL who were expecting in March. So I sat down and found seven patterns online and one of my own design and copied out the photos onto a piece of paper. Then I made up another sheet about all the info on how to pick the pattern, colors, yarn, etc. Made up a quickie order form for her. Then I did a quick calculation of the yarn cost for each of the eight afghans. And I put each yarn cost under the corresponding photo. That is when I came to a halt. I mean, I am known in the family for making things only for yarn cost, but that is for family. I have never made an afghan or item as such for someone who was not related. In the past I had made things like potholders and sold them at craft fairs, but I had never had an actual order. How do you calculate the cost of the time to make the item? I didn't want to ask too high, then I didn't want to low ball myself either. I figured that the minimum amount of time on the simplest pattern would take me at least 15 hours. So I just went with a $25 fee with yarn costs added to that. I think that the least amount of yarn cost was $22 and the highest was $30. So I wrapped all the information up and sent it into school with my DD this morning. Right now I am anxiously awaiting her return from school to see if the teacher responded in any way to my offer. I am afraid that she will reject it because she thinks the price is too high. I know that a lot of people expect to get hand made prices as the same cost as a mass produced blanket. You can get a baby blanket that looks like knit (but you can tell it's machine) for under $20. So why would you want to pay almost $50 for a handmade one? Being a crocheter and knit loomer I only have to think of the yarn costs when I am making a gift for someone. But people who frequent craft fairs and such never figure in the costs of the yarn in addition to the time. No way I could afford to sell a blanket for under $20 when it cost over $30 in yarn alone. It all just has me nervous. I am hoping to hear a "yea" or "nay" today. I don't know what would be worse. Having to wait another day for an answer, or having my first almost order rejected. I shall find out soon though as DD will be home from school shortly.


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