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mhansen
11-14-2007, 12:14 PM
About 2 months ago I made a top. I took it to work and had a girl try it on since I made the small size and wasn't sure how it would look on someone. Well it looked really cute on her and she loved it so I gave it to her. Since then she has worn it to work and everyone asked her where she got it. She told them that I made it. Since then everyone has been wanting one. The problem is is that no one has offered to pay for the yarn. I do not mind making them for everyone but I just think that they should at least ask how much it cost to make it then offer to reimburse me for my cost. I am not the type of person to ask them to pay for it. Am I being an awful person to at least to think that they should at least pay for the yarn? There are 7 people that have asked me to make one for them.

The.Knitter
11-14-2007, 12:19 PM
So, when you go to start each one, go to the recipient and say "I am ready to start knitting your top now, where do you want to get the yarn and should I come with you when you buy it?"

This might give them the hint that you expect them to pay for the yarn. Your time is yours to give freely, but at least they should pay you for the yarn you will need to knit them a garment.

boo1
11-14-2007, 12:21 PM
It does cost money to buy yarn (not to mention time that you are apparently willing to donate). I would just explain that they need to choose and purchase the yarn they like and then you can begin.

You're a very generous person. I barely have time to make anything for me or family, much less co-workers. Want to come work with me? :mrgreen:


Laura

momwolf
11-14-2007, 12:26 PM
http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_19_2.gifH#ll NO

ladyjessica
11-14-2007, 12:32 PM
I would just tell them that you're happy to make something for them, but they have to purchase the yarn in advance. That way maybe they'll get the message and decide if they really want it or not. :wink:

jenlee
11-14-2007, 12:40 PM
You're not being cheap at all , the other day at my work my coworker saw me knitting and ask if I could I could make her this super long scarf like her girlfreind had. I told her sure but she'd have to go purchase the yarn, she hasnt said anything about it since.So
just tell them that they will have to purchase the yarn and you will probably not have that many to knit for.

divagirl
11-14-2007, 12:56 PM
You can also come work with me...we can knit stuff for each other! :mrgreen: You are NOT being cheap. I have no problem knitting anything for anyone who asks, as long as they supply the parts I'll supply the labor.

Did the girl who received the original top offer to pay you for it?

laikabear
11-14-2007, 01:02 PM
I think that's a really good idea, offer to go with them when they buy the yarn so you can help them pick something suitable.

I must say if you are willing to knit 7 of the same top for all your coworkers, you are very generous with your time!

mhansen
11-14-2007, 01:18 PM
"I am ready to start knitting your top now, where do you want to get the yarn and should I come with you when you buy it?"



This is a good idea. Thank you!!

mhansen
11-14-2007, 01:21 PM
It does cost money to buy yarn (not to mention time that you are apparently willing to donate). I would just explain that they need to choose and purchase the yarn they like and then you can begin.

You're a very generous person. I barely have time to make anything for me or family, much less co-workers. Want to come work with me? :mrgreen:


Laura

I wish I had a money tree then I would not have to give a second thought to everyone wanting that top. I'm sure you would be fun to work with cuz you knit. No one else at my job knits.

mhansen
11-14-2007, 01:25 PM
You can also come work with me...we can knit stuff for each other! :mrgreen: You are NOT being cheap. I have no problem knitting anything for anyone who asks, as long as they supply the parts I'll supply the labor.

Did the girl who received the original top offer to pay you for it?

That sounds like fun: knitting at our jobs all day LOL. And no she did not offer to pay for it but it was a spur of the moment thing. She tried it on as a favor because I am not a small (darn) and she liked it so much that I didn't think about it. I just said you can have it.

mhansen
11-14-2007, 01:31 PM
I think that's a really good idea, offer to go with them when they buy the yarn so you can help them pick something suitable.

I must say if you are willing to knit 7 of the same top for all your coworkers, you are very generous with your time!

I am going to get up the nerve to have them go shopping to get the yarn. That is alot of tops and I guess that's why I am feeling sorry for myself and whining about it. But it does get expensive. I think I'm being generous with my time too. That's why I think whoever wants the top should pay for the yarn. I do not expect to make one penny off of it. But I don't think I should have to pay for the yarn. Now I just have to muster up courage to tell them. I am too easy going. It's easier for me to vent here than at them.

mhansen
11-14-2007, 01:33 PM
Thank you everyone. I was feeling like I was being cheap by having all these thoughts about who should pay for the yarn.

Binkyman99
11-14-2007, 01:51 PM
No, you are not being cheap by any means! I think that people who don't knit have any idea on the cost of yarn etc., and think we can just do it and whip these things out. I have only done scarves, hats, felted bags, afghans, and shawls, and some I give as gifts. But I do have family that say.....oh I want one of them! Depends on the item, but I will give to them. Just wish they would offer something once in a while since all this does add up!

a funny one.......I have a stash of things I have knit up! I had a few of my nieces over and I told them they could pick something out. Well one of them had quite a few things in her overnight bag when I looked! hee hee! I hated to do it, but told her she could only pick ONE thing since I had lots of other nieces (there are 18 neices and nephs)that I would be giving to!

knitgal
11-14-2007, 06:05 PM
I don't think you're being cheap at all! I just don't think that people who don't knit (or crochet or sew or do any sort of craft) don't understand the costs involved. They usually think it's less expensive than buying the store bought item. I would do with what everyone else has said. I would say "I'd love to go yarn shopping with you this weekend and help you pick out the bext yarn for the top you want." or something like that.

Jitendra
11-14-2007, 06:19 PM
I had the same problem, but people should be reasonable and expect to pay for the materials and the hard work it takes.

I would really recommend asking for the money up front if they don't want to buy the yarn themselves, and give them a receipt for it. One woman had me make three little knittens for her, for which I charged $10 each, and on the day I brought them in she said "So it's $20, right?" and wouldn't pay a cent more even though she agreed to before. A deposit and receipt certainly will prevent lapses in memory or little mistakes like this. I sound a little bitter, but I think it's true that people who can't knit don't always understand how expensive and time consuming it can be.

lelvsdgs
11-14-2007, 06:25 PM
So, when you go to start each one, go to the recipient and say "I am ready to start knitting your top now, where do you want to get the yarn and should I come with you when you buy it?"

This might give them the hint that you expect them to pay for the yarn. Your time is yours to give freely, but at least they should pay you for the yarn you will need to knit them a garment.

This is an excellent idea! I never quite know how to approach this especially with someone I don't know well. Thanks for this "script" to use in this situation... now, I'm going to go practice saying it to myself. :muah:

bip
11-14-2007, 06:27 PM
You aren't being cheap by not knitting your co-workers stuff, but - and I wasn't going to say this, but since you brought it up - you are being a bit cheap in not knitting me anything. I mean, I've been on this board, what? One, two years now? And nothing? By now at the very least I would have expected a Malabrigo Irish Hiking scarf (not too short please), or maybe WOTA hat/gloves set. I'm just putting that out there... :mrgreen:

Jitendra
11-14-2007, 06:38 PM
I never quite know how to approach this especially with someone I don't know well.

I've found that the best way to approach it if you feel awkward asking for money (and why should we, last I checked I wasn't running the Make a Wish foundation out of my stash bag), especially for an order from someone you don't really know, is to pretend that you've been knitting stuff for sale for years. People are way less likely to argue about it when you respond to their requests with something like "Of course! Tell me what sort of wool you like and I'll give you an estimate on the price."

alleusion
11-14-2007, 06:57 PM
I don't think you're being cheap at all. I made some baby booties for a coworker once and I had about 3 other people ask me for some. Two offered to pay me, one didn't. I shrugged it off thinking it was such a small amount of yarn, and one of the women paid me $40 for 4 pairs of booties (I would have only asked for $5 total). So it worked out.

But yeah, can you adopt me and make me things too?

Lisa R.
11-14-2007, 07:32 PM
I had the same problem, but people should be reasonable and expect to pay for the materials and the hard work it takes.

I would really recommend asking for the money up front if they don't want to buy the yarn themselves, and give them a receipt for it. One woman had me make three little knittens for her, for which I charged $10 each, and on the day I brought them in she said "So it's $20, right?" and wouldn't pay a cent more even though she agreed to before. A deposit and receipt certainly will prevent lapses in memory or little mistakes like this. I sound a little bitter, but I think it's true that people who can't knit don't always understand how expensive and time consuming it can be.
That's terrible. I think I would have to say,"I'm sorry, but no, it's not right. We agreed to $10 each, so here are 2 for the $20. If you want the third one, it's $10 more!"

People are amazingly audacious!

Indygirl
11-14-2007, 07:36 PM
You aren't being cheap by not knitting your co-workers stuff, but - and I wasn't going to say this, but since you brought it up - you are being a bit cheap in not knitting me anything. I mean, I've been on this board, what? One, two years now? And nothing? By now at the very least I would have expected a Malabrigo Irish Hiking scarf (not too short please), or maybe WOTA hat/gloves set. I'm just putting that out there... :mrgreen:
:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: :yay: :yay: :yay: I was thinking the same thing:teehee:

Debkcs
11-14-2007, 07:43 PM
So by now, you know we all agree that you shouldn't have to put out the cash for the yarn. Your time is valuable also, what happened with the first top was spontaneous, the rest of them should have to pay. They should be WILLING to reimburse you.

Indy Girl!!!! ROTFLMBO!!!

mhansen
11-14-2007, 10:50 PM
You aren't being cheap by not knitting your co-workers stuff, but - and I wasn't going to say this, but since you brought it up - you are being a bit cheap in not knitting me anything. I mean, I've been on this board, what? One, two years now? And nothing? By now at the very least I would have expected a Malabrigo Irish Hiking scarf (not too short please), or maybe WOTA hat/gloves set. I'm just putting that out there... :mrgreen:

Knowing me I will probably put you on my list. LOL

redwitch
11-15-2007, 12:22 AM
They have no right to expect you to knit it free let alone BUY THEM THE WOOL. Seriously would you ask someone for a gift or ask them to buy you something? If your friend at work said 'Michelle gave me these chocolates do you want one?" would you then say to Michele 'Those choccies you gave to Andrea are so yummy, will you give me some too?' I don't think so!
Wow your top is so pretty, will you go back to the shop and buy another one for me?

Don't knit it for them free unless you are genuinely happy to and no way should you pay for the wool. If you don't want to knit the presents at all there are a number of ways to turn them down gracefully or not, but do make sure that they understand knitting those items takes x hours, some people seem to think you can make a jumper in an evening. I personally usually reply with 'Why don't I teach you how to knit and then you can customise it to the way you want?' You could offer to teach them all to knit in a class.
Or send them to an expensive wool shop and say 'I'll knit it for you if you buy the wool for it and buy me a few of balls of sock wool', I think asking them for a present in return is entirely reasonable, you would not ask a workmate with good mechanical skills to swop in a new engine to your car free right?

Also remember that some people will see something pretty and want it immediately, but a week later they won't care, or they forget about it after a short time, so don't ever hesitate to be picky about whether you will knit for someone and under what circumstances. You could also say 'I will knit it for you but I want you to keep me company while I do - for conversation, or bring over a video and snacks', etc. That way they will appreciate the time and effort, also they will also be available when you have a question about what they want.

spooky
11-15-2007, 12:38 AM
YOU ARE SOOOOOOOOOO NOT BEING CHEAP!!! PPLS just don't understand how EXPENSIVE yarn is!! CHARGE 'EM!! Or take em out to the yarn store, let them pic their color, and boom... walk away from the register lol!!

iwouldratherbeknitting
11-15-2007, 04:41 AM
PLEASE DO NOT EVEN START THIS.. honestly.. you'll never, ever escape.. the next thing you know.. you'll get requests for: baby gifts, wedding gifts, gifts for cousins, grandchildren, their friends, their spouses, etc.

I say this from someone who has learned... the lesson. People just tend to think that 'if you're artistic, crafty, etc.' that you can do ________ (fill in whatever skill it is) in 5 minutes.. it's super easy for you. I get this a lot- because, I'm an art teacher- so, I can do a lot of different 'crafty' type of things--
AND they seem to think that 'just because you can' do a certain skill/etc.. that you can do it in an instant. I've even had people say to me: "OH, but, it will just take you 5 minutes." You know how.. etc.. etc..

My response (now): "No, it takes me the same amount of time as it would take you- maybe longer (because I want to do things well) .. I just know HOW TO DO IT (said: skill/etc.)

Honestly, just play dumb.. and say: "Say,________(insert name) when is a good time for us to go to the yarn shop to pick up the yarn for your top? Or if you don't have time.. you could give me... $35.00 for the yarn and I'll need some supplies too. (they do not have to know what the extra supplies are that are you payback for making the item.)
(note: say YARN SHOP.. so, they will not think of the $2.50 skein of Red Heart yarn from Wal-Mart.)

NOW, so it doesn't even get started: I just offer to teach them how to knit. No one has taken me up on the offer either.

brendajos
11-15-2007, 02:33 PM
Something that I don't see that has really been addressed in these replies too is that there is a reason that Second Sock Syndrome exists. NOBODY WANTS TO DO THE SECOND SOCK.... SNOOOOOZE! The idea of doing seven of ANYTHING makes me shudder. i would personally just laugh them off if they asked. You really shouldn't feel like you have to make them all happy. It's lovely that they liked it so much they would ask you and a wonderful compliment... but that doesn't mean you have to take them up on their offer for you to knit one for them for free.

lelvsdgs
11-15-2007, 02:40 PM
I've found that the best way to approach it if you feel awkward asking for money (and why should we, last I checked I wasn't running the Make a Wish foundation out of my stash bag
:roflhard:

Mommy22alyns
11-15-2007, 03:22 PM
What the heck?? Of course they should pay for the yarn, at a bare minimum!! Do they think you're made of money or that yarn comes for free?

Jitendra
11-15-2007, 10:20 PM
Also remember that some people will see something pretty and want it immediately, but a week later they won't care, or they forget about it after a short time, so don't ever hesitate to be picky about whether you will knit for someone and under what circumstances. You could also say 'I will knit it for you but I want you to keep me company while I do - for conversation, or bring over a video and snacks', etc. That way they will appreciate the time and effort, also they will also be available when you have a question about what they want.

This is exactly the reason I insist on payment up front, and the receipts. I can't have someone "forget" that they hired me to do something after I've done it.

dustinac
11-15-2007, 10:42 PM
I agree with the statements below... and esp with what brendajos said...no way could I knit 7 sweaters back to back...that would be awful...I'd charge them for the yarn and your time... adult sweaters are not usually a fast knit which is why I have never finished one :rofl:

hocns
11-16-2007, 06:06 AM
I would NEVER EVER EVER make something for free for anyone but a close friend or relative, not unless you have money to blow and too much time on your hands. I charge for my knitting, and a top would likely be $100+ for a tank type top to hundreds of dollars for a sweater. And make 7 of them? Wow!

Also, I have found that people often don't value what they don't pay for, and it's quite likely that the tops you worked so hard on will never be worn. And knitting stuff for free for people could be the start of an avalanche, esp if you're paying for the yarn. You'll be broke and crippled in no time, and possibly hating every minute of it. Nip it in the bud now, and explain that they need to pay for the yarn, and at least a token amont for your time. Would they do hours of free work for you? They'd probably be shocked at the suggestion.

iwouldratherbeknitting
11-16-2007, 09:47 AM
Tell me that you'll knit it.. if they buy the yarn.. and come and clean your house, iron clothing/etc.. for as many HOURS as it takes you to KNIT.. :D

They can clean.. while you are knitting. :D

cookworm
11-16-2007, 09:57 AM
You're not being cheap at all , the other day at my work my coworker saw me knitting and ask if I could I could make her this super long scarf like her girlfreind had. I told her sure but she'd have to go purchase the yarn, she hasnt said anything about it since.So just tell them that they will have to purchase the yarn and you will probably not have that many to knit for.

Okay, I'm going to stand on my soapbox now. :teehee:

Why do people assume that: (1) you're independent wealthy enough to provide materials, (2) it's fair to expect you to donate your time AND money for a project for them??? My mom went through the SAME THING when she would sew. She would charge a VERY modest fee for her time (after all, she's using her electric, notions, running to the store, etc.), and people would be cheap and complain. Then I say, "Go to the store and BUY what you want!" Sheesh, you're getting a custom fit and a custom design, but you want to pay thrift store prices???

No, you are NOT being cheap--you are being reasonable. Who can afford to buy for a whole bunch of co-workers, and even if you could...would you want to? I fear you'll be taken advantage of unless you take things a bit further in your follow-ups with people. I would say, "Sure, I wouldn't mind making you a top without charging for my time, but I do require you to buy the yarn", and if you're willing to do so, you can add, "I can come with you to help you pick out the appropriate weight and amount if you'd like." After hemming and hawing about it (fearing it wouldn't work out), I made a quilt for a friend and asked for half of what I would charge for my time plus materials up front, then requested the other half upon completion, and the whole time, I was worried about getting burned. It turned out okay, but like I said, I'd seen it happen to my mom a million times when she sewed for people. You can bet I'd ask co-workers for their money for materials, and hey, you know where they work and when they get their paycheck! :teehee:

Telling people that you are knitting for them for free but require the price for materials lets people know that it is perfectly acceptable in to charge for your time, but you're not going to do that in this case (let's them know you are doing them a favor and saving them money)--even though you enjoy knitting, it's perfectly legitimate and fair to charge for your time--and that you expect them to pay for the materials. And if you had needed new knitting needles for the project, you'd have every right to factor the price of those in, too, as well you should.

Like others have said, don't be surprised if nobody asks again about it. I don't know why people assume that when you sew or knit or crochet that it's your "duty" to provide freebies for everybody.

Sorry, this is a sore subject for me. I don't think people intend to take advantage of crafters when they ask, "Can you make me one?", but it usually winds up that way. It's very generous of you to donate your time to do this, but by all means ask for them to pay for yarn.

Mirl56
11-17-2007, 09:35 AM
Jeepers, if all you charge them for is the cost of the yarn, you are being more than generous! If they paid you for your time, they probably couldn't afford the top!