Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Crochet For Free? Are you nuts?!

From time to time, I’ve heard folks comment or complain on how rude co-workers or other acquaintances can be when asking you to 'whip something up' for them and then not want to pay for it.

OR that dreaded quandary: a family member asks you to make something for them to give as a gift or give you such lovely compliments on a piece and ask you to make one for them.
Questions like those always spawn more questions.....

How should you respond, so that you can convey your feelings without causing any tension?
What should you charge for something that you do while watching tv at night?
Should you ask a family member to pay for something that you would probably give to them as a gift?
How do you respond to an acquaintance or distant cousin who selfishly believes that you should create a huge project for them out of love, when they wouldn’t give you the time of day on the street?

I’ve gathered my responses over the years to these questions into this series of blog posts....

The first decision you have is: Do you want to be financially compensated for your work? If a cherished family member asks you to make something for them, or to create a piece for them to give as a gift... most crocheters don’t want money for their labor.

(My responses to ‘less than cherished family members’ will be given in a different post.)

So you've decided to be generous and not charge them for the labor, but what about the cost of the yarn? Some pieces can need upwards of $75 in yarn, that isn’t fair for you to foot the bill, especially if the other person is using your work as a gift to someone else.

My suggestion is:

Regardless whether you expect payment for your labor or not, when someone asks you to crochet something for them, always, always, always, make them pay for the yarn.

Even if it is something as simple as a hat or scarf, make them buy the yarn... it is your choice whether you keep the leftovers or not- as payment for your time.

Give the specifics on the yarn, such as brand names, weights, and the needed amounts for the project and let the person who ‘ordered the piece’ go to the store to buy the yarn. This gets them emotionally and financially invested into the project, and they just might have fun ‘petting’ all the yarn and want to learn how to crochet for themselves.

Also, once they see how expensive yarn can be, this gives them the choice of gracefully backing out of the arrangement and opting for a different gift.

Tomorrow's Post....I can buy that at WM for half that much!

© Angela ‘ARNie’ Grabowski 2008. All rights reserved. For more crochet fun, visit ChezCrochet.com
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1 comment:

Marny Fischer said...

Your suggestion for people to get the yarn (that you know you'd like to work on and know the number of skeins, etc.) is a good idea.

For when you post about WM sells it for cheaper -- my immediate response would be "then by all means, if I were you, that's where I would buy it" -- no sense in your wasting your time and energy on making anything, small or large, that is of no value to the Asker.