- "I could never just sit there and knit. I don't have the patience."
- "My grandmother / Aunt Betsy / sainted mama / Avon lady / Girl Scout Leader/ field hockey coach used to do that!"
- "I think it's so sad that nobody knits any more."
- "How much would you charge to make me a [name of project]?"
My favorite of these is number three, because it leads me inevitably to the conclusion that I have died and am now a ghost. I would love to be a ghost, because the list of people I plan to haunt is longer than my nose and I might as well get on with it.
My least favorite comment is the last, because the well-meaning person who asks to hire your needles is seldom prepared for any answer you may give.
- "I don't sell my work" sounds snotty (even if you don't mean to be).
- "You couldn't afford it" sounds presumptuous (because it is).
- "For a pair of socks like this, at least three hundred bucks" will bring a gasp of disbelief followed by a minor cardiac event. And once the paramedics have left and the spilled drink is mopped up, you have to talk to the innocent victim about fair trade, and the rights of artisans to earn a living wage, and the number of stitches in a sock, and Wal-Mart, and how actually, no, good yarn doesn't cost about a buck a ball.
Once in a great while, however, the questioner throws you a curve ball. A couple months ago, a good friend of mine asked about a hat for his wife. I hemmed. I hawed. I offered him another vodka stinger. He insisted.
I estimated the price of good yarn. He didn't blink.
I estimated the cost of labor. He blinked.
But then he said, "Okay. So, for that price could you have it ready in time for Christmas?"
Well, alrighty then. I could, and did, and here it is.
It's worked in Madeline Tosh Vintage.
I kept copious notes in case it might, some day, turn into a pattern.
In a few places the cables cross and travel at the same time, which is something I hadn't played with before. I love the effect, but I wrote on Twitter this reminded me of a diamond-studded toilet seat (pretty, but a pain in the ass) and Fiona Ellis got all mad at me.
- always quote a fair price, even if you think it won't possibly be accepted; and
- it never hurts offer the client another vodka stinger.