Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Does this make me a professional?

I just accepted money for a knitted object. I don't think that makes me a real professional, since I don't plan on making a habit of it, but still, it was an interesting experience. The yarn was not expensive, and the needles, though not cheap, weren't exactly Addi Turbos. So if I had based the price solely on materials, then it would have been very low. I knew I had to charge something for my time, but I had no idea how to go about that. I didn't keep close track of how many hours I put into making these wrist warmer/gauntlet thingys for Liz--all I know is that they went really fast compared to most things I knit. Still, even if I had calculated a $5/hr wage for myself, it would have resulted in a price much higher than I felt comfortable charging. So basically, I just pulled a number range out of the air, and she opted to pay me the top end of it. The rest of the payment for me is in how happy she is with them. She may be a work friend, but she's still my friend, and I love seeing her happy, especially because of something I made. Here she is modeling them:

After I finished weaving in the ends of the wrist warmers this morning on the train, I cast on for a swatch for x-mas surprise #1. As you can see, I decided to try the blue-grey yarn first. I figure if I don't like it after the swatch, I can try with the charcoal tweed. So far, I don't mind the look:

However, I'm a little concerned that the gauge is too loose. It's not quite bulky weight and I'm using US 10's. In the past, that size needle has worked OK for me even on worsted weight (acrylic) but this isn't the type of object I'm going to want too loosely knit. I may have to see about getting my hands on some 9's just in case. I have some 8's I can try first, though.

This morning I was reading an article in this magazine about the chick lit phenomenon, and I realized that it's a genre I really haven't explored much. The cultural snob in me has perhaps shied away from it as being below-average quality. But I really can't justify that if I'm willing to read Dan Brown and Martha Grimes and Rita Mae Brown, all of whom I read voraciously. They're all good writers, too, whether they write "high literary fiction" or not. So maybe it's time for me to pick up a chick lit book or two. But since I don't know much about them, I'm afraid of getting a dud with a weak female protagonist who hates her job and is desperate to get married or something like that. Any personal recommendations?


Cathi said...

I am a big fan of Bridget Jones, but I'm not sure if it would seem dated or overdone now. If I had to recommend one author, it would be Anna Maxted. Don't do the new one, but I did like Running in Heels and Behaving Like Adults.

And congrats on getting paid for your knitting- it's a pretty great feeling!

Lia said...

Que te paguen por tejer...jeje que sueño, aunque como tu dices es bastante difícil calcular el precio de algo hecho a mano, y por muy bajo que lo pongas siempre será más caro que en una tienda, pero claro lo que hay que pensar es que es "artesanía" y eso lleva tiempo...y dinero.

Jenn said...

I must admit - I have a soft spot for the "chick lit." My personal favorites are Jennifer Weiner and Jane Green, though I've read a bit of everything. "Good in Bed" by Weiner is a great place to start. Can't wait to hear what you think!

Zarzuela said...

The wrist warmers came out great! Always nice to have a happy customer. You are such a good knitter to swatch first. ;)


margene said...

They look marvelous! I love the length. She must be very pleased!

Kelly said...

I admit I read the chick lit every now and again, too. I make myself a deal that I can read one for every few literary pieces. I'd recommend In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner or Sushi for Beginners, by I-Can't-Recall-Who.

Love the Wrist Warmers. In case I missed it, where'd you get the pattern, or did you improvise?

Karen said...

my favorite girly reads:
The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank (short stories -- I look forward to reading her latest, The Wonder Spot)
anything by Francesca Lia Block (YA -- pomo fairy tales)
The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love by Jill Conner Browne (Southern nonfiction)
anything by Jennifer Crusie [sic]
the Undead series by MaryJanice Davidson (chicklit/vampire erotica)
any of the Girls Night In or Girls About Town anthologies (a good way to "test drive" popular chicklit writers)
My Life on a Plate by India Knight
Shopgirl by Steve Martin (!)
Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty (YA)
George Bush, Dark Prince of Love: A Presidential Romance by Lydia Millet (chicklit/satire about the first Bush presidency)
anything by Laurie Notaro (laugh-out-loud essays)
any of the Fearless books by Francine Pascal (yes, the Sweet Valley High woman -- they're about a 17-year-old girl who literally kicks ass)
any of the Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison (Bridget Jones for tweens)