Projects and cost

  Howdy all! I am hip deep in projects, as per usual. I'm told that my Grandma Taylor was the same way, so I come by it honestly. Most of the ladies, and more than a few guys, in my family are crafty sorts. We love to create, whether it's food or decoration or something to wear, we have to craft!
  Currently, I have one of those cloth cubes STUFFED with unfinished projects. I suffer from Ooh Shiny syndrome rather bad, I admit. Sometimes, a project starts small enough for portability, but then outgrows the bag, so I can't take it everywhere, and I start a new one for something to do on the bus or downtime at work. Or, I get a lovely new magazine that comes with a kit, and I just HAVE to do it RIGHT NOW! I also have a workbasket with four things that need patching/sewing/new buttons put on. I get asked how I find time for all of it, what with homeschooling, work, hubby, house, 2 large boys, etc. I ignore housework usually. There, I said it. Oh, I do the basics, so I don't feel guilty, but the dust is just going to resettle on that shelf anyway, amiright? (Mom, please don't feel bad; you taught me well, but my craftiness gets in the way of absolute cleanliness.)
  I mentioned cost up in the title. Cost can mean many things, as most crafty types know. The most obvious cost is money. It takes coin to get quality products that won't shred or break within six months of use. A quality yarn can cost $6-$13 for one skein; that 28 count linen cloth is only affordable with a coupon and a sale, and then you need to factor in frames, needles, the pattern, etc. Sure, that mega store carries Red Heart Super Saver, but it pills and bunches, and is really only good for large projects that aren't worn against the skin. But, for the love of family and friends, we'll scrimp and save to find that perfect material to make something just for them.

 *for example, I was working on a pair of socks for my stepmom, and I thought I had bought the perfect yarn. I loved the colors for her, and the pattern was so very simple. HAHAHA! Yeah... the yarn was too stiff for the tiny needles, and I tore up my fingers every time I worked on it. One Christmas present that did NOT get done. I was to make a pair for my dad too. Nope.
*now I have found a yarn that works very well for the project. It knits up quick, doesn't hurt my fingers, is the proper weight for the needles, and bonus: has elastic in the yarn so the socks will stay up better!
  The biggest difference is the cost per skein. I bought 3 of the original skeins for under $2 a piece, on sale. Technically, I bought 6, since I had to get some for Dad's too, but you get the point. This new stuff, however, was $8 a skein, and wasn't bought for this project originally. I have 3 different skeins, and I'm hoping I can get 2 socks per skein (they're bigger than the originals were), but not sure. So, cost per sock has gone up. The end product is so worth it though. I will have made something that will, hopefully, fit well, and look cool. It will, with the cost in materials and time, be very expensive. If I factor in the amount of hours it will take to do this project, each pair of socks, at minimum wage of $8 an hour (in MN), will be about $100. I'm rounding up because *math*, but you get the idea.
  ALL craft projects are expensive. It doesn't matter if you make cards, knit, crochet, embroider, custom make cakes, paint on rocks, etc. The materials are an investment, but the time taken will always be the biggest factor. So, people on Etsy aren't trying to scam you. Most of them are trying to make a living, have families and/or school, homes, bills, etc. Obviously, they aren't going to charge you $100 for a pair of socks, but they also aren't going to sell them to you for $5 plus shipping.
  It all boils down to a love of the craft. None of us will ever get rich doing these crafts. Sure, the lucky few (and I do mean lucky few) might get picked up by a major company and have our stuff in Target or something, but it's rare, and takes too much time.
  Time is the biggest cost. We give up something to do our art. Time we could be dusting, watching that favorite show, gardening, going out for a beer, snuggling the spouse, etc. Our kids learn that we need that space and time block, and so maybe we don't always see that masterpiece in Lego they made right away (just one more row, I swear!). We try to make it up, but there are only so many hours in the day. If I could give up my part time job, I would have so many things done! But, well, we have to eat. Kids need glasses, shoes, pants (dear God, the pants!). Hubby needs a break, etc.
  We love our crafts, but we also love others too, and they keep us making them. I LOVE making stuff for my friends and family. It gives me a thrill when I see them wearing it, or having it put on a table, etc. When I hear "Oh, I would like one too", that makes me feel so good, that people appreciate the time and love spent making something just for them.
  So, my fellow crafters, it's for the love of creating that we craft on, crazily mumbling numbers to ourselves while wiggling around sticks, with a slightly dazed look in our eyes. It's for the love of those who like our stuff. If we can't craft or create, we lose a little bit of ourselves. (I'm almost done with this row/round/stitch, I'll be to bed soon...)

Craft on, me lovelies!
Alyssa, aka 2 Dainty Crafters


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