Sunday, March 05, 2006
Rainbow Connection complete
Despite the heat (we pushed 30+ degrees Celsius the last few days), I finished the Rainbow Connection hat and scarf this evening.
In many ways it was quite easy - just plain garter stitch; knit every row. Being loopy mohair, it was too easy to occasionally end up with an extra stitch on a row but I just knitted two stitches together when that happened. And if I dropped a stitch I picked up an extra stitch somewhere along the row. The one advantage of loopy mohair is that it is very forgiving, hiding every mistake. There's no point trying to do any fancy stitch with loopy mohair as everything is hidden by the boulce yarn.
It was quite fun, knitting 24 hues, but quite time consuming to sew in all the ends. My friend Susan wanted to know why I didn't start with purple on one end and finish with red on the other (like a real rainbow); the reason is that there were quite a few shade of pink that wouldn't have fitted in if I had knit this way.
Sometimes my non-knitting friends ask why I don't sell my knitting. Well, this hat and scarf set used $50 worth of materials and probably took about 15-20 hours to knit. The minimum wage for an adult in the manufacturing industry is about $12.75/hour - and as I get no annual or sick leave entitlements for my knitting, the minimum casual rate of wages would be more appropriate - around $16.00/hour. So is anyone going to pay $350.00 for this hat and scarf set? I don't think so. And if I sell it for less, I am selling my skill and labour for less than someone packing goods on a production line. This is why I stick to knitting for fun and gifts - not profit.
Fortunately I have the skills to earn a living in ways other than knitting. I also like writing and for a while earned my living this way. But eventually I got sick of being underpaid for my skill while watching people who were far duller earning far more for doing far less. So I decided to earn my living another way, so I could go back to enjoying doing writing instead of resenting what I was paid for it.
The other advantage of something being a hobby, rather than a job, is that you don't have to answer to anyone or work a certain number of hours. While I have got my strength back in my right hand (after a scare some weeks ago), I still get the occasional strange pain around my wrists, so I limit the amount of time I knit between breaks.