I have been avoiding blogging for about a week, a silly thing I know but the lingering feeling of being a sellout has kept me from my desire to write about knitting. Here’s the back story.
Since January 1st, it has become evident that my family is in the weeds. Money is tighter than ever and the time to step up and do what needs to get done has come. I’ve been working at both jobs, but I’ve also 1) laid flooring 2) spent an entire weekend (about 21 hours total) stripping wallpaper 3) shoveled snow and 4) walked dogs. Pretty much any task that can help us out financially I’ve attacked headfirst. There is no such thing as doing a job that is below you, I don’t think that exists. If you do a job well, then there is no such thing as a bad job.
Unless you sell out….which I have.
I have been working, for months, on a cabled hat pattern. This secret little project of mine was what I had hoped would put me on the knitting designer map, or at least the Ravelry map. I’ve made this hat so many times it is mind-blowing – thank goodness for Halos of Hope and other charity organizations that take knitted items. I wrote the pattern for every weight of yarn (except bulky), I had sizing for babies, toddlers, young adults, men and women. The idea was to create a variation on the same pattern that could be worn by every member of a family – be it blood relatives or the family we’ve created for ourselves. The cable pattern was noticeably the same, but as you got older, and the hats got bigger, the cable pattern would continue to grow and change slightly. Pretentiously, I was thinking of the movie The Fountain and how the tree continues to grow and change (ehh…admitting that makes me feel all James Fracno-y). Finally, about a week ago I was ready to write the pattern in PDF form to get it all ready to go on Ravelry – then I had lunch with a friend.
My friend, who luckily doesn’t read knitting blogs, is a very successful lawyer in her part of the world. In-between being as young and successful as she is she’s also found time to have three kids – all by the ripe old age of 31. We went to lunch to catch up ( she offered to buy, who says no to that?) and went on … a little incessantly …. about how great her life was going. I just wanted to add a little to the conversation, so I pulled my newly printed pattern out of my bag and showed her my pattern.
I was excited, besides the people I had photographed in the hats and my husband, no one had seen the pattern. I told her how I each variation was just the cables growing – from baby to adult the pattern grew in complexity while still obviously matching the one before. I pitched her my idea, and she went for it.
In less than 10 minutes I somehow had manage to sell her the patterns for $100.00, agreed to make her entire family their hats, agreed to never photograph my work and never make the pattern available to the public. She wanted this family of hats for her family, no one else’s. If I hadn’t just come off a weekend of mind-numbing, hand-breaking paper removal I would have thought twice – but that’s not what happened.
I keep telling myself that the pattern may have never sold and that a hundred dollars is better than nothing – not that I totally believe that. I’ve told myself that I have created something unique and wonderful for her family, but since she paid twelve-hundred dollars for a stroller I doubt that these hats will ever register for her family as “special”. I’ve been tip-toeing around it ever since I did it, but I feel like a sellout. There, I said it – I am a sellout. But one hundred dollars pays for four co-pays for my father-in-laws doctor visits – so it is time to suck it the f*#k up.
I wonder, is it more that my ego has taken a hit? Or is there some feeling of intellectual theft under duress? Maybe I am just blowing smoke – more than less likely that’s all there is. Either way friends and neighbors, if I designed one thing I am (hopefully) sure I can design another.