There are some things your friends who are crafty don’t tell you, because they’re too nice to say it to you. Here is some insider information that might help your relationship with crafters, and make your buying experience a little more smooth.
- Compensation. There is a reason that people keep their personal and professional lives separate. When you ask someone to make you a handmade item, you are asking them a favor. Never expect anything to be free and never scoff at their prices. If you’re not sure how much to offer, just ask. If you’re not sure how buying handmade goes, let them know, they understand.
- Deadlines. If you need it by a certain date, make sure to let them know. As much as we don’t like to admit it, things for our friends vs. things for our customers aren’t always equal. Personally I tend to spend a little more time weaving all the love into my stuff I make for my friends, and so I push them to the side and hurry to do the customer orders. They are all the same quality and look similar but the ones for my friends have more love knitted into them. So, if you order something from a friend make sure to let them know exactly when you want it. You must also be sure you want that item and that you are willing to pay for it.
- Materials and Quality. The costs of materials vary a lot depending on project, color, and texture. So if you want someone to make something for you, providing your own yarn isn’t always the best thing. We want to make you what you want, that is a definite. We want you to be happy with what it is. Though, some materials are undesirable to work with, and some are more difficult to work with than others. Don’t always buy the cheapest because it’s cheap, chances are its cheap because it was made with low quality fibers and when knitted up tend to feel scratchy and stiff. It’s probably best to just go to the store with your friend. That way you can discuss things, and feel the materials together.
- Opinions, Criticisms, and Critiques. When someone you love shows you something they just spent several hours of their life making, don’t say, “Oh I could buy that at the store.” Or, “You could have done this to make it different.” “Who would spend money on that?” Unless they specifically ask you to critique their work, only say positive things. Chances are they are just as aware of the mistakes as you are. In fact they are often brutally aware of the mistakes. When I make something and there is one stitch out of place I see it in the final project and that is all I see.