A new policy

January 31, 2014 at 1:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

So, I have been thinking lately about all the handmade things that I create that I don’t know what to do with when they’re finished. A lot of what I make is for an intended recipient or purpose. But I also make many things just for the need-pleasure of creating. Sometimes I just want to use that one particular beautiful yarn. Sometimes I want to practice a technique or explore an idea. Sometimes I am just keeping my hands busy and seeing what comes out of them. Creativity is like that, you can’t always tell it what to do, it has its own unpredictable agenda.

Back when I first opened my etsy store, my idea was that I could just sell all the things that I made that didn’t have anywhere else to go. I figured, why not, I was making them anyway, it would be cool to get a little money from it. But after a while, selling things was just making me unhappy. I liked some parts of the etsy community, and it was pretty neat to trade homemade items with other craftspeople, but I found myself starting to think about what would sell and making things that I thought would be more popular. That was never my intention when I decided to have a store, and it was a little bit of an icky feeling. Also, all of the business-running stuff was just stressful for me. It was more work than I really thought it would be, to get decent photographs of each item and write accurate and catchy descriptions, all the tagging and titles and self-promotion, and especially the packaging and shipping. And then the etsy administration seemed to be getting less and less receptive to the needs of actual small craftspeople, doing nothing to police the fake handcrafts and reselling that were flooding their marketplace. At that point I was happy to empty my store and pull away. If I ever think about selling my work again, I will have to have some sort of business partner to do all the business-y stuff.

But that’s not really what I want!

Recently I have been sending some homemade things along when we make thrift store donations, hoping that they will find their way into the hands of someone who might need or appreciate them. For instance, I stayed up late knitting a hat the other night only to decide that I really wasn’t satisfied with the finished project, even though S and K both said it looked lovely. That hat is now in a bag with some clothing that we were planning to bring to goodwill. But putting a newly-made homemade garment in with all the used clothes doesn’t feel quite right, either.

So here’s what I have decided to do. When I make something that I don’t know what else to do with, I am going to post a picture of it to facebook (and maybe also here and twitter) and I will give people the chance to express an interest, first one to ask gets it. And if no one wants it, then I will donate it somewhere. I think this is a good idea because I like to share and to give gifts, and it might be a way of connecting with some of those facebook contacts who I don’t really interact with on a regular basis. Sending a real life package is much more fulfilling than just liking a status.

I hope that this will work out well! The first item is likely to be the shawl that I am knitting for my at-work, knit-at-my-desk-while-answering-phones project. It is very pink and I don’t like the color at all. Not an Ellen pink for sure. I go for fuchsia, but anything less saturated and I will usually turn up my nose. I can’t remember where I even got this yarn. But it is soft, and perfect for a light cotton shawl, and I am enjoying the simple ripple stitch that I’m using.

Anyway, this has been a somewhat wordy post, so I will end with a picture of the lap blanket that I crocheted for my sister for Christmas to match the color scheme of her bedroom. Because there should always be pictures in a blog post, right?




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  1. I donate mittens and hats to children in need, it is a great way for me to try out new patterns and color combinations and of course the children are very happy for the donations. I enjoyed reading your post 🙂

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