Lately, I've been working on commissioned pieces, for trade, or for money, just on a small scale. I wanted to let you know that I'm available to knit custom pieces for you (for money, or trade). I also wanted to take this chance to express why I am choosing to primarily create custom work.
When I first conceived of Close Knit, I was stubborn about knitting items for sale. I thought, "there's no way I could possibly make a living from that", "I'd get arthritis", and "it would kill the joy of knitting for me, if I became a production line of hats (or insert other thing here)". So I went about laying the foundation of Close Knit with the intention of only designing, teaching, providing resources, etc - I wasn't planning to knit except to design and also for selfish projects.
I still believe in most of what I thought then. I'm not prepared to knit 30, 100, 1000 of the same garment - no matter how much I like the design. There aren't enough hours in the day, and my hands are too prone to soreness that I just don't want to risk it. And the more I've thought about this, the more resolute I've become.
Close Knit is an exercise in mindful making. I was trying to think of a way to describe my practice, my ethos -- I didn't want to use a term that felt wishy washy to me, like sustainable, and I wanted my practice to encompass so much more than that. When I am making, I like to take my time, and be intentional. Some questions that I (try to) ask myself before starting a project are, do I need this? is it beautiful? are the materials sourced as well as they could be? (I try to take into account environmental impact and human/social impact, which can be hard) is it something that will get a lot of wear? To me, this line of questioning is the crux of mindful making. Though at the same time, I make because it feels good, because I love it - I don't necessarily NEED that 10th beanie, but the process of creating is such a pure expression of joy to me that it would feel wrong not to honour that. (and for the record, sometimes I make totally bizarre stuff that no one would wear, and that's kind of just part of the process that I'm learning to accept)
That feeds into my decision to work on commissioned and (primarily) one-of-a-kind pieces. I want to get that chance to work on a special design for someone - made exactly as they want it to be. Is this the fastest way to get something done? No way. Is it going to be cheap? Not really. It will take me a lot of time, and it will cost more than a garment you could get at a big box store. But that's why it's so important. I want to use these commissions as a practice for myself in slowing down, and a practice for the recipient in (hopefully) loving and treasuring an item that was made just for them, with love and dedication. And that's also why I'm open to trades and discussion. I want to continue valuing my time, and sometimes this means with money (because rent and bills sadly won't pay themselves), but I want to have an open practice around this that includes trades, payment plans, collaborations.
If you have a piece in mind that you'd like knit for you, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org - let's chat and make something work!