18 January 2014

So why knit a jumper, or make anything else yourself for that matter?

I'm not going to lie to you, the wool alone for the jumper I am knitting cost me in excess of £50! I know it's ludicrous right. Thankfully I justified this as a Christmas crafty treat to myself, but it's certainly not something which I could afford to do on a regular basis.



It's not just this project, but a lot of the wool companies out there charge quiet a bit for a ball of wool. This is usually a result of the wool content used, where you will generally find that you pay more the higher % pure wool the ball contains. You can usually get a cheaper alternative wool, something which contains a higher acrylic %, or if you are savvy you can sometimes find a bargain on discontinued colours, or the last of a certain dye lot. It is worth doing some research on alternative options if money is an issue for you. 

Then you need to take into consideration the (wo)man hours which have to be put into a knitting project, and not to mention the sweat and tears when you make a mistake and have to undo a chunk of your hard work. 

The same can be said for a lot of projects. Things which people used to make by hand because it was cheaper, has very much switched itself on the head. I think the biggest reason for this is how 'throwaway' fashion and clothing has become. You can buy clothing for next to nothing these days, and as trends are moving on so quickly it seems to be catching on as people can move from one fashion to the next at little cost. I wonder however, what the real economical and ethical cost of this is. 

Lets start with the cons of handmade, and try to end on a positive note shall we

Cons:

  • Cost - often higher than the highstreet for materials (but not always)
  • Time 
  • Mistakes - lets face it, sometimes things don't quiet work out as planned
  • Skill - not all of us are good at everything, and you might need to learn a new skill

Pros: 

  • Style - usually only limited by your imagination/ability
  • Self satisfaction
  • Quality - usually much higher when handmade 
  • Ethos - often using locally sourced materials or patterns from independent retails, and not shipped half way across the globe
  • OOAK - finished result is one of a kind and completely unique to you
  • Gifts - are far more personal if hand made
So I think that whilst there are some obvious and quiet significant cons, the pros are far more positive and far out way the cons. I personally don't think I will ever go off the idea of making something for myself where I can, just because I love the sense of achievement I get from it. If you are not someone who is creative yourself there is always those talented crafters out there who sell their wonderful high quality products online for your delight. 


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