In my previous post I talked about the Master Spinners program. I am still working on my final project for level 2. One of the requirements is that we chart how much time it has taken to complete this process. Starting at the beginning with washing the raw fibers all the way through the knitting of the item. It is supposed to take 25 hours minimum to complete. I suppose including the requirement of a chart was a way to make people honest about how much time it really takes to complete the process. What this has done for me is to make me actually pay attention to what I am doing when. Tracking the washing, carding and spinning was really not an issue. I do all of those things in my studio space. It is a designated time when I can steal away from my family and actually do some productive work. Usually this happens on Sundays while I am running loads of wash. Set up the washer/dryer and head over the the apartment to spin, set the timer so I know when to change loads and I know exactly how much time I have spent working.
Tracking the knitting time is a bit more tricky. Knitting happens in my lost time. That time spent waiting. I am a mom of 3 busy kids, I know all about waiting. I wait for swim to finish (2 hours or so), I wait for Karate classes (another 2 hours), I wait for Piano lessons…. you get the idea. I also knit while watching TV. I can’t stand not doing something while I am sitting down for an hour. Oddly, I have never tracked how long it has taken me to knit a project… ever. People ask all the time “How long did that take?” My usual answer is, “I don’t know, I started it months ago…. I’ve been carting it around, It’s my I don’t have to think to much about it knitting project.” I have that scarf… It might get finished this year. It sits left alone for months at a time. I only pick it up when I am between other more important projects like teachers gifts or things I need to knit for the Master Spinners program. So tracking this knitting project has been really interesting.
My project is knit gloves. It’s the first time I have ever attempted gloves. Does this deter me? Nope. The first glove I finished without a hitch, very little frogging (ripping out) involved. It took almost 12 hours to complete. I am partly through the second glove, I am at about 2 1/2 hours. That is around 14 1/2 hours of time spent waiting that has been converted to time spent finishing a project. What would I do if I did not reclaim this time? Probably go crazy. Unfortunately, for me, I am also using this time to read the assignments I have given my 14 year old for his lit class. So there has been a bunch of Jules Verne and Mark Twain claiming some of this lost time. As a homeschool mom, I have to prioritize you know.
This process just goes to show me that I do not want to knit for people commercially. Maybe one day, but not now. I much prefer to knit what I want, when I want and at my leisure. What wold some one say if I told them this pair of gloves all told is going to come in somewhere around 35-40ish hours (that’s an estimate based on where I was before I started glove 2) That’s an entire work week for some people, for one pair of gloves. Would someone be willing to pay be several hundred dollars for a pair of hand spun, hand knit gloves that started out as raw fiber? No, these projects are for me and people who are special enough for a gift. I gifted my daughter’s teachers with handknit (not hand spun) scarfs for the holidays. One of the teachers makes a point of telling me every time she sees me how special that scarf is to her. She doesn’t even teach at my daughter’s school anymore. That is really all the motivation I need to reclaim my lost time.