I don’t knit socks to sell – they take so long to make that even asking a paltry per-hour rate would take them out of the reach of almost all potential customers. Although a pair of handmade socks will last for years and is much easier to repair successfully than a mass-produced pair, no one wants to pay the true value. This means that, in general, if you own a pair of socks that I made, it’s because I love you! The only way I will undertake a commission to make socks is if I can barter for them – although I still have to like you a lot to even agree to do this! There are , however, folks out there who have skills that I do not and so there is a possibility of an exchange.

And so it is with my latest creations. These socks are very special: not only are they going to be exchanged for some leather work (haven’t quite finalised what), but more than that, they are made in part with wool from a friend’s sheep at The Inkpot, which is…

home grown, home shorn, Yorkshire spun, permaculture designed, pasture fed, holistically managed, non chemical, rare breed, British native, slow grown wool

Because it’s pure wool, it’s not ideal for hard-wearing socks, so the heels toes and ribbing are knitted from ‘sock wool’, which contains some nylon so that it doesn’t wear out too quickly. Even that yarn, is British (from West Yorkshire Spinners).

The recipient of these socks also already owns the first two hedgehogs that I made (Shy and Spike)… so I decided to expand the family. Therefore, the parcel contains three additions… two made from the Inkpot wool and one from the sock yarn. Of course, the spikes are made using eyelash yarn and that, sadly, isn’t British, but these three were made from left-overs from previous hedgies.

What do you make for love?

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  1. I think most ‘making’ is a work of hand and heart. The two are so intertwined that I almost can’t separate them. I always feel that you are giving three things when you give a home made gift – the item, your time and the love that went into making it.

  2. I love your hedgies! My two are great favourites and often admired! And I love your socks as well and it is interesting that you wrote this post because I was on the verge of enquiring if you would make me a pair for winter 🙂 Serendipity!!

    In response to your question I have to agree about the pricing – it is very hard to be realistic in terms of costs – no-one could afford to buy my stuff – except maybe the postcards of my paintings that no-one buys any way – if I charged a costed price plus hourly rate plus something some bloke calls ‘creativity charge’………… I am happy if I can cover the cost of supplies in the case of the light catchers and another $25 for my creativity and hours of work – therefore it is all pretty much a labour of love. And, fortunately for me, I no longer have to ‘earn my living’ thanks to advanced years and a state pension 🙂

    Cost of paintings? Let’s not even go there!

    I have to say I am so grateful to those who support my endeavours by purchasing, wanting to win, bartering, swapping or showing any other form of appreciation. It is all grist to my creative mill and inspires me onwards!

  3. Pretty much every quilt… I think you know my thoughts on Value ❤ versus Value $! However, I would barter if ever offered the option, knowing that work, time and love had gone into the exchange.

  4. nettyg

     /  January 15, 2016

    I make whatever I can that suits the recipient or give whatever is made ….if it’s handmade it’s love made. And there’s such satisfaction in bartering.. Switchingtopics slightly here….have you ever ‘thrummed ‘ your knitting?…..I saw this post on another blog and was intrigued….roving added while knitting to increase the warmth factor.

  5. I love to barter hand crafted makes 🙂

  6. I so agree about the pricing thing. You never recoup cost of time much less materials. So the things I make, also have to be given out of love or great caring. I make a few quilts and lots of embroidered work just for the pleasure of gifting them. I’d love to have knit socks but I know how much work goes into them so I suffer through the store bought variety. 😦 We can be envious though. Right? 🙂

  7. The socks look fantastic and the hedgehogs are just delightful.
    xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  8. Everything I make, I make for love. Even if it’s something I think I might sell, I make what I like, the way I want to make it because, lucky for me, I don’t NEED to sell anything!

  9. Ann Pole

     /  January 17, 2016

    Aww, this is so lovely. The look on Steve’s face was a delight, we were both squeaking when he opened the parcel. The socks look lovely, I wish I made something I could trade. Unless you want arrows…. Please let us know when you have thought about what you would like leatherwork wise. Much love to you. XXX

  10. Awww, what a lovely gift! Your hedgehogs are utterly charming 😃 And I do all of my crafting for love – even the pieces I sell! But then I think crafters just have a different set of priories… Sure, I could make much more money working 9-5 in an office, but I’d really rather not!

  11. There is a greater purpose calling to use when we find such meaning in creating with our hands and from our hearts. I, all too sadly, have come to understand that the true worth of our creations are lost in the exchange of our art for money. On a more promising note, the gift of creating is priceless! And, there are always ways to find reasons to keep on making more – like for those you love: that is just so perfect. Your socks are fantastically adorable!

    • Thank you! I honestly can’t stop making things… I’d go bonkers if I wasn’t creating 🙂

      • Oh, can I ever relate! I started my business BECAUSE I can’t stop making. I can honestly say it has nothing to do with the money 🙂 or people paying anything close to the worth of what they are getting. However, when I’m designing and making, I feel a total surrender like I’d never know otherwise! Keep on making your beautiful art: making the world a more joyful place, one special stitch at a time 🙂


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