As predicted, my one-handed, fast and wrong bead glazing and drying technique was a bit of a disaster – I lost a handful of beads that stuck together because they were strung too closely while they were drying. At least it wasn’t a surprise – it was pretty darn predictable once I had it all strung up – just with only one hand, I was somewhat helpless to start all over again.
But, I did rescue enough beads to string up a ladder bracelet:
I didn’t have any leather cord in my stash, just hemp, so I went with that. And, I broke out the new C-Lon cord that I bought for my next up Eclectic Beaded Crochet Jewelry class. I did taped down my button closure, did some macramé knots to get it started, and laddered on down to a finished bracelet.
As you can see, I tacked down my loop with the same macramé stitches with which I began, and I thought my loop was secure. Wrong.
My husband is always asking me why I don’t sell my finished objects on Etsy. First, the only thing that I think I make that is sellable quality is my knitting, and unless I come up with my own design for a small item – like mitts or a hat, the time v. expense v. profit analysis just isn’t worth it. If I make a shawl, I’m probably spending at least – well, let’s not guess, let me look at the last shawl I made – which was super expensive.
I made the Spice Market Shawl with a Miss Babs gradient set, $76 (now $83 in her online store), and then I ran out of the main color, and I had to buy an additional $26 skein to finish the project. I think the pattern cost $8 or something close to that. So, to break even, I’d have to start pricing at $110. Now, what would someone pay for this?
It’s hard for me to say. My motivation for making something is rarely “I love that shawl so much I have to wear it, and it must be a part of my wardrobe,” it’s “I love that yarn, I love that pattern, I really want to knit it.” Once it’s finished, of course, I’m happy to wear it, but I’m a process knitter, not a product knitter. But, I’ll render a guess that someone might spend $150-$200 on this handmade item created with luxury yarn. But is my labor only worth 50-100? That comes to less than $10/hr. Obviously, I didn’t log my hours knitting this, but it took more than 10. And, I have zero motivation to knit it again.
So, the only way I’d knit to sell is if I came up with my own one of a kind small item pattern that I could crank out in a fairly short amount of time, and use 1-2 skeins of luxury yarn.
So, until that time, my only marketable craft skill just isn’t worth it to me.
What does that have to do with the beads. Well, while I may sew a lot of things, and put together some jewelry here or there – I just don’t think my workmanship is of the sellable quality. I have never made a piece of jewelry that hasn’t, over time of course, fallen apart in someway – with the wrap bracelets, inevitably my button or my loop comes loose. I made a lot of these ladder bracelets a few years back, and all of them eventually came apart at the button or the loop.
When I finished this ladder bracelet, Joe asked if I could sell it, and I pondered a moment – the paper beads are inexpensive, the wrapping/laddering only takes an hour or so – and then I stopped myself. Let’s see if this holds together.
And, it didn’t. Even though I had macramé knotted the loop closure down, it opened up. Sigh.
But, there is hope!
I have now watched all of Robin Dudley-Howes Eclectic Beaded Crochet class, and she has an awesome, three part method for securing her closures. I was so happy when she admitted that before she discovered her method, her jewelry fell apart too. I really do enjoy successful crafters and artisans sharing their fails as well as their successes. Anyway, I’m now thinking that selling my stuff might be entirely possible. Forget the paper beads for the most part – back to the junk jewelry beads, flea market beads, beads from broken jewelry. And, the crochet bracelets are back in my wheelhouse – fiber, stitching – all good! And, because I do know how to crochet beyond chaining, slip stitching, and single crochet, I’m thinking how I can add other stitches, and make bracelets that look more like my own. Anyway, the cogs in ye old brain are turning. But, I am so far ahead of myself. Let’s get that bracelet closed properly first! And, I will leave you with that, as I await my ThreadZapper II from my Amazon Prime 2 day shipping!
Back tomorrow with a Yarn Along, and a spur of the moment finished object!