I never really felt strongly about hippos. Over the last few weeks though, one particular hippo has made me terrified, infuriated, frustrated, angry….and now we’re about to part company, I’m just starting to love him.
I was commissioned to crochet a toy. Stupidly I didn’t ask for the pattern before I agreed and when I received it I had a little panic. It was far more complex than anything I’d made before – it involved exact counting (something that’s a little fluffy in my crocheting) and joining shapes as you went a long which was as fiddly as I thought it would be.
I wanted to write this blog post for two reasons. First, I’m actually rather proud of the fact that Hippo does indeed look like a hippo :o)
And second, to explain something about handmade things.
I used to have a business making things. The biggest problem I had was that I wanted to charge prices I thought people would consider good, and sometimes, with handmade stuff, that’s just not possible. Let’s play a game: How much would you pay for hippo for a small person (or even a bigger person) in your life?
Got a number in your head? OK…
The materials to make Hippo were about £15.
I’ve worked out that Hippo took around 70 hours to make. If I made a hippo a day, I’d probably get faster as I got used to the pattern, but I’m not exactly slow when it comes to crochet, so I don’t think I’d knock much time off the clock. So let’s stick with 70 hours and say I pay myself the minimum wage. For my time, I would be charging £455. Total cost of Hippo is therefore £470. (For the record, I only charged this lady cost of the materials. Mainly because I am an idiot.)
And that’s why I don’t, as some people have very kindly suggested, give up the day job to crochet full time. People just wouldn’t pay the prices. I wouldn’t pay the prices! Remember that figure you considered paying…is it anywhere near the value of Hippo?
But the upside of not doing it for money and making things for people you care about is that every so often you’ll see you’ve made someone happy. Sister 1 sent me this photo of Little Pea last night. Every night after bath time they sit and look at the alphabet I crocheted him for Christmas to learn letters and animals:
And that gorgeous thought and picture mean far more to me than money :o)