Has this happened to anyone else?

Last week, I went to pick up Baby A.K. from daycare. She and her classmates were on the playground, and because it was chilly, she was wearing her sweater and hat set that Grandma (Mother Of A.K.) had made her last year (and it still fits!):

Another mom was also collecting her children and noticed Baby A.K.'s finery. She asked me all about the set, who made it, was it difficult, how long did it take, knit or crochet... and then she hit me with, "Can your mom make a set for me? I'll pay for it!"

I was caught completely off-guard, and fumbled for something to say. On the one hand, it's an incredibly nice offer, and my mom would be thrilled to hear that someone was willing to pay her to knit for them. But on the other hand, and the reality of the situation: the sweater and hat set was knit from a published pattern, so the finished product can't be profited from according to copyright laws. So the dilemma is, how do you explain something like this to a nice, non-knitting acquaintance whose son is in the same class as your child and you don't want to come off haughty and all law-abiding but unless she wants to learn how to knit it herself, you just can't knit it for her?

My answer: stall. I told her I'd have to ask my mom (cringe). But in order to get out from under this gracefully, I'll have to say something like, "Thank you so much for the offer, but my mom has too many gifts to knit for the holidays." Of course the worst part is, it isn't really true. Yes, my mom has a lot of knitting projects in the queue, but none of them are for the holidays. They're all for Baby A.K.

I don't like bending the truth, but, well... can anyone else think of another way out of this?


Cris said...

I don't think you'd need to be so specific in a refusal that the truth gets bent. You can just say "Sorry, but mom isn't able to do it." Especially since you're speaking for someone else; you can't speak directly for Mom's knitting time, and I daresay you don't get to tell her what to do! So if she didn't want to, for whatever reason, then that's that.

As far as paying for the knitting ... if Mom is agreeable to make the projects, I think it would be totally reasonable for the other lady to at least pay for the yarn, copyright law or no. That's not "profiting", that's just providing materials, and really no different than if she bought the yarn herself and asked someone else to knit it up for her.

E.W.E said...

I agree with cris. I don't see any problem with having the lady pay your mother for yarn, and even something extra for her time spent knitting it up. Of course I don't know exactly how the law reads, but it seems to me that basic common sense would see that when someone spends time to make something, they should be reimbursed for their time. That's not the same as profiting from the item, IMHO. 'Course, common sense frequently has little to do with how the laws are written up...:-) Good luck.

Deb S. said...

I've faced the same situation but in my case it was "can you make a quilt for my grandkids? I'll pay you for it". So what I did was to give them a written estimate which included price for fabric, batting, and my time priced at a per hour charge with an hour estimate (in a range of 10 - 15 hours). By giving an hour range, I was able to show them the high and low end of what it would cost per quilt.

In the two instances that I gave a proposal, one said it was more than they wanted to spend and the other took me up on it.

In another case when I was asked that question, I told the person I would get back to them but I never did (I took the chicken way out) and they never asked again. For some other people that asked, I say no, I have too much of my own stuff to do.

And I think you're okay with using the pattern to make for someone else. I think what you can not do is copy the pattern to give to other people for profit.

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