Friday, October 12, 2007

Price check

What is anything worth? There is common agreement on acceptable prices for some items and wildly different opinions about the monetary value of other things, but I suppose one has to be an economic theorist (or more of one than I am) to understand what numbers work and don't.

It's a topic worthy of consideration on a day that saw me make what I consider a ridiculous sum of money for three hours of freelance videography. The opportunity was presented to me a week ago. In setting up the deal I tossed out a number that I knew other people in the company didn't blink at when putting together a proposal for a different project. Obviously they didn't think it was as outrageous of a price as I thought it was. All the better for me. Who doesn't like to be handsomely paid for short, easy work?

Nevertheless, I felt a little guilty about it. Not so guilty that I slashed my rate, mind you, but guilty that I didn't deserve it. I accomplished the task required of me, and apparently my price was well within what the market will bear. The thing is that I don't place the value of my abilities as high as the client did. So who's right? Is either of us?

Of course, I've been giddy over this mini-windfall ever since it dropped in my lap. It's probably safe to say that compensation of this sort won't come along often. The last time I did anything remotely like this was three years ago, but it required a lot more time and effort.

For that matter, I was even able to knit while "on the clock". There's usually a lot of down time in video production, so I brought the scarf with me in the event that I would be sitting around until the interview subjects arrived. Sure enough, for about thirty minutes of the three hours I was free to do as I pleased. I plunked myself down in a chair to the side of the milling conference attendees and knitted. I had forgotten to print out the pattern and bring it along, but I thought I remembered how it went.


I wasn't off by much, but as the saying goes, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. It looks fine. I could probably get by with the error uncorrected; however, I've decided that the mistake is leading me to do what I knew needed to be done to the scarf. I should rip it all out. Going by the yarn's stitches per inch, I cast on thirty stitches to get the width I was aiming for. It has turned out about an inch shorter than I hoped. I didn't want to frog it, but now I have a good excuse for doing just that.

In the end it's worth doing because frogging is the price I'm willing to pay. I can't explain why it is an acceptable cost fifteen rows later. Ripping out earlier wouldn't have been as expensive. I guess we value some things more when in a pinch.

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At 9:23 AM, Blogger Karen said...

You don't place the value of your abilities as high as the client? That's a confidence issue, which you have probably already figured out. I have seen your confidence grow as your knitting skills have grown, though. Now, how do you transfer that confidence to other areas of your life?

At 10:01 AM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

Yes, I'm aware that I'm pretty tough on myself. I forgot to include in this post that a friend didn't think it was an unreasonable rate for video work. Obviously it wasn't if the client didn't hesitate to agree to it. Now I have to convince myself. :)

At 6:55 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Good job on making the decision to rip. That's one lesson that is sometimes hard to learn as a new knitter, but somewhere along the line we realize that the cost of ripping is far less than the cost of finishing something that ends up being less than perfect when it's all said and done.

PS - I had to chuckle when I read "Close only count in horseshoes and hand grenades" because one of my high school teachers always used to follow that up w/ "...and drive-in movies"...dirty old man haha


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