Monday's child is fair of face.
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe.
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving.
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
I was born on a Saturday.
I have knit samples for several designers, so you may call me a "sample knitter" or a "test knitter." I never thought of this occupation as a full-time job, but lately, much of my free time has been dedicated to knitting samples and reading patterns. The samples I knit have been in books and magazines, have been hung in far-flung shops in various knitting ports of call, have been used as giant gauge swatches, and have been shown to many people I will never meet.
All of this sparks incredulity in my friends and family who seem to think I am spending ridiculous amounts of time knitting all of these lovely items, giving them away and getting very little in return.
So, what is the draw? What do I gain in return for all this knitting for others who don't have time to knit the samples themselves?
I knit samples to learn something. Each time I work with a different designer, I learn something new about the design process. I learn about the construction of garments, the composition and behavior of yarn under duress, stretched to its maximum girth or manipulated into its most unnatural posture. I learn about the publishing world and the pressures and deadlines that come with commitment. I learn about beauty and creativity.
I often receive yarn in payment, a common practice, especially among budding new designers. But designers are each and all unique. One person pays $0.06 to $0.15 per yard, depending on the complexity of the pattern, and the amount of work involved. Another person pays equivalent amounts of yarn per project. Yet another pays double for lace work. One designer paid me with an aknowledgment in her book, a copy of the book, and an invitation to the book release party in New York.