Friends with Benefits

16 Mar

Making friends for all the right reasons

The best things in life are free, or maybe they’re trade?

I’m talking about trading your craft for other services or items (and only services on the up-and-up people – come on!). We all know times are tough for everyone. Any chance to save money or barter should be welcomed!

Here’s the, accidental, scoop: My sister’s sister-in-law by marriage (yes, complicated) was starting her own photography business. She was mainly interested in shooting families, kids and newborns. We had been friends on Facebook and she had noticed my new knitting hobby from posts and pictures. She was particularly interested in the hats I was making and asked me if I could knit newborn hats. Then she proposed we make a trade of hats for a photo shoot. I loved this barter idea!

I was flattered someone thought my work was good enough to use to promote their business. Also, as the mother of four children, I was really ecstatic about the photo shoot. Do you know how expensive a photo shoot is?

My enthusiasm quickly turned into reluctance…I realized that I had never knitted anything small, let alone newborn-sized.

What had I agreed to do? Nonetheless, I was committed. I quickly suffocated any insecurity I had about tiny things and prepared to knit. Okay, that’s a lie. I was scared out of my mind and my dear friend Stacy got to hear all about it. She had encouraged me to use smaller needles for quite some time.

She coached me to look my fear of tininess (less than 6mm needles) right in the eye and say “I can do this!” And that’s just what I did! Stacy might have a different story, but that’s why you have friends who are there to support you in times of crisis.

I began to seek out patterns for baby hats. There were plenty of available patterns on which included helpful advice and tips. I finally settled on a hat that was supposed to end up looking like an eggplant.

Fair Trade


Baby Hats

The pattern was easy to follow and I was surprised that I was having fun while knitting it. Never have I ripped out so many stitches from one hat but I had to make my first tiny product perfect! The finished product was adorable and, it was worthy of being traded.

I subsequently made several more hats for Pink Owl Studios to use and will continue making more. We’ve worked out a special for moms that might be interested in actually purchasing the hats used for children’s shoots.

Happy Family

By the way, the photos session was amazing. I was so pleased at how the pictures turned out. My grin was for sure the biggest, knowing the main reason we were able to have that fabulous session was because of my hard work!

I will continue to look for opportunities to trade or barter with knitting. This outlet allowed me to be creative, trying things I might not, and left me feeling rewarded. Now, blessing the world with more handmade goodness is my new mission.

The trade guru,


2 Responses to “Friends with Benefits”

  1. Karin Utilai March 21, 2011 at 1:32 PM #

    Dear Susann,
    Great article. I really like the hats you made!
    Like you, I really like bartering and trading. So I found the website where you cam barter goods, services and real estate. What do you think about offering some of your hats there?

  2. Nancy Burk March 21, 2011 at 1:49 PM #

    LOVE IT!! and your work is truly beautiful. this article made me SMILE & laff…………

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