Whooooaaa. . .boundaries, boundaries!!! No one should be asking you to knit anything for them except your spouse and children, and even then, they’d better really nice to you for a long time.
Your friend at work wants you to knit for a dog that belongs to HER MOTHER IN LAW?!?!?!?
Your aunt wants you to knit a shawl for her FRIEND?!?!?!
At least your cousin is asking for something for herself!
Just who do these people think you are?! Or rather, what do they think you are, a knitting factory?!
You could say, “are you kidding?! Do you realize what you’re asking me to do!!! Were you planning on buying me a new flat screen TV set in exchange? Or some diamond jewelry?” But if you want to be more diplomatic, this is what I would do: Find the appropriate patterns on Ravelry or Patternfish, preferably something like Lucy Neatby, who charges about $12 a pop. Then find some hand dyed yarn on line, maybe hand spun as well, you know, About $10 an ounce. (Don’t actually buy this stuff!-- you’re just making up a shopping list.) Then tell them that you don’t have the right size needles and pick some by Lantern Moon. Each project should take at least 2 sizes of needles, preferably 3. You will also need a crochet hook to catch dropped stitches and weave the ends, afterwards. A hand blown swirly one by Ernst Glass should do it. This will total about $110. Then tell them that knitters usually charge by the stitch. This will add on another $200 to the doggie coat, $700 to the shawl, and not knowing what a photography business cocoon would be, let’s just say $300 to that.
This will do one of 2 things: 1. Prevent you from ever having to knit for anyone ever again. 2. Or they will pony up. In the latter case, you can now either enjoy knitting with luxury yarns with your new needles, or you can pocket the cash and get some Susan Bates needles and Red Heart yarn. If at the end of knitting these things, even under these beneficial circumstances, you vow never to knit for them again, then make a lot of glaring mistakes, spill coffee on the finished object before giving it to them, and you will be back at result one.