Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What is Fair ?

Yesterday morning after I got off  work I stopped at one of my favorite coffee houses for my brew of choice and couldn't help but notice this hat as I walked through the door.  Even before I got closer to the young lady that was wearing it I knew exactly which yarn it was and which pattern.  Being the knitter that I am I of course had to ask if she made it and a few other questions.  No.  She had not made it but she was with her Mom at a bazaar and bought it at a booth. She was gracious and allowed me to take a photo of the it especially after I told her I was going to either put it on my Two Cables Facebook page (shameless plug there) or that I was going to blog about it.  I asked how much the woman charged (now this slipped because even though I wouldn't mind someone asking me, I should not have) she told me $30.00.  Now this is when I kind of went into shock because I just bought a few skeins of this yarn and I know the skein price and I know the pattern and I know that the hat would only use up two-thirds (give or take) of the yarn.  Interesting.

There is a chic little boutique here in my town that sells hand-made things and though I don't buy much from there I sometimes stop in I am near by.  I go directly to the hand knitted items which are accessories mostly and made by knitters here in town.  I always recognize the yarn as being top-notch and the knitters have created their own designs and always add gorgeous adornments.  The prices are exorbitant to say the least but I completely understand because they are one of a kind items and very chic.  When the young lady asked me how much I would have charged I was actually at a loss for words because I always give things away but that's Me and I'm not trying to make money.  The items I knit are truly from the heart.  In all honesty if I had met this young lady earlier and she expressed wanting a hat I probably would have grabbed something from my stash and would have just made it.  Her smile would be payment enough.  It's all relative to the individual though.



 
Here is a photo of my yarn which is what her hat is made from.  It's Lion Brand Amazing at about $3.99 a skein of 147 yards.  The color is the same as hers (this is just a bad photo).  The colorway is Rain Forest.  Amazing is 53% wool and 47% acrylic.
 


The hat is the Scalloped-Edge Beanie from 60 Quick Knits.  Very pretty.  I must say seeing her hat has given me ideas of making my on. 


How do my fellow crafters out there feel ? Is this type of pricing consistent with fellow crafters regardless of which yarn is used ?  I only ask because if I were going to knit and charge I would have no idea where to begin.  Give me a clue.

and by the way...  Have a Wonderful day !!!



14 comments:

Deb said...

Pretty yarn, pretty hat. Pretty steep price. Like you...their smile of appreciation is all that I would need.

I made a baby blanket for a friend at church. As the baby grew into a child, the mom wanted a bigger blanket for her. So, we went to the store together & selected the yarn & the mom made the purchase. I knitted a larger version for the baby blanket, but I didn't charge her for it. I knitted the blanket because I wanted to, but I didn't have the funds for the yarn. I think that this worked out well for us.

Two Cables and a Frapp said...

@Deb. I so totally agree. I can't bring myself to charge people. Considering the pattern (which would take a day or so) and that yarn, the price is definitely steep !

I do know a few people that are doing this as a business.

writer29uk said...

I did see your post and so read blog post! I price according to how long it takes and yarn costs.

If one is making a living from one's craft they need to price realistically. If you spend ten hours knitting something charging $30 is not much at all! My cabled scarves take that long and I charge £30 so including the yarn it's a bargain!! Fortunately I also teach IT or I'd starve...

Dee said...

I suppose you could make some profit on something simple and small, but I don't see HOW I could make a profit on socks made with good yarn.

The yarn is $22-$45 plus my time would be somewhere in the $150-$200 range. I don't think ANYONE would pay that for socks.

Possibly with the Joann's type sock yarn you *could* make a profit, but face it....that yarn isn't nearly as pretty as the good stuff and isn't going to draw people to it.

I'm like you --- if I like you, I will knit for you, but I probably wouldn't do it for money.

Spinster Beth said...

This is a hotly, hotly contested topic in some Ravelry groups! If you think of it in terms of how many hours it takes to knit, plus the cost of the yarn, a 3-hour hat for $30 (with inexpensive yarn) is very reasonable. I agree with Dee's pricing -- if you spend hours on something, especially something complicated, it should cost in the three digits if you want to make or supplement your income. A lot of people who don't knit assume something knitted or crocheted is cheaper than something you'd buy at Wal Mart. Even with inexpensive sock yarn, a pair of socks would be around $8-$10, not counting labor! A lot of muggles have asked me to knit them socks "because the ones at the store are so expensive!" I have given miles of knitting away to friends, and I will continue to do so, but if I were going to sell through Etsy or a real store, I would be pricing those projects pretty highly!

autumngeisha said...

Very interesting post and question! Although the yarn is inexpensive, I think that the time and craftsmanship involved in knitting the hat should also be reflected by the price of the item. I have seen very trendy but simple ribbed cowls made from super bulky yarn priced at over $50 on Etsy. Probably took less than an hour to make. Like you, I rather gift my handknits than charge for them. Just the happy process of knitting is reward enough.

Two Cables and a Frapp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Two Cables and a Frapp said...

All comments are appreciated. I should clarify that one thing that really bothers me is with the yarn being inexpensive the scallops are curling up on the hat because it's 47% acrylic so the blocking will never hold. I could not in my heart charge that much for an item that is not going to block and form properly and possibly not hold up in the wash.

Torhild Reidardatter said...

I sold some of my stuff and it would never be affordable to live of that only. One have to find a price tag that is right compared to the costs, hours and quality. It will always be on the cheap side. But lets face it: people who can not craft at all will pay to get! One can "get" / buy accessories cheap and support the labour of children OR you could pay some more and get a pair of mittens made by a local artist and feel good about it. Thats my view ;)

Regina said...

Hi Carolyn,
I see handmade items at craft shows and for sale online and even as a amateur I still give the hmmmm response to some of the prices. I understand that if people are using their craft work as a source of income they must provide a product worthy of the cost. That goes for anything that gets tagged "handmade". Yes the materials used and time put in should be considered and the quality. If you're making something others can't then you have something you can seek a price reflective of that.
My dad says you pay for what you can't or don't want to do so if someone wants to pay a higher price for "handmade" work that is what works for them. :)

madameknitter1 said...

My thought is if a crafter is using one of the cheapest materials out there to make and sell their items then why charge so much ? The mark-up on this hat is over 80% for a yarn that will not hold up and curls at the end.

Evelyn Hender said...

I know what you mean about pricing. I was looking at some beautiful crocheted blankets the other weekend and the price they were being sold for must have barely covered the cost of the yarn. Such a shame these crafters undersell their work when they've spent so much time on it

Joansie said...

It's impossible to knit and make a profit. $30 is really not too much. For that reason, I only knit and gift out of love and not money. I always use quality yarn as I want to enjoy the entire experience of knitting. I've seen those cute baby hats that are strawberries, etc. sell for $30 here in Vermont. I have a friend who sells these really butt-ugly baby sweaters for $200-$250 in NYC but she has a "following".

Two Cables and a Frapp said...

Wow Joansie ! $200-$250 and they're butt ugly ! LOL !