How much to charge for knitting?
How much is a hand craft worth?
It takes years to develop skill. It takes hours upon hours to knit a garment. Even a simple scarf can take an entire weekend of constant knitting. So, when asked how much you would charge to knit something – how would you respond?
Number One: What is the skill level of the pattern?
Skill Level is HUGE! There is a big difference between knitting in garter or stockinette stitch and a lace pattern. Even a semi-skilled knitter can have troubles when dealing with yarn overs and knit togethers. So, if the skill level is more advanced, do you charge more?
Number Two: What is the weight of the yarn?
It is much quicker to knit a bulky yarn weight item than a lace yarn weight item. Days and Days we are talking!
Number Three: What is the needle size?
How many times have I posted about needle size? When you are knitting for yourself, it IS worth the extra time using smaller needles. But, when knitting for someone else, when they have handed you a pattern, there is a gauge to follow. The piece will take much less time on size 10 than on size 4 knitting needles.
Number Four: Is there a time frame?
Time. Can you knit the piece in a weekend if they want it A.S.A.P.? Or if it will take you multiple days of 5-6 hours of knitting? Can you physically accomplish the task? Even IF you are given a “whenever” time frame, you need to complete the item in a reasonable timeframe.
If you have somewhat calculated the skill level and hours it MAY take you to complete the knitted piece, you need to add extra time for problems that may arise. Problems, you say? Yes. Quality of yarn. Quality of the written pattern. And those are only a few of the extra time factors that don’t include your personal life.
One more question before I go back to some sort of conclusion: How much would someone pay for the piece in a store? Let’s keep boutiques out of this. The first thing I can think of after the store is: If the yarn quality is high, the person has already paid more for the yarn than a store-bought item!
Too many factors to weigh in to calculate a price for knitting something you do not get to keep and wear? (I could say the same for knitting for a magazine or yarn company – add time for designing and writing the pattern for multiple sizes!)
It reminds me of a time when a woman saw a long lace tunic I knitted. She wanted me to sell it at a local boutique. I responded: It cost me $200 just in the yarn. Which she replied: Add a $100 to that price.
This woman was obviously willing to pay $300 for my lace tunic. I couldn’t even tell you how many hours it took me. And, back then, I was not as skilled of a knitter as I am today.
Depending on the part of the country (I am using the US as a reference here) you live in, an unskilled worker makes around $8 an hour. Less after taxes, insurance, etc. But, let’s use $8 an hour as our starting point. And, let’s use two days as your THINKING of a time frame. (I have a hard time knitting more than 5 or 6 hours day after day.) 12 hours. Let’s use 12 x $8. $96 and why not just round-up to an even $100.
You KNOW it took me longer than 12 hours to knit that lace tunic! So, you charge less for something that took you a weekend to knit? Some companies now pay 15-25 cents a yard. That really isn’t enough to cover minimum wage for unskilled labor.
Why is it that skilled creative labor is so cheep?
I don’t know if there is a RIGHT answer to our conclusion.
Happy finding your OWN conclusion,