Charging for handiwork – How do you set the price?

Do you sell your knits? How do you determine how much to charge for your handywork?  I am a big sissy when it comes to charging people. Family just pays for the yarn, not my time. Friends are on the honor system sort of. I usually just say “whatever” and hope it covers my supplies.

 

I know I should charge accordingly, but it isn’t like there is a set price around for hand knit items. They can vary so much by difficulty, yarn used, how fast you work – there are a million variables. Recently I made a pair of baby blankets for a woman at work. I always work on my needlework projects at lunch and she fell in love a shell afghan I was working on for my daughter-in-law’s friend. Her daughter was expecting twins (and has two healthy baby boys now) and she wanted me to make them for her grandbabies. The yarn she wanted was on sale for approximately $15, and it took me about a week to complete between work and life. She was more than generous, giving me $80 for the pair. This was much more than I would have asked, but I was very appreciative of her acceptance of the amount of work and skill it takes to make a hand knit (or in this case crocheted) item.

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I looked on the internet to see if there were any guidelines. As you can imagine, there are as many guidelines as to how much to charge as there are people to  create hand made items.

A blog that I subscribe to, Remily Knits, mentioned charging .25 per yard ad the cost of the yarn. Another site recommended charging 3 to 4 times the amount of the cost of the yarn. What if you buy the yarn on sale? What if you had it in your stash and forgot what you paid? Thinking about basic socks, I like to use nice yarn. I’d say the average cost is around $25.00 for a pair. I can’t think about telling someone I need $75.00 to knit them some socks. Of course that would probably be a payment of less than $1 an hour if they were anything more than plain cuffed socks.

It is a tough call. I knit because I like to keep myself busy with something that is productive. It makes me happy to give something I’ve made to family and friends. I will never make a living out of knitting, but knitting brings pleasure to my living. In the end that is all that matters.

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8 Comments

Filed under Crocheting, Knitting

8 responses to “Charging for handiwork – How do you set the price?

  1. This is such a hard thing. Most knitters I know are not going to pay for handknit goods, because they say to themselves, “I can do that.” But they are the ones who know what goes into it and would understand the cost. Non-knitters might pay because they cannot knit for themselves, but because they have no idea how much time/effort/thought goes into knitting something, they have a harder time understanding why those pieces cost what they do. It’s a double-whammy. And it is definitely what has kept me from trying to sell any handknit pieces before. Great topic. I love hearing what people’s experiences are with this.

  2. I think it’s a very rare thing to get properly paid for handwork like knitting. Imagine if we could charge the same price as what we get at our real jobs!! Here’s another “guideline” to confuse you. ;-) In New Zealand, the standard charge is about $10 for every ball you knit for a basic stocking stitch knit (+ yarn cost). If it’s more complicated, like lace or cables, the price can go up. However, like everywhere, it’s negotiable. Personally, I’ve decided not to knit for ‘pay’ any more. I worked out that even at $10 a ball, it’s about $1 an hour. I’d rather just gift it than be paid that little. Too demeaning, and not the point of knitting for someone in the first place.

  3. Agreed! I have the same problem, sometimes my love of knitting overrides my business sense.

  4. Good point… Personally, aside from all the time it would take to knit the item, I think charging would make me feel too much pressure to finish perfectly… and so, I only knit as gifts.

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