Custom Scarves: What to charge?

Hi,

After a few months of having my stuff listed in Etsy.com, I finally have one response that might get me a sale. The person saw a scarf pattern that she really likes and asked me to make a custom scarf for her in a different colour and yarn. She is willing to pay for the amount of yarn required. She doesn’t know how to knit, so she probably doesn’t know how many hours actually goes into making a full length scarf. I’ve never really hung out around knitters so I don’t know how my knitting speed compares to others. I just assume it’s probably slower since I just do it for recreation.

So my question is what I should be charging considering the hours that need to be put into creating a long scarf with patterns on it.

Lana

Knitting is worth what someone will pay…no matter how fabulous we think it is. I would figure out how long you think it will take and multiply that by an hourly rate you’ll be happy with.

Don’t worry about whether you knit slowly or quickly: if you knit fast and charge by the hour, you are penalizing yourself for your speed.

And please don’t make the mistake of charging a multiple of the yarn cost: it takes just as much talent and effort and time to knit cheap yarn as it does cashmere.

Here is one of the better formulas for determining what to charge.
http://floryknits.com/
Flory is a master knitter and was a member of the judging committee for the TKGA Master’s program.
Keep in mind, though, that the formula was put together two or three years ago, and you may want to update the prices a bit.

In the end, though, it’s like Kemp says: your knitting is worth what someone will pay. Which is why a lot of very good knitters won’t do custom work and why many others accept burger-flipping payment for weeks of work.

FluterL…the rule of thumb is to double the cost of the yarn for the completed item you knit (not sure if I am disagreeing with knitasha or not but comment re this at end). So, if yarn costs you $25 the item would be $50. You can of course vary this to account for different things. Be gracious but firm and know your value. Pose the final cost and politely request 50% deposit and that you will give a receipt. 50% deposit at least covers the cost of the yarn should the person change their mind.

I said account for different things (maybe back to knitasha). If I was making a loopy scarf made quickly with lots of yo I may not charge double. Then again if I was making a very complicated patterned scarf I may charge more than double. I think if you have a basic rule of thumb you feel comfortable with you can work either side of that.

Thanks for all the great responses and suggestions!

I think I’m going to charge by the yard. It seems like the best thing, slightly lower than minimum wage but fair. Charging 2 or 3 times the yarn seems like i could be undercharged even more.

The amount of yarn needed is around 364 yards. Depending on the type of yarn this number could change. I would also be knitting a complicated pattern as well. I did the math with this number. If I charge $0.20, it would be $72.80, $0.21=$76.44, $0.22=$80.80, $0.23=$83.72, $0.24=$87.36, $0.25=91

Though I’d like to charge $0.25 per yard for a complicated pattern… is it too much for a scarf? I will be knitting with hand made merino yarn. I don’t have the yarn yet. The customer will be paying for the yarn separately.

Your help is greatly appreciated!

Lana

I have seen a book that may help you with this: crocheting for fun and profit. the author goes thru various business models for selling hand made goods, and how to run a small business. (in the beginning it also talks about how to crochet and gives 4 (lame) patterns)

While the books are a little old and don’t cover internet selling, the basic information is still the same. Some people charge a per hour type price, others triple the materials costs, etc. she talks about pros and cons of each model, and talks about marketing, paperwork, etc.

it was at my local library. it may help to read about differing models for pricing and how to work it all out. While it is a crochet book, the principles of business are the same.

Crocheting for fun & profit
Sims, Darla.
Publisher: Prima Pub.,
Pub date: c2000.
Pages: xi, 337 p., [4] p. of plates :
ISBN: 0761521615

I was hoping I would get more responses. I know someone mentioned that pro-knitters usually don’t do custom knitting jobs. How about pricing knitted goods for sale?

Thanks,

Lana

Well, the great knitters I know say no one could ever afford how much a handmade item is [B]truly[/B] worth. Plus, people who no nothing about knitting have funny ideas about what you can do, how long it takes, how much decent yarn really is, etc. they can get ridiculously picky and obnoxious.

personally, I would feel funny making things on commission because it would bring out my perfectionist streak and I’d be too worried about making a mistake or the person not liking it. Then all the joy is gone.

when I make a gift it is about the joy I put into it, along with something I hope the person will like and use.

But I’m not knitting to pay the mortgage- in a few yarn shops where I’ve seen finished items for sale, child size sweaters have been $50-$75; finished shawls for $120+, adult sweaters for $150+… but most folks going into a yarn shop are going to just buy the yarn themselves.

Then there’s the copyright issue of not selling things made from other people’s patterns. Without specific permission from the pattern designer, you just can’t sell their designs for your own gain.

Once you get into designing your own items- to me, the price goes even higher.

just my 2 cents…