How much to ask

My SIL wants me to make her daughter a crib blanket. I’m going to use a double strand of Caron Simply Soft and the pattern will be some sort of stripe. The yarn will cost about $20 and I’m estimating I’ll have 20 - 30 hours in it, depending on how much frogging I end up doing.
How much should I charge? She wants to pay me for it, and I don’t know how much to ask.
Thanks for your help!

I don’t know how current this is, but it might give you some idea of what’s reasonable.

I’ve heard cost of materials times 3 or 4. But that would be a $60-80 blanket!


You really need to find out what she’s willing to pay.

I could never sell anything I knit, my time is far too valuable… :wink: It’d be too expensive… hehehehehehhehe

The yarn is $20, I’d say about $35-$40, depending on size

i think $40 is good, considering the price of the yarn

You might want to ask her how much she is willing to pay first; personally I would never pay for anyone to knit me anything just because it’ll cost too much.

I think you should ask her how much she would charge someone for 20-30 hours of work to give her a little perspective on things. Some non-knitters don’t realize how labor-intensive knitting is. If she paid you minimum wage (and as a skilled artisan, you should make more than that), it would be over $100 for just your time.

If it were my SIL, I’d probably insist on doing it gratis because I think that psychologically, I would feel resentful if I were paid only a token amount to assuage her need to compensate me for my work. I guess what I’m saying is that I’d rather be generous and feel like I’m giving a gift instead of feeling like my work is undervalued and I’m being taken advantage of, if that makes sense. Funny how the mind works, isn’t it? That’s cognitive dissonance for you.

You know, a friend of mine asked me about a bazillion times to make a scarf for his sister. He said she’d pay me, blah, blah, blah. But there was no way I could charge her the amount of money that my time would actually be worth, nevermind that I had no interest in making a scarf at all (I think she might be the picky type, too). The idea of thinking of knitting as “work” made me uncomfortable as well – I don’t want something I really enjoy to start feeling like a chore. Anyway, I kept telling my friend that I would teach him to knit so he could make a scarf for her, and guess what? She got a store-bought scarf for X-mas. :roflhard:

I think Jane makes two excellent points. She’s right–people that don’t do any kind of crafting–whether sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, etc.–don’t really realize that it takes so much time and work. When you put it out to people that it’s going to cost the price of materials plus your labor, I’ve noticed that people are less apt to pay. They expect that you’ll pay for the materials and not take a penny for labor, like they’re doing you a favor by keeping you busy with a project!

Her second point of considering to make the blanket and give it as a gift is a good one. I think I’d be upset if I felt like somebody maybe only felt like my time and trouble was only worth something like $5 over the cost of materials. You can’t ask people to put a price on your work because it seems like people don’t want to pay what you’re worth. People will buy off the rack and pay the huge mark ups, but they won’t pay for handmade items, go figure. :shrug:

$40 as some have posted does seem like a fair price, but do you think she will be willing to pay that price?

I have a ‘policy’ regarding things people ask me to knit for them.
I won’t take money - it just seems silly to me!
Instead, the ‘asker’ has to offer a service or hand made item as ‘barter’.

I’ve gotten an awesome homemade apple pie, a photo from a photographer, veggies from personal gardens, and dinner made for me amongst my barter transactions.

As for the materials, I’ve usually just paid for the yarn myself, but I might work some or all of the cost of materials into the barter agreement if someone wanted a particularly expensive yarn to be used.

So that’s what I do.
It’s way more personal and a lot more fun, I think!

I tell people that I might be exchanging gifts with
if you want me to knit you something tell me what and i will tell you what yarn to pick up
they do that and I can knit it for them
when I M done we exchange gifts
i give them what I made with THEIR yarn
and they give me what they wanted to give me for making it for them
it works out for me
i do not seem greedy to most of the people who want something from me


I have offered to knitt sweaters and scarves and stuff for friends when I get the time, provided that they pay for the yarn. My time is my own, and I’d only ever knit for people I actually like under this policy :happydance:

If she is insisting but you don’t really want to charge her, why not ask her to just get you a LYS gift card for like $30 or something like that. It pays for the yarn and a gratis amount of your time. Or, tell her how much the yarn costs and tell to pay you what she wants besides that. People really do not have a clue about what people charge for knitted items. My dd had a friend make my grandson a sweater and she charged $70 and I imagine that was cheap as she doesn’t really make things to sell.

A co-worker asked me to knit a pair of socks for his new step daughter aged 11. I agreed to do it thinking I would be happy if he just paid for the yarn investment. I used 2 hanks of Koigu totalling $22. After the socks I had a bit left over so I made 2 fingerless mitts to match.

When I gave them to my coworker, he asked me how much he owed me. Well, it was Christmas and I was in the giving mood so I waved my hand at him and laughingly said “Whatever, Mike” … and walked away. A couple minutes later he comes up to me and hands me folded up money. I refused but he insisted and said he knows nothing about the craft and he hoped what he was giving me wasn’t an insult. I told him the money didn’t matter, it pleased me that something I created was going to be so loved. (and I meant it!!!) I pocketed the money without looking and only realized when I stopped to buy milk on the way home- he gave me $50. I about died. So knitters, there are people out there who appreciate our talents.

By the way, the kid actually SCREAMED she was so excited to get them in her “signature” color. My co-worker was so thrilled!

Thanks for all the wonderful replies! I already told her what the yarn will cost and about how many hours it will take. I think maybe I’ll ask her what she would be willing to pay. Either that, or her daughter’s b-day is at the end of Feb. so maybe I’ll just make it as a gift… :teehee:
I really like the bartering idea, but she isn’t crafty.
My Dh thinks I should get paid hourly and I explained to him that it would become a $200 blanket. :shock: I guess I’ll look at it as not necessarily paying for my time, but providing me something to knit :x: and feeding my yarn kitty. (Who’s fast approaching panther size.) :roflhard:

I like the bartering idea as well. I do some decorative painting on occasion for friends. It was tough to set a price that I felt like I was getting paid what I was worth, but also not asking too much as they are friends. The one job I did I traded the bathroom painting plus the paint for scrapbooking supplies (that she sells) plus little classes for my children. It worked out very well for both of us, and we plan to do the same thing in the future. I would consider trading for babysitting services, baked items, etc. Is there something that your SIL excels at- (not meaning just crafty things)? If you can’t work out a barter then I know I would probably handle it by saying “It is going to cost me $20 in yarn- I would be happy if you paid me just that. If you insist on paying me for my time then it is going to take me 20-30 hours and you can adjust the price as you see fit.”

I think it would be easier just to gift the blanket to her and at least know that she actually wants it. I only wish people would tell me what to make them.

You said she’s not crafty? Is there something she makes (say a favorite recipe) that you could swap for?

My retired neighbor has, on two occasions, mowed my grass when I was at work to keep me from getting in trouble with my hoa. :oops: I, in turn, have taken cookies to him. I have a FABULOUS chocolate chip cookie recipe that everyone raves over. The last time I took them, his wife commented on how much her son loves the cookies because the one thing she never does is bake.

I, personally, would just ask her to reimburse you for the yarn and to tell her to consider the rest a gift. That’s what a friend who’s making a scrapbook for my daughter is doing with me. I will probably take her some cookies when I pick up the finished product (her hubby loves my recipe too).