Question about being paid to knit

ok i bought the pattern for the baby sacque and a girl saw the finished product and wants me to make her one plus a baby blanket. and she wants to pay me to make it… is that ok? i know i see some patterns that say that they are not to be produced for profit or something like that. though this one doesn’t say it. i guess i’m not mass producing them and selling them so i guess this is ok… i don’t know!! please let me know!! thanks!

I’m certainly no expert here, and I wouldn’t ever recommend making things from a pattern that you’d sell at a crafts fair, but a personal deal? I’d go for it.

ok. how much should i charge?

As much as you possibly can. Seriously. Find out what she’s willing to pay, and see if it’s worth your time and yarn. Some people say to use the cost of the yarn and, say, triple it, but knitting with cheap stuff takes as much time as knitting with expensive stuff.

I’ve found that people undervalue hand knitting things when they ask someone to make it. They feel that they should get it cheaper than they can buy it commercially. We all know how much time goes into a hand knitted item, so don’t sell yourself short and end up making a dollar an hour. We all know that the little free time you have is valuable.

So while I can’t name a price for you, don’t make it for much less than she could buy a custom-knit handmade item in the store.

I agree with Ingrid. First, I don’t think there is a problem for you to make something “to order” from a pattern. If you were to mass produce the item and sell a ton of them at a fair then yes, I’d be wary.

However, this is a commissioned piece! First I would think about how long it took you to knit the one she admired, and consider how long it will be before she will see her own finished object.

Then I would consider how much value you put on your time. Then add in the cost of the yarn. It is hard to say, but as Ingrid says, don’t undersell yourself at all. It is a LOT of work to hand knit something, a lot of care and attention goes in, whereas commercially produced machine knit items are just mass produced and slung together. Also a hand knitted item is likely to last much longer!

As for the blanket - if this is something you have also already knitted before, again think about how much time it took you to make it. You could give yourself a specific hourly rate and tell her it will take xx hours and your rate is yy $, plus yarn cost.

ok thanks ladies. i will do what u suggested!!! :thumbsup:

Carmell, please let me know how this goes for you, and if you don’t mind, how much you charged her after you’re done. If that’s too much info for you to be comfortable with sharing, that’s cool. I am mostly interested in how you feel about the whole process, etc., as people ask me to do this all the time and I haven’t done it yet! So when you’re done, I’d love to hear your feelings on the whole thing.


My family is starting to ask me to make them things and their friends too and they will pay for I have been blowing it off untill now but my husband said if I do sell some stuff he doesn’t mind if I use all the money to by more yarn and stuff he is such a good enabler !!!

I made dog sweaters when I first started knitting and sold them at a friends gift shop. But they were on consignment. I think that is what it is called. She didn’t pay me until the sweaters sold. So I just chose whatever materials I thought I could afford and made what I wanted. I would think it would be more difficult to make something to order, because you are dealing with peoples expectations. That is my big fear about making something for someone.

I think you all have more generous friends/family than I do…mine all just want me to give them stuff! Offer of payment has yet to occur :rofling:

I really do like to give stuff as gifts and actually would be nervous about meeting someone’s expectations. So if it wasn’t someone particularly close to me, I probably wouldn’t do something for them. And if it was someone close, I’d want to give it as a gift! Clearly the concept of commissioned knitting just ain’t gonna happen for me!!

I would, however, love to hear how you make out!


When I knit for people, I charge for the yarn, including tax and shipping if applicable. Then, I multiply the number of yards in each ball that I’m using times 2, 3 or 4 cents, depending on how difficult the pattern is (endless st st = 2 cents) for a “labor” charge.

So, say the pattern calls for 800 yards of cotton, and I use shine worsted from knitpicks, which is 2.49 a ball for 75 yards

11 balls X 2.49 each = 27.39

800 yards X 2 cents a yard = 16.22

Yarn (27.39) = labor (16.22) = 43.61, which I would round up to 44 dollars.

If the pattern was all lacy and cabley and intricate and a PITA, I would charge 4 cents a yard for labor, making the total cost 60 dollars. Soooooo a lace shawl that uses 3 hanks of knitpicks shimmer at 4.99 for 440 yards a ball, would be 14.97 (yarn) + 52.80 (labor) = 57.77 rounded up to 58.

Of course, 1300 yards of lace weight yarn probablly should be charged 10 cents a yard, IMHO.

I got this formula from our wonderful mod ekgheiy!!! She had a worksheet/spreadhseet made up that she uses/used… you might want to ask her for more information.

I knit for my lys where I also volunteer. I only use their yarn, which I get a discount on because of my “work”, which is lovely knitting time interrupted by knitters who are so nice! I have to go a bit by what is charged for other similar items, for instance her baby hats are ten dollars, and booties that someone else makes are seven fifty. I made a little set for 3-6 months, hat booties and a simple bear toy, and charged $22.00 for it. I tend to look at it more as converting five dollars worth of yarn into $22.00. Not sure I would ever expect to get money for my time. None of these items took very long, though. Just my thoughts on the topic. samm who is reading avidly…

I would like to say that even though I tend to feel that I am not very artistic, knitting is an art, and by extension, knitters are artists. Especially if you are making something that is original for someone, or from a pattern that you created, this would be the same thing as a commissioned portrait. I think we sell ourselves short by making too much of the price of an item based on the yarn. I doubt very seriously that someone that paints bases their work at all on the cost of the paint. I could be wrong, but I work with a lot of artists and I’ve neer heard them say as much. Time is the most precious thing we have, and we do not cherish it enough, nor do most people appreciate the time of others as important. A hand made garment is special, unique and valuable. I think we need to seriously start thinking of our craft as art. Thoughts?

OH you ladies have such good input here!!!i amheeding all of your information and taking it all in to consideration. Carmen~ i was kind of thinking on that level too. but i am new tot his so i don’t know!

I once made infant ski sweaters and sold them to a local shop. She convinced me I couldn’t charge her as much as I wanted to because she had to make a profit. So…I lowered what I thought was fair. She ordered five. I made them and brought them to her. A week later I went by her shop and she had tripled the price. I was upset. I trusted her because I didn’t have any experience, but I learned there is a value to what we do. If you’re doing it as a friend, that’s one thing. If it’s a commission…charge!