-

   True North Knitting

Vintage-out of print  patterns/Original Dog Sweater Patterns

Blogging

Are you worth what you do?

Posted by M Starr on January 26, 2015 at 12:25 AM

I saw a post on facebook today that really hit a sore spot with me. It is time for me to vent and express exactly what I think about knitting and Crocheting for craft shows and selling online.

 

This is the picture that got me going.


 

 

 

Now how flipping true is this. I will begin by telling my story.

 

15 years ago I decided I needed to make a bit of extra cash. Newly divorced ,,,trying to make it in the real world was not totally working out the way that was comfortable for me. So I decided to start knitting dog sweaters with a pattern that had been designed by a good friend. After many tries I got the design to work for the sweaters I was trying to create. For the first year I barely slept. The dog sweaters really took off and I was trying to build my customer base so it got to the point where I was not turning anyone down and I sat up for hours at night making and shipping these sweaters. I nearly drove myself into the grave doing this but I got a very loyal customer base that kept coming back for more sweaters. A few years went by and the economy took a bit of a nose dive and the knitting business slowed down (as did I). I had knit so much that it was not fun anymore. So I put the needles away to take a well deserved break. Well a few years later I decided to start up again only to realize there was a whole new batch of customers with different mentalities. You know those customers.. "What? you are not going to drop everything and make a sweater for me for $5?" They could not understand why I was charging what I was charging for these sweaters.. Unbeknownst to them I had done a bit of a trial knitting session. I took my yarn.. (cost me $5) and sat down for the day. It took me 5 hours to complete a sweater to fit a yorkie or a pug. from start to finish. So.. if you figure out the yarn cost $5.00 plus 5 hours of labour at minimum wage ..$10.00 x 5 =$50.00 plus yarn $5.00 for the total cost of making this original design sweater $55.00. Now I realize you never get that for a sweater but seriously, people were complaining when I would charge $12 or $15 in my listings. Seriously? that would be labour at $2 per hour. Would you work anywhere for that amount?I think NOT!

 

So at that point I had decided to write up my pattern. That in itself is labour intensive. Each pattern has to have a sample sweater knit for the pattern itself, as well as the expertise to put it into a design and make it as user friendly as you possibly can. Like I have said about this new mentality. No one wants to purchase just a pattern anymore, They want a full tutorial with pictures (again more labour intensive than it is worth) . So now I have several patterns listed on my website and each year I have the plan to add 2 new patterns to the list.

 

So as the story continues, lately I have been trying to purge some of my yarns buy making hats and mittens. Again, same thing.. I made some wonderful chunky knit sock monkey type mittens for the fall craft show. Had them listed for $15 a set. People just looked and checked the price and moved on. Seriously.. if you want a pair of $2 mittens go to the dollar store or Walmart. Do not insult me by saying that $15 is too much for a pair of hand knit thick mittens that took me days to knit. So again this past craft show season left me a bit deflated, like the Patriots footballs. I am tired of knitting (which is an art in itself) and having people turn their noses up at my prices. I swear I am going to put a huge poster behind me telling people the breakdown of work done by hand knitters or crocheters. But I am sure this will just go over their heads as this is a society of non appreciative shoppers that expect everything for nothing. It is so disheartening.

 

So I will just keep knitting to use up the yarn I have for now , knitting for the church to give to needy families and when I get tired of that I will donate my yarn to a good cause. Until the appreciation turns around again I will no longer be practically giving my knit and crochet items away for the price that people expect anymore. I am worth more than that, I am a professional hand knitter (or at least semiprofessional ) and I am worth more than $2.00 an hour. and good god I will never do socks because the yarn for socks cost almost $30 plus the hours put into it. I read somewhere on some other blog saying that (and get this)!!!!! it takes as long and uses as many stitches to knit a pair of socks as it does to Knit a ladies sweater!.. Just sit back and think of that for a few minutes,, let it sink in.. amazing huh?.

 

With that being said. I am done for the day. That is my only and last vent about prices for knitwear.

 

Just remember.. when you see someone's beautiful work displayed for sale, you now know how many hours of love went into each piece. If you don't want to purchase it, at least tell them how nice it is. Do not grumble about the price because more than likely is it priced way lower than it should be. If you don't knit then you have no idea the amount of time and money that went into each carefully made item. We truly love what we do.

Categories: Craft Show Items, crochet, knitwear, 2015

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In

2 Comments

Reply Lois
3:34 PM on March 29, 2015 
You will be happy to know that in my town handknit dog sweaters ARE selling for $35-$50 even for tiny dogs. They were beautiful, but with the confidence I'm gaining from using your patterns I just admired them and started thinking what sweater I'd make next. If I didn't think I could do it, I would have bought one!
Reply M Starr
4:51 PM on March 29, 2015 
Lois says...
You will be happy to know that in my town handknit dog sweaters ARE selling for $35-$50 even for tiny dogs. They were beautiful, but with the confidence I'm gaining from using your patterns I just admired them and started thinking what sweater I'd make next. If I didn't think I could do it, I would have bought one!

Thank you Lois. I do believe I will start making them again and listing them on my site.
M