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Message Board > Knitting Lounge > How much do I charge? ( Moderated by JEF)

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How much do I charge?
JTink
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JTink
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VA USA
Member since 4/20/08
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Date: 2/1/09 1:08 PM

I ran into a lady the other day, I haven't seen for a while. I was wearing one of the cardigans that I made and she fell in love with it. It's my TNT pattern that is made in one piece, nothing fancy, just ribbing and stockinette stitch. She wants me to make her one. This is where I always have a problem...what to charge for something like this. I don't really sew or knit clothes for anyone, because of fitting issues. This lady is about my size and I could have her try on one of mine and get an idea of what size to make. I just use the Red Heart and stock up when I can get it for $2.00 a skien. I can make a sweater for about $6.00. If I let her pick out the yarn and pay for it(I'm going to lead her towards the Red HeartI), how do I figure in a price to charge her? Working at my leisure, I can do this sweater in about 2 weeks. Any faster and I risk injury to my wrists and fingers.

bzar
bzar
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HI USA
Member since 9/30/05
Posts: 126
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In reply to JTink


Date: 2/3/09 2:38 PM

this always puts me in a quandary. one way is to look online for a "ready made" cardigan similar to the one you plan to make and look at that price.

you can "confirm" that price by dividing the ready made price by the # of hours it will take you. if that price/hr seems reasonable, then perhaps the "ready made" price is what you can charge her.

i made a co-worker a seat cover for her office chair. i didn't want to charge her because she is a dear sweet friend. anyway, she ended up giving me $20 (she bought the fabric separately after i told her how much to buy).
-- Edited on 2/3/09 2:39 PM --

------
~jeannine

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to bzar


Date: 2/3/09 3:14 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. Only thing is, most "ready mades" are machine made and don't cost nearly as much as something should be if it's hand made. When I think of all those stitches, each one an actual motion of my hands, going into this project, I just can't imagine any price being enough. I'm not saying this because I think I do such a great job. It's just with every garment I knit, so much of me goes into the work. That's one reason I rarely, if ever, give away my knitted items. I would be heart sick, if after all that work, the person didn't appreciate it or just tossed it carelessly aside. I also feel, it's that much more wear and tear on my hands and wrists. I don't know how many more knitted items I have left in me Luckly, this lady hasn't called me about it. So maybe I'll not have to make this decision after all

EleanorSews
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EleanorSews  Friend of PR
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In reply to JTink


Date: 2/3/09 3:25 PM

You will never charge enough to compensate for the hours put in nor the "wear and tear" on your hands/arms. Please google hand knit sweaters to see if you can find a price range and then see what you think.

We have one of the country's largest (if not the largest) art fairs in Ann Arbor and I have seen "hand knitted" sweaters go for $400 to $700. A gal in my cross stitch loop used to help someone assemble her hand knit sweaters (which included use of a knitting machine) and those went for $500 average. These are mostly wool so there is a materials cost but still.... And I doubt many are 100% hand knit.

Hopefully you will not have to make a decision.

------
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to EleanorSews


Date: 2/3/09 5:48 PM

Thank you so much. I thought I was going over the top just thinking $50.00.

CypGrl
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CypGrl  Friend of PR
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TN USA
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Date: 2/3/09 8:15 PM

As sewing is no longer taught in many middle and high schools and other places where it once was taught and at home by mothers and grandmothers, it seems that there is a real market out there for even simple things such as hemming pants. So, the dry cleaners will charge at least $10 for a pair of unlined pants and more if they are lined or cuffed. If hemming a pair of pants is worth that and it takes little time, what WOULD a beautiful hand knit sweater that took two weeks to make be worth?

I think you should ask yourself whether you really want to do it or not. Could you direct her to your Etsy or Ebay shop? If you don't want to do it you might say that you wouldn't be willing to pay what it is really worth yourself so you wouldn't want to ask her to! Or of course, you might just say NO. ;- )

I have a friend who makes the most wonderful, unique bags for herself and for gifts. At times I've asked why she didn't try to turn it into $$$$. She essentially said that she'd have to charge more than she or others would want to pay for the quality of the fabric and the time and equipment involved in producing them.

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to CypGrl


Date: 2/4/09 7:59 AM

How True, How True. When I make purses, totebags etc. I give them as gifts. Sewing doesn't take the time or wear and tear that knitting does, but I still have a hard time charging someone for what I do. I find my fabrics on sale, so I'm saving a lot in material. I have, on rare occasion, made a requested purse and charged $20 for non-quilted and $30 for quilted(that included the price of the materials used and I quilt the material myself). I was told by someone who buys these things at specialty shops, that I didn't charge enough. So far, I still haven't heard from this lady. When she said she wanted me to make her a sweater, perhaps it was really just her way of giving me a compliment.

misscoleen
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misscoleen  Friend of PR
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In reply to EleanorSews


Date: 2/12/09 10:35 AM

Quote: EWP601
You will never charge enough to compensate for the hours put in nor the "wear and tear" on your hands/arms. .... and I have seen "hand knitted" sweaters go for $400 to $700.

JTink, I agree with EWP601. I was in a little shop were the Owner sells her handmade sewn garments last month [very, very good quality material and craftmanship] she was way out of my price range but was inspired to someday create my own clothes with those results. ANYWAY, She was selling handmade knitted scarves made by a local male police officer [small town so i'm sure he spends many a night hanging out in his patrol car with nothing to do but knit ] His work was selling for $100.00 and up. I would have a hard time charging so much even though I know it would be the going rate for all time you would be investing, so anything that i would make for someone would have to be a labor of love or i just would not do it. Most people who do not knit or sew really don't have any idea on how long and how much money is spent to create the finished project. I think if they did they would not ask for you to make them something.

------
misscoleen

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to misscoleen


Date: 2/12/09 5:16 PM

You are absolutely right. I've not heard from this lady, and hope not to. But if she(or anyone else)asks me to knit them a sweater, I'm ready to say "no". Even using my usual, inexpensive, Red Heart yarn, I can't justify the hours it would take to make something as involved. If this police officer is getting $100.00 and up for a simple scarf, I know I can't charge what I want for a cardigan. I do appreciate everyone's input. Hopefully this thread will help others in the same "pickle" Sewing is something I enjoy. Knitting is, as you say, a labor of love and no one, who is unfamiliar with knitting is going to "love it" as much as you do.

koo104
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koo104
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WA USA
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Date: 2/13/09 9:28 AM

That is when bartering is a nice thing. Does this person have way of trading a skill or item with you? This is what most artists do with each other.

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