Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Fifty Dollars?

My mittens are so nearly finished! I haven't had an incredible amount of time to work on them, as indicated by the fact that the liner only takes about an hour to do and I started it on Monday! I do have a bit of a confession... I spent most of monday night spinning! I knew this would happen! I knew I would neglect my knitting!

I will say this though, spinning is a lot of fun, but I'm still totally in love with knitting. I think knitting will always be what I prefer. Sure I'll be tempted away now and then, but it will always welcome me back.

Last night I knit about ten rows of the liner while I was waiting for Chorale practice to start. I swear it's as if these ladies have never seen anyone knit before. This, I found, works to my advantage. One said lady asked me if I would be willing to make a pair for her. Name the price she said. Hmmmm, well, lets see. Now I have to think of a price for a pair of mittens. Materials alone could cost me about $25, especially if she wants it lined in angora! I may find some bargains online so I could get the cost down a little bit. Fifty dollars immediatly springs to my mind as the good amount to charge. They are, after all, hand made.

Is it wrong to feel guilty about charging that much? I think there is something ingrained in our heads that makes us feel guilty about getting money for something we love to do. I don't feel burdened to knit something for someone (like most jobs can make a person feel) and I'm getting paid for it! Blasphamy!

I think I'm going to have to think on this one.... and do a little research. See what kind of prices I can get on certain yarns for these mittens. Definitely something to ponder.


Christina said...

You can probably get away with a lot more than $50 -- especially if they're angora. After all, can you really make them in 2.5 hours? That would pay you $10 an hour.

Katy said...

Okay, this is always a controversial issue, and here's my opinion: charge for your time--a REAL wage, not 50 cents per hour--plus the cost of materials. Mind you, most people won't pay upwards of $100 for a pair of mittens, BUT--they should. Your mittens are beautiful and labor intensive, esp. if you are lining them! It kills me to see mittens being sold at church fairs for $5 per pair, even if they are made with cheap acrylic...whose time isn't worth more than that? Yes, some people love to knit, and okay, if it's a church fair it's a donation, but--please. Last year I saw some beautiful hand-knit mittens--from handspun yarn!--at a local consignment/craft store for: $20. I almost bought them, even though I didn't like the color, just b/c I thought it was such a crime that the person didn't ask more. And the froggie hat I bought at Rhinebeck, also handknit from handspun? The woman was only asking $15. I'm actually kicking myself for not giving her more. I may even contact her to do that!

I sold some felted mittens once, when I was really needing some extra cash and didn't mind not making a lot of money for my time, but they were much simpler to make than yours (and the materials were inexpensive). Now my position on selling my knits is: nope. If I like someone, I would rather just make something for them as a gift. Otherwise, I would rather knit for myself or knit for charity. Or look for some sort of art guild or high-end boutique that might sell your stuff to people who like to buy pricey, unique clothing. Or donate a pair to an auction to raise money for a good cause. But don't sell yourself short.
Okay, off my soapbox now. ;)

And your mittens are, indeed, gorgeous.