July 19, 2010

Sometimes People Don't Understand

As I've mentioned before, I knit at all of our son's baseball games. In the summer, I knit at all of our kids' tennis matches.

Yesterday afternoon a woman I know had a conversation with me that kind of went like this:

She: Estella, who are you knitting that for?
Me: This one is a cardigan for me.
She: You can't possibly wear all the sweaters you make.
Me: I don't always knit for myself - my daughter gets a lot of sweaters. I also knit for children of friends. My godsister buys the yarn and I make things for her kids.
She: You should sell your finished stuff. You could get at least $150 for what you are making now.
Me: Yes I could but it would never cover the cost of my time.

People don't understand what it would cost laborwise to make a sweater. While some sweaters are fast knits and done in no time, they too would be very expensive if we were to put a price on our time.

What is our time per hour worth? How many hours do we spend knitting a project? I wonder - should I have a stop watch that I put with a project so I can see exactly how much time I work on it?

Not to mention there is love put in some sweaters...no price can be put on that.


Lorette said...

I frequently get "suggestions" from friends and coworkers that they would pay me to knit them something. I just say that I am the slowest knitter on the planet, I knit only for fun, and that knitting for money would make it work and I never ever do it. That usually shuts them up. Usually.

Jennifer said...

I love it when someone tells me how much I could get for my sweaters which is inevitably less than the cost of the yarn. I wouldn't sell my hand knit sweaters for $1,000 - as we can't really put a price on our time - or passion.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have people say they'd pay me. Until I give them a price. Knitting baby sweaters is really the only thing I will do for pay and that's only for very close friends. Everything else is knitted for the love of it!


Beth said...

I never even know how to answer the "How long did it take you to knit that?" question. Maybe we should keep track of our knitting hours once in a while.

Anonymous said...

I think knitters are too quick to discount charging for their work. After all, there used to be an entire industry that supported families.

I would totally make a sweater for someone if they paid me $50 an hour...it also puts it in perspective for people on how valuable the end product is!

I know someone who finished sweaters for people...she charged a pretty penny for her time, it supplemented her income, and she had no shortage of customers! There are some sweaters that I'd pay to slog through the final agonizing steps.