Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Knitting as a profession

I read something fairly interesting on the Yarn Harlot blog after work, and it got me to thinking.

Most folks don’t take hand knitting very seriously, and don’t really want to pay what it’s worth, both for the knitter to buy the amount of yarn that went into the finished product, and for the knitter’s time. I don’t know about other knitters out there in the world, but it takes me awhile to get even a simple project done because I work full-time. Granted, most nights I do get the chance to sit down for the last 45-50 minutes of my shift and knit at the very least a couple rows before I go home, but anymore, most of my knitting is done late at night on the weekends when I can get several uninterrupted hours to sit, knit and watch a DVD, or in the car if the parents and I are driving to one of the two semi-decent malls in the area. For me, it’s a hobby to help relax when the work week is over or to try to save a buck or two on scarves I'll actually wear. But there are a few who test knit patterns to supplement their income. Steph brought up several good points in her post, though. I’ll let you go read it, though.

Now, why wouldn't folks want to pay for what someone's time is worth? Especially in a handcraft that, while it can be produced much more efficiently and quickly on machines, can show in wool form how much you treasure/love/care for someone?  And don’t you think the knitter’s time and years of experience are worth paying them a livable amount for?

Let me know what you folks think in a comment! Thanks!




Rio Donovoyn said...

Personally, from what I've seen... People prefer either to do it themselves or to just buy it so they don't have to spend money they don't have or do have (which ever is their preference) to get what they want.

My mom does a lot of plastic canvas and she said that they're not going to be doing a lot of that (meaning companies aren't going to be supplying it as much anymore) and they're's not enough patterns out there for plastic canvas that she can do anymore. She can't do the 10 count because it's too small and she has carpoltunnel and arthritis in her hands and she can't do that cross-stitch stuff anymore either. She told me when we were in Jo-Ann's that she's running out of patterns because she's done them all already (I don't know if I've already said that) and now she has to do something else.

I don't know. Maybe it's just me. But I guess homemade stuff isn't good enough for people anymore because they're already buying it the way it came. (Which is fine in some cases... Most people don't have enough time and etc)

Plus, if a crafter is going to sell their stuff, they have to account for the taxes and how much they want and/or going to get out of it. If they over-price items, then they're not going to get anything for it, but if they under price it, I guess it could go either way.

I don't know. I guess that's just MY opinion.

Sea said...

People just won't pay for the work done. xI did knit something for someone, but they provided the yarn. I charged so much/50g and then a flat rate of £5, it didn't work out to very much, but to ask more would have made sure I didn't get paid. The person actually rounded the figure up to the nearest £5, but not everyone is that generous. The bets payment I have had for doing a job for someone was making a 21st birthday cake. I told them how much the cake had cost, and they gave me quite a bit of money for making it. I don't often make/bake for payment from others, but I always make sure I make that I like what I am making/baking...otherwise I know I will lose interest and see it as a chore.

Kat Knits! said...

I also look at as the fact that most folks (Exempting the enlightened few who live or work with or know someone who knits) expect everything to be inexpensive/cheap, thanks in large part to machine knitting being so cheap, because there's no human doing the work of knitting stuff up. when they're confronted with the cost of someone's labor, and the time it tooke to get the yarn and cost of said yarn, plus choosing the pattern, they're like 'WTF, I can get something cheaper and quicker at Wal*Mart!', even though they'd then be depriving a knitter of income.

And the few times I've knit for folks, I've known them, they knew me, they accepted that I have a fulltime job impinging on my knittime, and I've only charged them $20. And I think they appreciated the knits more than most folks would precisely because of the human element in the scarves coming into being because they knew the knitter, and the one is a knitter herself.

That's just my two cents and experience, though.