Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Price guidelines

Because people have been asking for knitted items, I wanted to write down a minimum price scale. These prices may seem high, but if we were to do the math (which we will), you would see how little I make for my labor.

                                            (Click to enlarge the chart.)

For example, let's start with a sock.

Price = $65
Yarn = approximately $20
Labor = minimum of 15 hours

If we subtract the cost of the yarn ($20) from the price of the sock ($65), that leaves a $45 profit. Divide $45 by the 15 hours (which is a very low estimate), and you will see that I make only $3/hour - well below minimum wage!

Now let's look at a lace shawl. We are assuming that this is a very basic shawl with a simple pattern and a wool or wool/silk blend, about 450 yards.

Price = $175
Yarn = approximately $20
Labor = knitting time, minimum 20 hours. blocking time (soaking the shawl and pinning it out to dry), 40 minutes. Let's just round that up to 1 hour for ease. That is at least 21 hours. I also consider my chronic pain; blocking is extremely painful for me.

Again, let us subtract the price of yarn ($20) from the cost of the shawl ($175). If we divide that amount ($155) by 21 hours, we find that I am making $7.40/hour.

My goal here is to show that there is a lot of time that goes into even a very basic knit item. I know that the prices seem high, but I really don't make much profit. Yes, you could go into a store and buy a scarf for $20, but you are not getting a one of a kind, hand made item. I will admit, this 'disclosure' is as much for me as it is for you. I find it very difficult to talk about prices in this range; it is exceedingly uncomfortable. I am learning, however, that I need to value myself as a worker and an artisan.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's been a long time

     In all honesty, I knew that when I started this blog, it would be a challenge for me to keep it up to date. There is no pretty way of saying this, so I will just say it - this past year (the past 4 years, to be honest) has been very difficult. My health has been poor and I have been learning how to live in a disabled body. I spent months without knitting anything and almost as long not spinning. But now I'm back! At least I think I am. The knitting bug has bitten me again and I am so thankful for that.

     The most exciting news to come out of my neck of the woods is the new LYS that my very talented friend, Renee, recently opened. Spun Right Round offers yarn, fiber, batt kits, her own gorgeous batts and hand dyed rovings, accessories, Blue Q bags, soaps and lotions created by another talented friend, Vickie, of Daisy Lamont Soap, Ashford spinning wheels and accessories, books, weekly knit nights, classes, patterns... I could go on and on!

It has been a pleasure watching her dream become reality. The shop has so many personal touches and is a very warm and welcoming place to visit.

     Yesterday, Renee and I decided to try a new-to-us method of carding batts. Following the lesson of Deb Menz in Color in Spinning, we attempted to card a batt with horizontal stripes.

Though it didn't turn out exactly as we had planned, I'm pretty sure we realized what our mistake was; the staple length of the merino was just too long to use the four colors we tried to fit on. However, the batt was still really pretty.

I drafted and prepared to spin.

Though we didn't get the color blocking we were hoping for, it spun up quite nicely.

It is currently hanging to dry. Because I spun about 200 yards, I'm planning to knit a cowl either for Renee or for the shop. I'm excited to see how it knits up!

     In terms of my own fiber ventures, I was asked to bring some fiber and yarn over to Main Stay Massage. As a result, Renee and I have been asked to vend and do spinning demonstrations at am upcoming wellness event at the 1890 House

   I hope to keep updating a bit more than usual, but I've learned not to make any promises to myself lately so as to avoid disappointment. : )

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's on the carder?

I received a large shipment from Paradise Fibers the other day, plus some odds and ends from Etsy. I spent yesterday morning carding some batts and I am so happy with them! This is just a small preview of what yesterday looked like.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What's on the wheel?

I've been spinning a gorgeous roving from Curly C'Ewes on Etsy. It's a hand dyed Corriedale in the color way Bleeding Heart.

                                (Photo from her Etsy listing)

 2 ounces done, 2 ounces to go. I will post final, plied yarn when I'm done!

Monday, March 7, 2011