Knitter's Review Forums
  The online community for readers of Knitter's Review.
  This week: Revisiting the mitered square
   > Have you subscribed yet?
Knitter's Review Forums
KR Home | My Profile | Register | Active Topics | Private Messages | Search | FAQ | Want to make Betty happy?
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your username or password?

 All Forums
 General Chitchat
 Random Knitting-Related Stuff
 How much to charge for knitting a sweater
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 2

n2knitting
New Pal

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  06:49:20 AM  Show Profile Send n2knitting a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've recently been commissioned to knit a sweater, however I'm not sure how much I should charge. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

amosellie
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
433 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  07:11:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit amosellie's Homepage Send amosellie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First - are you sure you want to do this? The only fair way would be to charge by the hour and keep a log of your time. Otherwise, you can never make enough to cover your time. Of course, they need to supply all materials and exact measurements. In my opinion it is a very risky undertaking - I love to make them as gifts - but being paid for it is a whole different story. I suggest you really think long and hard about it - this may also take the pleasure out of the project when you are under a deadline. Sorry for my ranting - can you tell how I feel about it?!!
Go to Top of Page

COgirl
Permanent Resident

USA
2176 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  07:58:29 AM  Show Profile Send COgirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What kind of sweater is it? What type of yarn?

I'm knitting a sweater for myself right now that uses size 1 needle, has 236 stitches per side and has cables on every right side row. It took 2 1/2 months to knit one side. (I could have gone faster if I'd wanted but my point is that it was time consuming.) I'm about 40% done with side 2 and I still have the sleeves and finishing to go.

I can knit a simple pullover raglan sweater with worsted weight wool in 3 weeks.

If someone was paying me to knit the first sweater I described, I'd need $500-600 and even that's not compensating me properly. For the second sweater $100-200. I pulled those numbers out of the air quite frankly. I'm just telling you what I'd have to get for me to consider it.

But if you are doing this out of a love of knitting and earning minimum wage doesn't matter to you, set whatever price you want. The worst that could happen is they can say no. So you'll knit something of your own instead. . .
Go to Top of Page

n2knitting
New Pal

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  08:29:37 AM  Show Profile Send n2knitting a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not sure yet what kind of sweater this person is wanting. Certainly this is something important to consider. There is no hurry or deadline to worry about. I love to knit and making money is not my motivation. Thanks for your thoughts on this.
Go to Top of Page

Dicksie
Permanent Resident

USA
1995 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  09:29:27 AM  Show Profile Send Dicksie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Commission work is definitely a mixed bag. You're flattered because someone likes your work, but really haven't a clue as to what their expectations will be. Years ago one of my bosses (I worked in a medical clinic and this was one of the physicians) asked me to knit a sweater for him. I checked with my LYS and they said to have him purchase the yarn, then double that cost. He agreed to this, so we discussed size. He said "I want it really big"; I asked "How big" and he again said really big. When I finally pinned him down to inches I emphatically said "I think this is much too big", he still insisted, so away I went. When I finished and delivered it to him, he put it on. Of course this amazed look came over his face and he said "This is way too big". I told him "I think I said this from the beginning". He responded "I can't wear this", to which I again stated "I tried to tell you it would be too big". The bottom line is, I took it home, frogged it, and reknit it to the size I told him he should have in the first place. It was a lesson well-learned. I have NEVER accepted a comission since. Now when asked, I simply say "No, but I'll be happy to teach you and will gladly walk beside you the entire way." I've never had anyone accept my offer.
Dicksie

http://tourdirector.smugmug.com/gallery/529635
Go to Top of Page

mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  10:13:05 AM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I knitted a sweater for a LYS, child size, some intarsia, and I was paid $50.00 plus all materials - yarn, knitting needles, darning needles. I have knitted sweaters on commission and never charged less than $50.00 for a baby sweater, $200.00 for an adult.

Whatever you do, get it in writing. Decide, and document, who purchases supplies, what yarn, what colour, what size, what pattern, the deposit, and if you will accept a return.

Brought to you by the tongue in cheek-y monkey
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Help me walk all over cancer
Go to Top of Page

n2knitting
New Pal

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  10:29:24 AM  Show Profile Send n2knitting a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you for all your thoughts on this topic. Dicksie, the suggestion your LYS gave you about doubling the cost of yarn for the actual knitting charge is an interesting one. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with the person you were knitting for!
Mokey, I will definitely document the terms clearly. These are all important things that I had not considered before.
Go to Top of Page

AuntyNin
Seriously Hooked

USA
772 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  10:55:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit AuntyNin's Homepage Send AuntyNin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When a total stranger asks me what I'd charge to knit something for them, my standard answer is $25.00 per hour for my time, and then I give them a rough estimate of how many hours the item would take me. I mean, let's do some math here - a basic pair of socks takes me about 20 hours to knit, so we're looking at $500 for labor alone. We won't even begin to talk about lace or cables...

There aren't a whole lot of people in my town who would be willing (not to mention able) to lay out that kind of money for a hand-knit item.

This usually means I don't have to come right out and say, "No, I won't do that for you."

AuntyNin

Everything happens for a reason, except possibly football. --- Terry Pratchett

http://home.earthlink.net/~lradiga1/
Go to Top of Page

RoseM
Permanent Resident

Canada
1898 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  11:22:38 AM  Show Profile Send RoseM a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another thought that may help you come to some conclusions -- what is the motivation behind the person wanting the item?

Do they: (1) appreciate hand-crafted items and know that they are expensive? (2) think they'll get something nice for cheap? (3) think there's nothing to knitting a garment, so it's an 'easy' request for them -- You probably see where I'm going with this.

Also, how likely are you to satisfy their expectations and are you confident you can knit what they want. For example, are you a great knitter who knows you can whip up that cabled cardy no problem -- or will it be a bit of a struggle and the cables might not look that great, and the outcome of the finished garment might be less than they "expect".

Just thoughts. All the other suggestions are so valid - most of all, be very clear about what happens and what is paid and how long it takes. Don't get caught in the "I knit anyways and love it, so don't really have to charge much" trap. Value your time and work.

HTH

Rose
p.s. cost of yarn doubled doesn't seem a good rule of thumb to me .... for example, Cascase 220 for a cabled pullover .... you wouldn't be getting paid enough IMHO. Cost of yarn plus an hourly rate with an estimate of the hours required (that's the bare minimum $ figure you give them) -- then maybe a slightly lesser rate if you go over that number of hours.
Go to Top of Page

purlthis
Permanent Resident

USA
2747 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  12:00:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlthis's Homepage Send purlthis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You couldn't pay me enough...That's what I'd say!

Rachel
------------------------------------------------------
As I get older, I prefer to knit. Tracey Ullman
http://purledthis.blogspot.com/ UPDATED! WITH PICS!
Go to Top of Page

Dicksie
Permanent Resident

USA
1995 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  12:18:34 PM  Show Profile Send Dicksie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Rose -
This was in the early 70's. Fortunately, times have changed!
Dicksie

http://tourdirector.smugmug.com/gallery/529635
Go to Top of Page

yarnmama
Seriously Hooked

880 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  5:38:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit yarnmama's Homepage Send yarnmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had an interesting experience at the last show I had a booth in that relates to this topic.

Now, I make shop samples of my hand dyed yarns to spark peoples creativity and give them an idea of how the yarns knit up. Most if the samples are also my personal stuff that me or someone in my family uses when they aren't on display at a show. Anyway, I knit Ariann(Chicknits) and it was hanging in my booth and this woman asks to try it on. At first I didn't think anything of it and said to be my guest. I then started to show her the yarn and tell her a bit about the pattern and where she could get it if she wanted it. Then I realize she thinks the sweater is for sale.
she doesn't knit and has no clue. I explain that it's not for sale and what it is for, (also that it is my favorite sweater ) and she is like "what do you do then?" Ummmmmmm.......I hand dye yarn, I mean I have literally thousands and thousands of skeins hanging there, obviously for sale, and she says "what do you do?" ! She says "but why don't you knit things to sale?" I'm thinking because in the time it takes me to knit one sweater I can dye 300 lbs. of yarn, DUH! Like I said she had no clue. but I digress.

So then, she starts insisting that I knit her one. I politely replied that I do not knit on commission. She kept insisting and asking how much. I threw out there, off the top of my headhoping to get rid of her, $300 and she said my husband will do it for my birthday. I am like sorry, not gonna happen. Later on she drags her husband back over to see her in the sweater and he is totally bored and not paying a bit of attention to her. Thank God they left and that was the last I saw of her.

What a train wreck that could have been, oy.


Catherine Harrison
owner of Knitting Notions: Hand Dyed yarns, Handcrafted fiber arts tools, and more
http://www.knittingnotionsonline.com
Go to Top of Page

fiberlicious
Permanent Resident

1637 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  7:11:06 PM  Show Profile Send fiberlicious a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My standard answer: Fifteen hundred dollars. Stops 'em dead in their tracks. I entirely disagree with the "double the cost of the yarn" concept. What if you got it on sale for only $50? I will always offer to teach someone to knit for free, but won't knit for pay - it takes the pleasure out of my craft.
Go to Top of Page

crzyboutyarn
Seriously Hooked

USA
792 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  9:53:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit crzyboutyarn's Homepage Send crzyboutyarn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by amosellie

First - are you sure you want to do this? The only fair way would be to charge by the hour and keep a log of your time. Otherwise, you can never make enough to cover your time. Of course, they need to supply all materials and exact measurements. In my opinion it is a very risky undertaking - I love to make them as gifts - but being paid for it is a whole different story. I suggest you really think long and hard about it - this may also take the pleasure out of the project when you are under a deadline. Sorry for my ranting - can you tell how I feel about it?!!


I agree 110%, if you charged them for all the time you put into making the sweater it will cost them a small fortune... in order to even get a little of money for your time it would cost like 300-400 dollars not including materials and even then you are cutting yourself short considering all the time. Also, you will have them over your shoulder... 'oh I dont like that" or "Can you do this different and change this" It is even harder to knit for a person who doesnt knit because they dont understand the time and effort.


Think about it!!
Good luck with whatever you choose

~Courtney
A Full Stash is a Happy Stash!!

My Pictures
http://www.flickr.com/photos/knitnpurlgurl/
My Blog
http://www.confessionsofaknitter.blogspot.com/
Go to Top of Page

mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  10:16:48 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've done somewhere between 15-20 commissions over the years and not once has anyone stood over my shoulder. The first few times I wasn't getting things in writing, but a quick, "I could change it but it would cost you more" did the trick.

Knitting for hire is not for everyone, so if you aren't ocmfortable doing it, don't. I am, but I do it on my terms and have no problem setting limits.

Brought to you by the tongue in cheek-y monkey
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Help me walk all over cancer
Go to Top of Page

Katheroni
Permanent Resident

USA
1407 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  10:29:33 PM  Show Profile Send Katheroni a Private Message  Reply with Quote
$25,000. That ought to take care of it, one way or another.
Go to Top of Page

lella
Permanent Resident

9712 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  10:33:18 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My neighbor, before she moved here from the east coast about 8 years ago, had a wool WW man's turtle neck aran sweater made for her husband, and she paid $465 dollars for it. A co-worker used to get $500 for knitting her sweaters by custom order and that was in the 80's.

I like Katheroni's answer. I might add, I will never knit a sweater or anything else for money. People just won't want to pay you enough for your time and skill. Perhaps they would if they are very rich and used to the tariff on hand work. The wealthy who order such things are used to paying for designer originals.

Just Blogging Through Life [IMG]http://www.geocities.com/zippianna/turtle.gif[/IMG]

Go to Top of Page

Mickey
Permanent Resident

USA
1670 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2007 :  10:51:13 PM  Show Profile Send Mickey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I understand you're not in this for the money. You love to knit, somebody asked you to make them a sweater, "I'll pay you, of course!" and you think, "Why not?".
IMHO, the above posts are very good advice. Still, I never charge people by the hour or what I think the handknits are "really" worth. But then, I only knit as a favor to people I like, who won't rush me, breathe down my neck, or are too specific in their requirements. And I only take on projects that are interesting to me, with yarns that I enjoy working with. That way, it's not a chore, it's fun! I really get to do what I like AND make a little money as a bonus. How much do I charge? Depending on the size of the recipient - size S requires less work than 3X, obviously - and the intricacy of the pattern, between 100 and 300 USD, plus the cost of the yarn.
Go to Top of Page

knitting_wounded
Gabber Extraordinaire

365 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2007 :  12:25:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit knitting_wounded's Homepage  Send knitting_wounded a Yahoo! Message Send knitting_wounded a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've had a few people offer to buy the yarn to knit them socks or a sweater, but never to compensate me for my time or expertise. Usually mentioning the cost of the materials alone spooks them, thank goodness.

Check out the Knitting Wounded Tent: http://knittingwounded.blogspot.com
Go to Top of Page

adalton124
Seriously Hooked

659 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2007 :  07:43:30 AM  Show Profile Send adalton124 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have just in the past few months taken on a couple of commissioned pieces. The first was a sweater set, stockinette w/ moss stitch trim - fairly easy, but no printed pattern - so we had to wing it a little. I charged $300 for the set. I'm working on a second cardigan for the same person and am charging $300 for it. There's a little more complication to it with the patterning but nothing I can't handle. I feel fairly compensated for both projects, but the second one was a surprise and I think I should have waited to take it on until the fall. I feel a little bit pressured to finish it quickly and it's dragging on for me. If it were my sweater I'd put it away and not look at for a few months, but since it's for someone else... I feel obliged to move right along and get it out of my line-up. She and I had never met before I knit for her and she knits herself, which in some ways makes it easier for me. She knows what the time involved is and isn't hesitant to hand over a check when the garment is ready. And we're not friends, so it's all business with us and no favors.

It's something you have to weigh in on with your own feelings. Does the person expect it quickly? How quickly? Will you resent knitting on something that takes up your free time and isn't on your wish list of things to knit? Will you feel unfairly treated if they ask for changes or don't like the fit when it's over? Will it ruin a friendship to knit for this person for cash? etc...

Someone posted online a basic formula for what to charge for knitting and I can't find it right now, but it's very helpful. It's linked in other posts on this topic if you look for it.

Angela
Go to Top of Page

Knitasha
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
355 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2007 :  09:19:10 AM  Show Profile Send Knitasha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's Flory Loughead's formula.
She's a master knitter, certified teacher and former TKGA judge.
http://floryknits.com/

I think it's a formula that's fair to both the knitter and the customer.
The "twice the cost of the yarn" formula penalizes the knitter if the selected yarn is cheap or discounted. The "Hourly rate" formula penalizes her/him if she/he happens to knit fast.


"Where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong?"
--Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Knitter's Review Forums © 2001-2014 Knitter's Review Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.47 seconds. Snitz Forums 2000
line This week's bandwidth
kindly brought to you by


and by knitters like you.
How can I sponsor?


line subscribe to Knitter's Reviwe