“Will You Knit Me A………? I’ll Pay You To Do It”

Firstly, I just realised I’ve been blogging in earnest for about a year now and I’ve managed to gather 93 lovely followers. I would love to make it 100 followers over the next couple of days to mark the one year anniversary so if you have any yarn loving friends maybe you could encourage them to have a look at my blog with the hope they may want to follow it 🙂

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll realise that I have been churning out quite a few completed garments. Not any jumpers (sweaters) or very fancy garments but mainly lots of socks, scarves, hats and baby garments.

Samothrace Scarf Alfalfa 05

3AM Cable Hat 05

In Threes Sand n Sea 05

Solace Scrolls Socks 01

I show all my completed knitting to my friends and family and am sometimes met with the same response “You should be selling your knitted goods”.

I guess if you’re a knitter you’ll understand how frustrating this comment can be as non-knitters don’t really understand that it’s just not a matter of charging for the yarn but it can also take hours to finish one item.

Some yarn is quite expensive but I purchase it because I love the colourway or the content (alpaca, silk etc).

I’ll give you an example. One of my friends has on a number of occasions said to me “Can you knit me some socks; I’ll pay you”. Well let’s dissect that statement shall we? Firstly, the cost of the sock yarn is generally around $10 – $25 so I’ll use $20 as a rough amount. Plus I’ll estimate roughly five hours to complete each sock which makes ten hours labour in total. AU$20 an hour is quite a cheap rate to work for. Let’s add that all up now: 10 x $20 = $200 for labour plus $20 for the yarn = $220.

25 socks-tile

Next time I’m asked that same question, should I just reply “Sure I’ll knit you a pair of socks. It’ll cost you $220. Do you still want them?”. What do you think the answer will be?

I also struck the problem at one stage where I was continually challenged about how much I was knitting and how could I possibly need that many pairs of socks etc. It became a bit too much after a while as I didn’t feel quite comfortable about knitting as I felt I was doing the wrong thing.

I knit because I enjoy it immensely; it gives me great satisfaction to see the finished product; it relaxes me (even if I have to frog some rows!!); I love working with natural fibres; I love smelling my wool (as I do my books!); I love collecting beautiful wool and adding to my stash; I love meeting with my Knit and Knatter friends (I have met some wonderful new friends through knitting); I love blogging about my completed garments. I’m not hurting anyone am I? I’m not offending anyone am I?

What does it really matter how many socks I’ve made for myself. I don’t criticise others for what they spend on their free time.

Please don’t ask me to knit a whatever and then say “I’ll pay you”. You have no idea how much it could really cost you and I don’t want to offend you by saying that pair of socks will cost $220. I knit for pleasure and don’t like to feel pressured that I have to knit something as someone is waiting for it.

I have made garments for friends and given them as presents. Their responses have made it all worthwhile.

I have so many patterns and yarns to experiment with that I hardly have enough time to knit what I want to make.

Once I’m retired and have more time to myself I’ll also have more time to knit so that’s the time I may knit commissioned garments.

Do you have any similar stories?

Have a fantastic weekend. I’m off to my Knit and Knatter gathering tomorrow….can’t wait!

Melanie

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21 thoughts on ““Will You Knit Me A………? I’ll Pay You To Do It”

  1. Well said Mel, as you know I love to crochet. Yes I put photos of my finished things up on line, but I want to share my accomplishment with my friends. After being ill for a while and feeling pretty useless, I find my crochet gives me a sense of being creative and completing things, I do it for the excitement of creating something new, of completing a task and ending up with a wonderful item to give freely, share openly and admire. PS: I too love my wool, I have some soft wool in a cream colour and the feel of it while I am working is just wonderful, it turns out the softest little shoes and blankets.

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  2. Mel, you are so right about knitting for money. I like the challenge of projects, but prefer to give items that turn out well to family and friends. You must be an incredibly fast knitter the way you churn through the yarn! What a great talent to be able to knit a sock in 5 hours! I would be esthetic at 5 days ;-). What pattern did you use for the gold socks shown above? Do you post your projects on Ravelry?
    Regards, Kathy in Virginia USA.

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  3. You’re spot on Melanie. People who do not knit have no idea the time (and skill) involved in producing a hand knitted item. You are an amazing person in what you are able to achieve in the limited time you have. Can’t wait to see what you produce once you are retired! Maria

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  4. No one will ever (i’m glad) ask me to knit something for them. LOL It takes me 3 months to make a pair of socks. I just started knitting in 2011 when I took a trip to Portugal and found some great yarn. I never have thought of making a sweater or jacket(too much money involved)….. let alone how long it would take me. My daughter-in-law is a proficient knitter and does some commission work….she can crank out item after item…she is from Portugal and knits portuguese style. Love seeing all the different socks and have a quit a list of ones to knit. Checked my stash and have enough for 60 pairs….come on retirement.

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  5. I am a new follower here so am helping you on your way to 100 🙂
    I’m retired and I seem to have less hours in the day than ever!
    Up to now I’ve been doing mostly sewing and have made quite a few bags.
    People ask if I sell the bags but I tell them no as there are too many things I want to make for myself, family and friends.
    Love the sock collection!

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    • Hi Margaret! Thanks for following my blog. My neighbour is retired too and says the same thing, that she doesn’t have enough hours in the day! I have a good friend who sews bags and I’ve bought quite a few of them. I have featured them in previous posts. They are quite beautiful and I love them. Hope you enjoy my blog. Melanie

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  6. Hi Mel, I have had similar thoughts, although not so well expressed.

    Quite a while ago, I decided I would only knit ‘for love’ i.e. for friends or family, or for anyone who I thought would treasure a knitted gift.

    I am surprised to hear that you were criticised for knitting too many pairs of socks. You have a productive pastime that you enjoy, making beautiful things, supporting wool producers and pattern writers, keeping your brain busy and your hands nimble. What’s not to love about that?

    It’s a lot better than staring at the telly 🙂

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    • Thank you for your kind words Sarah. Yes I am supporting lots of Aussie artisan hand-dyers of yarn and pattern writers too. I never think of this when I’m knitting my plethora of items. Cheers, Melanie.

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