FO On Monday: A Gift Edition

I’m sure we’ve all had that conversation. You’re crafting in public and some well meaning person suggests that you could make a lot of money selling your items at the farmers market or on Etsy. Normally I’ll just chuckle and let the conversation die. It isn’t worth teaching a lesson to a stranger I’ve found. When it’s someone I know or someone I have regular contact with I have my standard explanation: When I was asked by my father’s financial advisor if I would sell her a shawl I’d made I explained that I don’t sell the things I make because pricing them is difficult. It takes roughly 30 hours to knit a shawl. The yarn costs about $30. My time, the 30 hours, could be paid at the same rate she makes per hour. I could see the wheels turning (very quickly since of course money is her thing). She declined as I expected. I went on to explain that my skills which she does not have are just as valuable as her money management skills. They are just not viewed the same since mine is a hobby and hers is her career. I told her I would rather gift her the shawl. She accepted both the shawl and the lesson.

This is the Hawthorne Cowl from the Circle of Stitches blog. Circle of Stitches is a cute yarn shop located in Salem, MA. I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area. The pattern is easy enough to follow though I needed a brioche refresher which I got on YouTube. There are loads of brioche videos available so finding one that made sense to me was easy. The yarn is Cascade 220 in gray and Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in red. They make a nice pair. This is a gift for an acquaintance who was told the above tale when he suggested I sell my items. I don’t know if he fully understood the lesson but I think he’ll like the cowl.

About nothingbutknit2

I'm a wife, mother and knitter. Watch out for my pointy sticks.
This entry was posted in FO, gift, Knits, Knitting, Quirky Knitter, this place, yarn!. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to FO On Monday: A Gift Edition

  1. Rosie says:

    I once read something in one of the Facebook groups I’m in that basically said “If you have to ask you can’t afford it, if I like you enough it’s free!”

    Liked by 4 people

  2. MorriganKai says:

    I do sell some of the things I make. But it becomes stressful sometimes, and I wish I didn’t.

    I might just switch to an “enjoy the photos and tutorials of my work” type of thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. sthnxstitch says:

    I like your approach. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. claire93 says:

    I often get asked why I don’t sell the things I make – and my answer is pretty much the same.
    I hope the people you gift to understand the amount of work that went into each piece!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Jackie B says:

    This is so true. I also get angry when I see beautifully handmade items being sold for next to nothing. The maker undervalues their own skill and that of other artisans who are actually trying to make a living from their work. Rant over! ….. and the finished cowl is stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well said! I seldom sell items for the same reasons as you. When I “gift” an item, I usually include a business card with care instructions, materials content, and the number of stitches in the project. That last tidbit usually gets the recipient thinking of the time involved!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I recently finished a sweater I made for a friend, after having told her I don’t knit for money because of all the above. She, in return, gave a $500 donation to American Friends Service Committee. Works for me –

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Olivia says:

    Wow! You gifted her the shawl?! You are amazing

    Liked by 1 person

    • Olivia says:

      The only time I ever sold anything was someone ordered twin sweaters for a friend having twins, I sold them for $50. Luckily it only takes me about three days to make each of the sweaters, but still…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Laura Kate says:

    Knitworthy – That’s a great word for the friends and loved ones who understand us and why we knit.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Pauly Heller says:

    I’ve said something similar to people. But I really like the idea of them calculating using their own hourly wage. I, too, definitely prefer to gift knit.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Alissa Head says:

    It is a lovely cowl and a very good lesson!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. chrisknits says:

    What a wonderful gift. I hear you on the questions and advice about selling my knitting. I wonder if other crafters get the same question?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. kathyreeves says:

    Well done on both counts!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve had lots of friends ask me to make them things and for knitting I always say no. I was asked by one friend to knit a very long cashmere scarf, I explained how much the wool on its own is and then found a commercially knitted cashmere scarf for the same price and said if I knit it she’d basically have a scarf the same price but I’d have spent weeks knitting. She bought the online one! If did gift her a baby alpaca headband that I knit and she loves but that was super chunky wool and quick. I think for selling it’s only felted items for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. randomlyerin says:

    I just finished a commission piece that I lost my shirt on. My opinion is that if I tried to sell the things I make it becomes a job, and I already have one of those.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Your cowl turned out wonderful! Your friend is very lucky, as is your father’s financial advisor. It was nice of you to give her the shawl, along with an explanation of how much it is worth, both in materials and your time. And your time definitely has a value!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Erin W says:

    Beautiful work and philosophy. I suppose the impossibility of paying for time is the same with any piece of craft/art, but especially because in the West our clothing has been made cheaply in factories all over Asia, I find people often have no clue the cost of good-quality fibers or the labor involved in hand-making. I have sold handknits on occasion if someone asks, but am wary of selling publicly anything made from designers’ patterns that are copyrighted. Most designers probably wouldn’t take legal action on their copyrights for the sale of a single shawl, but most prolific designers have the disclaimer on their pattern not to earn proceeds from making their item. I’ve always thought I would wait to sell online until I collect enough of my own designs. The only online handknit businesses I’ve seen that earn enough to live from hire others to help with labor. (With a few mind-blowing exceptions of original designers making all their own patterns and knitting full-time, especially in locations with historic knit culture people are willing to pay for – it would take me a lot longer to crank out a fair isle sweater for instance than someone who grew up cranking them out since childhood). I am just grateful to get the cost of supplies returned, but most makes are given away to “knitworthy” folks I know and strangers I don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. salpal1 says:

    People are always telling me I should sell my socks. I ask them to bring me the person who will pay $200 for a pair of socks and I will gladly sell them. And that is with labor at $10 an hour! Cheap! They never do…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Stefanie says:

    Yeah, nonknitters can be ignorant about how much time it takes to knit up something even as simple as a hat and about how much materials can cost. Good job on the brioche.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. AJ says:

    I work with a woman who is continually after me to sell my knit items. I’ve taken to just ignoring her

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Tim Connolly says:

    I really like the idea of them calculating using their own hourly wage. Thanks for share this post

    Liked by 1 person

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