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HeatherFeather
04-21-2005, 12:07 PM
I am SOOO totally torn....

I like the "idea" of me working...baaahaaaa.....but that's about it.

Has anyone here been REALLY successful in making money knitting? I make now about 300.00 a month at my part time job, and would like to just replace that income doing something I love. (I am talking profit, not gross sales)....

I am also torn, because I am a giver of sorts, I love to make things for people....but I'd like to feed my habit too..

what are your thoughts on this?

I don't want to do craft fairs, have done them in the past, and I don't want to give up my Saturdays. Thinking boutiques..??? consignment shops??? I have a friend that is successful with her easy peasy scarves. But how long will those fun scarves be in fashion??? AAAAAA

feministmama
04-21-2005, 01:54 PM
Ya know I think about this too. But then I think if I start doing this for money will it just become another job? Will it end up just being a drag? Will I (dare I say it?) come to hate it? GASP! :shock: But if you're just doing it part time then maybe not. How about teaching knitting classes to kids at the community center? Consignment in boutiques iss good too cuz it's on your own time table. Don't just do scarves. Do funky hats, little purses, dolls ro invent something. remember the womb on knitty? invent a...a... I don't know... a fetus? Or a fetus in a womb? I'm not trying to be gros but if you made it in a loving way. There's a woman here who makes strange dolls and hearts and strange creatures and folks love them. I don't know, maybe something else like rainbows that dangle in windows, or Oooh I know, baby diaper dcovers! Folks love those things. There's thread somewhere about them here. How about socks with funky colors. I don't know I'm just thinking off the top of my head.

feministmama
04-21-2005, 02:16 PM
Ooh OOOoh I saw this in another thread. How bout making these and sellin em in baby stores?

http://www.littleturtleknits.com/adultpatterns.htm

VictoiseC
04-21-2005, 02:59 PM
Heather... I want to do this too and am working at it. Unlike you, I want to do some craft fairs coz there are some really neat ones here in the Catskills. What femmama says makes a lot of sense, you wouldn't want it to become WORK. But. There are a lot of approaches & I think finding something unique to make is a big key. Well, unique to you. Re the baby diapers covers... I saw a website last week, incredible (I don't know where it is now) but it's this woman who has a full time job, a baby, and also makes diaper covers that she designs and sells for..... $65! Sixty five dollars for one diaper cover.

amazing

Have to give you that link if I can find it, it's interesting.

HeatherFeather
04-21-2005, 03:22 PM
and the thing is ...I would feel like I would be totally ripping them off if I charged THAT much!! (my giving instinct)...

AND, I have exactly your thoughts of it possibly becoming WORK.....

nothing ventured, nothing gained...but unfortunatly the funds aren't quite what they need to be for me to really feel like I could give it a GOOD try...

I don't mind going around town hawking my stuff....and I GET that rejection is part of the deal.....

but she got like 30 bux for a one skein garter scarf....she only continental knits....

SO...gradually I am getting a stock pile....but geesh....why do things HAVE to be so darned HARD???

I am not in the designing aspect of my "career" yet...I do have a web domain...so THAT's a goodie thing...nothing on it yet. :( bleha.

midnightskyfibers
04-21-2005, 08:18 PM
I sell knit stuff occasionally, but prefer to just sell my yarn, fibers, and kits.

Some things to consider:
1. dont have a site? try a consignment shop first. start reading about businesses and find out stuff about various consignment stores @ theswitchboards.com. Ive had decent luck with consignemnt shops.

2. It needs to be original and interesting, espeically online.

3. You cant ussually sell from patterns that you didnt make up- thats part of the copyright, unless you get permission to. But its better to make something original imo anyways,

4. pricing- one of the most important issues! Yes, you could sell a scarf pretty cheap and still make $ on it (though not for time) but then you are not only selling yourself short, but others as well! Indie business is about working together, not undercutting other people. And people who shop at indie businesses are willing to pay more for things that are well done and handmade.

5. determine wholesale first- ussually cost of supplies plus time for startign out. overhead etc are only important imo if this is going to be a big big thing... then, determine retail (double wholesale cost). So for example if it takes me $1 worth of supplies and half an hour to make something (all the way through!, paying myself 6 and hour), my wholesale would be 5, retail 10.

6. i dont think you will be making 300 a month- thats a huge amount of knitting! but custom knitting and knitting for pay would also let you sample a variety of yarns.

6. know the market and use quality goods. I cant stress this enough!

HeatherFeather
04-21-2005, 08:37 PM
i dont think you will be making 300 a month

this is exactly (one of the many really) things I was thinking....just wonder if it COULD be done...Thank you SOOOO very much for taking the time to answer me!!!!!

I would also NEED consistancy..which I know, there are NO guarantees....

i will read, and re-read and digest!!! :) :thumbsup:

Nuno930
04-21-2005, 08:43 PM
saw a website last week, incredible (I don't know where it is now) but it's this woman who has a full time job, a baby, and also makes diaper covers that she designs and sells for..... $65! Sixty five dollars for one diaper cover.

I've paid over $100 before. :oops: I've seen them go for over $200 for a special design.

HeatherFeather
04-21-2005, 09:02 PM
see..that's the thing...people DO spend money....(I am not one of them....) I have what I am thinking of as a gift, and I want to make MONEY!!!

Oh...and I AM designing my first project....hehehe....nothing special....but FUN...

so 6 diaper covers, and I wouldn't have to work for the rest of the month!!! not really, I guess I need to find my kitchen sink of knitting!!!

Sara
04-21-2005, 09:11 PM
$200 for something a baby is going to pee in, OH MY GOD! I'm sorry, it had to be said. I was going to point out that one of the biggest areas for market growth is the luxury baby item. But I guess my point has already been made.

I had a plan to design and make toddler size clothes (sewing), but the more I looked into it, the less enthused I got. Hats off to all of you working on this type of business, it's not a piece of cake.

VictoiseC
04-22-2005, 07:55 AM
miidnightsky.... yes, your points and info are very helpful indeed.

I appreciate that about the wholesale/retail pricing esp.

The other thing to keep in mind is the area where you are selling. When I'm in the city (NY) of course I could get big prices but when I'm at my country place, most people around here just won't spend big bucks on things. That's where acrylic comes in! Well, I went down to the little general store here yesterday and there were bunches of hats and scarves and afghans... all new... on the shelves.

I asked who's been knitting these up. Turned out they are crocheted by a 65 year old man who works at the farm down the road in the day. They were all acrylic. These will sell better here than a $200 fancy sweater or $40 hat.

I also think I'd spend $100 on my baby if I had had one! (the diaper covers this woman makes are gorgeous and embroidered with special symbols according to what you want)

okey doke

Julie
04-22-2005, 11:59 AM
Ooh OOOoh I saw this in another thread. How bout making these and sellin em in baby stores?

http://www.littleturtleknits.com/adultpatterns.htm
Just an FYI...you can't use Little Turtle patterns for commercial purposes....says so in their terms.

But a related question....does anyone know if it is okay to use patterns from books for commercial purposes, if the book does not specifically state otherwise?

HeatherFeather
04-22-2005, 03:30 PM
I was wondering the same thing....!!!!!

Sara
04-22-2005, 03:46 PM
Designs in books are covered by copyright law even better than things you find online. Any published pattern (i.e. Butterick), anything you see in a magazine are covered by copyright. However, when you take an idea and remake it with your own ideas, no one can do anything about it. There really are only so many ways to make a scarf or mitten.

There are occassions when the designer may give permission for you to make "X-number" of pieces from their pattern for sale, Lazy Girl Designs does this, but mostly designers are protective of their stuff. So don't assume that something isn't protected by copyright just because it doesn't tell you exactly what you can and can't do. As Amy can attest, people can be really snarky about copyright infringement.

HeatherFeather
04-22-2005, 03:55 PM
but how much of a change, is ENOUGH change???? (rhetorical question...guess I didn't think hard enough today!!! lol)

I SOOO totally want to do this right....

So...the idea of making the button hole bags for sale is out, because I got the "pattern" from them....www.masondixonknitting.com btw...

BUT...if I take the principals of the design, bottom of the bag, have fun with colors and such, then it IS my design?

I am still stuck in the plagerism thinking...I can't claim something as mine for a paper if the IDEA was someone elses. Do copywrites apply to ideas as well??? THE LAST thing I want to do is take something from someone.

I did talk to DH today, he did say that I could quit my job....the thing that was making me crazy in it is over....so I can go back to doing what I was hired to do....I still just want to NOT work for someone else!!!

Nuno930
04-22-2005, 05:57 PM
I also think I'd spend $100 on my baby if I had had one! (the diaper covers this woman makes are gorgeous and embroidered with special symbols according to what you want)

Who are you talking about Vic? Do you have a link? Yes, some people spend a few hundred for shoes just to get feet sweat in them... I spend it on diapers/covers for my kid in pee in. In my defense the resale value is huge! 75-100% sometimes more :thumbsup:

Sorry, I got off topic... Umm if I knitted for money I would TOTALY use yarn and needles.

Mer
04-24-2005, 09:25 PM
Have you guys seen this (http://www.cutxpaste.com/consign.html) site? It's basically an online consignment store for handmade things! There's not any knitting on it that I could see, but knitted items would certainly qualify! I wonder if there are more places like that? Might be harder to sell things since it's not a local store and you're up against more people, but if you have something cool, it might be worth a try!

I'm wondering too about copyright stuff...if I made something similar to this (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEspring05/PATTcocktailmonkey.html), but a different size and without the monkeys and whatnot, could I sell it? I'd only be taking the idea of knitting with hemp, in that case, and not copying the pattern. Of course I'm getting ahead of myself since I haven't even tried making it yet!

Sara
04-24-2005, 10:40 PM
Sorry to put you on the defensive, Nik! No harm intended.

There are really gray areas, here. I wouldn't, for instance, make five booga bags and try to sell them in a consignment shop. I would take money from someone to make a booga bag especially for them because I would want to be paid for my time. I wouldn't tell anyone that I had designed the booga bag. I wouldn't try to pass off anyone else's design as my own. There are books that give basic patterns for mittens and sweaters, I would use them for reference and come up with my own design.

So Mer wants to make a square bottom bag. She looks at the monkey bag pattern and says "Oh, so that's how you shape that bag!" She proceeds to make a square bottom bag out of a material of her choosing, makes i-cord handles and duplicate stitches something on the side for decoration, she adds a loop and button closure and a pretty cotton lining, no monkeys or fun furs have been harmed in the process. Is that her design? I say yes. Even if it's the same size as the monkey bag.

DH and I have done a lot of research and discussion regarding patent law. You can't infringe on someone else's patent. If, however, you can improve on another person's process significantly, you can get a patent on your improvement. This is how I look at the knitting question. Be ethical, don't misrepresent your work.

Lionbrand has a pattern on their website to cover flip flop straps by crocheting with fun fur. The pattern is totally wrong. I figured out how to do it on my own (I posted a picture in the finished object thread). I have no qualms about selling them, because I didn't use their pattern. But I don't think anyone will want to buy them, so the point is moot and Lionbrand's lawyers don't have to call me.

Is anyone out there actually a lawyer? I am not a lawyer. You must proceed with your own best judgement and/or consultation with a real attorney. Twiggyann might be in family law. She can help me if Lionbrand tries to take my kids away. :D

Mer
04-24-2005, 11:18 PM
Thanks, Sara! DH is going to go into patent law next year...but perhaps we shouldn't consult him until he's actually taken some classes. :D

There are tons more online consignment stores that sell handmade crafts--I'm not sure if they do well at all or if that would be any better than trying to sell on ebay. Gives a few more options though.

midnightskyfibers
04-24-2005, 11:57 PM
not a lawyer (and no plans to be- iprefer to work on the social side of the law :)) bu i do have a large law background...to bad its not in business :)

I can tell you this: Its fine to get the IDEAS from patterns (ie if you see a bag with cables in a store and make one like it, see a lace stitch you like and emulate it, etc) as long as you are not directly copying from the pattern.

Specific to the buttonhole bag: thats just one rendition and name of a pattern that has been around for years! (as long as you arent resaling the pattern you should be fine). If you are making a bag LIKE that you should be fine.

If you look on craftster they recently were discussing copyright issues of patterns.

OO and i highly recommmend (if I didnt already) consignment as an excellent way to start out, esp to get your name out there. Also having an Lj b/c then people read about what you are making!

However, I will point out that cutxpaste (linked above somewheres) has a waiting list for artitts atm, as does plainmabel and funkyutopia. Try hdseignshop.com or dream-and-sugar.net for a couple of smaller consignment stores that dont currently have people wait listed.