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View Full Version : How much to charge for a scarf?


breakfastattiffanys09
12-03-2008, 09:48 PM
Hey guys...
My friends all want to buy scarves or pay me to teach them now because our school has no sort of rule against that and it's one thing to keep me warm.

How much should I charge for a lesson and how much should I charge for a perfectly made scarf?

Thanks!
Sara :)

MerigoldinWA
12-04-2008, 04:05 AM
It's always hard to decide what to charge for knitting, especially when it is your friends who are the clients. The old rule used to be double the price of the yarn, but some charge 3 times the yarn now. Or whatever you can get. :-)

For lessons I don't know. I know some folks pay a lot for lessons, especially from popular teachers, but I have never charged anything. It is safe to say you aren't going to get rich this way but you could make a little spending money. Private lessons ought to be worth a little more but if you try it as a group, if they each gave you five dollars, you'd come out pretty good. I think it depends a bit on the economic status of your customers. As long as every body is happy, it works.

of troy
12-04-2008, 12:59 PM
A fortune! (about $100 )
a hand knit scarf is one of kind, custom made clothing.. it should be priced as such.. if you try to 'compete' price wise with off shore machine made (in mass quantiy) stuff, it won't cover the cost of the yarn. (unless, you too buy pallets of cones of yarn!)

feel bad about charging that much? have them make the check out to your favorite charity...

ArtLady1981
12-05-2008, 07:19 AM
It's always hard to decide what to charge for knitting, especially when it is your friends who are the clients. The old rule used to be double the price of the yarn, but some charge 3 times the yarn now. Or whatever you can get. :-)

For lessons I don't know. I know some folks pay a lot for lessons, especially from popular teachers, but I have never charged anything. It is safe to say you aren't going to get rich this way but you could make a little spending money. Private lessons ought to be worth a little more but if you try it as a group, if they each gave you five dollars, you'd come out pretty good. I think it depends a bit on the economic status of your customers. As long as every body is happy, it works.

Good advice Merigold! :thumbsup: Thanks for the info!

thecanfield
12-05-2008, 10:38 AM
I have 2 sugestions:
1: Don't!!! Mixing friends and money usualy isnt the best idea. If you do, be carefull.

2: Stop by Etsy (http://www.etsy.com) and take a look at the knit goods to get a kinda feel for what people are charging for what. Also, for the people that you dont want to knit a scarf for but are still asking, you can point them there to get one.

heatherg23
12-05-2008, 06:10 PM
100.00 for a scarf??? it costs me 5.00 in yarn to make one.

breakfastattiffanys09
12-05-2008, 07:42 PM
I did think 100 dollars was a little too much... because the yarn i use is like 2.79 at hobby lobby...my now favorite yarn place because the yarn is cheap, but good quality.

So lessee...if the yarn is 2.79, the needles are 5.99 (bamboo is the BEST), then I guess that rounds out to about 8-9 dollars...
Should i still multiply that by three though?

knitasha
12-05-2008, 07:55 PM
100.00 for a scarf??? it costs me 5.00 in yarn to make one.

Does that mean your time, your talent and your experience are worth nothing?

Plantgoddess+
12-05-2008, 08:22 PM
It is very difficult to sell hand knit items at a price that compensates for your time. If you think about how many hours goes into a scarf over and above the yarn cost you probably couldn't find anyone to buy it.

vaknitter
12-06-2008, 12:42 AM
Personally I am opposed to charging my friends for knitted items such as hats, scarves and even baby blankets. I have had many offer to pay me for them when they admire others that I have made and typically I just ask them to cover the yarn. Likewise if a friend wanted to sit and have me teach them to knit that is the ultimate compliment and I would not charge for that either. It's not that I feel like my time or talent is worthless, it's just that I like doing things for my friends and family. I think we all worry too much about money/compensation and it has ruined many a friendship.
If you are going to charge them for materials I am not sure you should include the cost of your needles as those were purchased for the production of your own scarf and are not purchased specifically and only to make one scarf as a hank of yarn would be.

Marria
12-06-2008, 01:55 AM
You might want to consider trading something too. I am making a sweater for a co-worker and she is making me a quilt. So maybe there is something they can teach you or make for you in return.




Hey guys...
My friends all want to buy scarves or pay me to teach them now because our school has no sort of rule against that and it's one thing to keep me warm.

How much should I charge for a lesson and how much should I charge for a perfectly made scarf?

Thanks!
Sara :)

knitasha
12-06-2008, 11:31 AM
Personally I am opposed to charging my friends for knitted items such as hats, scarves and even baby blankets. I have had many offer to pay me for them when they admire others that I have made and typically I just ask them to cover the yarn. Likewise if a friend wanted to sit and have me teach them to knit that is the ultimate compliment and I would not charge for that either. It's not that I feel like my time or talent is worthless, it's just that I like doing things for my friends and family. I think we all worry too much about money/compensation and it has ruined many a friendship.


If if gives you pleasure to knit for family and friends, then payment really isn't an issue. They enjoy the knitwear, you get the satisfaction of doing something nice for them, everybody is happy.

But if you're selling knitwear commercially, I think you should be paid as a creative professional. Which is to say, paid well. The Original Poster says "all her friends" want her to make scarves for them, and she believes the scarves should be "perfectly made." That begins to sound like free-lance work, not a loving favor.

Some guidelines:
I just took a look at the scarves on etsy.com The average price seems to be between $40 and $60 for fairly plain designs.

Flory Loughead is a knitting expert and designer who was on the TKGA's Master Hand Knitting Committee. She has a formula for computing prices based on the cost of the yarn, the yards knitted and a few other factors. It's simple and I think it is fair to both knitter and customer. http://floryknits.com/howmuchforknitting.html

LJGeiger
12-06-2008, 05:03 PM
I just finished a scarf for my best friend. We went to the yarn store together and she picked out and paid for enough yarn to finish her scarf. I finished the scarf, and as a tip, she went back to the store and bought me the yarn I had been looking at to make a scarf for myself. I think, so long as these people are your friends, letting them pay for just the yarn is a good option. Scarves are some fabulously cheap and meaningful gifts too. But for people you aren't as close to, I charge at least double the cost of the yarn.

blueygh2
12-06-2008, 05:39 PM
I'm knitting things (scarves mostly) for people all the time, and I just give it to them as gifts.
I'm not really into making profit, even if the yarn costs me half a fortune. I just enjoy knitting, and when it's finished I don't have much use for it, so I'm giving it away.

It's just hard to find people who want the things... but mostly there are people willing to take the items. I'm against just giving someone a scarf as a present, and they won't wear it at all...

About the money, I did already think about it, when I made a scarf for my niece (for her 10th birthday). I thought her mother might ask to give me money, and what I should tell her, because I started the scarf because my niece gave me some kind of eyelash with felted pieces yarn, she found it too difficult to work with. So I proposed to make her a scarf out of it, but I had to buy quite a lot of other yarns to make the scarf, which, by the way, turned out quite good and is a huge success at school :D

I'm against taking money for hand-made items. I think they are worth so much that no money could ever match them. Only gratitude is able to express the degree of worthiness of such pieces. So that's what I take.
Take it, and wear it with pride.

MerigoldinWA
12-06-2008, 09:45 PM
I don't think I you should charge for the needles since those are yours to keep and use on lots of things. You get the yarn for only $2.79? If the yarn is that inexpensive I think your work is worth more than the yarn. If you only use one skein I would think $10 is still a good bargain for your friends if they like your scarves. Even more might be fine if they still feel like they are getting a bargain. In my mind it kind of depends on the kinds of prices they are used to paying where they shop. $10.00 seems pretty good if they are used to a place like Wal-Mart (I don't actually know what they are in Wal-Mart), but if they shop at expensive stores and your product is comparable they might consider $15.00 or $20.00 a bargain.

As Plantgoddess said you can't really charge what something is worth time wise or hardly anybody would be able to buy hand made things. Settle on a price with your friends where your work has some value, your friends feel treated fairly, and where you all stay friends. Good luck.

teachermom
12-08-2008, 06:49 AM
I would teach them.... make it fun, have a small group over, they bring all their supplies - you could even shop for them together first, have each girl also bring something to eat/drink... etc...

Teach them the basics - have them practice, talk, eat, knit...

From your post I'm assuming you attend a private school with uniform requirments - keep your friends your friends and if you decide later to sell your knitwear - set up your business and deal with it as a business. A previous post mentioned you can't mix friends and money - very true. Start your own knitting circle, maybe if your friends are insterested - once they get the hang of knitting, maybe you could, as a group, make items for charity or sell and profits go to a charity- options are endless.

Happy knitting

of troy
12-08-2008, 11:14 AM
this subject is a hot button for me.

sure, you can knit a scarf for under $10 --if you don't include your time.

your time (and effort) is part of the productions costs.

Ok, so you are not knitting for profit..
then don't!
tell your friends
1--i don't knit for profit. i will:
A--make you a scarf as a gift
B--teach you to knit so you can make your own
C--knit you one, but you have to comp a charity the value of the scarf
(and lets face it, a scarf is about 6 to 10 hours of knitting.. (ok that's just a few evenings.. but its still 6 to hours of work)
at MINIMUM (unskilled labor!) wages, that is still $35 to $60 worth of labor.

if the scarf has any skill (and purling is a skill, and ribbing is a skill (hell basic knitting is a skill!) even a $2.79 skein of yarn scarf is worth $75!

If you or your friends want a HAND MADE, one of kind item.. then it is an artisan article of clothing--it's not something they can pick up at Walmart--and it shouldn't be priced to compete with walmart.

they should realize that. YOUR TIME IS VALUABLE. (and if you wish to give it away, fine do so, but don't say oh, i spend $3 on the yarn, 3 times that is the right price ($12!) for something that took you 10 hours to knit.--your time is worth more than $9!--

if you charge "wal mart prices" for Madison Avenue boutique goods, you'll find yourself in a sweat shop of your own making!

The more you "under sell" knitting.. the longer hand knit things will be considered worthless (that is, worth less than the labor it takes to create them!)

the only way to get respect for knitting, it to respect it.

if your friend want a hand knit scarf, let them learn how to knit, or let them pay through the nose!

i stand by my recommendation.. $100 is a reasonable price for a hand knit scarf. (it represents 10 hours of work--plus materials.. and it is a perfectly reasonable amount!)

auburnchick
12-08-2008, 02:17 PM
What a difficult topic! I get approached all the time about making things for people.

I politely smile, thank them for whatever compliment they are giving me, and explain that I have a lot of projects going on right now and that it's difficult to put a price on the knitting, which takes much longer to do than it appears.

Then I tuck away the request and will sometimes knit the item the person requested as a surprise...for a birthday or thank you gift.

I don't think there's money to be had in knitting for profit, unless you're a speed demon or can do intricate colorwork, which would cost a pretty penny.

Plus, when you start knitting for $$, it becomes less of a hobby and more of a job. No way, Jose.

Craw
12-08-2008, 02:52 PM
In my mind it kind of depends on the kinds of prices they are used to paying where they shop.

Exactly what I was thinking. I don't shop in boutiques. I've never even paid $100 for a coat, let alone a scarf. There are very few people willing to pay that much. Plus, if we're talking kids in school here (HS, College, whatever) they don't have $100 to spend on anything anyway. Much better to teach them I think. I would never think of charging someone to teach them to knit or crochet but that's just me. It's really hard for me to say what's a good price to sell something at because I know I wouldn't pay anything myself, I'd just make it. If it was an intricate pattern and I couldn't do it myself, I'd just have to do without.

breakfastattiffanys09
12-08-2008, 03:14 PM
Thank you so much all...I think i'm just going to make them their christmas presents :)

The extras I have I can give to family

Thank you sooooo much!!!!
Sara

AAngels
12-08-2008, 09:20 PM
It is usally double or triple plus some of your time. U will really never make a lot because of the time.
But whatever your yarn cost you triple the price and you made some profit.

There is nothing wrong with charging friends, you could tell them the orginal price then give them a discount.

I am in the nail biz also and candles and my friends pay me. It's not always great giving away freebees. Unless its for a present.
Sometimes friends can take advantage of freebees.


Thanks
Kathy

YarnKitten
12-09-2008, 12:28 AM
I think a group knitting/crocheting night at five bucks a pop would be a good idea. Especially if you turned around and ordered pizza for everyone or something. :3 The money doesn't necessarily need to be kept. I'd pay five bucks for a knitting lesson, easy. Especially if I found out there would be catering. ;D

LBECK
12-09-2008, 06:19 AM
So you do not have to be certified to teach in a group or give private lessons for cash?

breakfastattiffanys09
12-09-2008, 10:42 AM
If you're among friends I think that's totally different than strangers.
I'm getting a license to sell at Dickens On the Strand. But as for among friends I don't think a license is required.

Lisa R.
12-09-2008, 10:59 AM
So you do not have to be certified to teach in a group or give private lessons for cash?

It never would have occurred to me that you'd need a license to teach knitting! Of course, if you put yourself out as something your not (for instance, saying you're some sort of certified teacher if you're not), then that would be deceptive...but it's not like practicing medicine without a license or anything.

j4sstrom
12-09-2008, 01:50 PM
I had this problem also. I showed a few ladies at work a scarf I made a few months ago when I first learned to knit (scarf (http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/ktr-scarf.html?noImages=0)). They loved it, wanted me to make more, and one wanted to buy the one I brought in right then and there. She asked how much, I said I had no idea, she offered $20, I said "Sold!".

Yeah, because of the fact that I am by no means a fast knitter, $20 by no means covers "labor" cost (even at minimum wage! ;) ), but since I sit around watching movies while I knit, getting paid something for an activity I like to do for free anyway, is better than trying to get "fairly" compensated and selling nothing.

That said, charge what the market allows. If a detailed scarf can only sell for $40, but a much simpler one can sell for $20. Focus on the simpler one. Of course, if you can get $100 for a scarf, more power to you!

of troy
12-09-2008, 02:41 PM
This idea, that its OK to get less than fair (minimum wage) for knitting bothers me no end!

people say "but you can buy (a machine made, in china, by workers who are virtually slaves, with synthetic yarn purchased in bulk (wholesale!) scarf for $X.. how can i charge $100?

it's apples and hamburgers! (its so far beyond apples and oranges they are not even both fruits!))

a hat knit scarf (or any hand knit item) is a one of kind, custom (artisan) piece of work.

and people can and will pay for it.

How many of us went with custom kitchen cabinets, (at 3 to 10 times the price of "ready made"?)--because we wanted:
a certain look,
top quality
(other reasons)
Or "find" the money for a special sound system for a junker of car? or what ever else they value?

Knit it and sell it for $20, and you'll find its treated as a "disposable" accessory..
It just won't be valued--(after all YOU don't value the time or effort you put in, so why should they?)

next year, they will want a new scarf, because the previous one has be lost (carelessly!)
or isn't the "right color" (cause they think of scarves as cheap wardrobe updaters)
or has shrunk/felted when it was thrown into the washing machine..

Charge them $100 and they treat it better.

And they should!

Everyone says, You can't make money knitting..
but somehow, custom carpenters make money,and car detailers make money, and stereo stores make money

but then, they don't say, oh, i can just do this in my spare time, (so i don't need to be comp'd fairly)

and then by year 2 or 3, when they see that others don't treat hand knitting with any respect, they stop knitting for "friends" --except the one or two who value the effort.

If you don't value your knitting, no one will --and knitting will remain a quaint hobby..(and cheap work)

j4sstrom
12-09-2008, 03:03 PM
If you don't value your knitting, no one will --and knitting will remain a quaint hobby..(and cheap work)

See, that's the point. I am not a skilled knitter. I don't particularly "value" my knitting. I got back enough to cover the yarn and make a few bucks on the side. Now, if I wanted to make this hobby a career, I would commit a lot more time/effort to it. But I don't, so I won't. I'm not judging you, I think if you can get $100 for a scarf you should go for it!

Remember, the scarf pattern I linked previously is very low-end skill wise. If I made a more intricate pattern with smaller needles, hence requiring far more time/effort, I would obviously raise my "rate". But saying a scarf that is simple (X stitches K acr, repeat), yet takes a beginning knitter Y hours to finish is worth same as an expert level design knit over the same time period by an experienced knitter (just because it took Y hours to finish) is silly.

teachermom
12-09-2008, 08:35 PM
Who would have thought this could have been such a touchy subject....

Everyone should remember that the choice to sell, gift, or teach is the creator/teachers personal choice.

If you feel that you would not benefit from selling your hardwork or you worry about how others will treat your work - then don't sell it or gift it, keep it for yourself or those who you know will really take care of the items you knitted... you do need to remember that when you gift something - it is now their property to do with what they choose to do with it. Don't take it personally and if you don't like how they treat the item you knitted - don't knit for them again. Personal choice.

I knit because I enjoy it - I don't think about how someone is going to treat the item that I put time, money, and effort in to. My goal is that I hope that they will enjoy it - if it wears out, it says to me they really loved it. I think of it as a compliment. I also only gift items to people that I know will appreciate my hard work - mostly family and a few very close friends. I also know that if it is a fashion item - it will eventually go out of fashion... I can't let that hurt me or keep me from knitting items for them. I haven't sold anything and really don't plan to at this time. If I do, then I take it from a business standpoint - set up a business, set my prices (what I think is a good price), and handle it as a business transaction. I believe that one of the earlier posts mentioned not to mix friends and money - good advice. There is nothing wrong with showing a friend how you do something if they are interested... make it a thing to do with a friend and enjoy it.

You have to take it for what it is... and make out of it what you will...

breakfastattiffanys09
12-09-2008, 08:47 PM
Thank you for all your comments. I don't think I'm going to charge them or even allow them to pay me for it.
I never knew this topic would be so controversial :)
Again thank you for answering my question and I have taken all of your advice to heart

~Sara

shelluie
12-10-2008, 10:45 AM
I think that if a person wants to sell something that they've knit, they should sell it for a price that they are comfortable and happy with. I don't think there is any magical system for deciding what price to charge. I for one would never charge $100.00 for a scarf because there is nobody that I know that would be able to afford it. I'm sure there are people out there that can afford that kind of price tag but I'm thinking they are few and far between in the area where I live. If you happen to live in an area where you can get that kind of money for a scarf - that's awesome!!! Just curious...how much would you then charge for a blanket???

kellee0302
12-10-2008, 10:55 AM
I don't charge to teach my friends or help them out with a project. As far as making the item for them, I usually only cover the price of the yarn, they are my friends. For someone that is just an acquaintance I would just charge double the materials(yarn, not needles) for the item.

Kashshaptu
12-10-2008, 11:17 AM
I know loads of people have replied on this, but I thought I'd chip in as well. I have lots of friends requesting things from me. For close friends who really want something in particular, I'll ask them to cover the yarn, any time, experience and other cost-related things are free of charge, though within reasonable limits.

I also have a good friend who wanted this scarf from the Doctor Who show (it's about 9 feet long I think), he covered all of the yarn cost and said he'd give me 50 euros (60-70 dollar?) for the time and effort I spend on it. Which I do think is only fair.

It really depends on what you knit for them. Scarves take a while (if knitted on a small needle), but are fairly simple and don't need much attention to knit. Big sweaters and other weird, extravagant things will cost you more effort, time and attention, so that means it's not unfair to ask a small fee for that....Especially cause most knitters have so many projects of their own as well ;)

Though of course, christmas is a good time to knit presents for people as well :)

VictoiseC
12-10-2008, 05:35 PM
How do you feel about $10 an hour for a lesson or $15? You have to feel comfortable with the price, like you're not ripping them off or yourself. $15 is very reasonable but if you would like to help them out then $10 would be good for them. If you pay around $5 for the yarn, $20 would be a good price for a scarf, maybe even $15.
You have to search to see what makes you feel good... if you pay a lot for the yarn then it's worth much more, also with details in the pattern. I sold my first two hats last Christmas, one for $65 and one for $50 but it was very expensive yarn and complicated (sort of) patterns. I was amazed I got that much though! But down the street at Barney's here in New York, they are getting $185 for a simple thick knit hat. ha Good luck.