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View Full Version : Has anyone make any money at knitting


Ctwmn63
02-23-2009, 12:04 AM
Some of the people were I am working said that I should make some money at this. See we have bowling teams coming up in two months and I alwas do some kind for knitting or crochet for them. But I don't know that if my work is that good or not. Everyone at work said that I have the skills with my hands and I can make money at both of them. What should I do? I tryed to do some of the other craft and I let this person know how much it would be and she told me that it was too much and she gave me half of the money that she owed to me. Yes she ask me to make some items and what color and that she saw them and did not what to pay the price I had for them. So she just got one of them. :knitting:

Songbirdy
02-23-2009, 12:08 AM
Not me personally. But I did donate a piece to a charity auction and they made money raffling it off.

Knitting is my one thing for which I refuse to 'take' orders.

I sew/mend for cash.

Knitting, I get dozens of people asking me or rather "hinting" that they'd like "x", "y", or "abcdef...xyz" and I always tell them that knitting is *my* thing and they if they get something so be it but I'm making no promises.

That being said I simply love to knit for others but I want it to be of my choice at my time and of my own direction. Typically I'll gift something or decide its recipent while knitting the project.

I find that if I do start a project with someone in mind it often becomes a chore... ;)

Marria
02-23-2009, 12:34 AM
I agree--I don't want to make things for money. But on the advice of a couple of people who I've taught to knit recently, I am toying around with giving knitting lessons for money. I'm not sure how I would go about it, but it might be a way to make a little extra money, doing something I really enjoy.

Mike
02-23-2009, 02:04 AM
People who don't know how much time you spend doing it and how much yarn adds up to think you could make money.

You would have to be a speed knitter and get bulk discounts to make money.

At my speed,
Socks 2 hours a day for 3 weeks. 42 hours X $15/hr + materials = $640 socks.
Sweater 2 hours a day for 2 months. 120 hours X $15/hr + materials = $1830 sweater.
Baby booties 8 hours X $15/hr = $120.
Even at minimum wage those prices would be more than many would be willing to spend.
Wool yarn alone for a crochet afghan I made at regular price would've been about $320.

My career is low paid because they figure we're artists and would do it for free if that was the only offer.
Fiber crafters have an additional problem of having to compete with machines and foreign slave labor.

Do it for the joy of doing it. If someone wants to pay let them pay you for materials but let them know they couldn't come close to paying for the labor.
Or tell them it's $30 for the yarn and $1000 for the labor.

swcheng15
02-23-2009, 02:17 AM
At my speed,
Socks 2 hours a day for 3 weeks. 42 hours X $15/hr + materials = $640 socks.
Sweater 2 hours a day for 2 months. 120 hours X $15/hr + materials = $1830 sweater.
Baby booties 8 hours X $15/hr = $120.
Even at minimum wage those prices would be more than many would be willing to spend.
Wool yarn alone for a crochet afghan I made at regular price would've been about $320.


Do it for the joy of doing it. If someone wants to pay let them pay you for materials but let them know they couldn't come close to paying for the labor.
Or tell them it's $30 for the yarn and $1000 for the labor.

Your response made me laugh. People REALLY don't know how long it takes, let alone the cost of the materials. That's NOTHING compared to the hours and hours you spend on it.

To answer the question, you can always look around and see what the "going rate" is for that particular item, and charge around there. If they're unwilling to pay for it, then keep it or donate it. But I'd probably be up front with them about the cost before you venture into the project.

Jan in CA
02-23-2009, 02:34 AM
Please note that many patterns do not allow you to make anything other than for personal use..as in you can't make money from it. Some don't even like you to use it for charity auctions. Always read the copyright info on the pattern or website and ask the designer.

That said.. I have sold a couple things of my own design, but otherwise no. For something like a bowling team.. don't know. Maybe matching armbands or something? Or a short scarf type thing?

Mazie
02-23-2009, 03:59 AM
I simply tell them I'm thrilled that they want a handcrafted item and I would be more than happy to teach them to knit, crochet or quilt. I will even loan them the needles the project needs. That's usually the end of the conversation. I have taught several people to knit or crochet but most never keep it up.

globaltraveler
02-23-2009, 06:02 AM
After a long career of making a living with sewing and other crafts, I've noticed that turning a hobby into work is fraught with pitfalls.

First off, turning it into work means exactly that: turning it into work. You need to be businesslike about it, as Mike has done there in part. In order to buy wholesale, you'll need a business license from your state, and that means fees for the paperwork, even if you're DBA yourself. In order to track how much money (including your time) is going into a piece, you'll have to keep track of your hours and your stock, and that means more paperwork. You should know in advance how much a piece will cost.

Crafting is a tough way to make a living. Try googling for starting up a craft business, and you'll get an eyeful!

Now, there are tech and sample knitters out there who knit for companies, but I've noticed that they're mainly part-time, and they're all fast knitters. There's also people who contract themselves out for knitting -- people pay them to knit items for them, but there's an agreed project amount or hourly fee in advance. Most are very fast knitters with a lot of technical skill. Most put cards up in LYS to find customers, who tend to be other knitters.

I've found the hard way that turning a loved hobby into a business can suck the joy right out of it. Make sure that your love of knitting and crocheting can survive *having* to do it, is my advice!

HTH -- good luck!

VictoiseC
02-23-2009, 04:24 PM
Everybody (many) always seems so down on this issue. Especially calculating hours and your time. I don't agree. If you feel like doing it, that's whats important. when I go to the New York Sheep and wool festival I find incredibly thick beautiful socks made by the vendor for $20. I bought a little felted bag (not that little actually) out of gorgeous homespun yarn for only $12. Those people seemed delighted in my delight in being able to buy those items for a reasonable cost. I did a craft show that I paid $25 for a table and I sold NOTHING. It was hilarious. I had a great day though. I ended up giving a scarf to a little girl. I sold my first two hats last Christmas in a crafts store and was amazed she got $65 (I got $50) for each hat. so, you now, there's a lot of variables. You need a plan but it doesn't have to Big and Overwhelming.

VictoiseC
02-23-2009, 04:30 PM
P.S. I just noticed youre in upstate new york. I did the craft show in Delhi and the store, called the Lost Art of Living (a super store!) is in Margaretville.

globaltraveler
02-23-2009, 04:43 PM
There's a reason *I* tend to be down on the idea -- if someone can be easily discouraged by other people telling them the bad parts of the business life, then they probably shouldn't be running a business. I agree that if you enjoy doing it regardless of whether you make any money -- then go to it. But if you need to make a living and especially if you have children to support, keep your day job for a while.

Ctwmn63
02-23-2009, 07:27 PM
I live in the triple city. In the southern tier of NY.

stitchabit
02-23-2009, 09:25 PM
A dear 86 year old friend of mine sold 5 scarves to one person at Christmas time for $250 ($50) each. The yarn in each was beautiful I think she had about $20 worth of yarn in each scarf and they would take her a couple of days to do.

Mike
02-24-2009, 03:00 AM
Everybody (many) always seems so down on this issue. Especially calculating hours and your time. I don't agree. If you feel like doing it, that's whats important. when I go to the New York Sheep and wool festival I find incredibly thick beautiful socks made by the vendor for $20. I bought a little felted bag (not that little actually) out of gorgeous homespun yarn for only $12. Those people seemed delighted in my delight in being able to buy those items for a reasonable cost. I did a craft show that I paid $25 for a table and I sold NOTHING. It was hilarious. I had a great day though. I ended up giving a scarf to a little girl. I sold my first two hats last Christmas in a crafts store and was amazed she got $65 (I got $50) for each hat. so, you now, there's a lot of variables. You need a plan but it doesn't have to Big and Overwhelming.
As they say, time is money.
If you don't consider your time you're not making money.

I saw washcloths on Etsy for $2.50. Does that even pay for the yarn (I stocked up on clearance so I'm out of touch)? If it's not machine made it definitely doesn't pay for the time. Even machine made it doesn't pay for the machine.
That is not "making money". That is a labor of love that you're hoping to recoup some of the costs of doing.

The reason I'm down on giving it away at cost and pretending it's a business sale is that it devalues the labor.

I heard the Etsy guy in an interview on Knit and Crochet Today saying he wanted to set up co-ops for the more successful sellers. At the prices I see there that would amount to sweatshops and slave labor.

Crycket
02-24-2009, 09:10 AM
I heard the only way to knit "professionally" (that is to say, make enough money to live on) is to do the samples they have in books.

I am not sure if that is true or not...but I know I could not do it...

Craw
02-24-2009, 10:06 AM
I've found that people don't even want to pay for the price of the yarn, let alone the time and talent. They think the yarn is practically free so anything they're paying IS time and talent. Er, wrong! My crafts only go as gifts and even that sometimes seems like work so it could suck the fun out of a project.

Dishcloths for $2.50? That covers cheapo yarn and a wee wee bit of time. However, most people wouldn't even pay that much. Crafters are the wrong people to ask about price since most of us wouldn't pay any price. We'd make it ourselves. :knitting:

heatherg23
02-24-2009, 04:21 PM
You mean selling your knitted items? www.etsy.com
You can set up a store for free and sell there. It's a "sell anything handmade" type of site.

Ctwmn63
02-24-2009, 07:14 PM
I was just asking abput that becouse were I work my boss told me that I am going to be very buzzy in Day Hab. See I work with handlycap adults and I am making anything that the staff. I had one staff come to me and ask me about making her a vest and I found this one on one of the web site so I am making it. She bought the yarn and she is buying it from me for $25.00. See I normaly amke crochet items for our bowling tourment that we have every year. So I am learning on the way. :) :mrgreen:

Jean

mwhite
02-24-2009, 10:06 PM
After a long career of making a living with sewing and other crafts, I've noticed that turning a hobby into work is fraught with pitfalls.

First off, turning it into work means exactly that: turning it into work. You need to be businesslike about it, as Mike has done there in part. In order to buy wholesale, you'll need a business license from your state, and that means fees for the paperwork, even if you're DBA yourself. In order to track how much money (including your time) is going into a piece, you'll have to keep track of your hours and your stock, and that means more paperwork. You should know in advance how much a piece will cost.

Crafting is a tough way to make a living. Try googling for starting up a craft business, and you'll get an eyeful!


Now, there are tech and sample knitters out there who knit for companies, but I've noticed that they're mainly part-time, and they're all fast knitters. There's also people who contract themselves out for knitting -- people pay them to knit items for them, but there's an agreed project amount or hourly fee in advance. Most are very fast knitters with a lot of technical skill. Most put cards up in LYS to find customers, who tend to be other knitters.

I've found the hard way that turning a loved hobby into a business can suck the joy right out of it. Make sure that your love of knitting and crocheting can survive *having* to do it, is my advice!

HTH -- good luck!

AMEN!!!

However, I do make enough from selling original and adapted patterns to buy groceries and fund my knitting habit! Originals are no sweat and self-published. The adapted patterns could only be sold after receiving permission to first, make them and then to sell them. It takes time and testing but after it's been proofed you are basically done with it except for maintaining the sales sites.

lizara
05-13-2009, 02:30 AM
If you would like some ideas and inspiration, have a look on my blog at www.knittingforprofit.com/blog - I have interviewed lots of women who really do make money from knitting!:happydance:
All the best, Liz

ArtLady1981
05-13-2009, 03:47 AM
This is a funny, true story:

Recently, at church, I was wearing my Cocoon cardigan (Babette) and matching cloche (Jenny). It was before service, everyone was standing around chatting a bit. A lovely young woman, about age 30 I'd say, commented how much she loved my set, and asked if I knit this set, too. I said yes. She said, "I'd just love to learn to knit! Do you teach people how to knit? I really need to learn. Because I'd have to pay $50 for a sweater like that otherwise!"

I didn't "get it" it at first. So I just smiled and kept my mouth shut about yarn costs, etc. After a few seconds we took our seats! Saved by the bell.

During services (forgive me Lord), I was still puzzling on her unusual comment.

LIGHT BULB! :figureditout: She thought that a hand-knitted sweater like "Babette" (http://www.ravelry.com/projects/ArtLady/babette) would be less than $50...maybe $30? $20? $10?

Has anyone ever priced Rowan Cocoon? Babette sucked up 10 skeins.

So, how in the world could I expect to make money knitting for someone like her? It isn't that she's cheap or a cheat. She's as sweet as can be. She's just plain uninformed!

The only money I ever made on knitting are my Scrubbies, but let me tell ya, I'm keeping my day job!

I have no advice for you! Do what your heart tells you! People love you, and love your knitting! If you enjoy knitting for a little money, do it! When you stop enjoying it, stop.

Please do remember our moderator's (Jan in CA) warning! Designers protect their intellectual property very zealously these days. Even FREE patterns. If you're gonna knit for profit, make sure you are not using a copyrighted/protected pattern. It's uncanny how they can find out! :wink:

cheley
05-13-2009, 06:19 AM
This is a funny, true story:

Recently, at church, I was wearing my Cocoon cardigan (Babette) and matching cloche (Jenny). It was before service, everyone was standing around chatting a bit. A lovely young woman, about age 30 I'd say, commented how much she loved my set, and asked if I knit this set, too. I said yes. She said, "I'd just love to learn to knit! Do you teach people how to knit? I really need to learn. Because I'd have to pay $50 for a sweater like that otherwise!"

I didn't "get it" it at first. So I just smiled and kept my mouth shut about yarn costs, etc. After a few seconds we took our seats! Saved by the bell.

During services (forgive me Lord), I was still puzzling on her unusual comment.

LIGHT BULB! :figureditout: She thought that a hand-knitted sweater like "Babette" (http://www.ravelry.com/projects/ArtLady/babette) would be less than $50...maybe $30? $20? $10?

Has anyone ever priced Rowan Cocoon? Babette sucked up 10 skeins.

So, how in the world could I expect to make money knitting for someone like her? It isn't that she's cheap or a cheat. She's as sweet as can be. She's just plain uninformed!

The only money I ever made on knitting are my Scrubbies, but let me tell ya, I'm keeping my day job!

I have no advice for you! Do what your heart tells you! People love you, and love your knitting! If you enjoy knitting for a little money, do it! When you stop enjoying it, stop.

Please do remember our moderator's (Jan in CA) warning! Designers protect their intellectual property very zealously these days. Even FREE patterns. If you're gonna knit for profit, make sure you are not using a copyrighted/protected pattern. It's uncanny how they can find out! :wink: I have seen this statement in alot of "answers" here...If you modify/change something in a "pattern" (just use the basic pattern) how is it that you are "copying" it? Just thought I'd ask:thumbsup:

globaltraveler
05-13-2009, 08:35 AM
LOL -- if you write a novel by copying someone else's work, but you change a few paragraphs, are you copying or writing something new?

cheley
05-13-2009, 08:58 AM
LOL -- if you write a novel by copying someone else's work, but you change a few paragraphs, are you copying or writing something new? LOL too..... never thought of it that way...thanks for your reply

Craw
05-13-2009, 08:58 AM
...If you modify/change something in a "pattern" (just use the basic pattern) how is it that you are "copying" it? Just thought I'd ask:thumbsup:

I have an idea ... let's say you see something you wanna make to sell. You never look at their pattern, just the FO. Next, you create it. Then it would be yours. Chances are you wouldn't have done it the same way it was originally done, you may even have used different stitches. But if you got a chance to look at their pattern first, you're kind of cheating. Sorta like peeking at a test before taking it and it had all the answers already written in.

cheley
05-13-2009, 09:00 AM
I have an idea ... let's say you see something you wanna make to sell. You never look at their pattern, just the FO. Next, you create it. Then it would be yours. Chances are you wouldn't have done it the same way it was originally done, you may even have used different stitches. But if you got a chance to look at their pattern first, you're kind of cheating. Sorta like peeking at a test before taking it and it had all the answers already written in. dito..on what I replied to Globe..:aww: never gave it that much thought... I just knit and donate:teehee:

globaltraveler
05-13-2009, 09:10 AM
Thing is, anyone can copy something they've seen and wear it proudly as proof of your ability to copy something. It's when they copy it and then SELL the thing that's the problem.

Copyright and intellectual property right law is an enormous area of concern to those who are trying to protect their rights.

Anyway, I think that's it soooo much more satisfying to make (and sell!) something that's your work from start to finish!

Mike
05-13-2009, 09:11 AM
LOL -- if you write a novel by copying someone else's work, but you change a few paragraphs, are you copying or writing something new?

Unless a story is taken from real life and repeated exactly it has probably already been written before. After a few thousand years everything is in reruns.

Where am I going?
Some designs are nothing but standard basics that have been knitted since the beginning of time with just a few paragraphs changed.
They shouldn't have been given copyrights in the first place.
Like one I just knit that is two stitch patterns taken directly out of a cable dictionary. The fact that I changed one of those cables because my way is more pleasing to my eye makes mine more worthy of copyright than the pattern I was following.

She took basic sweater design and matched it with 2 cable stitches.
If anything she's the one who infringed on someone else's intellectual property for her own gain. Just because the stitches were invented before anyone thought to copyright them isn't an excuse.

cheley
05-13-2009, 09:18 AM
Unless a story is taken from real life and repeated exactly it has probably already been written before. After a few thousand years everything is in reruns.

Where am I going?
Some designs are nothing but standard basics that have been knitted since the beginning of time with just a few paragraphs changed.
They shouldn't have been given copyrights in the first place.
Like one I just knit that is two stitch patterns taken directly out of a cable dictionary. The fact that I changed one of those cables because my way is more pleasing to my eye makes mine more worthy of copyright than the pattern I was following.

She took basic sweater design and matched it with 2 cable stitches.
If anything she's the one who infringed on someone else's intellectual property for her own gain. Just because the stitches were invented before anyone thought to copyright them isn't an excuse. Thanks Mike:thumbsup: nicely put!!!:hug: now I can go outside and hook-up my new WATERING WAND:woohoo:

of troy
05-13-2009, 10:57 AM
Yes you can make money at knitting.. but not easily.

today, many knits are done in the 3rd/developing world.. and the workers earn a dollar or 2 a day. (when mills first opened in NE 175 years ago, the workers there got paid a pittance but still flocked to the mills.. working as milk maids on the family farm paid $0--working in a mill paid $1--hmm, which was the better deal?)

REAL hand knits (on needles) take hours.. and even if you are a fast knitter, a sweater is going to take 30 hours.
at $10 an hour (hardly great wages if you have to pay your own FICA or taxes or other stuff!) a hand knit sweater is going to be priced at $300 (+ more for finishing, buttons,cost of material--$400 or $500 is a realistic comp.

Here in NYC there are boutiques that sell hand made baby sweaters for $250 (julia roberts bought a dozen when she was pregnant a few years ago!)

but most people, in most places are going to expect you to produce hand knits on a par (pricewise) as the "hand Knits" (knit on hand (vs electric) knitting machines)--they have seen in Walmart (made in china, where the workers earn $1 a day!)

and that grandmother and others make (and donate) to charity hand knit and crochet blankets that sell for a dollar or 2 over the cost of the materials.. just re-enforces the idea that knitting is 'free labor' .

You can make money if you are willing to charge $45 to $60 for a hand knit hat (i know knitters in NYC who sell hand knit hats for just that, and more.. ($250 for a hand knit, 100% merino wool hat in Bergdoff's..(not made from Paton's classic merino, but hand spun.. but still, $250 for a hat!)

but try that in peoria, (asking $250 for a hand knit wool hat) and they would laugh you out of town.

YOU could make some money (not a great income, but better return for your effort) if you sell patterns..
or write books, or teach (or all three!) but selling hand knits? its iffy!

cheley
05-13-2009, 11:20 AM
Another "well" put explanation.."hand knit" too me means "labor of love"..The thought of "knitting to sell" would become tedius and boring, I probably couldn't produce a quality piece...JMO

imrachel
05-13-2009, 11:20 AM
The copyright thing is iffy at best (and it drives me nuts that you're not supposed to photocopy something that's been out of print for 10 years-- just whom exactly are you stealing from???). But knitting is very different from writing. It's more like recipes. If you write down your grandmother's recipe for choc chip cookies, it's likely the same as one in some cookbook, somewhere. Finite list of ingredients, finite things you can do with them to create the cookies. One hundred scarf books are going to tell you to cast on 20 sts and do a 1 X 1 rib for 5 feet. If you knit a basic cardigan, and it happens to be the basic cardigan in some designer's book? Don't know how they could nab you on it. But if do one of Lavold's complicated cable numbers or one of the intarsia designs from a 1980s book when that was so popular? They'll get you in a second.

globaltraveler
05-13-2009, 12:16 PM
I'll have to disagree with you on that one, Mike, because you're at one end of a very wide spectrum with that viewpoint. (People who think that NOTHING should ever be copied AT ALL are on the other end of that spectrum.) Yeah, a story has been told a million times, and there's nothing new under the sun. A knit hat with a garter stitch border is almost impossible to copyright, for goodness sakes. Most jumpers/sweaters have some form of a neck, and are a tube, possibly with sleeves.

That's about it, that's about where the story ends in the simplistic view. How the thing fits, drapes, the proportions of the thing, all of the things that make a garment absolutely unique to the designer and then in turn to the maker, are the things that go into what copyright is protecting.

I can write, all right, but there's no way I'd tell the same story the same way as a Hemingway or a Nabokov or a Pratchett, not if I sat at a keyboard like said monkeys til the end of time.

Copyright law is so fussy simply because it ISN'T possible to be simplistic and formulaic about it. Lawyers make a whole lot of money off the fact that you can't be simplistic about it!

Bottom line is: if you don't want to have to worry about it, simply always sell your own work and designs or only use patterns where they clearly state the work is saleable.

ArtLady1981
05-13-2009, 12:28 PM
I have seen this statement in alot of "answers" here...If you modify/change something in a "pattern" (just use the basic pattern) how is it that you are "copying" it? Just thought I'd ask:thumbsup:

I understand what you're questioning. And, truth be told, there can be a lot of patterns that are very close in design just by accident. Artists run into this issue a lot. Matter of fact, you can't really 'copyright' a painting, but you can get sued in court if another artist thinks you used his painting too closely as a guide for their own version. Artists challenge other artists in court all the time. They win some, they lose some. There are some guidelines that are followed when the decision is handed down, like how many significant changes did the defendant artist make? Etc. I don't know if that type of artistic rule is applied in court cases between designers of clothing, knitting, etc.

This is the exact copyright wording in a pattern PDF that I bought recently from Chic Knits:

"You are allowed to make a copy of this pattern
for personal use only.
In Whole or Part: Editing and using this pattern as the
basis for another pattern or as a template, publishing, transmitting, e-mailing this pattern to others, or
posting online, is strictly prohibited.
For Non-Commercial Use Only -
You are not allowed to produce patterns or make garments from this pattern then sell them anywhere."

Globaltraveler also gave a darn good analogy!

Anyway, if I came across as stern or heavy-handed, I apologize. Totally unintentional! :hug:

cheley
05-13-2009, 12:38 PM
I understand what you're questioning. And, truth be told, there can be a lot of patterns that are very close in design just by accident. Artists run into this issue a lot. Matter of fact, you can't really 'copyright' a painting, but you can get sued in court if another artist thinks you used his painting too closely as a guide for their own version. Artists challenge other artists in court all the time. They win some, they lose some. There are some guidelines that are followed when the decision is handed down, like how many significant changes did the defendant artist make? Etc. I don't know if that type of artistic rule is applied in court cases between designers of clothing, knitting, etc.

This is the exact copyright wording in a pattern PDF that I bought recently from Chic Knits:

"You are allowed to make a copy of this pattern
for personal use only.
In Whole or Part: Editing and using this pattern as the
basis for another pattern or as a template, publishing, transmitting, e-mailing this pattern to others, or
posting online, is strictly prohibited.
For Non-Commercial Use Only -
You are not allowed to produce patterns or make garments from this pattern then sell them anywhere."

Globaltraveler also gave a darn good analogy!

Anyway, if I came across as stern or heavy-handed, I apologize. Totally unintentional! :hug: No feelings "hurt" this way:hug::heart:..I am just "fascinated" by all the input..ya learn something everyday

Craw
05-13-2009, 12:41 PM
The copyright thing is iffy at best (and it drives me nuts that you're not supposed to photocopy something that's been out of print for 10 years-- just whom exactly are you stealing from???).

You could make a copy of the pattern IF you found the pattern in a book in the library. I do it all the time and it's perfectly legal, whether the book is out of print for 10 yrs or brandy-new on the market.

ArtLady1981
05-13-2009, 01:48 PM
Yes you can make money at knitting.. but not easily.....YOU could make some money (not a great income, but better return for your effort) if you sell patterns....

Exactly! :thumbsup: Well said, of troy!

This is exactly why designers are so protective of their designs! They are trying to make a bit of a living from their designs and patterns.

Anyone ever try to design something AND THEN write it all down in various sizes, and with wording that everyone can understand, and with positively no errors (so that you don't get tarred and feathered!) ?

It ain't easy! I've got to take my hat off to them! They deserve to make money on their patterns, not me. :wink:

Mike
05-13-2009, 03:45 PM
but try that in peoria, (asking $250 for a hand knit wool hat) and they would laugh you out of town.

YOU could make some money (not a great income, but better return for your effort) if you sell patterns..
or write books, or teach (or all three!) but selling hand knits? its iffy!

LOL, Here in the real Peoria you wouldn't sell that hat. But go to the local community college and it will cost you something like $120 to take "advanced" crochet classes and learn up to double crochet because the basic class where you learn to chain and single crochet for $60 is a prerequisite.

I'll have to disagree with you on that one, Mike, because you're at one end of a very wide spectrum with that viewpoint. (People who think that NOTHING should ever be copied AT ALL are on the other end of that spectrum.) Yeah, a story has been told a million times, and there's nothing new under the sun. A knit hat with a garter stitch border is almost impossible to copyright, for goodness sakes. Most jumpers/sweaters have some form of a neck, and are a tube, possibly with sleeves.

That's about it, that's about where the story ends in the simplistic view. How the thing fits, drapes, the proportions of the thing, all of the things that make a garment absolutely unique to the designer and then in turn to the maker, are the things that go into what copyright is protecting.

I can write, all right, but there's no way I'd tell the same story the same way as a Hemingway or a Nabokov or a Pratchett, not if I sat at a keyboard like said monkeys til the end of time.

Copyright law is so fussy simply because it ISN'T possible to be simplistic and formulaic about it. Lawyers make a whole lot of money off the fact that you can't be simplistic about it!

Bottom line is: if you don't want to have to worry about it, simply always sell your own work and designs or only use patterns where they clearly state the work is saleable.

Actually anything is very easy to copyright. Winning a copyright infringement case over it in court is a different matter.

You assume I'm at the extreme of a viewpoint when I am not. I have had original designs stolen, stolen some more, eventually stolen by a big company who changed a "few paragraphs" trademarked and copyrighted it. There was nothing I could do because enough paragraphs were changed and one of my witnesses was one of the ones stealing my design.
I know exactly what is and isn't kosher.

What I've seen in a lot of books are not actual copyrightable designs but rather a book that is copyrighted.
I've seen a lot of "public domain" basic designs with copyright threats that wouldn't stand up in court for that design.
Copy the book and sell the patterns as written and yes you would be infringing. Make that basic design and sell it, no you are not infringing. Take a Kaffe Fassett design and make up your own pattern to mimic it and you are likely infringing.

globaltraveler
05-13-2009, 05:15 PM
As I said, we're just going to have to disagree there.

Personally, I don't want to be the one to find out if selling something made off of someone else's pattern is going to get me in trouble or not, and I'd rather someone didn't decide one of my patterns is "basic" and sell something I've designed. Granted, I'd probably not market what I or anyone else would consider a "basic" pattern, but who wants to be the guinea pig?

linknit41
05-13-2009, 07:05 PM
this whole discussion is very interesting. a friend loved the hand warmers i had made and asked if i'd make her a pair. i really like making them (keeps my hands occupied while watching tv), and told her i would, as i had some *free* yarn someone had given me . knitting is kind of like therapy , so i really don't mind making small items, but wouldn't dream of trying to make a sweater, etc for non-family members. i am a fairly slow knitter and if charged for time spent,no one would be able to afford it!! linknit41

cheley
05-13-2009, 08:08 PM
As I said, we're just going to have to disagree there.

Personally, I don't want to be the one to find out if selling something made off of someone else's pattern is going to get me in trouble or not, and I'd rather someone didn't decide one of my patterns is "basic" and sell something I've designed. Granted, I'd probably not market what I or anyone else would consider a "basic" pattern, but who wants to be the guinea pig? the "projects" OTN you have ..yours? Or a designer? Just asking.....because I am thinking "mods" means modification?

momwolf
05-13-2009, 11:26 PM
Here this might help you on the copy right laws
http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall03/FEATcopyright.html

ArtLady1981
05-14-2009, 06:03 AM
Here this might help you on the copy right laws
http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall03/FEATcopyright.html

Thanks for linking us to that VERY INFORMATIVE article, Momwolf!

dustinac
05-14-2009, 08:46 AM
There is a group on ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/groups/designers-and-crafters-working-together)where designers and crafters are coming together to work out ways to make money off of knitting patterns...some designers are now stating in their patterns you can make so many before asking for permission...however if you don't see this then you need to ask unless it is your own design...:thumbsup:

I used to love doing hand embroidery till I started selling it here around town...then it became to much and not fun so I stopped selling it and haven't touched the stuff since :teehee:

I do make some money off of my knitting by doing test knits or samples...it's not much to write home about but has bought me some yarn I wouldn't have gotten otherwise...I do find it fun though seeing a pattern come to life before anyone else has so it holds my interest and doesn't seem like a job...

Craw
05-14-2009, 10:17 AM
What I've seen in a lot of books are not actual copyrightable designs but rather a book that is copyrighted.
I've seen a lot of "public domain" basic designs with copyright threats that wouldn't stand up in court for that design.


I agree. It's the collection of patterns or the actual book that's copyrighted, not so much the patterns themselves, when the patterns are garter stitch scarves and blankets.

For those "public domain" basic designs, i agree that no copyright infringement would take place (unless you copied the pattern, word for word, and called it your own). Making the pattern and selling it couldn't hold up. There's no way for them to prove you used their design if the actual "design" is nothing more than a stitch used in a gazillion other patterns. What exactly is it they are trying to copyright? A stitch? The yarn? The color? The needle size? These things are not protected by copyright laws.

Mike
05-14-2009, 02:32 PM
I agree. It's the collection of patterns or the actual book that's copyrighted, not so much the patterns themselves, when the patterns are garter stitch scarves and blankets.

For those "public domain" basic designs, i agree that no copyright infringement would take place (unless you copied the pattern, word for word, and called it your own). Making the pattern and selling it couldn't hold up. There's no way for them to prove you used their design if the actual "design" is nothing more than a stitch used in a gazillion other patterns. What exactly is it they are trying to copyright? A stitch? The yarn? The color? The needle size? These things are not protected by copyright laws.

Yeah, if I took my notes from making my 4x1 ribbed top down raglan and made a pattern the pattern would be copyrighted not the sweater.
You could make as many of those sweaters as you wanted and sell them using my pattern. What you couldn't do is copy my pattern and sell it.

Sometimes I think it's the designers who need to talk to a realistic copyright lawyer, but I think the music industry has some designers feeling more powerful than they are, users feeling weaker than they are and lawyers afraid to answer how they think a court would rule for us regular people who don't have a fleet of lawyers and hired judges.

melmac51
05-14-2009, 03:50 PM
People who don't know how much time you spend doing it and how much yarn adds up to think you could make money.

You would have to be a speed knitter and get bulk discounts to make money.

At my speed,
Socks 2 hours a day for 3 weeks. 42 hours X $15/hr + materials = $640 socks.
Sweater 2 hours a day for 2 months. 120 hours X $15/hr + materials = $1830 sweater.
Baby booties 8 hours X $15/hr = $120.
Even at minimum wage those prices would be more than many would be willing to spend.
Wool yarn alone for a crochet afghan I made at regular price would've been about $320.

My career is low paid because they figure we're artists and would do it for free if that was the only offer.
Fiber crafters have an additional problem of having to compete with machines and foreign slave labor.

Do it for the joy of doing it. If someone wants to pay let them pay you for materials but let them know they couldn't come close to paying for the labor.
Or tell them it's $30 for the yarn and $1000 for the labor.


Years ago, when my daughters were small, I knitted a scarf for my oldest daughter when she was around 8 years old. It was in a soft acrylic (I can't afford to be a "yarn snob" - and I use the term affectionately), and it cost me about $2.00 at the time. Well, a lady at school saw it, and "commissioned" me to knit one or two for her to give as Christmas presents. I think she paid me $12.00 each for them, and I ended up doing close to 20. :knitting: The way I look at it, I enjoy the process, so although my time is precious to me, I didn't charge her for it. I made $10.00 cash profit on each scarf, and got quite a lot of knitting practice in the mix. I wasn't employed outside the home then, so it was great for "pin money" (whatever that means...I don't know).

All I did to make the scarf was to cast on 17 stitches w/ size 10 needles, and then knit in garter stitch until it was as long as I wanted it to be. I never used more than one large or two small skeins. Then, after binding off, I joined the long sides to make a sort of tube (I still haven't learned to use circular needles), gathered the ends of the tube, and sewed one huge tassel, also made by me, to each end. Nowadays, you'd probably have to charge more for your materials, but if you love mindless knitting, then it's all good. :yay:

ArtLady1981
05-14-2009, 06:46 PM
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Melanie! I enjoyed it!

bambi
05-14-2009, 10:30 PM
Melanie, that is a great story!

Also, from sacklunch.net:

Meaning of: Pin Money
Pin Money: Catharine Howard, wife of Henry VIII., introduced pins into England from France. As they were expensive at first, a separate sum for this luxury was granted to the ladies by their husbands. Hence the expression "pin-money."

Thought you all might find that interesting.

Bambi

Arielluria
05-19-2009, 11:13 AM
Knitting is my one thing for which I refuse to 'take' orders.

I sew/mend for cash.
I wouldn't want to turn knitting into a 'job' either, it would take all the fun out of it. When I used to quilt I HATED projects where I had a deadline (not for money but for gifts), it just seemed like work.

I would love to be able to make money on the side sewing/mending. So many people seem to not be able to even hem up a garment! May I ask how you got started and what the going rates are? If that's too personal I understand, or if you prefer you can PM me instead.
:flirt:

JamOKnit
05-19-2009, 04:51 PM
I have sold a few (read: 5-6) baby hats that I made myself to friends and family who were going to baby showers, etc. I used a basic hat principle (number of CO sts for newborns, decreasing at the crown, etc) but changed up each one to have a different pattern, ribbons, color schemes, etc. so the designs are mine. I made a website so that my buyers could see what the hats looked like before they chose one (I made 7 prototypes). Now I have several of those prototypes left and am happy to sell them as well. But I'm not doing any custom orders at this time (I would tell people they could choose color, etc) because now I'm knitting for my OWN little one on the way and don't want to spend time knitting for others!
Each hat probably took me about 5-6 hours and the yarn cost was negligible...I used skeins I bought on sale at Michaels and it didn't take too many yards per hat. I sold them for $18-24 and people gladly paid that for a handknitted gift to give to someone special.

MrsWildchild
05-19-2009, 07:51 PM
Each hat probably took me about 5-6 hours and the yarn cost was negligible...I used skeins I bought on sale at Michaels and it didn't take too many yards per hat. I sold them for $18-24 and people gladly paid that for a handknitted gift to give to someone special.

Sounds reasonable. Trying to get money for a 60-hour project would be a whole other story. Congratulations on the bun!

lizara
05-19-2009, 11:52 PM
Great discussion on copyrights - its a really tricky issue, for both designers and knitters/crocheters.

I was researching this recently and was pointed to girlfromauntie.com, she's an intellectual property lawyer as well as a knitwear designer and has some good info. As far as I found out, nowdays any original creation (whether literary, dramatic, musical or artistic) is automatically copyrighted.

But there is also now a new "Creative Commons Copyright" for designers who are happy for people to share and derive inspiration from their work. I think that is much more in the spirit of the knitting community - it helps a designer get their name and work more widely known because it is shared around and used more freely, and knitters don't need to worry so much about infringing copyrights (and lets face it, almost every knitter has probably infringed a copyright at some time in their knitting life!!:aww: )

It seems more and more designers are considering this option, I hope to list lots of them and their patterns on my blog!

Debkcs
05-20-2009, 04:16 AM
At work one night, I was crocheting a sweater for my mother (during my lunch break. A woman wanted me to make one for her, and when I told her the cost of the yarn and my labor, she said haughtily, "I could get a nicer one at Penny's!"

That episode encapsulated the whole experience of crafting for a business to me, folks don't consider the time that is put into things.

When we owned a restaurant, we had a girl call and want us to cater her wedding for $1.50 a person, including the cake. I just laughed, explained the facts to her, and gave her Safeway's number.

OffJumpsJack
05-20-2009, 12:23 PM
Please note that many patterns do not allow you to make anything other than for personal use..as in you can't make money from it. Some don't even like you to use it for charity auctions. Always read the copyright info on the pattern or website and ask the designer.

That said.. I have sold a couple things of my own design, but otherwise no. For something like a bowling team.. don't know. Maybe matching armbands or something? Or a short scarf type thing?

Jan, I guess you don't bowl. ;) Bowlers use small towels to wipe the oil off the ball. Wrist bands might also be appealing to bowlers.

If one is adventurous, one could use graph paper to plot a pattern for a monogram or a team name to be included in the knitting.

I agree that the glut of boring, machine made items has diluted the market, if you use high quality yarn then seek a high quality outlet for your craft. Unless they are pro bowlers, I wouldn't expect a satisfying sales price. :roll:

cheley
05-20-2009, 07:32 PM
Jan, I guess you don't bowl. ;) Bowlers use small towels to wipe the oil off the ball. Wrist bands might also be appealing to bowlers.

If one is adventurous, one could use graph paper to plot a pattern for a monogram or a team name to be included in the knitting.

I agree that the glut of boring, machine made items has diluted the market, if you use high quality yarn then seek a high quality outlet for your craft. Unless they are pro bowlers, I wouldn't expect a satisfying sales price. :roll:
:cool:

of troy
05-21-2009, 11:05 AM
re:
Each hat probably took me about 5-6 hours and the yarn cost was negligible...I used skeins I bought on sale at Michaels and it didn't take too many yards per hat. I sold them for $18-24

So, you are willing to work for $3 an hour--maybe $4.

you could make more money working at McDodo's. or Wallyworld.

Ok so you like this work better.. but you are working for signifcantly less than minimum wage..
Ok so you are working from home..
but you couldn't afford you home at $3 to $4 an hour comp. you can afford to do it perhaps as a adjucnt, (Part time work over and above your REAL JOB.

and because you work for $4 an hour, you set the pay scale for professional knitting low.. and make it almost impossible for other knitters to ask for and recieve $10 or $15 an hour comp.

there are so many craft knitters who are willing to work Pro for a item or 2, that Professionals find they are always competing for jobs (and lots of others will work --for a short while for less.

this is why i don't knit for comp. I design, but i am not willing to say, OK, I'll knit for less than a fair living wage, cause others do..

I need to support myself.. and $3 or $4 dollars an hour isn't going to do it.

MrsWildchild
05-21-2009, 08:36 PM
Yeah, I didn't really mean that $3-4 dollars per hour was exceptional or anything, just that it is better that "cents" per hour, as so many people have pointed out. Most people who don't knit have nooo idea how long it takes to do a project.

The baby hat thing at that price just seems to be something where you could at least get "something" for your time without charging someone hundreds of dollars.

I have never sold anything, but if I had made something simply for the challenge and enjoyment of it, but had no-one to give it to, I'd be happy with $3-4, just to get it out of the house, but I would not mass-produce at this price.

of troy
05-22-2009, 10:20 AM
3 to 4 dollars an hour is exceptional! (if minimum wage is $7 (and change) and a living wage -is close to $12 an hour, working, (for "pin money" or what ever) for $4 an hour is working for less than legal required, and far less than is viable.

but women (far more than men) say, Oh, I like to knit. and besides NO ONE will pay $12 an hour for hand knit items (or $100 for a hand knit hat)

Of course, that is not true. (come to NYC, shop Bergdoff's--hat knit hats in the boutique start at $150, and got up to $300 , per hat!)

Ok so its a limited market.. but really shouldn't one of kind, hand crafted items be a limited market?

Julia Roberts knits, but she spent $75 for a pair of hand knit baby booties.. --because she realizes the effort.

I am always amazed by knitter who say "It's OK for me to knit for less than minimum wage.. I just want some spending money for Starbucks..(wait, you want to spend 6 hours to earn enough to buy 1 cup of coffee? --why? why do you buy HIGH and sell low? what makes starbucks coffee worth $5?
(and why do you think that people who spend $5 on coffee wouldn't spend $50 on a hand knit hat?)

Chrysee
05-23-2009, 03:09 PM
In response to those not understanding why anyone would work for $4/hr, knitting for some is definitely a multitasking activity. $4/hr sucks if that's all you're making, but $4/hr for watching TV or reading (while knitting) is pretty good, I would think.