It's been buggin' me and buggin' me! I just had to know...how many stitches in an average cardigan (worsted weight yarn, size M, cropped-to-med length).
The recent LARA cardigan that I knit for my DD...I figured that it was at least 32,000 stitches, maybe 200-300 more. But, based on the 32,000 stitch count @ 1/2 cent per stitch...would total $160 labor.
Figure in the 14 skeins (1,008 yds) of yarn @ $7 each = $98 for yarn
TOTAL COST, yarn and labor: $258
I couldn't see the average person paying that amount.
I couldn't see the average person even wanting to pay for the yarn, however, a less expensive yarn would bring the cost of yarn down.
I knit my first LARA for Lauralee using Red Heart SOFT. She loves it, too, and still wears it around all the time. She said it's her 'throw on to go anywhere' sweater. It pills a lot, being 'SOFT', but she keeps them clipped and trimmed.
If I were going to knit this cardigan for someone, I would charge $200 labor minimum, to allow for the blocking, seaming and final polishing.
So there's the rub. You can't make a living BY KNITTING for others. You can only make money BY DESIGNING, and PUBLISHING your designs.
So every time I fall in mad love with a pattern that is only available as a PDF download for $1.29-$5.50......I am happy to pay it. I never "jones" around trying to get someone to give it to me for free. The designer deserves her monetary compensation. If I can't afford it at the time...I visit the online free patterns indexes.
And you couldn't pay me to design either. No desire to do anything but knit knit knit out of love for knitting and those who get my knits!