We were discussing this last next at my SnB. I had heard the "twice the cost of the yarn" rule of thumb before, but my LYS salesperson said this was "the old way", and now the going rate (at least in this area) was 15 cents a yard. This seemed very high to me.
For example: I've been commissioned to do some felted clogs and purses for people. Using WOTA my yarn cost for these items is approx. $12. If you double the cost of the yarn then 24 + 12 = 36. I've charged between 30 and 35 dollars in the past - the clogs are a faster knit than the purses with their feet of Icord handles and trim. I haven't had anyone baulk at the price. If I charged by the yard (600 yards) then we're talking $90 in labor.
NO WAY! Even if you consider that the yarn is held double so you only 'knit up' 300 yards linearly you're still talking $45 labor + $12 (or more if they wanted Mmmmm or something else besides WOTA). I
my clogs 50 dollars worth - but I wouldn't PAY a store that much for them!
Example 2: DD's lace stole = 1200 yds of laceweight alpaca (only about $13
). So should labor be $26, $180 (1200 x .15), or ?? ( about 110 hrs times [what's min. wage] = priceless
Not that I'd sell DDs Christmas present, but you get the idea!
Of course I had the "pleasure" of knitting that laceweight alpaca! It was one too until the Dr. visits and therapy for shooting pain in my neck and shoulder which Dr. diagnosed when she saw me xxx xxx xxx in the examining room while waiting for her!!
I think the best idea is to decide if YOU want
to knit the item, what you'd be willing to pay for that item, and price your services accordingly.