Friendships & Knitting

I saw this post on social media and had to share it:

Don’t Risk Friendship Over a Sweater

It’s an opinion piece about the cost of creating a sweater. I’m asked often if I will knit something for someone. I typically don’t mind knitting a hat or something small but no matter what I make it takes time and costs money. Here’s a prime example of the cost of a sweater. This is the sweater I knit for my Mom for Christmas:
A sweater for mom

The yarn:
Periwinkle Sheep Watercolor Fingering Weight: 1 skein, $34
Miss Babs Yowza in Ghoulish: 2 skeins, $76
Total yarn cost: $110

Time spent:
6 weeks on and off, about 2 hours an evening. Let’s say I make this in about 40 hours over the 6 weeks. At $10 an hour, that’s $400.

Total cost to make the sweater: $510 and that doesn’t even include a mark-up!

I try to buy the best yarn I can for a project but I can’t always afford $100+ for a sweater. But I think when you can knit a sweater with ease your friends think it’s an inexpensive thing to do. That’s just not the case. So next time someone asks you to knit them a sweater you can do like I do and said, “I can…but I won’t.” It’s always okay to say no.

16 Replies to “Friendships & Knitting”

  1. Bravo! Great post and equally great opinion piece . . . I sent a copy out to all my family members that got “handknit” gifts this past Christmas! 🙂

  2. You talk to my heart. Knitting for somebody else is never “worth” it, it’s always incredibly expensive if you look closely at it, especially if it’s a big project. Therefore I only knit for people I really want to knit for and stuff I love knitting and instead of payment it is my pleasure to see their joy when they wear it.

  3. People at work are always saying I should knit things to sell but I tell them no because it takes too much time and yarn isn’t as cheap as they might think. One person didn’t want to give up. She wanted me to knit cowls that she would buy from me and give as Christmas gifts. I figured a price using the cost of the yarn I was knitting with at the time and an hourly wage, with a small markup. She stopped asking after that. She was shocked by the price of yarn-she didn’t realize how much it can cost.

    1. They never understand until you give them a price and then they most likely think we are crazy.

  4. So true! I crocheted gifts for my family and closest friends this Christmas and it was neither cheap nor quick – but I did it because I love those people and it was my choice to do so. Can’t imagine doing it for anyone not so important or dear to me – it’s simply too much time and money. And I think that the art of saying “no” is one of the most important skills in life. Might be difficult at first but definitely worth practicing.

  5. Your time is worth far more than $10 an hour. Saying no is my go-to answer as well. Especially when they want you to make something just like they saw at The Gap.

    1. Hey I was just giving a low ball price for the math. Clearly I won’t be selling hand made sweaters LOL

  6. Yes, yes, absolutely yes! I tried selling knitted goods at a cultural fair years ago and spent the day enduring “lookers” bad-mouthing my prices and telling me how easy it was to make what I was selling. (Excuse me, kilt hose are NOT simple!) That was enough for me. I knit for love or not at all. And when I knit anything bigger than a hat for love, I work with the recipient ahead of time so I know the garment isn’t going to sit in the back of a closet or be donated before it’s worn. Our time, talent, and materials are there to be enjoyed, not taken for granted.

  7. This! I get it a lot for sewing too. Can you just……hem my curtains, alter my jeans, put in a new zip? If it’s “just’ such a simple job, why can’t you do it? Sigh! I generally point them (very politely) in the general direction of the local sewing shop with a smile. I do think, though, that maybe, just maybe, we should offer to teach them to knit/sew/crochet their own garments. The world can always use one more craftswoman, no?

      1. Yes! I tell people I can teach them how to sew, knit, quilt and the answer is usually “oh I could never do that!”

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