Auntie Ann Knits

Monday, June 11, 2007

Would you, could you, in a box?

Here, scrunched up on the scanner bed as if jammed in an invisible box like a mime, is my nearly-done first Waving Lace Sock:

Almost done

It looks much better on, and I don't think it looks half bad here. I love this sock. This is going to be the best-looking sock I have made yet, if I do say so myself.

Last week was Crazy Week at our house, but I didn't read the memo announcing that until late the week before. I looked at my calendar -- meetings or school concert every night, followed by a weekend of camping with the Girl Scouts. Yikes!

Well, we got through it all just fine and while there's still some clean-up yet to do from the camping trip, everything went great.

I nearly had to cancel this camping trip. Four girls were going, and the parents of the other 3 girls (and my DH) all had obligations that prevented them from coming. I needed another adult to go. Not just because this is the GS safety rule and generally a good idea -- but I couldn't even get the girls and our stuff there by myself, even in our SUV. There's just a leetle too much stuff involved in cooking and camping the GS way, sometimes.

We were rescued at the last moment by the leader of another Troop. Her girls are older and don't like to camp so much any more. She misses it. She was happy to come along. Yay, Lorri!

Lorri saw me knitting this sock while we were there and admired it greatly. She even offered to pay me to knit her socks like this. I was very flattered, but politely declined -- that would take all of the fun out of it, I said.

Later I thought through the math -- thanks to the Sock-in-a-Day Challenge, I now know that it take me about 13 hours to knit a single sock. That would make 26 hours for a pair, since I know for a fact that Lorri has the full complement of two feet. Let's say, just for grins, that I would knit these socks for $10 an hour. (Let's not drag my day job and what that pays into this, that doesn't really have much bearing.) The yarn cost about $20. Let's see, $20 for materials, plus $10 an hour times 26 hours = $280. What?!! No one in their right mind would pay that for a pair of socks! Not, I have to say, even for socks as beauteous as these are going to be.

Would you knit socks for pay? And if you would, how much would you charge? What about sweaters? Hats? Scarves? Face it, any of these things we knit can be bought for less than we make them for (if we disregard their unique character and craftsmanship for a moment), and when you cay buy socks for a few dollars or less, why would anyone pay hundreds?

On the other hand, Lorri did save this trip in a very real sense. And I think the time may well come when I would happily knit her a pair of socks as a gift. Because that is a different matter entirely. Don't you think?



  • It is a lovely sock.
    My response to anyone who asks if they could pay me to knit them anything, my response is that I only knit for love and that I would gladly teach them to knit. I think they get it then.

    By Anonymous Michele with one L, at Monday, June 11, 2007 11:11:00 AM  

  • I've thought too about how much I could charge versus time for my knitting. I concluded I would be lucky to earn $1 an hour plus materials. So I guess I had better not quit my day job!

    By Anonymous Lisa, at Monday, June 11, 2007 11:15:00 AM  

  • Even with a smoooshie face, he's a good looking sock!

    I'm willing to knit for love and occasionally for yarn, but I don't see anyone being willing to pay for my time, effort or knowledge.

    I always offer to knit for a (boy-type) friend and he showed me a pattern of an off-kilter argyle golfing sweater. I told him I wasn't good enough to try something like that and, even if I was, he would have to marry me, give me the ring of my dreams and be willing to be a devoted and adoring submissive partner for the rest of his life. He got over wanting that sweater real quick. *L*

    By Blogger Cookie, at Monday, June 11, 2007 2:12:00 PM  

  • Ooooh! It's totally gorgeous!

    By Blogger Romi, at Monday, June 11, 2007 8:00:00 PM  

  • Lovely sock! These are indeed something to be proud of.

    I've charged for my knitting, as you know, but the $150 I got (after materials) for a bulky-weight sweater still didn't match what I might've gotten if paid by the hour. If I were to make socks for the same lady I would charge somewhere between $75 and $100, which is nowhere near fair compensation, but hey, I do like to do it...

    By Blogger Liz, at Monday, June 11, 2007 10:33:00 PM  

  • The sock is gorgeous!

    I've been asked why I don't knit stuff to sell and I'm with you; it'd take the fun out of it and make it a chore. Also, you can never get the true worth of a knitted item when you consider the time you put into it. I think you'd just have to think of the time it took to make an item as time spent doing something you enjoy and figure the price as the cost of materials plus a markup percentage.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, June 12, 2007 8:18:00 AM  

  • That sock is beautiful!!
    I would be so anxious with a timeline (I doubt someone would pay $280 for a pair of socks they would have to wait on while the knitter is distracted into other lovely yarn and projects) it would be hard to enjoy....maybe until I got the cash. I agree that it would probably take the fun out of it.

    By Blogger Da Gu Ma, at Tuesday, June 12, 2007 3:10:00 PM  

  • I wouldn't knit for cash. I would feel too much pressure to have it turn out exactly perfect and it would just be too stressful. However, I would love to give more knitting gifts, but those in my life don't "get" the whole handknit thing.

    That is a gorgeous sock!

    By Blogger Heather, at Wednesday, June 13, 2007 1:08:00 PM  

  • It's much easier to briefly mention the amount of time it takes to knit a pair, mention your skilled labor fee of say, $10/hr, and then offer to teach someone to knit for free.

    By Anonymous June, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 1:50:00 PM  

  • Sock looks great! I won't knit socks for money as the math doesn't work out, I agree. But I will knit socks for love. My only rule at this point is if I knit you gift socks and you never mention them, wearing them, whatever, that's your pair. You're done. Move along. If you specifically request socks, you're in! If you thank me profusely, you will get back in the queue! If you are my best friend and they get felted, you go on the "superwash only" list but you get to stay. I also offer to teach anyone and everyone anytime.

    On your other topic, I am a Girl Scout leader and we went camping twice this spring. I got out of driving because my car holds so little that we would have to have three vehicles anyway and the camp doesn't allow more than two per site. We actually had parents volunteer to drive up with stuff, leave and come back on Sunday, amazing!! Love the camping, but it is a LOT of equipment.

    Anyway, adding your blog to my favorites!

    By Blogger sopranospinner, at Thursday, June 21, 2007 7:37:00 AM  

  • Your socks are beautiful!! Gorgeous color and most of all gorgeous pattern....and the workmanship...perfect! Someday I hope to be just as accomplished at knitting socks :)

    Being paid to knit for someone sounds like a good idea, but no one ever wants to pay what a knitter really deserves. It usually is very disappointing. Even knitting for a good cause never brings in what the item really is worth. I love to knit and get great pleasure when I knit for someone who appreciates my work, so I would rather not be paid if I have my choice. That's just my 2 cents worth ;)

    happy knitting :)

    By Blogger hakucho, at Friday, June 22, 2007 6:24:00 AM  

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