Friday, October 19, 2007

Sales, stash-busting and kippot

Both pairs of wrist warmers are finished. Alpaca is soft again, though it's still not llama. And now I'm making a few more items before my craft show on Sunday. Unfortunately it's going to be really hot out, so it won't be so easy to sell the hats and the scarves. Luckily I also have a lot of bags and ribbon scarves to sell. Like these ones.

It probably would have been a good idea to not buy any yarn for it and to just use up my stash instead. That's what my mom did for all of the things she made. But I bought yarn because it was on sale. There was some extremely cheap yarn at Ocean State Job Lot that I bought a while back.

For better or for worse I didn't make any ribbon scarves out of the more expensive sale ribbon yarn that I bought. Most of them were made from things I already had or the Job Lot yarn. So I guess I did do a bit of stash-busting after all. Or it could just be that I didn't get around to making that many more things since I started grad school. Yarn snobbery has a way of making someone not want to make cheap acrylic ipod cases.

If I were in a different venue, I would have probably made a few items out of more expensive yarn and charged as much as I should be. Like a pair of wrist-warmers out of a ball of $8 alpaca that took 2 days to make would be sold for $20. A llama hat out of 1.5 balls at 7.95 each that took 3+ days to make would cost $30. A normal-sized scarf out of 4 skeins of possum wool at $8 a skein would cost $75. An alpaca scarf like that would take over 5 skeins to make and would be $85. And that's me very much undercharging for the labor. But it's a lot easier to charge more when you make things out of nicer yarns, and it takes the same amount of labor. Assuming I could actually sell my work at these prices, it would be better in the long run. Or I'd have a bunch of really nice well-made gifts.

So that's the other part of the strategy. Only make things that if not sold would be good for gifts. That way you're not losing the money since you'd have to spend it to make the gift anyways, and now it's already made for you.

I don't think I could ever earn a living as a professional knitter. But it's nice to get money from commissions every so often, assuming these commissions are not kippot.

Like this one. It seems innocent enough. But I've actually made this kippah 5 times! 4 were a set for a wedding and this one was the commission. At least the colors were different. But I've officially retired this design. If anyone wants a kippah that looks like this, they'll have to commission someone else.

In general I've stopped doing kippot since the injury this summer. I'm afraid of them. I also am having too much fun with my knitting and spinning. And the yarn snobbery doesn't help.

And I think I realize why I like knitting more than crocheting- I've never crocheted with yarn that was not cotton or acrylic! When using nice yarns, I always knit. Because crocheting is usually reserved for kippot (cotton), trivets (dishcloth cotton) and blankets (cheap acrylic since blankets are ginormous.)

So as an experiment, I may try crocheting a hat or a scarf out of nice yarn and see what happens.

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