Just under a week ago I wrote about my decision to start charging for some of my patterns. I went on at some length, likely too much. I have a tendency to over explain and perhaps even to justify. I do it when I’m unsure of myself.
Well it seems I didn’t need to be.
The response has been tremendously positive. Several people have written to me saying they support my decision. Lots of people have bought my patterns. This has all been marvelously encouraging and I appreciate it more than I can say.
There will be more patterns. There currently are more patterns, they’re just not knit yet so I can’t take pretty pictures. There’s also a seeeeeeecret pattern underway that I’m going to try and get published. Alas, that means I must maintain radio silence about it. All I can say is that it is made with yarn and sticks, and it is soft, fuzzy, and full of awesome. With luck it will be done in about 3 weeks, and then I can go back to patterns to release directly.
The newest socks, Ensnared, are done and available for sale. I think I’m in love!
Yes, I’ve decided to start trying to sell some of my patterns. You knew it was coming. Even the underpants gnomes are in it for the bucks.
I’ve given this a lot of thought over the last several days and I’ve reached a few conclusions. I am not hoping to turn socks/ pattern writing/ knitting into a job or even into a substantial source of income. There are a few people out there who have managed to do that, but I don’t think I have the luck, the skill, or – and probably most importantly – the drive to do that. I want knitting to be a hobby and a source of relaxation, not job and a source of stress. I would like to earn enough money to offset the cost of my knitting materials and supplies, and maybe enough to buy a few extras.
There is a bit more to it than that though, and this part is harder to explain. I think people in general, and women in particular, tend to undervalue their time and their talents. Knitters know this. How many times has someone seen you knitting and asked if you’d make something for them. A friend of a friend once asked me to knit her a pair of knee socks. When I demurred, saying it would take about 30 hours of work, she offered to bake me a pie in return. She even added that she sold her pies for fifteen dollars at the local bakery. Fifteen dollars for 30 hours of work is fifty cents an hour. My time is worth more than that. I think people need to learn to value their time and talents. It seems only fair I do the same.
To that end, I want to attach a value to the time I spend working on these patterns. I’d likely be making the socks even if I had no intention of writing the pattern, so I won’t count the knitting time. To produce a pattern I have to write the text of the pattern, create appropriate charts, take photos, work with test knitters, edit and revise the pattern in light of the test knitters’ suggestions, and jump through the technological hoops needed to make the pattern public. All told, it probably takes about 20 hours of work to create the pattern, refine it, and make it available. I want to value that time.
So I’m trying something new. The original versions of the patterns for Popped, Slant, and Dippers are still available for free. There is also a much improved and more polished version of Popped available for a small fee (click on the socks in the sidebar for more details). Lets say the pattern took me 20 hours of work and the yarn cost me twenty dollars. The minimum wage is $6.55 an hour. $6.55 per hour X 20 hours + $20.00 for yarn = $151.00. I’m selling the pattern for $4.00. If thirty eight people buy it, I will have made back what I spent on yarn plus what I would have earned in the time I spent working on it if I were getting minimum wage. More than twenty five hundred of you have been willing to download it for free.
Are thirty eight of you willing to buy it for four dollars?
In the future, some socks will be released for free, some will be free for a short time and then available for a fee, and some will only be available for a fee. I’m new at this, and everything is subject to change, but I want to see if I can make this work.
- April 7, 2009
- tags: Administration
This website came into being with approximately 45 minutes of effort at 2:30 in the morning at the end of a very long week. I thought it would be a place to host one wee tiny simple pattern. I thought I’d be thrilled if a few dozen people found the pattern, and ecstatic if anyone ever actually knit the things.
Turns out it’s good to have low expectations. They are easier to exceed.
One pattern turned into three, and a fourth is in the hands of test knitters. According to the server stats, a few thousand people have found the pattern. Most exciting of all, I have actual photographic proof that several people have real live actual non-imaginary socks that came into being from the instructions in my patterns.
So with that in mind, I’m going to be redoing the website to be closer to a proper blog (the first and last time that word will ever be used here…it’s a strong contender for my coveted ‘least favorite word’ award). One with handy things like internal organization and more than one page and other such goodies. Right now I type this stuff as straight html in a text document. It’s not hard, but it is a bit slow, and so very 1997. Making it faster will leave more time for the much more interesting knitting. Look for it after the weekend.
Someone, unbeknownst to me, featured my Popped socks on Whip Up as part of their Week of Socks! I only found out about it because someone on Ravelry was kind enough to to bring it to my attention. I was quite thrilled. There may have been squeaks of delight and hops of glee. Maybe. I could be far too dignified for such things. Possibly even stoic. I must see if I can contact my secret benefactor and find out how she found them in the first place. I’m dreadfully curious.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a new sock is on the needles. It is called Ensnared and was inspired by the fantastic costumes on the show The Tudors. Don’t worry though, neither knitting nor wearing them is likely to result in beheading. At least not without some very extenuating circumstances.