Ok, I don't really have knitting for sale--at the moment--but I wanted to throw a question out to the knitters out there. I also sold a sweater this month, and wanted to rehash this experience for the rest of you out there.
So lets start with the sweater that I sold. This was a sweater that I knit pretty fast, out of really great yarn (Henry's Attic Prime Alpaca Sport weight), in my usual two color style. It never fit, and was frankly way too warm for anything that I'd wear with regularity. It was a really well done sweater but I was never going to wear it. And it was too small for other male bodied people, and many women as well.
In fact, here's a picture of it on a dress form at the yarn store:
And it fit a friend, and she wanted it and was willing to pay me for it. And you know, given the fact that I was never going to use it... I sold it to her. For a honest sum, but still significantly less than what I think would be a fair price.
And you know it felt pretty good. Everyone always says that you can never get enough for knitted goods. And that's true: not counting yarn, I figure most small sweaters would cost at least 500 dollars at minimum wage. Which would be hard to get in any market that I have a connection to. Having said that, if you're producing at a comfortable speed, and knitting time also means TV time or Podcast time (as it does with me); then, getting a lower price isn't that good.
I often tell people in the yarn store that yarn purchases should be thought of as part of the entertainment budget not clothing/garb budget: this is because the economies of hand knitting don't work out: If you're cold: buy polar fleece and make a cup of tea. If you want something fun to do while you're drinking your tea, buy yarn. This might be part of the reason that I don't often give away my knitted things, because it's not really about the thing for me. But never mind this, I think that getting paid a couple bucks an hour to have fun isn't the worst thing in the world.
Nevertheless, I remain very hesitant to sell knitting. I like making sweaters, and while I think you could probably break even pretty easily on hand knit socks, it's much harder to break even on the fine gauge stuff that I make (let's also note, that my own wardrobe needs a few more sweaters knit at fine gauge, on top of what I'm working on/have planned for the current moment.) And of course, I don't want to make something that I'm interested in into "work." So I'm very keen to see what you all have to say on this....
And whats more, I'm all sorts willing to sell hand spun yarn. It's part of my desire to knit sweaters, but I really do like knitting with very machined yarns, and while spinning is great fun, I see it as an end to itself, so I never really think bout knitting for my own projects, though it might be fun to experiment with this. Also because knitters and weavers are likely to be the people buying your hand spun, it's easier to get closer to a fair price. Maybe?
Or am I full of hot air and I should look for a real job, and just knit for fun