It’s a longish story. A couple of weeks ago my niece (and husband) were having dinner with her brother (and wife) and another couple, friends of my nephew. I don’t recall how the conversation turned to knitting but out came photos of my socks.
Paula fell in love with them and really wanted a pair.
My niece call me to ask how she might go about getting a pair – I said two things: my generic sock (those in my stash) fit someone who wears a size 7 1/2 to 8 shoe; and they cost $50.
My niece paused, said she’d relay the information to Paula.
The next day I get a call from my nephew – Paula is visiting and he wants me to talk to her about socks.
So I tell Paula the same thing – she wears a size 7 1/2 shoe – good. I tell her they’re expensive and I explain why – the yarn costs $25 a ball (before I’ve knit a stitch), it takes me 25 hours to knit a pair, and I won’t work for less than $1/hour. “Fine,” she says; she knits hats and appreciates the effort that goes into the socks.
We look at the socks in my stash (using the camera on my phone) and she chooses a pair she thinks are wonderful.
She sends me a money transfer. In turn I put the pair of socks in the mail. Oh, and I asked her to send me picture of her wearing the socks.
They arrived yesterday. She’s thrilled. This is the picture she sent me.
Good thing I’m not relying on sock sales to keep me going. People find the price prohibitive – don’t know why – were they able to make them themselves the yarn would still cost $25 and it likely would take them a lot longer than 25 hours to knit a pair. I figure it’s a deal.
So I keep knitting and sell the odd pair and give them as gifts on birthdays and at Christmas. What else am I going to do with the 26 pairs of socks I manage to knit in a year?
[I knit only in the evening with the TV on – so although I knit reasonably quickly it takes me about two weeks to turn out a pair of socks. 52 weeks a year divided by 2 weeks is 26 pairs of socks – that’s pretty close to what I actually complete along with some sock repairs I do during the year.]
Thanks for sharing! I’ve knitted only one pair of socks in my life & it was pretty tricky to make. I need to try again!
The only complexity with a sock is turning the heel. It takes three steps: the heel flap, the turn – I use a short-rows turn, finally the side pick up and gusset. Once you visualize that it makes sense and takes me about 2 – 3 hours to execute. Shaping the toe is just a matter of decreasing on both sides in a graduated sequence to get a nicely rounded toe. Here’s my pattern with commentary: https://jmn111.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/basic-sock-2.pdf – Try it
Thank you! I’ll try it!
$50 isn’t a bad price at all for them considering the time, effort and materials. It’s like quilts — no one wants to pay what they should really cost. I made a friend a tote bag and she paid me $35. My materials alone were over $35 but I just let it slide as I had never given her an actual price and she sent the e-transfer before I had decided on a number.
It’s like trying to establish a price for a quilt – I start with the cost of the materials – often around $200 (fabric, backing, batting), overhead (electricity for running sewing machines, iron), depreciation on machines, labour (a guess at how many hours it took to construct it (incalculable – how do you add up the “thinking about it” time?) – one of my throws quickly adds up to start at $750. And even that amount is too low – these are not church bazaar quilts – they are art pieces that could be hung as wall art even though they are also functional. The other day I took five pieces to a curator of a group show to hang in an upcoming show he’s setting up. I told him I’d priced these pieces but to feel free to double that amount if he thought they warranted it! That would price them at around $1500 – now maybe people will see them as art!
Judith, it’s not a long story, it’s a great story!
My mom knits me socks every year for Christmas and I absolutely love them. I never stopped to think about the time it takes her. Wow!!! Thank you for sharing this.
Sock knitting is slow going – you’re using a fine yarn and small needles – takes time. Tell her how much you appreciate her efforts! That will make her happy!