I’m enjoying making shawls. They’re light enough to be either a shawl or a scarf, they use up a bit of yarn that I have laying around, and they’re fun. I decided, while listening to some M R James, that I’d knit for an hour and see how many rows I got done since I am starting up a new one.
Including the 1 lonely row I did last night, I got 10 rows done in an hour.
1 hour = 60 minutes
10 rows in 60 minutes = 6 minutes per row
300 rows needed per shawl (times 6 minutes per row) = 1800 minutes
1800 minutes / 60 minutes = 30
30 hours = approximately 1 complete shawl
This does not include the fact that the longer I work on the shawl, the more rows I get done because I decrease every-other row. But, for the sake of this thought exercise, we’ll keep it at 1 row takes 6 minutes.
If I were to go by the “charge how much you believe you should be making per hour” bullshit (the whole notion that, as an artist, you should charge a per-hour rate or have a finished rate that you can break down to a per-hour rate if need be.)
Let’s start with the Federal Minimum Wage, $7.25 an hour:
7.25 X 30 = $217.50
Let’s see how this looks if you were to charge $9 an hour:
9 X 30 = $270
The higher we go, the more ridiculous this gets. $12:
12 X 30 = $360
15 X 30 = $450
And this is just for labour. This is if I were to charge “how much I believe I should be paid” for a dinky little shawl I’m having fun making and using up parts of my stash. This doesn’t include “materials,” which kind of irks me anyway. What if I were asked to work on another Tom Baker Doctor Who scarf?
If I were to buy brand new skeins of yarn, let’s say Red Heart because it’s the easiest for me to get in the colours I think look the best for this scarf, that is $2.98 per skein.
2.98 X 7 = $20.86
2.98 X 9 = $26.82
Both numbers because there is always at least one skein I run out of if I don’t buy the Super Saver.
$5.98 X 7 = $41.86
That’s more than I charged the last time I made one of those scarves, and that was even after I met the person who insisted she pay for materials and we spent like an hour going through trying to find the softest yarns because her kid is tactile-sensitive. $41.86 is more than I charged a person who was using the scarf in a web-series. (granted, I did agree, afterwards, that from then on I was charging people more than what I charged him because these scarves take for-fucking-ever to make).
And I don’t get the whole “pay for materials” thing in my case. In other people’s work, it makes perfect sense. You might not have the exact materials you need to build what someone wants and you need to go out and get them.
Me? I have a stash of yarn (and fabric). There is a reason why “I’m like a dragon, but craft things are my horde” is my personal tagline. Unless it’s a colour I normally don’t have (like pink), sure I’ll probably be like “I don’t have this colour so it’ll be a bit.” Unless I randomly get a box of pink yarn on my front porch (like I did over the summer because my friends know I’m a yarn hoarder and will take whatever they want to give me).
And really, why would I charge $100+ for a shawl or whatever when someone can just as easily go to the mall or online and buy something approximately the same style/weight for like 1/4 of the price or less?
That doesn’t really make much sense and it reminds me of back in high school when a girl I had a few classes with decided to paint these circles on a canvas and put a price tag on them (average size canvas, acrylic paints, done while in art class, so it was a ~50 minute class per day) of over $250 during an exhibition of stuff that was pretty much “hey fam, come look at all the stuff we do in art class!” (the MLP chess set was awesome, done by some other kid who I don’t think ever put their name to the peice)