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  • Writer's pictureBecca Norman

Not For Sale

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

I’ve been knitting for about 25 years. I don’t remember exactly when, but I decided to set a boundary that I won’t sell the things I knit, and especially not take on commissioned projects.



But Why?


When people ask me why, the answer I give usually depends on how interested I think they actually are. And that’s because there are a lot of reasons. Yes, I am trying to make money via knitting-related content, but the boundary for me is that the actual things I’m knitting are not for sale.

One of my canned responses that I give people who ask if I can “make one for them’ is that I can teach them to knit so they can make it for themselves. I’m usually teasing, and of course you won’t knit intricate sweaters right away but I am serious about teaching people to knit! If we can’t meet in person for lessons, I even have an online course. You can check it out at the button below.



Cost Breakdown


In order to make a decent hourly rate, I feel the price I would have to charge would not be affordable.

Let’s use the Channel Cardigan I made as an example, since so many people suggest that I should sell things like it.

  • The pattern cost me $9.00

  • The yarn cost exactly $123.81

  • It took me 5 months, at an estimated average of 1/2 hour per day for a total of 75 hours.

  • At $20/hour, the labor cost would be $1,500

That adds up to $1632.81 - I definitely estimated on the low end of hours and hourly rate, so let’s round it up to a nice, even $2,000. Still think I’ll have a lot of buyers? Not to mention the added layer of pressure when making custom clothing for strangers. Fit is very personal, so I would have to have the person’s measurements, and at that price, I would feel immense pressure for it to be perfect, and it would be so stressful!


Need for Variety


In order to be able to churn things out faster, I could make all smaller projects like bulky hats or cowls, which are fun once in a while, but I get bored knitting the same pattern over and over again. I like variety too much!


I don't like to be rushed.


Knitting is a relaxing pastime for me, but knitting on someone else’s timeline kind of kills that. Of course I always have in my head when I’d like to finish each project, but aside from wanting to wear a sweater while it’s still winter, I don’t get strict about it. This is also why when I knit gifts, they’re usually not tied to a specific event or holiday. They’re a just-because and whenever-it’s-done sort of gift!


Hobby ≠ Job


Sometimes turning your hobby into a career makes the hobby not fun anymore, and that would break my heart. I had a client years ago whose husband really loved photography and so decided to become a Photographer.

She shared with me one day at an appointment that it had made him not enjoy taking pictures anymore, because it felt like work. That's always stuck with me. I never want knitting to be something I HAVE to do. It brings me a lot of joy and I don’t want to lose that.


Not everything you enjoy in life needs to be a money-making enterprise.

Have you ever sold things you made by hand? How did you feel about the experience? Was it enjoyable, and did you earn an amount that matches what your time is worth?

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Guest
Aug 28, 2023

I have made items for friends, and they have purchased the yarn. Not to a strict deadline and I have given a few different styles for them to choose from (never something I've made before). It's a great way of showing love to my friends and family when I can't afford to purchase and gift nice yarn - and an effective way of getting to use nicer quality materials for my hobby, even when I'm short of funds for myself. I have gifted randomly in the past for it to have never been used, so I would almost always rather make something someone wants.

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Guest
Jul 06, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I thought I was the only one who felt this way about selling my knitted projects.

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