Buy My Hat!

If you’re in the habit of showing your knitting to other people, then you’ve heard, on at least one occasion, some version of this remark:

“Oh my gosh! You should sell your work! You could make a ton of money!”

And if you’re in the habit of finding ways to make a buck from doing things that you love instead of things that make you feel like Satan has a lease on your soul, then you’ve given this remark some serious thought.

Which means that you’ve probably done a little math, and figured out that if you were really going to charge what your time is worth——or even a fraction of what your time is worth——a sweater that came off your needles would ring in at, oh, anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000.

You’ve told yourself that, well, you can’t charge that much——I mean, no one is going to buy a sweater with that kind of a price tag, and you certainly couldn’t ever charge one of your friends that much.

Some people, however, want to pay you. They insist, even. They want to give you something for your time, skill and effort. If this person happens to be one of your friends, then you end up deciding on a figure that satisfies their desire to compensate you financially without you having to feel guilty about it.

But what if they don’t like the finished item? What if it doesn’t fit? What if it turns out to be a Cursed Project and you just can’t seem to finish it, and it sits in the back of your closet for months on end, and it haunts every conversation with that friend, lurking unnamed and unspoken behind every word?

I’ve resolved this last problem by asking my friends to simply pay for the yarn, but the immutable relationship of time vs. energy vs. money still conspires against my making any real money from the actual act of knitting. Only Julia Roberts can afford the real price of one of my sweaters, and from what I’ve heard, she can knit her own.

But friends! Does this mean that you can’t make any money from your knitting? Certainly not! See this:

This is a Halfdome, from back when I had a plan to dominate the world with my knitting (and before I figured out that I could sell my designs to knitty). It’s not doing anything sitting in my closet, so I’m selling it on eBay. It’s a regular adult size (for heads approximately 19 to 21 inches around) with the usual grey brim, but the rest of it is pink. I used Debbie Bliss Cashmereno for the whole thing.

Interested in this Yarn Boy original? Bid away!


  • Sean says:

    This is an intriguing turn of events…

    I’m tempted to bid, but I already have a Halfdome of my own.

    You will let us all know how the auction turns out, yes?

  • AJ says:

    I’m a recovering addict (25 years now). I was at a recovery meeting a couple of years ago, knitting as usual. A young man who doesn’t know how much time goes into knitting told me, as though doing me a favor, that I could make a lot of money by selling my stuff.

    I’m a good-sized woman who looks just like the stereotype of the hippie-ish school marm that I am, so people expect Little Mary F***ing Sunshine when I speak. I kept on knitting and told him that I suspected that knitting was like sex, and doing it for money would make it that much more difficult to do it for love.

    After the shocked laughter died down, a woman who had worked as a prostitute before she got clean came over to talk to me, and told me I was absolutely right.

  • Sean says:

    I think you need to try a different approach on the ebay auction. Start the initial bid low to encourage people to start bidding. Say $3. However, you’ll set a reserve price of $40 so you don’t have to sell the cap for less than that. Just a thought.

  • OrganicMama says:

    Guys who knit are HOT! 😉

  • Mary says:

    It’s a shame no one bought your Halfdome. Maybe it’s the wrong time of year to sell something like that. Why don’t you try again next fall?

  • Jamisyn says:

    I’m sure you’ve heard of Etsy(?) Try Etsy, people may have more appreciation for your handknits there.

  • Claire says:

    Yarn boy dude, you’d probably make more sales if you sold the pattern instead of the hat.
    Nice hat, though.

  • Zaz says:

    hello yarn boy,
    i did just go to ebay to see what the bid is at cause i have trouble pricing my knit items and was intrigued and you’re absolutely right about how much money knits are worth.
    read my last posts if you care on “petites mains” and the previous ones, they come from frustration, :))
    ok now am going to continue reading you, long time no see you on here,
    zaz, paris

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