Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Buy ready-made or knit yourself?

A friend of mine (non-knitter) once said that she couldn't see any point in knitting since it is so cheap to buy knitwear in the stores. And that is true. You can get great knitwear for almost nothing. I took two examples from HM here. One girls cardigan with cables and moss-stitch and a girls dress with cable pattern. They both cost SEK 199 which is about 31.00 USD. And I don't think it's all crappy yarn either, the cardigan is in a cotton and alpaca blend. And they are both super cute. So why would I prefer to spend a couple of weeks knitting one of these garment for more money than it would cost me if I pay now and get it right away? I'm not quite sure.

But I would knit something, however, if I find a pattern that is very unusual or unique. I would be ok with spending time and money on it if the result is a garment that I'd cherish and wear for years. So it had to be something really special. I would also consider knitting smaller projects, like accessories, if they're made in a favorite or luxurious yarn. Or if I want to make a unique gift. I also like patterns that are versatile and can be knitted in several different types of yarn or yarn weights.

I'm a bit amazed at how beautiful knitwear like this could be so cheap. Zara has nice knitwear for kids too, in almost the same price range, and some of the garments even claims to be hand knit. How is that possible?

It makes me think of all the people who thinks that they can make extra money selling their knitted crafts online. Some of them do but most don't. If you charge enough to cover the material cost AND the time that you spend knitting it you should be happy if you find a buyer. I don't think that people will buy an item just because it's hand knit. It has to be hand knit AND something special AND at a fair price. They won't buy it just because you knitted it and it has a pretty color. And they will certainly not pay 70 USD for a knitted girls poncho just from a picture of it lying on your living room floor with a plastic hanger stuck into it. Why on earth would they? I see a lot of listings like that.

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