Spring, Summer and Autumn

Autumn BlanketIt amuses me that the pattern for this blanket is called Spring into Summer and the colours in this yarn are autumnal. I just love the colours in this blanket, but it was extremely difficult to get good photos that did them justice. I think I’m going to have to break out the camera instead of snapping photos on my iPhone. I’ve been wondering if it would be viable to sell the corner-to-corner blankets, but am sorely tempted to hang on to this one. I love the colours so much. Maybe that’s the sign it’s commercially viable?

Autumn BlanketWhile the idea of funding my crocheted afghan addiction is very appealing, I’m not sure how realistic it is. There are a lot of crocheted blankets for sale on Etsy, but it’s hard to know how many of those actually sell. There’s a huge price range too; some people must be selling for barely the price of the yarn. While I wouldn’t be doing it to get rich I do think the price should reflect the effort that’s gone into making something. Handmade items will rarely, if ever, command a price that’s a fair reflection of the number of hours it took to make it I do think that the price should incorporate a respectable amount for the effort involved. You can find handmade blankets on Etsy from around £50-£300 and it’s not always obvious why some are commanding higher prices. It’s not always about the quality of the yarn or the complexity of the pattern. Which brings me back to the point that it’s not possible to know which blankets are selling.

Autumn BlanketI think anyone who makes things has had the experience where someone says ‘you should sell those’, and you have that moment where it seems like a really good idea, then you start to tot up the cost of the materials, roughly work out how long it took to make and halve it, then cost it at half minimum wage and wonder if anyone would really pay that much for it. I could sell them for the price of the yarn (around £35 for this blanket), but then that undermines the efforts of everyone out there who is trying to make a living from hand-crafted items. I’ve read various formulas, some say sell for double the cost of the materials, some say triple the cost. Maybe it’s because I’m from Yorkshire, but I can’t imagine spending £70 on a blanket!

Autumn BlanketThe problem with that method is that it doesn’t take into account that not all blankets require the same amount of effort. For example, this pattern is simple – not just the stitches, but the yarn is self-striping so there’s no changing colour, there aren’t lots of ends to deal with, there’s no joining to do. A granny square blanket is also simple, granny squares aren’t hard to make, but when you take into account all the colour changes, weaving in all the ends and joining the squares, it’s probably about 1/3 of the total time taken to make it. It staggers me that there are quite complex granny square blankets available on Etsy for around £50. I could probably make a granny square blanket for £20-£25 but the total effort involved would be a lot more.

I think that if I can find somewhere to take good photos, I might put a couple on Etsy and see how they do. But I might keep this one 🙂

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