Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Price of Handmade Items Explanation

    There are a lot of non-crafters out there who do not seem to understand how much things cost and have a problem with my prices in Tangledmania Shoppe on Etsy. So this is an article breaking down how some people, and how I, come up with the prices to sell what we make.

   First we have yarn and that cost varies. Most of the items in my shop are made of of some degree of wool or alpaca yarn. This is more expensive than acrylic, but not by much these days. I was at Joann's Fabric last week looking around and saw Simply Soft go for $4.49 a skein, and it usually takes 12 to make a blanket. So right there, before taxes or labor, it costs $53.88 to make a blanket with Simply Soft. 

   Now I like Simply Soft, it's what I used for a very long time. But you know what's better? The warmth on a winter afternoon of wool and alpaca, it is just plain warmer and wears better than acrylic. Even my favorite acrylic Berroco Comfort which goes for $6.50 a skein at Webs (or yarn.com). I have a love affair with Berroco, I simply adore their various yarns and they are probably considered midline for cost compared to some other yarns. 
  For example, the Striped Shawl for sale at my shop, usually priced at $50 is made up of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine, which is wool, alpaca and nylon. I used two different colors, so two skeins that are priced at $12 dollars a piece. So I spent $24 on yarn for that shawl. It took me a week to make it, but a total of 21 or so hours all together. I set the normal price at $50, like I said, which leaves $26 for labor. That is little more than a dollar an hour. But I want to make it relatively affordable, so I simply double the price of the yarn, roughly and there you have it. I honestly do not believe I am being unreasonable.

  Some schools of thought believe that you should charge for supplies the following way: 
Materials + Labor + Expenses + Profit = Wholesale x 2 = Retail (found here on this etsy blog)

If I did my pricing this way, this is how my prices would work out: 
Materials: $24
Labor:      21 hours at minimum wage? Let's say $7 an hour to just say it. 21x7= $147 (see it adding up already?)
Expenses: for just this item is probably around $2.00, not too high.
Profit: I do not have a job, though I'm looking for one every day, so I am trying to pay bills and put a dent in food for my kids and me.  so be kind. That is why I simply do double materials for profit, so $26.
This is how it breaks down:
  + 26
=$199x2: $398

  Am I going to charge this much, $398 for a shawl? Of course not!! I charge what yarn cost me, possibly the pattern (if relevant, in this case it wasn't), and double it for some profit so that I can buy more yarn to make more stuff to sell and so that I can pay some bills. 

  So the next time you have a problem with how much people charge for what they make, consider the fact that they aren't really charging in a way that is really sustainable.  This is handmade, people. You can request so many changed details and it's unique, all handmade items are.  I'm trying to bring in some extra cash, to help support my family. I adore to knit, it's what I'm passionate about. If you want to learn, just ask me. :D

Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor Day Shop Sale MADNESS!!

Good morning to the world!

   Surprise! I am having a sale. :D Everything in my shop is 25% off. Crazy right?

  Let me tell you that all I do for the items in my shop is figure out how much supplies cost and double the cost. So say it take me 2 weeks and a total of 23 hours to make an item (and trust me, for those shawls it can take longer), I don't charge for that time spent making since it would make my pricing too high, in my opinion, for sales. If I'm wrong here, please let me know!

    This item is on sale for $45, a cut from $60! 

  This item is on sale for $37.50, from $50. 

  I'm also getting set to make mittens, so please feel free to contact me. :D

Be well and peace out! 
Jen from

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Crafting, Depression, and Robin Williams

Evening, folks.

  First of all, this is my 50th post (how weird) and I was trying to think about what I could post that would be relevant and helpful. I don't have a bunch of other pictures to post about crafting. So with Robin Williams' sad suicide so recent and weighing on my mind I decided to write about depression and crafting. Then I went and did some research, real research in peer reviewed journals, to find all these supposed studies about the wonders of knitting and crocheting for people who are depressed or anxious (I suffer from both at various times).

  And I found nothing....

  So stymied I checked a few other sources and still found very little. Yes, there were articles in newspapers about the usefulness of it but where is the research? Where is the study that interviewed more then 30 people in a statistically relevant way? Well, I didn't find it. What I do have is a book called "Cheaper than Therapy" which was edited by Annie Modesitt which has 34 first hand accounts about the "Joy, healing & life lessons in fiber".

  I also found a "Fun Activities Catalogue", which is found on page 4 of "Behavioral Strategies for Managing Depression" pdf which you can google and it pops up easily.

   So does this mean that crafts are not proven to be a good way to combat depression? I would say no, and I'm sure there is researched journal articles out there to discuss it that I just couldn't find it through my few resources. Because I have felt the joy of finding a new pattern and adding it to my ravelry queue of favorites. Because my favorite yarn is Berroco and Malabrigo. Because I enjoy feeling the yarn slip through my fingers as I create something I find beautiful. Even if there are sometimes tears in the stitches there is passion and hope too. I have a passion for knitting and crocheting.

  Robin William's suicide hit me hard. I'm sad about it, on top of my every day stresses of having a job interview tomorrow (eek!) and the need to repair things around the Money Pit of a house (love Tom Hanks). But I have my beautiful daughters to cuddle with and shower unconditional love on, and my yarn. I can't wait to make blankets for my daughters as they find their first apartment. If they have children and get married, their choice, not mine lol, to make them knitted accessories and baby blankets will be a joy. Yes, I will get depressed, but knitting and crocheting keeps me in motion, forward motion. Even with reading there is no real progress for me.

  If you feel down, you are not alone. I truly believe that none of us are, that we are all connected in the energy of the world. If you need help, reach out. If you still need help because the person you reached out too doesn't know how to help you, reach out again. Find out what helps you and be proud and grateful to yourself that it works. But live!! :D

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Life as We Know It

Summer of 2014, still no job but plenty of time to knit and crochet! Taking Christmas orders is fun, but I don't have enough money to make a blanket for my sister she wants, which is kind of a bummer.

  Kids are doing great, and I have a job interview next week, so I'm really looking forward to that. On another huge plus, this month, my daughter's birthdays are this month. My youngest turns 3 tomorrow and my oldest turns 7 next Saturday (who put glitter in my hair?).

   Here are some of the projects I'm working on and have finished, just so much fun!

This first is a Mary Lennox (Secret Garden) circle shawl in 2/14 Alpaca Silk lace yarn. You can find information about the mystery knit a long here: Mary Lennox MKAL.

Next, I'm working on a series of doilies for a Christmas order, and this is the first unblocked out. Pine Cone Doily.

This was a really fun shawl to make, though I have to say that I didn't do the edging exactly as the pattern suggested, but that's just me (the edging would be the top part of this shawl). You can get the pattern here and do what you will with it: Dream Stripes

I also ventured into the world of baby stuff. Now I have a reason why I don't always do this, and you would think that as a compulsive knitter I would love to do baby stuff. But my problem with baby items is that they grow out of sweaters, hats, and socks sooo fast! As a mom, I know this. I do enjoy making baby blankets though, and have several of those in my queue, since we can make them nice and big to last several years as a nice comfy (and washable) blankie.

This was a super fun papoose to make, but you can't find it electronically, only through a book, which has many cute patterns :D
  Knitting Gifts for Baby: by Mel Clark

Another mystery knit a long that is fun to mention, would be the Jimmy Bean Outlander Knit a Long.

  The yarn is just beautiful! You can find their hand picked yarn at the Jimmy Bean website.

  This is a fun mystery knit a long with any yarn, though so please come join the fun!

Hmm, anything else? Well, I do have two items up for sale on ebay, as I'm trying to get some money, so here those are: Lace Shawl and Baby Papoose. And of course, please go check out my Facebook page Tangledmania Shoppe and my etsy shop page, Tangledmania Shoppe.

  Much love to everyone, and I truly do hope that things are going swimmingly. If you need anything, you know where to find me!! In my chair knitting or crocheting and cuddling with the best kids I've ever known!!