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okay! i need help pricing something! i've never made blankets for people before but i have two requests for blankets now. one person isn't even sure she's going to buy it, and the other person gave me the date she needs it done by, colors, the pattern, size, the works! it's definite. she said just to let her know a price for it when i get one figured out and she offered to pay what i need up front for supplies and stuff like that. super easy client to work with, thank goodness. :')

so anyway, she gave me this for the pattern: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/special/soft-cream-zigzag-crochet-baby-blanket/12869

such a pretty blanket. it needs to be a twin xl (still trying to find accurate dimensions) and needs to be done by july (thank goodness i have lots of time) because that's when whoever she's giving it to gets deployed. she gave me three colors to use for it. the stitches are pretty basic so that's awesome but i will have to learn the shell stitch and also customize the size of the blanket. also, i am TERRIBLE at reading patterns.. i'm a visual learner. so i'm a little intimidated but know i can figure it out if i try enough. also not to mention the 2mm crochet hook. so tiny :|

i'm searching etsy right now for prices on twin size or twin xl crocheted blankets to get some ideas for a fair price for her. if you guys could help me out, please do! i want to make sure i give her a fair price. right now i'm thinking anywhere from $100-$150 which is kind of vague.. but how far off am i? I haven't really done many custom orders before and what i have done has been like, headbands.

please help! and thank you so much!

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
seticat
Feb. 22nd, 2013 05:16 am (UTC)
If you mean deploying as 'into a area of combat', it's not safe to use acrylic yarn. If something should happen, they melt. And if they were to melt onto someone, double bad. Anything I make to send overseas, be it a blanket, a hat, a scarf, is made out of wool, cotton or another natural fabric. They burn slowly and a regular burn beats having to dig plastic out of a burn.

[Part of the 'Been there, did that in the Gulf Club in 1990-91]
loyaltylocket
Feb. 22nd, 2013 05:17 am (UTC)
that's wonderful advice, thank you so much!
foreverdreaming
Feb. 22nd, 2013 11:19 am (UTC)
I don't really make to order, but if I was doing this, I would probably charge upfront for the anticipated cost of the materials, and then keep track of how many hours the project took to complete. Then I would decide on an hourly rate for the work and charge that amount on completion of the project (adjusting for any additional materials needed mid-way through the project).
loyaltylocket
Feb. 23rd, 2013 12:41 am (UTC)
that's an idea i had for the pricing also. thanks!
redvixen
Feb. 22nd, 2013 01:49 pm (UTC)
It would be a good idea to find out if the recipient is going to take the blanket with him/her. You will need something that will travel well and not go against any of the laws and customs of the land he/she is deploying to. Aside from the consideration of the material melting as mentioned above, you will also have to consider weight. Many troops on deployment have a weight restriction for anything in addition to their military gear.

Twin XL is usually 39 by 80 inches (99 by 203 centimeters) although some mattress can be slightly smaller at 36 by 80 (91 by 203).

So, if using the pattern as a guide, it took 300 grams of soft baby wool to make a 90 by 90 cm shawl. Which means you would need about 900 g for the blanket you want to make. Always allow for extra material.

First though, you need to make a swatch so you can learn the stitch and find out how close your gauge is to the one in the pattern. If your work is tighter you will need more material.

Making a swatch will give you a rough idea of how long the project will take. Figure it out then add on the same amount of time. This covers delays, undoing mistakes, and gives you a buffer just to be safe. Then figure out what that equates to in your life schedule. For instance, I can make a simple blanket in 48 hours but since I need to fit it into my life, it ends up being spread over a three month period. For this pattern, I would estimate around 96 hours done in groups from a half hour to two hours for approximately 4 hours a week. Or about six months for me to make it. Might be faster if I ended up having more time than expected or longer if I had less time than expected to work on it.

Once you figure out your hours, then you can figure out a price. If it does take you close to 100 hours to finish the project, charging $100 means you get paid $1 per hour. For your first project or two, unless you are seriously into making this your business, you might be willing to accept that.

A bit of pre-planning (figuring out amount and cost of materials and estimated hours to complete) will give you a ballpark figure to work with. Blankets are probably some of the harder projects to price because they can take up a lot of time. Which is why you see a lot of handmade blankets going for several hundred dollars. Personally, I don't expect a huge return on blankets unless they are baby blankets.

It will also depend on whether or not you and your customer want to settle on a price before or after the blanket is done. If you can keep track of your hours (I can't always which is why I figure out an estimate first) and want to charge based on the actual time it takes you to do the blanket, then go ahead. This way if it takes longer than you estimated you aren't out the extra time.

In the end, you will have to decide how you want to handle it. As long as you and your customer are happy, that's what really matters.
yesididit
Feb. 22nd, 2013 03:08 pm (UTC)
you may want to check with the person wanting to buy it as to what kind of price range they're expecting.

in my experience, people are not willing to pay $100-150 for a blanket. most people i've talked to think maybe $20-40, not realizing that the yarn typically costs that much or more. let alone how many hours of your hard work go into the afghan. people dont seem to be realistic in what they're willing to pay for the amount of work that goes into afghans.

in keeping track of my work, i've found i spend around 20 hours on simple pattern baby afghans. complicated patterns, and adult size afghans take far more hours. i agree with the suggestion to track your hours on the project to show the person who'll be paying for it.
xpaperplanex
Feb. 22nd, 2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
Whenever I'm trying to price something, I always try to think of how long it will take and who I'm making it for. If it's for a friend who really wants something and has offered to pay, I'll drastically undersell myself in order to get a reasonable price that I feel comfortable asking from a friend. I always make sure it covers the cost of the materials, regardless.

For non-friends who just want to purchase something, I tend to be less nice. This usually means still underselling myself, because very few people are actually willing to pay for the time that goes into something handmade, especially something large like a blanket.

For instance, I recently finished a granny square afghan for myself. It consisted of 560 squares, and each square took 15-20 minutes. So at 4/hour, that's 140 hours, and if I were to charge something reasonable per hour for a practiced skill, say $15, that's $2100, not including supplies. Which is not something anyone with a normal sort of paycheque would pay for a blanket. Even taking it to $10/hour, which is just above minimum wage here, is way too expensive. If I were to sell it, I wouldn't let it go for less than $700 because that much effort for less than $5/hour for a random person is not worth it to me.

I guess my point is charge what you feel comfortable charging, keeping in mind that your time is worth something.
log_junkie
Feb. 22nd, 2013 11:25 pm (UTC)
That is a beautiful pattern! I think you're brave for undertaking it; that is going to take a while on a B hook. I know how much work that's going to be and I think $150 is definitely reasonable.
cynthia_french
Feb. 23rd, 2013 08:19 pm (UTC)
You need to figure out how many hours it will take and how much $ in supplies.

Then figure out how much you should get/need to get paid for your time per hour and that is your fee.

A LOT of people won't pay a fair price. This is why Target and Wallmart ar so successful - because they buy machine/unfairly paid labor made items and sell them for pennies.

If someone wants a quality, hand made item, they should be ready to pay for it, and you shouldn't undersell yourself.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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