Thoughts on Pattern Pricing, Knit and Crochet

Thoughts on Pattern Pricing, Knit and Crochet

Following on from an excellent blog post about Pattern Pricing by my friend Ruth Brasch, it got me thinking about pattern pricing and the way the industry is moving. I’ll add links for Ruth’s post and also a post she references which goes through survey results of how long it takes to carry out each part of the pattern development and it’s a scary number. (links to all sources below on this page).

Like Ruth, I’m against the pay what you can model. Why? Because it appears in many cases to be a stealth method to up the lowest price (which is higher than the norm) and then add more expensive options. I like that it gives people choice, but 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝘂𝘁 𝘂𝗽 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀, 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝗶𝘁. I’ve put my prices up and I’m happy to have made that choice. My work has value, I have value and if you want the pattern, then buy it. If you don’t, that’s cool too. I’m not out to please everyone, it’s not possible.

I’m all for being flexible, but I did have someone give me a sob story about not being able to afford the pattern, gifted it to them and saw photos of them knitting it while on holiday in Barbados. I sat at home in Cumbria with no holiday. Did I get some exposure? I suppose I did, but not from anyone who buys patterns.

Looking at the figures in the article by Thread and Ladle, the minimum number of hours involved in creating a good quality knitting pattern for a sweater is 53.1 hrs, the maximum in her survey being 113.65 hrs. That’s NOT including yarn, the cost of Tech Editing, needles, notions, tools, website, email service, marketing the pattern, graphics, Ravelry fees, Paypal fees, models, schematics, time spent testing and answering testers questions.

To cover all that, and have some actual income for me, that means a minimum number of pattern sales of 350 to 760 per sweater pattern.

Sari Nordlund has an interesting chat about pattern pricing on her YouTube channel, what income she makes and what patterns are worth designing for her.

She’s very open and honest about it, so give it a look. Link below.

I appreciate money is tight for many people, but designers also need to make a living and cover their actual costs. There are lots of free patterns, sales and other promotions and we always discount a pattern on it’s launch with a bigger discount for email subscribers.

The amount of work is considerably more than most people think and to market your pattern effectively, you should spend double the time it took to create it. Adding more time to the calculations.

As someone who loves to knit garments, to wear and for pattern designing, it’s a sobering thought.

It’s not like I take the easy route out, I always go up to the larger plus sizes and add tips on how to upsize even more. It doubles the Tech Editing costs because there are more numbers, measurements and stitch counts to be checked. As a curvy woman, it’s important to me that I produce patterns that a woman of any size can wear, but it comes at a price.

Do I stick to accessories for a quicker win, or plod on with garments and hope that at some point, more of them will reach that magic number of sales?

What do you think?

Thread and Ladle article

Ruth’s Blog Post

Ruth’s pattern portfolio on Ravelry

Sari Nordlund’s YouTube on pattern income

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Crafting during Covid kept me sane and happy in 2020

Crafting during Covid kept me sane and happy in 2020

Have you been crafting during Covid? I don’t know about you, but I’ve been crafting a lot more during the Covid lockdown. I work from home most days on either my designs, volunteering in my community and dealing with orders as they come in. But, for me, crafting is my joy.

My first project was my go-to when I’m stressed and that’s to crochet a blanket. I had some of Lucy at Attic 24’s colour packs in the house, which I have gathered over several years with a few projects in mind. I love Autumn colours and was immediately drawn to the Woodland Blanket Pack. I didn’t want to crochet the ripple blanket, but I did love the Granny Stripe Blanket. I find it relaxing to crochet stripes, it’s easy, it’s repetitive and it kept my brain calm during the stressful days immediately following our lockdown.

Crafting during covid, crocheted Woodland Granny Stripe Blanket
Woodland Granny Stripe Blanket

The first full day of lockdown here was my birthday and my son and I were both ill with suspected Covid19 and felt dreadful. It was a good two to three weeks before either of us felt well again and probably another month after that before we got back our sense of taste and smell. We both feel very lucky to have recovered but he bounced back a lot faster than I did being young and fit.

Knitting and Crafting Along Through Covid

At the time, Emma Sadler and I had just launched our first Cowlabunga KAL event and I had to tidy myself up for the launch live on Facebook on 19th March. I felt like death warmed up, but plenty of painkillers and hot tea did help, even if I couldn’t taste any of it. We made the choice that week to try and get online and chat live on most days during the first month of lockdown.

We missed one day out of 30 but kept going most days per week and gradually tapered off to the Thursday night and Sunday afternoon we are doing now. From 14th February, our first live on FB, we’re completed our 72nd live/session on Sunday 28th June. Our videos are loaded onto our YouTube Channel and you can see them here.

Yarndale, Woolfest and my Lady Mary Hat

Emma, our friend Helen and I were due to meet last Friday/Saturday for Woolfest. We had cleared the two days and booked our accommodation etc. I was upset to see it was cancelled due to Covid19 but completely understood it was the right decision to make. The last time we met up was at Yarndale where I bought this amazing hat from Felt By Bridget.

Lady Mary Hat from Yarndale, felted by Bridget
My gorgeous hat by Felt By Bridget, I absolutely love it and it reminds me so much of the amazing day we spent together at Yarndale in 2019.

Crafting for me

I wanted to knit myself some Summer tops and love Jutta Hinterm Stein’s patterns. She released a new one for testing last week called Hot in the City and I’m helping to test the pattern. I’m using some Drops Belle in the Moss Green colourway. It’s a fabulous yarn, softens with washing and wears really well.

Roll over the Top test knit for Jutta Hinterm Stein

I am about a third of the way through knitting Tidewater by Laura Aylor, this is in 4ply using some Bamboo Cotton 4ply in the Verde colourway, a zingy, green. I added sleeves but they’re not in the pattern, but I do prefer to keep my upper arms under wraps.

Tidewater by Laura Aylor, crafting for me
Tidewater using Bamboo Cotton 4ply in a bright, zingy green, it’s a bit grey in this photo though.

Last week I finished knitting my Edie top, by Isabell Kraemer, it’s my go-to knit for Summer and I’ve made one with Drops Belle, one with some Wendy Cotton/Silk dk and now this one with the Bamboo Cotton 4ply in Coral. I will get a photo of me wearing it, I promise but I do wear it in our Live on FB and YouTube on 25th June.

Edie by Isabell Kraemer, using bamboo cotton 4ply
Edie by Isabelle Kraemer

Crafting for Carers

I did crochet about 50 of the mask/ear savers using some Rowan All Season’s Cotton in a light green. I used up all my 1/2inch and 1inch button stash on them but hopefully they made life a bit more comfortable for the Doctors and Nurses at local surgeries.

Crafting during Covid kept me sane and happy in 2020 1

What did you make during lockdown? Did it help you to relax and feel better during all the upheaval?

Say Hi on Facebook and let me know, I’d love to see your craft projects.


Fabulous Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies pattern Christmas Knitting 4 Characters

Fabulous Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies pattern Christmas Knitting 4 Characters

Fabulous Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies Pattern from Loraine @ WoollyMadlyDeeply

Introducing our super cute Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies pattern, or should that be Mug Cosy?   Anyway, just in time for Christmas knitting, these super cute mug cozies will warm your heart and your cuppa.   With a hood just big enough to hold your cookies or shortbread, you’re good to go.   Linky here to purchase the pdf pattern for the  Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies

Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies Pattern by Loraine Birchall for Woolly Madly Deeply

Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies Pattern by Loraine Birchall

About the Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies

I woke up one morning and with a desperate need to knit and design a mug cozy.   I knew I wanted a Santa Mug Cozy, so he was the starting point, but then I had so many ideas all at once.   I’m still thinking about a Bigfoot Cozy, what do you think?  I’m not sure how he’d fit into my plans for Christmas Knitting, but I’ll give it a go.

The Christmas knitting theme turned into something of an obsession.  Now there are 4 characters, Santa Claus or Father Christmas Cozy, Elf ‘n’ Safety Cozy, Gingerbread Man (or lady) Cozy and a Snowman (or Snowlady) Cozy.

I wanted to add a hood to the mug cozy to make it stand out from the crowd.  I think it works well and it was fun to play around with the design.

A friend, Folksworthfarmer suggested that if that hood of the Christmas Mug Cozy would hold biscuits, then she was sold.   Helen also kindly sent the Christmas tree buttons used on the Elf Cozies and black buttons for Santa’s jacket.

Thanks to bluesocks, who brought a selection of bells in assorted colours and sizes.  I used these for the points of the cozy hoods and as cute buttons on the snowman cozy.

Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies Pattern Snowman

About the Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies Pattern

The body of the cozies are knitted sideways and it’s easy to customize the length to fit the circumference of your favourite mug. Stitch counts are include for 3 1/2 inch depth and 4 inch depth standard mugs and as written they will stretch to go round a 10-11 inch round mug.

The cozies have knitted arms with mittens, the arms are worked from the fingertips up to the top of the arm/sleeve. I used Judy’s Magic Cast On, but feel free to just use longtail cast on and seam the fingertips of the mittens afterwards.

The Snowman has optional twig arms or you can make the mitten/sleeve arms to match the other cozies.  I enjoyed knitting the twig arms for the snowman cozy.  They’re very quick to knit and use only scraps of yarn.

Instructions are included for striped options for arms and hoods.

I used duplicate stitch to add a belt for Santa Cozy, Elves Cozies or the Gingerbread Man Cozy and also to add a ribbon for the gift embellishment.  Making each character a super cute Christmas Mug Cozy.

I’ve had fun sewing on bells to the hoods, using them instead of buttons or ‘coal’ on the Snowman Cozy and adding the Christmas Trees, Sacks and Gifts to each character.

Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies Pattern

Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies Tension / Gauge

The expected gauge/tension is 20st/28 rows per 4 inch/10cm and I used a variety of yarns from DK, Aran, Worsted, 4ply/fingering weight double stranded. It’s a great way to use up scraps. Use the needle size that gets you 20 sts over 4 inches and it’ll work just fine. The length is easily adapted to fit a wider mug, or smaller one.

Make as many or as few as you like.  Play around with colours, stripes and I’d love to see one in stranded knitting.  I hope you love them as much as I do.  My friends have had great fun customizing their Elf Cozies and I love what they’ve come up with.

With grateful thanks to bluesocks, who test knitted the Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies pattern.  Knitted them with a variety of yarns and is the most amazing friend I could have.

Linky here to purchase the pdf pattern for the  Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies

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