Knitters, your advice please!

(9 Posts)
DollyBarton Fri 05-Aug-16 12:44:08

I am starting a handknit babywear company as I absolutely love the handknit items my 3 babies have received over the last few years and feel really strongly that there is a market for this. I am in the process of designing and creating the pattern for a unique baby item based on my experience of dressing little ones (3 in the last 4 years) but as a novice knitter, my lack of practical knowledge is making this a complicated process. I have gotten fairly far with it but am not happy about the fine details of the item and need it tidied up to a more professional level. Do you know if it is possible to get someone to create, test and finalise a pattern based on my instructions (of yarn, stitch, intarsia, size, sleeve type etc)?

I know exactly what I want but am struggling to get someone to build the pattern based on that for me. Any advice? Are there skilled knitters out there that I could work with on this and how do I find them? Does anyone here offer that sort of professional service?

As a secondary question. I have been looking into manufacturing and my ideal is to use local/regional skilled knitters to create all the products. The logistics are a bit mindboggling but I have found a successful case study of this (Eribe knitwear). But do you have any advice on how I can find individual knitters who might be happy to work for me freelance? I was wondering about local craft groups etc. but don't think I will get enough people. But maybe in knitting circles this is not such an unusual proposition?

DollyBarton Fri 05-Aug-16 12:44:37

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

kinloss Fri 05-Aug-16 12:48:35

As someone who runs a small business, I'd say you are at the beginning of a long and difficult road - if it's one you want to go down.

I'd want a great deal more technical knowledge if I was in your shoes. You'd get it via this sort of qualification. www.ntu.ac.uk/study-and-courses/courses/find-your-course/art-design/ug/2016-17/fashion-knitwear-design-and-knitted-textiles

DollyBarton Fri 05-Aug-16 13:30:52

Thanks kinloss, it's not an option right now to study except in a private, spare-time capacity. I also think that ideally I could knit new designs from scratch myself but most people don't know how to make most products they sell from scratch. Hopefully my sales, marketing, interactive and project management skills will make my business a success if I can just get over the hurdle of perfecting my patterns by outsourcing to professionals and people with the right skills that I don't have.

DollyBarton Fri 05-Aug-16 13:32:37

Course looks amazing though! Really interesting.

DollyBarton Fri 05-Aug-16 13:37:17

And to avoid drip feeding, I have owned and run my own business for the last 5 years successfully but adore hand knit clothes and think I have a good business plan for it.

PolterGoose Fri 05-Aug-16 17:20:01

The problem with selling handknits is that to pay the maker a fair hourly rate you will end up with garments which are prohibitively expensive. Fine if you are knitting them yourself, but if you outsource I can't see there being much profit in it at all, unless you exploit your knitters.

I make socks, only simple ones, but people love them, and suggest I should sell them. But realistically who is going to pay £100 for a pair of socks (which is what it would cost to pay me a fair hourly rate, and that's without a profit).

kinloss Fri 05-Aug-16 18:05:25

Even if the design was perfected, I could only imagine this working with the absolute luxury end of the market. Because of what such a product would cost. As PolterGoose says.

DollyBarton Fri 05-Aug-16 18:09:32

Yes, I am aiming for luxury end.

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