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Has anyone started a "business" knitting for other people?

(27 Posts)
bigTillyMint Tue 24-May-11 10:18:24

I love knitting, but there are only so many jumpers, etc a person / family / friends need! My DH suggested I advertise locally to knit stuff for other people. I was thinking about advertising on a local forum.

So I was wondering, how should I go about it? I could put on some photo's of things I have recently made and maybe do a couple of baby / toddler jumpers / jackets / hats, etc to give an idea of what I could do? I have quite a lot of nice pattern books blush - do you think people would want to choose stuff?

And how much would you charge on top of the yarn for say a baby jacket / toddler jumper / woman's jacket?


TheChewyToffeeMum Tue 24-May-11 10:21:13

My MIL used to knit samples for a local yarn shop and she took commissions through them as well - might be worth looking into?

I am jealous that you can knit fast enough to even consider this!

worldgonecrazy Tue 24-May-11 10:23:29

My friend runs a specialist yarn shop and she has several ladies who knit things for her, especially in the run up to Christmas when it gets hectic. That might be a good way to dip your toe in the water.

bigTillyMint Tue 24-May-11 10:34:56

sad We don't have a local yarn shop.

TheChewyToffeeMum Tue 24-May-11 10:54:27

Oh Well. Have you looked on the likes of Etsy and Folksy? I have seen people selling things on there (you need to be careful about using patterns though - check you will not be breaching copyright).

bigTillyMint Tue 24-May-11 15:39:20

Thanks - those sites look great!
I feel quite excited at the thought of being able to knit more stuffblush

So are you not allowed to sell things you have made following a pattern you have bought? - thinking of one-offs, not a whole load the same.

bigTillyMint Tue 24-May-11 15:43:17

And if that is so, how do people who knit stuff and sell it on a craft stall get round this?

TheChewyToffeeMum Tue 24-May-11 17:55:42

It depends on the pattern. There will usually be some small-print at the bottom or on the designers website stating what is allowed. Some designers will allow you to buy a commercial pattern which is basically a license to sell the finished product. It is worth asking the designer for permission to sell completed items. Patterns from some big yarn suppliers are free to sell such as Lion Brand and Drops design, they just ask that you says where the pattern came from. The other option would be to sell things you have designed yourself.

It is a bit of a minefield. If you use Ravelry you will find a lot of discussions about this on their forums.

I suspect many people are selling things without permission but it is a bit naughty.

bigTillyMint Tue 24-May-11 18:34:59


So do you think all the people selling stuff on etsy, etc have designed their own stuff?

I have checked lots of my patterns and most say they are not to be used for knitting stuff for salesad

bigTillyMint Tue 24-May-11 18:35:55

So, do you think I should advertise that I am able to knit stuff for people if they choose the pattern and yarn?

wednesday13 Thu 26-May-11 21:27:01

I think you can essentially have a knitting-up service but whether you can sell the person the yarn too is an interesting point.

PurpleFrog Fri 27-May-11 17:20:03

Hmm... so how much does one have to change a commercial pattern before it is recognised as a different pattern?

bigTillyMint Fri 27-May-11 18:00:59

That's what I was wondering too PF!

DutchOma Sat 28-May-11 11:05:07

I am in the same position as you Tilly, knitting faster than I need for my own family. And not having a clue at what to charge for knitting on top of the material and the pattern.
So I decided that I knitted for a hobby, just because I liked doing it and to leave it to the gratitude and generosity of the recipient as to whether they would 'pay' me. So I have had very mixed responses:- some people just say "thank you very much, you are wonderful", the other extreme was when I sent a pattern to somebody in Estonia (cost me 68 pence) and got enough wool, beautiful smelling, pure wool in two colours to make dh a pullover.
I've had flowers, money, chocolade, home made biscuits, but most of all the joy of being able to knit.

DutchOma Sat 28-May-11 11:05:50

And of course you do not fall fould of any copyright laws as you are not 'selling' anything.

bigTillyMint Sat 28-May-11 12:14:22

Oooh DutchOma, that sounds perfect!
How did you advertise your knitting skills?

QuintessentialOldMoo Sat 28-May-11 12:23:25

I recently had a wool trouser and jumper set knitted for me. The knitter purchased wool and pattern on my behalf, after I had checked out some websites she suggested, then I refunded her the outlay. Afterwards, I paid her for her workmanship and postage costs, after she had sent me the finished garments.

I would not hesitate to do the same again. Proper hand knitted pure wool garments are wonderful for the children to wear when out playing, and I would pay what it costs.

virginiasmonalogue Sat 28-May-11 12:28:10

I know a lot of people that sell on folksy and have a facebook page advertising their wares. I have used several of them myself.

MumblingRagDoll Sat 28-May-11 13:04:59

I love hand knitted things and got a lovely mohair jumper for myself from Etsy not long ago. Baby stuff is gorgeous too!

DutchOma Sat 28-May-11 14:19:06

I posted a message on Mumsnet and got loads. Didn't have to advertise. I had an Etsy page for a long time and never sold anything really, so I packed it in. People get to know that you are willing to knit and if you do it for your own enjoyment rather than for money you get a lot of joy out of it.
My motto is: "I do it for love, not money".

bigTillyMint Sat 28-May-11 16:38:17

Ooooh this is great news!

DutchOma, whereabouts did you post on MN. Would you mind if I post advertising my knitting skills too? I don't want to steal your customers!

I'm not worried about making lots of money - just need the excuse to knit blush

DutchOma Sat 28-May-11 17:06:35

Took me an age to find Tilly but here it is.
My daughter was first off the mark, then I think a whole lot of people wanted things, and I'm still knitting.

DutchOma Sat 28-May-11 17:09:52

I don't mind you 'stealing' my clients either.

bigTillyMint Sat 28-May-11 18:05:27

Brilliant grin Thank you so much!

I am going to post straightaway - just hope I'm as succesful as you in getting thingd to knit!

DutchOma Sat 28-May-11 18:46:12

If you are on Ravelry, you can follow the progress of what I got to knit.
Same user name.
Best of luck.

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