Thursday, June 10, 2004

Charging For Design

Marilyn's mother, Ellie, and others wanted to know why I didn't charge for the Fashion of the Christ pattern.

Selfishness vs. Generosity
To me, it's all a matter of perspective.

If I had wanted to charge for the pattern, or somehow get reimbursed for my efforts, there clearly would have been a cost to me either in actual dollars, or time. Let's assume it would have only been the time to make sure the pattern was correct, to set up some way of selling the pattern and then distributing and collecting money.

Time is very dear to me lately, so let's say that my time is worth $12 an hour (I consider that to be an extremely low estimate).

The overall effort for validating the pattern and setting it up in some way that I could have gotten paid for it would have taken me a total of about 2 hours, or $24 worth of my time. Each purchase transaction would have taken about 10 minutes to process.

Let's say that 100 folks purchased the pattern at $3.00 per pattern.

Total time that it would have taken me to set up and process orders: 18.7 hours
Total cost at $12 per hour: $224

Total revenue: $300

For investing 18.7 hours of my time, it would have earned me about $76, or a little over 6 hours of equivalent time.

Just not worth it. Let folks enjoy the pattern. Let folks buy the yarns needed for it at their local yarn stores. I'd much rather see that and spend the 18 hours learning to spin, or making my next design.

While I definitely didn't go through this calculation before deciding to publish the pattern for free, I did consider all the factors, and for very selfish reasons, decided to give it away.

Current Knitting
I finally cast on this morning for the next baby blanket.

It's 230 stitches wide, and I only got two rows knit before I had to head off to work.

However, I have also been working on the Dancing Feet socks, and I've finally gotten the second sock up to the same lenght as the first one.

Now I'm going to add a couple of inches in length to both socks. I didn't know how much extra yarn I would have left, so I was conservative in length on the first sock, and waited till I could estimate better.

A couple of more inches would be perfect (isn't it always?).

Readers' Comments/Questions
Ingrid sent a detailed analysis of the "winged shoulder" issue on Fair Isles, mostly from a sewn garment designer's perspective.

She made me realize something very important. Fair Isle designers are either too lazy to do short-row shaping for the shoulders, or they are sticking to "traditional" methods that don't work very well for vests. Based on Igrid's discussion, I will definitely take the extra time and effort to do some shaping on my next Fair Isle vest, and I will even try to write up the directions for it.

Thanks again, Ingrid.