Custom Orders, Part II: Handknits

So…is it worthwhile for you to have something custom knit?

Storytime: Once, a client requested an all-wool cable knit sweater. There was a lot that went into this project: Picking colors, picking yarn texture, picking yarn fiber…then there was choosing of the pattern – what style of cable knit sweater did the client want? And of course, there was measuring. Pre-measuring, middle-of-project measuring, and final finishing. All in all, the sweater took about two months to make. Now, how much do you suppose a handmade, custom-fit sweater like this would cost? $1000? Sure, but who would pay that? Still, it would be an expensive sweater, and it was…I charged about $250 because that was the price that I was comfortable with, given the costs, and the time. Is it worth it to you to give your loved one a $250 handmade, custom-fit sweater? Or would you be more comfortable buying a manufactured sweater – albeit a REALLY NICE one for that much money? My client loved my work, and he trusted me, and it was worth it to make the sweater for his wife. It was literally, a gift of love. And she did love it. It fits her like a glove, and she wears it every winter. It’s made of some of the finest, softest wool I’ve ever knitted. I must add, that it’s the most beautiful sweater I ever made.

And although, that’s a good story, still sometimes it’s better to request custom orders that are smaller and more manageable. I knit hats and mittens for clients all the time,  which also requires the choosing of colors, textures, fibers, and overall design – but that’s the fun part – for both the client and myself! In addition, only one measurement is needed for such an item, and that number can be measured by the client and emailed to me.

Hats and mittens don’t take months to make!

However, they do take a little more time than the simplest ice-dying order. If I have the right yarn in stock, most hats take about a week. But again, add in a special order of yarn, then we’re adding on a week. And if we’re talking about a 75″ scarf, or a pair of complicated Scandinavian stranded mittens, a little bit more time is needed. After all, everything I knit is handknit, not machine-made.

There are literally thousands upon thousands of different types of yarns and their colorways, and the prices are that varied as well. What type of yarn you choose, and how much of that yarn is needed for the project – will affect the overall cost. So, to keep you in the loop, we’ll talk about your price range, what fibers and colors you like, and I’ll use my know-how to research luxurious yarn at the price you like. I’ll want to send you visual samples to choose from before we begin.

Just like in ice-dyeing, pricing depends on what’s in stock and the complexity of the project (such as a lace stole as opposed to a simple hat). For example, a client may want to order a handknit hat made out of 100% linen. The hats I’m showing in my shop range somewhere between $25 – $30. However, if you want a linen hat, I’m going to want to make you a hat with linen that’s in line with my high-quality standards (hey we’re talking about my reputation here!). So I’m going to find you GOOD linen, not scratchy, and spun well…but I’m also going to try and keep your final project at a realistic, but reasonable price. Again – communication is key – and I’ll always communicate my findings with you.

Custom orders provide something that is made specifically for YOU!

I guess that’s why custom orders exist. They give you something you cannot get at Target or even a high-end department store! You want something that is made specifically for you – for your body, your skin; something that suits your tastes. In what manufacturing world is someone going to stay in touch with you about colors, sizing, texture, and design throughout the process? If you’re still unsure, look at the reviews – look at testimonials in the shop. If they sound good, then give it a try!

That’s why people take the leap of faith and place that online custom order. And that’s why people like me LOVE to receive them! It’s my opportunity to let my creativity shine, and it’s your opportunity to purchase something made specifically for you –
something that will make YOU FEEL GOOD.

And that good feeling will show when you wear it!

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