Wednesday, January 24, 2007


How much would you charge for a ballband?

Finished another ballband dishcloth the other day. It's Sugar 'n Cream, colors are hot green and periwinkle, I think. Still need to weave in the ends.

A few months ago, I gave one to my friend as a housewarming present. And the other day she asked me how much I would charge if I were to knit a few more for her. What do y'all think? If you knit 4 ballbands and sold them as a set, how much would you charge? It's so hard to put a price on handknits...

I put some sets of 2 in a charity auction and they went for $7 a set. If that helps at all.
That's a tought one, I was sort of in the same boat awhile back. I knit a dishcloth as a thank you to one of my mom's friends and she liked it so much she asked if she could pay for a couple more. I am set against knitting for money because I'm afraid it'll become a "job". Plus if I put a fair price on my time (since the materials are next to nothing!) they start to get pricey. I ended up saying I would charge her only for the yarn but it would be a long wait because of the list of projects I had one the needles already. And then my mother started knitting dishcloths and made them for her anyway. Good luck, just don't sell yourself short (or make it become work!) ; )
I have a website to sell the dishcloths that I have made. The ballband dishcloths that are on there are $3.25 a dishcloth. I hope that might help.
I've never sold my dishcloths, but I just thought I'd
mention that if you plan to sell items you make from
a pattern that you did not design yourself, you must
have permission from the pattern designer. Many
pattern designers sell cottage industry licenses
(though some might give you permission at no cost). In
any case, I would look into it before you make any further plans.
Otherwise, you could find yourself in legal trouble.
Depends on how much you like the person!

or--you could offer to teach her how...
Thanks for the input y'all. I'm thinking I'm just going to have her pay me for the yarn. I'm the one having all the fun knitting, anyway. :) As far as teaching her to knit goes...she'd be great, I think, but she has an 18-month-old boy. Might need to wait on that!

Yeah, I did wonder about the pattern/copyright issue. Where it gets complicated is that I believe the book mentions that the ballband pattern is originally from Peaches & Cream.

I'm doing something for a charity auction in February, and I'm going to knit log cabin dishcloths for that one. No issues there.
A rule of thumb is material + 3x cost of materials.
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I think because this pattern is on the actual ballband, it would be okay to sell, but I would say yarn plus a little if it doesn't take you too much time and otherwise 5-10 a set seems reasonable (I would pay that and I can make them myself!!)
Thanks, y'all!
Hey kara, Just wanted to say that she may still be willing to learn to knit, I have an almost 3 year old, 2 18-mth-olds and a 3 1/2 month old and just started really hardcore knitting a year ago. It's a major destresser and helps with the sitting and watching them play. Washcloths would be great because if you drop a st or something, it's not the end of the world. Now I don't get a lot done quickly, but a few rows a day is nice.
I would charge the same price that Williams Sonoma would charge for a set. Hand knit washcloths are a high quality item and if they don't want to pay that much, then you know they wouldn't value your work enough. Probably like $20/set of 4.
Instead of charging a dollar amount - what about some sort of barter/trade of your dishcloths in exchange for something she can offer?
Here is the email address for the company. The fact that the pattern originated on the ballband does not change copyright and selling.
If you bought the yarn, you have bought the pattern on the ball band. Plus it is ubiquitous. If you bought the Mason Dixon knitting, you have also bought the pattern. I sold sets of 3 for $12.00. I am being very careful not to sell items made from free patterns, because of copyright, but if you buy the pattern I don't see why not.
"but if you buy the pattern I don't see why not."

Buying a pattern doesn't stop copyright law's existence. It doesn't mean you automatically have the right to sell things you make from said pattern. If it is permitted, it will say so in explicit terms in the copyright section whether it was a free pattern or a purchased pattern.
Where did you get the Sugar 'n Cream in such great colors? I can't seem to find it!
This gets even more complicated when you take into account that the ball band stitch pattern is printed in the Barbara G. Walker Treasury books under another name, and we all know that we are free to design whatever we want using the actual stitch patterns from her books. I should think this wound allow us some creative license to dsign our own versions of the ballband dishcloth, No? I would name mine "Not the ballband dish cloth" Or how about "The Unballband"?
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