Friday, July 22, 2011

Putting it Together - Spool Knitting

Most of you must know what this is. We used to make these out of wooden spools and 4 nails when I was a kid. You make a rope or tiny knit tube with yarn and this little gadget.

I got this for Poppy's 7 year old. The fascination was short lived so I swiped it thinking I could make some nice neck chains for my Felt flowers. The other night I thought I would experiment with it. I "watched" a Dr Who that I had already seen and worked on the chain. I say watched, because I found that I had to keep my eyes on the craft constantly, otherwise I might not "pick up" all the bottom threads. I've seen some homemade ones that use little paddles instead of posts and I'm wondering if that might be easier to use.

Not only was this more concentration intensive than I imagined, after the 1 hour show was over, I had only 12" of chain done. As I have said in yesterday's post, at an average of $6 an hour for minimum wage (I know, not all states are the same, and I wouldn't want to live in Kentucky), that's not great money. I'd need a much longer piece for what I wanted to do, long and doubled, at least 60 inches. That's 5 times my original piece! At that rate the chain alone would be $30 not including material or other fees involved.

Maybe it was me. I could make it faster, I'm sure! So I tried it again, and again and still the same results, no matter what I did. I'm pretty fast at crafting too. I would probably have to charge at least $35 for that darn 60" rope chain with nothing on it, just to make minimum wage. Would you buy it?

I think I'm going to try some more timing experiments like this. Would you like to see more? Let me know if you can do this faster.


LazyTcrochet said...

Nope. not worth my time either! I got a small loom for my daughter to make leg warmers. Nope. Takes way too long LOL.

Jane said...

Cinders, we made these for the kids. My husband, ever the perfectionist, designed posts using paper clips instead of nails (like I had growing up.) The paper clips allow you to put a crochet hook up the middle and pull the yarn up and over. (He's always interfering in our crafting....but in a good way.)

I bought a sweater knitting machine at a garage sale and have knit some sweaters on it. I hate knitting I cord so I made a 4-stitch wide "cord" on the machine. I was felting the cord for a purse handle and it worked perfectly, even though it wasn't a tube. It curled in like a tube. So, unless you have a machine, I don't think you could increase your rate.

I'll let you know if any other ideas come to mind.

Melissa Lynn D said...

I think that's the dilemma of handmade - it takes so long to do it by hand that to make a profit, the artist must charge much more than what people can get it for in a store. Only those dedicated to buying handmade will pay the extra unfortunately.

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