I made a sweater! My second, technically, since the first was a just a starter sweater – more of a shrug. This was legit though, so I can now assess how good I feel about having made a sweater, and whether I would do it again.
Malabrigo Yarn in Polar Morn for $27.
Pattern from Customfit for $12.50. (Which, BTW, is a cool idea. You input your measurements and it customizes the pattern to your shape)
I already had knitting needs and notions. I’m also excluding the value of my time, because that would make the sweater cost about a billion dollars. More on that below.
Oh boy, well, countless time by the TV and at least 2 eight hour road trips. I did a bad job counting but if I had to ballpark it I’d day 50 hours. So…factoring in that cost is a bit of a doozy. Just for fun with numbers, the average salary for workers manufacturing good in the US was $22/hr last year, so let’s call it $1,100 in cost of time. But let’s say I’m just a bad knitter. Some googling shows a proficient knitter can knit a straightforward pattern in about 30 hours, which would “only” be $660 worth of time. Really makes me want to buy nicer wool the next time I bother to make a sweater. And fix my mistakes. It’s worth it when you are making a $1,139.50 sweater.
But was it actually worth it for me?
Worth $40? Eh…maybe? This one is a tad funky because I’m not very experienced with sweater-making, but it’s comfortable, practical and nice looking. With some practice I could get it to look more like a sweater I might buy instead, like this one for $89.
But worth the all the time costs in addition to the material costs? I’m not sure. I enjoyed knitting it, but I don’t think I enjoyed it enough to make it the best investment of my time.
There is something to be said for getting out of the fast fashion food chain. When I look at sustainable fashion sweaters in a similar style, the prices are much, much higher ($100 – $1000, depending on where you look). But not quite my TVM cost, no surprise!
I think my verdict is that sweaters might be best left to those who LOVE KNITTING SWEATERS A LOT or professionals. I might dabble here and there with another sweater, but by and large I’m not sure it’s my thing.