Thursday, 19 June 2014

Day dreaming of maths and wages.........

One of my most frequently asked questions at shows is "how long did it take you to make that blanket?"
I hate answering this question and normally start off with the phrase "You have to remember this is my full time job"
When I tell the asker the answer, they are normally shocked and tell me it would take them years to make the blanket.
The  "You have to remember this is my full time job" phrase just doesn't seem to sink in.

I know its difficult for some people to understand that doing a hobby that you love can actually be work, but it can be and is for me.
Even my own mother-in-law doesn't understand, the last time she phoned up in the day time I was crocheting She asked "are you busy",
I said "Yes, I'm working crocheting one of the book blankets"
She laughed in a kind of "don't be stupid, that's not work!" tone.

I've been timing myself while making the book blankets and so now have a real idea of how long it takes me to make a blanket.
Of course it depends on the blanket.
I've just finished 2 blankets one is a king size in 4 ply which took about 8 weeks, the other is 60 x 60 inches in DK which took about 2 weeks.

I crochet and design part time or rather part time in my world.
I spend 4 days at home on the sofa drinking coffee, lazing around watching CSI or some other murder that I don't need to concentrate on.
And 3 days at the NDS studio in front of my laptop or dye bath and then 3 evenings of the same day's at home doing more crochet and not concentrating on something on the tv screen with Phil.

So I did some number's to see how much I would earn if I turned my hobby into a proper job.
3 x studio days, crocheting from 5 pm to 11pm = 18 hours
4 x home days, designing & crocheting from 9 am to 11 pm = 56 hours
= 74 crochet/designing hours a week.
- 4 hours for trips to the kitchen and a Friday night local's pint (or 2) at the Rising Sun
= 70 hours

If I were paid minimum wage at £6.30 (ish), I would earn £441 per week, according to the careers website below, if I classed my self a senior designer I could earn £2,800 per week.

  • The range of typical salaries at senior designer/creative director level is £41,000 - £85,000+.
Which means the 8 weeks it took me to make Book Blanket NO 2 would of earn't me £22,400, enough to mend the Zoom and buy a new car while the Zoom is at the garage having its engine replaced !
It also means that the blanket is worth £22,400 + yarn + 8 weeks of electricity and coffee + several seasons worth of DVD boxsets.
So when I'm asked how much I sell my blankets for £25,000 is a reasonable response, except that that doesn't take into account any kind of profit, all good business people know that you normally double the costs to come up with the retail cost.
Book blanket NO 2 will cost £50,000.

So if you'd like to pay my wages or buy a blanket I take credit cards, cash and paypal :-)))))

I'll leave you with a sneaky peek photo of Book Blanket NO4, just in case you feel the need to buy a blanket.....


  1. Well said Amanda, My City and Guilds Diploma useful 3D object is an embroidered felt chess set and boat that would cost £2500 if I'd paid myself to do it at minimum wage. Someone offered me £100 for it……it wasn't for sale. Unless they do handwork themselves folk have no concept of how long things take and how much imagination can be worth. If I had £25000 I'd buy your lovely blanket.

  2. Wouldn't it be great if it worked that way! Making a creative career work out financially is super tough and it requires wearing so many different hats. But if you can make it happen, it's so worth it!! Like Alison said in her comment, if I had £25000 I'd buy your lovely blanket. :)

  3. Here here! I am considering a shop at because the market they appeal to has a larger income. It's nowhere near your lovely £25,000 blanket but there are some on there for around £700 or so if I recall. It's so hard pricing things. I almost never end up paying myself, well, I am except it is a pittance, overheads are not included and it really is crazy.

  4. Lovely crochet blankets. Craft wool blanket needs hard job!

  5. I would consider what you do as 'textile designer' rather than 'fashion designer', which is a considerably different salary grade :

    1. Dear Anonymous

      Thank you for your comment.
      You have missed the whole point of the post.
      Whether I class myself as a textile designer, fashion designer or fine artist is totally irrelevant as in reality I probably get paid less than 50p an hour.
      The post was simply about putting a monetary value on my work.