Mom & Daughter Time


My mom taught me to crochet and as we’ve gotten closer to January… I’ve been working to convince her to join me in my crocheting ventures for 2020. She hasn’t crocheted in 20+ years. On December 14th, she FINALLY agreed. I am so excited about this.

  1. It will be nice for Jude the Great Nephew, plus the nephews, nieces, and the kids (me/siblings) to have things my mom made us.
  2. A few days a week, I will get to spend time with my mom, just hanging out watching some movie or TV show while we both crochet. I spend so much time writing during the day, that even though we are home together, I estimate we only spend about an hour together until the evening when we watch TV as a family.

Now, the other day, I searched Kindle for free ebooks on crochet and knitting. I found dozens and even more in Kindle Unlimited. I downloaded about 8 of them (including some on amigurumi). I was browsing one of them the first night I downloaded them and discovered that for 20+ years, I’ve been doing the triple stitch wrong.

With this plan in place, I have decided that as I fill my bags with completed items, I will be placing some of them up for sale in my mom’s Etsy store and mom has agreed to act as my shipping agent, since I suck at getting shit mailed. Mostly, because I’m going to need to make money to pay for yarn… it gets expensive quick.

Now, I will be making tags for all of them that will be attached with Made by Hadena James, because a few people said it was important to them to get that tag. I will also warn, I don’t use a lot of cheap yarns… One pound skeins of Red Heart worsted doesn’t make soft scarves, hats, afghans, slippers, or socks… even if it is $2.99 a skein.

This means prices will not be cheap on them. The average scarf requires 2 skeins of yarn. If those skeins are speciality skeins, they average $4.99-$12.99 a skein and while I try very hard to buy them on sale or when I have coupons, those prices will be passed along. Meaning a scarf made with Cute as a Button (which is the super soft, chunky yarn I’ve been using that is white/grey) would be $10 in materials if I get it on sale, but could be as much as $15 if I don’t. Or god forbid, it’s an extra large scarf like the scarfket I’m making for my cousin Mel – 4 skeins of yarn is what I bought for it… 4 skeins of Homespun, thankfully on sale for $5.25 a skein; but is still $21. And there will need to be some kind of profit so I can buy more yarn or replenish what I used when it isn’t on sale (normally $8.99). I’m going to estimate every scarf will be marked up 20% – 40% above material costs (the profit scale will depend on amount of time as well as fancy stitches – making a ruffle is easy, but time consuming, making a lace border on a scarf is not easy and is exceptionally time consuming. This means it would cost $26.50… then there’s shipping.

Shipping is $8 or something insane if I use flat rate padded envelopes. Then there are the Etsy fees. And suddenly this scarf is roughly $37 with shipping and fees.

So, I decided to do a full calculation for a “regular” scarf that I made. I made a scarf for my nephew’s work wife that was Cute as a Button yarn and bordered by Bernat Velvet yarn. The scarf below:

Now, I got 5 skeins of Cute as a Button for free… which was excellent! If I had paid full price for it, it would have been 2 skeins at $5.99 a skein. I also got the Bernat Velvet Yarn on Pre-Black Friday sale. Full price, it’s $11.99. I got it for $6.79. Those three border rows used 1/4 of a skein. So price of the Cute as a Button was $11.98. The Bernat Velvet cost me $3 for this scarf at full price ($1.69 since I got it on sale). Material costs $14.98. Add 20% and you’re at $18 for the scarf with profit. Then you have $8 for shipping. And $4 in fees for Etsy. And now the scarf is $30…

The second scarf I’m making with these 2 yarns is way different. I used 1 and 1/2 skeins of Cute as a Button. And half a skein of the Bernat Velvet. So, $5.99 + 2.99 + 5.99 = $14.98. And it’s a bit fancier… so 30% profit because the bordering velvet was much harder to work with when I decided to do fancy stitches and make it more decorative. So, $20 for materials and profit. Then there’s the stupid $12 for shipping and fees… and we’re at $32 for that scarf. Pictures coming later – I’m keeping the final design from the receiver.

When you get into convertible scarves/cowls and start adding buttons and things, it gets even more expensive. Or as I mentioned before, making extra large wraps, scarfkets, extra wide infinity cowls, and things that use 3 or 4 or 5 skeins of yarn can get really really expensive fast. Or shawls with fancy stitches throughout… I follow a ton of crocheters/knitters who complain that they lose money when they sell the items, because people don’t want to pay the price for handmade items when they can go to the store and buy a mass produced scarf for $10.

Meaning part of the appeal of buying these items is that tag “Handmade by Hadena James”. And my stuff is definitely not for people allergic to dogs… Lola and Kelly are both super shedders (All collies should want to be brushed, unfortunately neither of my collie mixes like it) and there is no way to keep their hair and dander out of my yarn.

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