The Yukon Scarf in Amethyst (…to ETSY or not to ETSY, that is the question)

Introducing: The Yukon Scarf in Amethyst!

scarf3This particular scarf is 44″ in diameter and 5″ wide and loops twice around the neck (as shown in the photo.)

I think that if I’m going to knit things to sell, I’d like to help them stand out in a very crowded market by giving each pattern an individual name. I’ve decided to call all of the moss stitch infinity scarves the Yukon Scarf. I’ll then differentiate them by colour. Thus, this infinity scarf is The Yukon in Amethyst.

scarf1Right now I’m experimenting with different weights of yarn and different needle sizes to see what combination I like the best.

knit 1This one was knit on 6.5mm needles and the weave is quite dense. A larger needle will give it a looser, more open weave. I have one more skein of this, so will try that next and then compare the two.

I see some very expensive scarves for sale on ETSY that look to me like they are made from inexpensive yarns that I recognize as the kind you can buy at WalMart. Now, I’m not dissing WalMart. But here’s a question for you: Do shoppers care where the materials came from? (I’m asking legitimately, not sarcastically.)

scarf2Would it make a difference to shoppers if I advertised that I support local small business and purchase all my yarn at small independent yarn shops (like Intwined Fibre Arts in Salmon Arm, or  the Itsy-Bitsy Yarn Shop in Whitehorse)?

Of course, the more specialized you get, the more you pay for your materials. And the more you pay for your materials, the less profit you make.  For instance, I paid $20 for this particular skein of very high quality Peruvian fair-trade yarn. So already, the price to the purchaser has gone up to whatever my time is worth on top of that.

Where is the line between making a good quality product you can be proud of  and also earning enough $$ per hour to make it worth the work? (the eternal question of all artists in all genres.)

scarf4I haven’t even gone onto ETSY to see what’s involved in opening a store, let alone figuring out what to charge for my scarves. One thing at a time.

Thoughts? And if no thoughts, what’s on your needles today, eh?


  1. Crafters don’t usually get paid what they’re worth for their time (trust me, I know!) Where you make the money (or the write-offs) is getting a business license and save all your receipts and track what you sell and put it all on your tax return. You can even write off a portion of your utilities, house, taxes…

  2. Etsy is easy, so set your mind at rest on that one. The learning curve isn’t even all that steep. I think I’d like that scarf in a looser weave. As for where materials come from … well, if I’m paying $60 for a scarf, I want really good materials in it! If I’m paying $25, I want it to be durable, but I’m not expecting yarn that costs $8 a skein takes 4 skeins to make. There is a balance between fair price and earning a living, and you will find it. You may make a larger percentage of profit on one item and a smaller percentage on another, but it will all average out. Although Etsy is a great way to market, it may be that you want to start with craft markets and bazaars and see how that goes, close to home first. You have to be careful about the audience targeted by the market, though. You can’t sell $60 items to bargain hunters and those who say, “I could make that for a lot less.” =)

I'd love to hear your thoughts!