How does an artist put monetary value on their work? This is a universal issue faced by artists everywhere. We pour our heart and soul into our work and to price that work is like trying to put a price on the head of one of our children.
As I thought about it I decided it is not only the materials you are purchasing, it is my expertise and my vision that turns wool into beautiful yarn that you will want to take home and use.
I finally came up with a formula that is based on the work I put into the yarn.
I calculate the following:
The cost of the raw material
A per ounce fee that covers wool processing and the cost of additional items carded into the wool prior to spinning:
I then pay myself $12.00 per hour. This means that a small Nugget of a single chunky yarn takes me far less time that 4 oz 2 ply fingering weight yarn, thus it costs less.
There is more to the process that takes time, but this is how I have chosen to reimburse myself for the art that I create. Other artists will choose a different method and that is OK.
I work from a home studio which actually used to be the formal dining room. It is open to the rest of the house where I live with my husband and an extra cute little terrier named Maggie. Maggie does not ever come in contact with the wool or the yarn, but she does live here. Our home is smoke and cat free.
After spinning all yarn is washed and hung to dry before being packed away in plastic bins for protection until it leaves for a new home.
Wool shrinks when it comes off the niddy noddy and then when it is washed and the twist sets, the length changes again.
I have not invested in equipment to re-skein the yarn; therefore, I lay the yarn flat and measure the length of the hank. Next I count the wraps and do a little math to come up the approximate yardage. This is art not science. I always round down, meaning that if in doubt you will always receive slightly more rather than less yardage.
Because even consistently made hand spun yarn varies slightly in thickness, the guidelines used for commercial yarn are not always applicable to hand made yarn.