One skein of Corriedale, commercially dyed, carded on a drum carder to make this blend, hand spun and plied.
What is it worth? How much do I value the time and expense of making it?
The question of worth versus value is tricky. It is a question that confronts me all the time - in terms of my hand woven textiles, my teaching and writing.
Some things are easy. The customer makes an offer - X number of dollars for Y services or products. All I have to do at that point is figure out if it is worth it to me to provide the service or product for that amount of money.
Other times I have to come up with the figure of what I think I am worth and see if there are any takers.
It becomes especially hard when people's expectations are vastly different from mine.
I am wrestling with this very thing right now in terms of The Book. I have already spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars learning this craft - with the workshops I've paid to attend, the samples I've woven, the failures that have taken up time and money simply to be a Learning Experience.
There are the services I will be paying others to do - from the editing to the other creative people who will contribute to the manuscript. In the end, how will I decide what to charge? Since it is going to be a book, there is hope that sufficient copies will be sold to add up to covering the out of pocket expenses of producing it (electricity to power the computer, printer ink to print out hard copies to edit - because I'm old school enough that I edit 'best' with a hard copy - the yarn for the woven samples, etc., etc., etc. - the stuff purchasers never even know that go into such an endeavour) not to mention the hours I've already spent and the hundreds of hours more that will go into the writing, designing of the learning examples, the editing (and editing and editing and editing).
There was a conference I attended where a participant was at the registration desk complaining bitterly about the $10 hand out fee she paid for the seminar she had just taken. The hand out consisted of two sheets of paper, single spaced, both sides, so four densely packed pages of information. Information that the instructor had spent years researching (I knew the instructor), and compiled as notes for the seminar she was presenting.
All the participant saw was 50 cents worth of paper, not the thousands of hours of research that had gone into the topic and the distillation of the information into hand outs she could take home and reference (there was a bibliography included).
To the participant, she was being 'ripped off' (her words). She did not see anything beyond the value of the paper she had been given. To her, the four pages of information had zero value.
So, how do I come up with a price for things like my teaching, writing, weaving? I don't know. There is no tried and true formula. All I can do is come up with a price I think is fair and hope sufficient other people agree - and purchase. Because even if you think a price is 'fair', it may still be out of your budget. I am all too aware of limited budgets...sometimes sacrifices have to be made - either giving up something else, or giving up the thing you want.
Everyone has to figure out for themselves if a service or product is worth the price being asked and how much they value it.