Sample garments - the trouble is that people keep wanting to buy them. Mostly if something's for sale I'll put a price tag on it but, of course, people just wandering past the window don't know that - they see something nice inside and think 'that'd be great for whoever' and before you know it you're explaining sadly that no, it's not for sale. I do have the phone numbers of a few people who will knit for money but in the case of larger items the price would almost certainly be prohibitive. How much is dozens of hours of knitting worth? More than most people want to pay.
Knitting's slow. I'm a fast knitter, but it's still slow. Compare running up a pair of curtains on a sewing machine - all you have to do is edge the fabric, add a little tape maybe. With knitting, before you do anything else, you have to make the fabric itself. It's never going to be viable, is it? Except sometimes for cute little things.
And y'know, I think there's an image problem too. Everyone's mum knitted so everyone thinks it's dead easy. Well, so is everything once you've learned how to do it - playing the flute, growing herbs, re-wiring a house. It's all easy if you've been trained and you've got a slight predisposition towards it.
What knitting needs is a re-launch. We need to nurture the idea that handmade is fabulous, that artisan knits are preferable to shopbought in the same way artisan breads are preferable to white processed. Sometimes anyway - there's a time and a place for everything (and you can't beat Warburton's white for toast...) but wouldn't it be great to see knitting skills revered?
No, I don't know how I got to re-launching knitting from a sample garment problem either.