Commissions are interesting things… I have a love-hate relationship with them.
On the negative side, you can end up working with a yarn you don’t like, or making an item that you find deeply unappealing. There’s also the issue of deadlines; it takes quite a long time to make many items and clients sometimes do not appreciate this. Then there’s the need to manage expectations: handmade items are very variable and are always individual: however closely you follow a pattern and ensure you use the same yarn there are going to be differences, which customers who are used to buying mass-produced items do not always appreciate. And finally there’s the problem of making sure your time is not undervalued… an almost impossible task sometimes!
However, commissions can encourage you to broaden your horizons and have a go at something you would never have dreamed of making otherwise. They also provide the opportunity to use new materials and sometimes an excuse to work with a yarn you’ve been hankering after for a while! In addition, you can really make someone’s day when you hand over the finished object… especially nice when you get some money or a bartered object in return. Lastly, you sometimes get to buy things you would otherwise never have owned (however temporarily)…
Today I had the joy of receiving a package to allow me to continue work on a commission. In fact, to be honest, I’m not sure that this particular piece of work will get bought by the person who originally asked for it, as I’m not certain she’ll like the way it comes out, but I know someone will want it at some point. The original request was ‘could you make a dragon scarf?’ To clarify, this is a scarf in the shape of a dragon rather than a scarf for a dragon (I don’t fancy knitting with rockwool!). I found a pattern and immediately started making modifications before realising that I was going to need some suitable eyes. I don’t often make toys, so I don’t have safety eyes… I usually sew them or use buttons… but in this case I really wanted to use some slit-pupil safety eyes.
And so started the internet hunt. This resulted in the discovery that pretty much the only such eyes I could get in the right size in the UK were yellow. Of course, I’m awkward, and I wasn’t convinced that yellow would look good, in fact I wasn’t sure what colour I did want. So, away to etsy to see what was available…. whereupon I found a wonderful shop selling eyes of all shapes, sizes, colours and varieties… in the US. After a little dithering I decided to bite the bullet and order a selection pack. Apparently, these are suitable for ‘dragons, frogs, cats, mermaids and fairies’:
So, this morning I have been having fun with them. Crochet is great: being full of holes you can insert and remove the eyes as much as you like until you are happy with their placement and your colour choice. I still can’t quite decide which to use but I have enjoyed playing…
I rather like the red as there are red flecks in the yarn. What do you think?