The eyes have it

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’:

A lovely selection of colours

A lovely selection of colours

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?

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32 Comments

  1. I like the red or the mauve/blue. If you need eyes let me know (I have a UK supplier). Xx

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  2. Definitely red to go with his fire breathing antics.

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  3. Wow. That’s kind of hard to decide. I like several. The red definitely looks good too though. So cute!

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  4. The red are perfect. Especially for a dragon, not so much a mermaid !!!

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  5. You describe the nature of commissions perfectly, and having been through lots of processes around it, I have decided never again! It’s mainly the time pressure that takes the enjoyment out of making the item that makes it too stressful for me. Oh, and the red eyes for a dragon seem perfect!

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  6. I love the selections of colours you bought, Jan – I tend to stick to greens for the slit-eyed safety eyes – although I’m not sure which colour I prefer, as they all have their own appeal, don’t they? šŸ™‚

    I’ve just used a pair of green slitted eyes on a Gecko I’ve made for a friend – it really does give the right ‘look’ to any kind of reptilian species and, as you said, can also be handy for other creatures too šŸ™‚

    If I remember rightly, I think I bought my selection from a UK eBay seller – I think I’ll have a look-see to find them again šŸ™‚

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  7. You listed all of the reasons why I will never do commissions! Ha! ^_^

    I think the red eyes are a great choice. šŸ™‚

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  8. I like the green eyes, and the wide spacing is good……

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  9. Love your little Purple People! I too like the red ones best, they seem most dragonish of the selection.

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  10. Accurate assessment of ‘commissions’ they are really scary!!

    Those eyes are fun and re the colour, here’s my tuppence worth [all completely subjective of course] …….. For me not the white, but all the others work. It depends what look you are going for. The red stand out and would become the focal point of the scarf – the mauve blend in more and would make the dragon ‘friendlier’. The other colours tend more to the complementary side and therefore will become more striking – all are ‘friendlier’ than the red. Then of course there is placement – that will make the final decision on the temperament of your dragon šŸ™‚ I look forward to seeing what you will finally create!

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    • My client was rather taken with the yellow cross-eyed arrangement… not what I would have predicted, but there is no accounting for other people’s taste!!

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      • It’s incredibly subjective! Personally I wouldn’t consider wearing a dragon around my neck to start, that’s how subjective it is. She chose the complementary colour which means she wants to stand out. Got to admire that! šŸ™‚

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  11. I prefer the mauve eyes definitely if the dragon is to be made from the purple wool. Fancy having a dragon of anything but red in Wales.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx

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  12. I think the blue or orange would work well. Love the wool :). I doubt I would ever be good enough to make a commission piece but I really admire people who are šŸ™‚

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  13. Well, I love the red–very dragonish, but if the client likes the yellow, there’s your answer. The blues make me think of an octopus or perhaps an underwater dragon.

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  14. I personally like the quirky two different colours best, the pale blue is pretty too. I feel your pain, its very difficult to make the decision, specially on something which has taken so much time and effort and skill to make. šŸ™‚

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    • I’ve now been convinced by the client that she really does want yellow, so that’s what it’s gong to be. I started off with the mis-matched eyes as a bit of fun, but actually I too like the quirkiness šŸ™‚

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  15. Is he a moody dragon? An angry dragon? A goofy dragon? You have eye possibilities for them all! I think you’re having too much fun!!

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  16. I LOVE eyes and usually get mine from Michelle from suncatchereyes.com. Fair dinkum not a plug just a great source of eyes for the discerning amigurumist! Yes! I like the red. šŸ˜€

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