Thursday, March 07, 2013

Custom Crochet

The photographer I've been working with has a partner who ordered some custom hats at the start of the year.  I haven't shown them because I've been hoping for her pictures, but recently she sent me an email with a picture and asked about getting a custom hat or blanket to match the picture.  The blanket in the picture was crocheted in a chevron pattern, and the earflap hat was done in thick stripes.  She loved the colours, and the stripes, but decided on just the hat.  I went stash diving and found 3 out of four colours, though I wasn't overly thrilled with them.
So I went to my favourite yarn store, Value Village, LOL.  Nothing in the yarn section (not surprised), but while browsing around the sweaters, I turned around and saw this little boy's sweater:

It had three of the four colours, but was missing the green--the same colour I couldn't find at home (I had some Paton's Classic Merino in the right shade, but it's too delicate).  So I headed to Michaels and found a green, though I wasn't 100% happy with it.

I unravelled the sweater.  I wish I knew it's story.  It was obviously handknit with love, and looked like it hadn't been worn.  The brown in the body was different than the brown in the sleeves--different dye lots?  Then the placket had been done in one of the browns, and the collar in the other.  Something was very odd with the cast off---the last two inches were cast off in the opposite direction.  The yarn was finer than I was expecting--it looked like a worsted or DK in the sweater, but unravelled, it was much finer looking.

I started with the yarn doubled (except the green, which was a worsted weight) and rows of half double crochet, one row per colour.  I pretty much had it done, but was not happy.  I swatched and swatched and started again, but still not happy.  Swatched some more. 

The end result was two rows of hdc in white, then one row in a colour, matching the colour sequence to the original picture (I couldn't find my styrofoam ball, and this was the only thing in the house that is close to the right size/shape LOL).

My colours seem a bit darker than the inspiration photo (and it doesn't seem as white as I was hoping--it did look white when it was the sweater!), but that could be because of editing of the original.

When I crocheted the first one, I cut the yarns with each stripe.  What can I say...I had swatched and thought that was the right design!  Add to the fact the yarn was originally from a striped project....and then I doubled it.... when I unravelled it, the small balls ended up even smaller.  So, the final result had quite a few ends to weave in.  Then I changed the earflaps.  I was able to use up lots of small pieces to make the braids though!

In the end, I was pleased with it.  It was something different for me--I would never have picked those colours, or chose crochet.  It's fun to make something specific for a client, although it makes me a little nervous too!  It's one thing to have a general idea, and run with that, and it's something else to try to totally match a picture.  I definitely won't shy away from it though!
The yarn from the sweater was already counted.

Yarn In:  4892gr
Yarn Out:  1244gr + 60gr = 1304gr
Balance: 3588gr more brought IN than out
Costs: $141.54/66 days = $2.14/day


Anonymous said...

You're so frugal. I don't know how you do it. That hat is so cute!! I'm sure your customer will love it. :)

TracyKM said...

Thanks Cheryl! She did indeed love it. Boyish without being in your face blue. Could still be used for a girl too.
I grew up in a very frugal house, and just can't pay full price for things LOL. I don't mind doing a little work to save money AND have a unique yarn. I also don't mind collecting yarn "just in case" LOL.