Monday, February 10, 2014

First Up for the Year

Right at the start of the year, I got a message asking if I can copy an item from a photo.  I'm of mixed opinion about this.  One, I like a challenge, but also worry that the client wants the item exactly like the picture, which is not usually do-able, and two, I feel bad using someone else's creativity.  Now, I'm not exactly raking in the dough here, but I don't want to take credit for someone else's design work.  However, I LOVE to see how others interpret my own designs, LOL!  As long as I get credit.  Now, if the original is a basic pattern, then I don't feel so bad (and often the non-knitting client has no idea that the item they love is so basic that it doesn't even need a pattern).

This project was like that.  I let her know that I do my best, but sometimes it's not possible to make an item exactly like an inspiration photo, so I inquire as to what they love about the inspiration.  She sends me the photo of a simple beanie with large black button, and a cowl.  The yarn appears to be a grey and white marl (twist).  No problem, but what yarn could I get to mimic the picture?  I googled and researched, and then I enlarged the photo and thought "Mmmm....considering the small crochet stitches (maybe hdc), and that there's only about 33 st around the head, it must be a thick yarn".  Then it hit me...maybe it was one strand of worsted weight grey and one strand of worsted weight white!  I sampled that up, and indeed, it matched the picture!

Poor lighting, above, but you can see the two strands of yarn and how they blend. In knitting, this doesn't always work well, as it appears blotchy. But in crochet, it is much more even! I have ideas for more hats now! Even the client thought maybe she'll get some for her daughters.
Got started on the hat, it took a few tries to get the gauge feeling good.  Ended up using the hook from Meg's new "Learn to Crochet" kit LOL.  Had to pause until I got her head measurement...good thing, since she was a little over 24"!  Then she said she wanted the cowl long enough to wrap twice, but a little longer than usual since most that she's tried feel a little snug.  Oooh.  Wasn't sure I was going to have enough of the white I was using (Decor).  Ripped a few rounds out and started alternating, one row white Decor (and grey) and one row a different white with the grey.  It all blends in pretty well.
Since we were leaving for our cruise very early Friday Jan 17, I really pushed on this set.  The length of the cowl scared me, but I used the largest hook I had and did double crochets, and each row was almost an inch high!  And it was very narrow, 12 dc wide.  I steamed it to make it a little drapier, since I didn't have a larger hook.
I didn't get the "ear to ear" measurement, but tried using a chart, however, the measurement it said seemed really long so I didn't go that long.  It's still too long though, and she asked me to adjust it (I have no problem with that, it was my mistake!), but she hasn't come by any of the times she said she would.  And, she still owes $5 :(
Here's the button, and the completed set.  Maybe I did trebles, and not double crochets in the cowl?  Gosh, I hope I wrote it down, LOL.  I did buy a skein of Red Heart, which I ended up not using.  I'm still thinking I might return it, but then again...a skein of white Red's not like it'll go bad, LOL.

Yarn In:  198gr
Yarn Out:  Hat:  95gr + Cowl: 180gr = 275gr
Balance:  77gr more used UP than brought in
Costs:  $4.57/42 days = $0.11/day

Nice to start the year off with a negative balance, LOL!  Not like last year!

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