Yesterday, I purchased this yarn…
…so that I can make this pattern…
…from this book:
This sweater is a commission for a contact from the store. When I work Sunday mornings, it’s
deathly slow it’s pretty quiet after the practice run groups go out, so I always have my knitting with me. “A” asked me several weeks ago if I would be able to make a sweater for her. Since I’ve done quite a few special orders over the years, I eagerly accepted the invitation!
“A” wanted something warm and cosy but not too thick, and NOT scratchy. I went through my personal pattern collection and presented her with a few choices. She chose the pullover, above, which is the one I hoped she would pick! I researched yarn, and presented “A” with four options. She chose the wool that would have been…my second choice, to be honest. But, I am not making the sweater FOR ME, and I always want my customers to be 100% happy with their finished piece of “wearable art,” as I like to call it. And the yarn you see, above, will be just fine for this sweater. [Sidenote: I do refuse to knit with a) cheap yarn b) a weight or brand that I know won't produce fantastic results - I've learned my lesson over the years!].
When I accept a special order from someone, I do include a fee for my time, and of course, the client pays for the yarn. Unfortunately, I could never make a living off of handknitting, as much as I love it, even if I knit 40 hours per week – this isn’t Parisian haute couture.
But commissions make for a welcome challenge, and each project is unique.
I love and adore making patterns which involve cabling - moreso than designs that feature colourwork. So, I can’t wait to get started on “A’s” sweater! Anyone want to start winding the skeins into balls of yarn for me?!!
“A”s” pullover will be my mindful project while I continue to mindlessly make this sweater for my mom. The first sleeve is almost complete (usually you knit sweater pieces in the order of back, front, sleeves, neckband; this pattern has you make the two sleeves first, for some reason).
Here are a few examples of other projects I’ve done over the past 15 years, or so. (I specify the time frame because, as you will see, a few of the models look a little dated; the beauty of handknits, however, is that they themselves stand the test of time, rarely going way out of style). And, yes, most of my earlier projects did feature intarsia).
I made the sheep sweater, below, for a co-worker when I worked at a local insurance company in the late ’90′s:
As sported by Lady Di…
A friend from my running group had me make this one for her mother:
This one was a favourite to compose:
I first made an adult version of the Cat Pullover for my mom; a co-teacher on her staff had me make the child’s size for her daughter.
My dad’s admin assistant’s children were very sporty; I knit this figure-skater cardigan for her daughter:
Socks are popular Christmas gifts. Another of my mom’s co-teachers on her staff hired me to knit SIXTEEN pairs of socks one year. Needless to say, I was a little “burnt out” on sock-making after that order!
Most requests have actually been for baby or toddler patterns – The Brother and SIL Ana have been especially faithful customers, requesting commissions to give to friends as “welcome baby” gifts. (They do get a family rate, haha!). I like doing the baby projects because recipients are so appreciative of the handmade gift. Believe it or not, though, baby-sized knits take about the same time to complete as adult-sized projects!
Another day, I’ll show you some of the baby patterns…
Seriously, now I am going to knit! (And watch a little Jersey Shore…really, can you get much more oxymoronic than knitting and Jersey?!!)
Do you like wearing handknits??
Me – luvvvv. And I keep sweaters for eons. I admit I have quite a collection, haha! No surprise, there…NOT a fan pieces that look like Auntie Winifred made them out of K-Mart yarn, though…
And B? No way – he’s warm in a long-sleeve shirt, so I’ve never been able to make him anything!
I DID start in on Freedom last night – got my standard 9 pages read before falling asleep. Yup, it’s a winner.