I finished this project a while ago, but I put off blogging about it, just in case. These mittens are a commissioned project for someone’s mom. I didn’t want to take the chance of spoiling the surprise!
Project: Borough For Sale
Designer: Veronica O’Neil
Available: FREE! on Ravelry
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Alizarin
I followed the pattern exactly, with one notable exception. (See mitten surgery below!) My friend’s mom really, really wanted flip-top mittens, but she couldn’t find what she wanted in shops. She asked if I ever knit on commission, and I quoted her my rates … which usually scares people off. (For custom work, I charge $0.25 per yard in the finished object.) She didn’t even blink at the price — so we chose yarn, and I got to work.
After completing the first mitten, it was clear that I would be short yarn by about ten grams. It’s not uncommon for a pattern to be a bit off … it’s frustrating, but true. I should have suggested ordering a second skein to be safe — especially since hand-dyed yarns like Madelinetosh can be difficult to match across skeins. I ordered a second skein from WEBS and crossed my fingers …. but it didn’t work. The new skein was WILDLY different — I couldn’t use it with the yarn I already had.
What to do, what to do? The pattern as written had generous cuffs. I decided I could salvage the necessary 10 grams from the cuff of the first (already-completed) mitten, and make the second mitten with a matching shorter cuff.
To begin the surgery, I put circs through at the beginning and end of the section I planned to cut out. I was very careful to catch ALL the stitches.
Next, I cut the yarn a few inches before the top, and carefully picked out the row below the circ there.
It was easy to rip back to the lower circ. I wound the salvaged yarn into a tiny precious ball, and left just enough yarn attached to graft the cuff back together.
Here is the grafted cuff — you can see a bit of loose grafting if you look closely, but it is nearly seamless.
3 thoughts on “FO Friday: Borough For Sale”
Adversity fuels creativity! Great job and mittens too. I once designed a pair of hooded fingerless mitts for a musician who wanted caps on the thumbs too! I never had heard of charging by the yard – interesting. Is that what you do for any commission? A friend of mine charges 3x the cost of the yarn, but when I take commissions (which is rare) the price depends on size, complexity of design, if it’s my original design or a published pattern, AND cost of yarn.
I don’t use cost of yarn as the base, because that doesn’t account for cheap yarn or for complexity of pattern. I did some sample work for a yarn company, and they paid by the yard — the rate varied with complexity. So, if I knit on commission, it’s cost of yarn plus rate x yardage.
Wow- that was impressive!