FO Friday: Borough For Sale

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!

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Project: Borough For Sale

Pattern: Borough

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.

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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.

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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.

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Next, I cut the yarn a few inches before the top, and carefully picked out the row below the circ there.

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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.

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Here is the grafted cuff — you can see a bit of loose grafting if you look closely, but it is nearly seamless.

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3 thoughts on “FO Friday: Borough For Sale

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

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