Published April 10, 2014 by Jackie

On the subject of commissions: I really don’t take on commissions, but just now and again, I will be asked for something specific. If it’s one of my nieces, I can usually work around the request and find something I want to make. Eleanor asked for grey speckly gloves with fingers ~ fingers are fiddly! My friend was destashing some dk weight yarn, charcoal grey, with tweedy flecks, perfect ~ so based on that yarn, a quick search through Ravelry found Glittens, mittens with two fingers and a thumb, live long and prosper! I think they are interesting enough for me, and quirky enough for her, so a perfect match (or at least I hope so!) and thick enough to be a quick knit!

But a colleage (now former) asked me if I might be interested in making a colourwork waistcoat for her husband. I changed jobs, and our plans drifted, but we recently met up again, and her husband raised the topic of his waistcoat. So it is back on again! She’s said she will pay for the yarn, but I honestly think she has no idea how much that will cost. Husband is tall, so long body, but also slender.

A recently issued pattern, for something very like what I want to make, would come in at at least £75 to £80 for yarn if I bought all the yarn specified. And is she not valuing my knitting time? A noted knitwear company expressly state that one of their colour-work sweaters takes approx 90 hours to knit. I value my knitting skills as highly as I value my abilities in my paid job, where I earn approx £12 per hour, but £12 x 75 hours equals £900! plus yarn costs? Minumum Wage brings that cost in at around £475 and Living Wage adds £100 to that.

But here’s the thing, I really would like to make this…. Maybe I just have to give her a real idea of the yarn costs and the time it takes, and ask how much she would be willing to pay if she saw the right thing in a shop, or given the height of her husband, how much he paid for a made-to-measure 3-piece tweed suit… Noted knitwear company sells colourwork sweaters for approx £200, so maybe I have to base my figures on this instead.

And then if it’s just too much, even for a special present, I make it instead for my brother… shorter and fatter though he is.

Meanwhile I plan to spend my Easter break swatching… I have invested in £40 worth of base colour, and hope the rest can come from my stash.


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