Saturday, August 24, 2013

Finished set of coasters

I've quietly been taking orders for my crochet, mostly from friends. Ever since I posted up a baby blanket on my personal Facebook page a few months ago, to mostly show someone who I was making a blanket for, and someone asked if I could make one of those for their sister, who was having a baby.

This is my most recent order.

I like finishing them for presentation to the client in a pretty way: who doesn't. It's the mark of a personally made project.

These were a challenging project, because the client wanted soft neutral colours, with a mustard yellow to pop. Great colour choices, but out of the five colours, I could only get my hands on 2. I make my coasters these days out of cotton and only cotton. I can only buy the colours in cotton that I can source in Australia, and let me tell you these do not include mustard yellow OR grey. (Grey, possibly, but in a different brand of cotton (Bendigo Woollen Mills perhaps), and these are made up in 8ply Panda.)

This simply meant that I had to dye the yarn to suit the colours I wanted.

My issue: I had never dyed yarn myself before. Hell, I'd only ever dyed one piece of clothing!

So. This project not only took 2 months (I've gone from working one job 2 days a week, to 3 jobs, over 5-7 days a week.), but I went through a trial set, and three sets of dyeing. OMG.

Did you know that Panda White cotton DOES NOT LIKE TURNING GREY? In fact, it turns a beautiful shade of lavender. Which is honestly lovely, and I'm using it in a personal project, but HELLO I NEEDED TWO TYPES OF GREY. This led to me looking at the bowl of black dye that I had, and then at what other yarn I had. I tried Panda's off-white/ecru colour next. Perfect. I guess because it's more like a natural shade, which possibly got a fixative in it to make sure it stays white. I used THOSE greys on the trial coasters, which I made on the plane travelling across country to attend a funeral. (You can just get So Much Crochet Done on the plane!)

Of course, the next time I tried to dye some yarn grey for the final set, it wanted to go more lavender than grey. But, hey - it turned out well. (See greys above.)

Then I decided to offer the client the option to have a backing on the coasters, something else I hadn't done before. And of course, it was a yes! *laugh* So I went with felt, and I went to a craft fair the week I finished the coasters of, and picked up a really lovely soft bamboo/synthetic felt, which I just loved. I whip-stitched the backing to the coasters, and I think they worked SUPER WELL.

And the client was super pleased, which was the only point in the end :)