What feels like a huge milestone in my burgeoning crochet design career happened last week. No prizes for guessing, I've got my very first crochet commission. I'm over the moon (it makes me feel like an artist! Someone is paying for work that is 100% mine.) It's for one of my basic chains, and it came about in a way that gave me a little chuckle.
For all you social media lovers/haters, it was through twitter. I was having a conversation with a friend who I see on occasion, who had just recently popped up on twitter. We were chatting about what was going on, and he proceeded to rib me about the fact that I said I was crocheting "what are you knitting, a tea cosy? doily? limerick? psalm?"
I sent him a link to my chain, and long story short:
Having never been in a situation like this before, I'm sort of feeling my way around it. For one, as this is for a friend, I'm doing the chain at 'mates rates'. This is still no small sum, but taking into account the fact that each link takes me around an hour to complete, and that I'll need about 22 links to fit over an adult head, I'll probably be looking at an hourly rate that's not very far above the national minimum wage. I'm not worried about that too much, but I certainly wouldn't consider making this a regular price. I think that something around £10 for a hour of my time crocheting is more reasonable, considering that I know people who charge £25 per hour as 'artists' or 'expert' rates for skilled work.
Secondly, I am just about to re-write my chain pattern, with regards to what I recently learned about amigurumi. There's a part of me that thinks I should use the original pattern for this chain, but if I take the time to plan the new one first, I will have a shiny new prop to photograph before I hand it over, and anyone who sees this one out and about will see the improved version, so in terms of marketing itself, this must be better, even though it is likely that the newer pattern will take even longer than an hour per link. Once the re-write is done, I'm going to aim for one link per week day so it should be done in a month
- I'll see how I do with that
Finally, I'm planning on taking payment for this one once the piece is done. I'm not sure if this is more motivation than taking the money first, but it will at least be encouragement if my resolve begins to flag during the latter stages. Again, this is not the way I would regularly do things (and so perhaps not the way I should be doing it this time either, but
I'll learn from my mistakes.)
I hope one day to be able to build up a good stock of links so that I can list finished pieces like this on Etsy, that won't take me too long to finish. Do any of you ever undertake commissions? If you've got any words of wisdom, they'd be gratefully received.