I started my first proper commission in early January 2017. A pretty lacy but chunky sofa afghan. I wanted to make something professionally for someone to see how long it would take me, how much to charge and what making something that I didn’t choose to make would do for my motivation and interest. I’m not a great lover of making afghans I get what I call “blanket fatigue” when I’m half way through. Then I go into “blanket mourning” when I’m finished. I always feel I’ve lost something when I’ve finished a big project, I get an emptiness that must be filled by something new to make. This feeling of mourning is usually counteracted by having the item with me to look at. So making an afghan to give away is a new thing for me and in hindsight I really enjoyed it.
My friend is the lucky recipient of the afghan blanket commission. We spent some time talking about where and what she wanted to use it for. She took some pictures of a very pretty rug she had just bought, we discussed colour and I checked out what I thought would meet the brief.
I’ve been really lucky that the commission has worked so brilliantly. I put this down to a strong understanding of my friend and her likes and dislikes. In future I’d like to put together a mood board to check I’ve got the colour, feel and pattern right for the client setting out the inspiration before I start.
When we first discussed an afghan for her lounge we started with some items I’ve already made. My friend really liked the shawl I made last year, shown above, a triumph for me as it was my first complicated pattern. I took my time with it so it took a while but the result has been beautiful and has stood up to a lot of wear over the last few months. I’ve been using it as a scarf rather than a shawl. This shawl project was a real turning point for me, it helped me to realise that I am a very good crocheter and was the trigger to start this blog to record what I learn as I make new things.
My shawl is similar in style to her beautiful rug, shown above. Since finishing the afghan I want to find a pretty dollie pattern for a side table for her with colours to compliment her pretty cushions. The pattern looks like pineapples to me so I’m researching pineapple thread crochet patterns now.
Making a blanket is an emotional journey, I started this one with the most amazing enthusiasm and made the first few squares relatively quickly. It wasn’t the only project I was working on at the time, the crochet hearts where a also a being created. I have found that something quick in between something that’s more time consuming works really well to keep my interest and motivation levels high. It counteracts the”Blanket Fatigue”, as mentioned earlier, when I am half way through a big project its hard to see the end and my enthusiasm wanes so doing an alternative small project really helps.
For this project I bought the most essential crochet accessory, a granny blocking board. It has totally transformed the quality of my work. It made the end result so much more professional, I recommend investing in one for anything you make from granny squares. The test squares for my next project are already perching on the block for better shape. You can see the before and after results above.
Yarn, Pattern and Hooks
For this blanket I used Drops Alpaca Eskimo Uni colour in shade 52, light blue grey, super chunky. In total I used 23 balls and crocheted with a size 8mm addi swing hook. All purchased from Woolwarehouse. The pattern is a Drops Designs free pattern called Winter Crystal. Drops website and patterns are excellent there are even video tutorials if you get stuck or if there is a new stitch you haven’t tried before. I really liked the big wool its so quick to make. You could use this afghan as a bed throw as below, I’ve shown you below what it might look like. I can see it in all sorts of colours. This pattern is a beautiful way to bring crochet up to date, it shows a different perspective on what’s possible.
If you are interested in a paid for commission, I am happy to make something for you. I don’t yet have an online shop so please contact me via the Contact page on the main menu bar of this page.
4 thoughts on “My First Commission – Crochet Afghan”
That came out so beautiful! I like your ideas for really customizing the project for your future customers – that is a nice added touch. You should really promote the design consultation since I think people really don’t fully understand what is involved with big crochet projects. I can totally relate to the ‘blanket fatigue’ and ‘blanket mourning’ – I go through the exact same thing!! I think that I even take longer to do the last quarter of a blanket because I don’t want it to be finished!! 🙂
Thank you so much, the art and design side of crochet gets forgotten, you can do so many amazing things that doesn’t have to be a traditional granny square 😀
beautiful work. i think i’m gonna invest in a granny square blocker as well. do you put the granny square dry ? or do you wet it first and let it dry into shape?
I did them wet first then let them dry because they were quite loose I’ve made some smaller ones in cotton since and they’ve shaped beautifully without being washed. It really is worth the investment, I now want one that has holes in lines instead of diagonals so I can get more squares on the block. The diagonal holes limits how many you can do in one go.