A couple of months back I had an email asking whether I would be interested in designing and knitting up 50 “St George Flag Headbands”for an Alpine Skiing Team.
At the time I had a few orders I was in the middle of, but emailed back and agreed to undertake the custom order.
During the past couple of months I have been working out the design that my customer would be happy with. Firstly, I had to find out the dimensions of the headbands and then what thickness he wanted them and what stitch pattern he wanted.
I originally hoped that I would be able to do the headbands on the knitting-machine as the thought of having to hand-knit 50 headbands seemed like a mammoth task. As I was hoping to use the knitting-machine I knitted up a couple of plain stocking stitch samples on the knitting-machine and sent them off to my customer.
Upon my customer receiving them he immediately informed me that they were much to thin and needed to be double the thickness. At this I thought okay I will try knitting them on the knitting-machine using double-knitting yarn instead of the original 4ply.
As I did not have any double-knitting yarn on a cone I sent off for a cone of silver grey. When it arrived I was immediately concerned as it was much thicker than hand-knitting double-knit yarn. I thought I would give it a go and set the tension to the loosest my machine would go to which was 10..
I knew it would be a struggle but little did I know that it would be impossible to knit on my standard gauge Brother 970 knitting-machine. The yarn was much too thick. I was aghast as it would appear that I would have to hand knit the headbands after all.
I emailed my customer and informed him that using the knitting-machine would be a no-go and I would have to do them by hand.
My next problem was which thickness of yarn to use. I immediately thought chunky as double-knit hand-knitting yarn would be too fine, so I again got onto the net and ordered a ball of chunky hand-knitting yarn.
Whilst I was waiting for the yarn to arrived I set to the task of what stitch pattern to use. My customer didn’t like the stocking stitch as it was too plain so I purchased some stitch pattern books and looked through them. I found a couple of patterns which may be suitable and emailed him pictures. He decided he liked the “Loop Stitch” pattern and we settled on that.
Once the chunky yarn arrived I set to knitting a tension swatch and worked out the stitches to cast on and the rows to knit. Maths is not my favourite subject but I managed it quite well and set to knitting the “Loop Stitch” headband. This is a picture of the final headband.
Once my customer received the headband he emailed me and mentioned that it seemed to be knitted quite tightly and would I be able to knit it looser. The reason it was tightly knitted was I thought the tighter it was knitted the warmer it would be (and it was very tough knitting it). I was so glad he wanted it looser as it was hard work knitting it tight.
After thinking about it I agreed to knit a sample headband with the St George’s Flag on it in Chunky yarn on a larger needle and the same headband using Aran weight yarn. He was happy about this and away I went again ordering more yarn.
Once the yarn arrived I set of knitting more tension gauges and did more maths and away I went.
I think they came out really well. The first picture is the headband using Aran weight yarn and the second picture is using Chunky yarn. Which do you prefer??
Once I had completed the headbands I immediately preferred the Aran weight yarn and tied some yarn in a bow onto it so that my customer would know which one I preferred and sent them off to him.
Once he received them he immediately emailed me and confirmed that he also preferred the Aran weight headband and we agreed to commence with the order with a couple of differences. He now wanted 25 St George’s Headbands and 25 of various other flag headbands. I agreed to knit the 25 St George Headbands first and work out the other ones at a later date.
I set off working out how many balls of yarns of the two colours I needed and sent away for them. they arrived last week and as I have completed the order I was working on I began the headbands yesterday.
I have now completed one headband and have cast on for the second….I am bored of the headbands already but as it is a good order then I will persevere. I am hoping to have the 25 completed in plenty of time for Christmas (they take in excess of 4 hours to make each one) and will begin the last 25 after Christmas.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about how I work through an order from beginning to end and would enjoy hearing about your process of orders….