I had to take a break from my crochet pattern commissions towards the end of last year, to keep up with my book deadlines. Now it’s time for me to start them up again, and this is a good opportunity for me to re-examine the process and see how I can improve it to make it more sustainable…
I love accepting commissions for new amigurumi patterns – I’ve come up with some very special designs that I’d probably never have got around to making, had they not been commissioned. Knowing that people believe and trust in my ability to create a certain animal makes me even more determined to get it right!
The idea of the commissions is great, but the reality of fulfilling them has contributed to my stress in the past year; my skin condition makes me essentially allergic to deadlines because it’s triggered by stress. The more pressure I feel, the more that manifests physically, and that only adds to my stress (as well as stopping me from taking any in-progress photos until my hands heal – a big problem when I’m trying to get a new pattern finished!)
I’ve thought long and hard about this, and here’s my solution: the new commissions model will have no hard deadlines. Expected time to completion will be 1-3 months, depending on when inspiration strikes. If the stars align and I’m not working on anything else, I may be able to complete a commission in 2 weeks! But if the design isn’t working out as planned, being able to set it aside for a while and let my subconscious mull it over while I work on a different project will be much healthier for me than the nerve-wracking running-out-of-time feeling.
You still end up with the same end result – no PlanetJune pattern is ever released until I’m satisfied it’s as good as I can possibly make it – but without the time pressure of the deadline, the process should run more smoothly and help keep me healthy enough to keep designing for many years to come. There’s a lot more that I want to accomplish, and physical or mental breakdowns aren’t part of that plan!
Dropouts and Top-Up Pledges
If you’re not happy about this change, I do understand, and I’m happy for you to cancel any pledges you’ve made towards future commissions. I’ll be emailing everyone who has outstanding pledges to confirm that they’ll still be happy to honour their pledges when the time comes for me to collect them. Please check your email if you’ve made any pledges!
If there are dropouts, some of the designs already in the fully-pledged waiting list may no longer be fully pledged, so I’ve come up with a plan – I think this is the fairest way to tackle it:
- I’ll offer top-up pledge spots to replace any dropouts, so you can pledge to keep a design in its place in the waiting list.
- Any design that receives enough top-up pledges to make up for the dropouts will keep its place in the waiting list (currently: Meerkat, Camel, Armadillo, Macaque [monkey], Bernese Mountain Dog, Miniature Schnauzer).
- Any design that is no longer fully pledged by Feb 1st (when I will begin the next commission) will lose its place and have to wait until I complete everything else in the queue before it has another chance to be commissioned.
So, if you particularly want any of the currently-commissioned designs, keep checking the Commissions thread in the PJ ravelry group over the next week for my updates (I’ve asked for all dropout requests to be submitted by Tuesday), to see if it needs your top-up pledge to keep its place.
I’m looking forward to picking up the commissions reins again! I wonder how many lovely animals I’ll have the chance to crochet this year, thanks to this scheme…