Thursday, I got a call from The Knitting Tree, L A about a job from the Prop Master at American Broadcasting Company (ABC), who wanted a 30 x 50 inch crochet afghan by Tuesday for a television series called Young & Hungry. Five days to make the afghan. At right is the picture of an idea he wanted. I told him to continue looking for someone because I did not want to say yes, unless I could enlist the help of another person, ensuring I could meet the deadline. Once I secured the help of someone, I called him back, we discussed pricing – based on my normal pricing schedule, which I have been advised is too low – and sealed the deal.
I went straight to the store to buy the yarn and encountered dilemma number one: was there going to be enough of the colors/yarn weight requested? With respect to color, I was doubtful on the navy; with respect to the yarn weight, I was doubtful there was enough white yarn. The store suggested double-stranding a lighter weight and I reluctantly accepted the suggestion. Later, when I got home, I found more white yarn in the correct weight, feeling more secure. However, I ended up using the double-stranded lighter weight yarn because I gave the worsted weight to the person that offered to help. Here is what I ended up buying:
Schachenmayr Bravo Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 08224; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Universal Uptown Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 318 Navy Blue; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Universal Uptown Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 308 Baby Blue; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Cascade Cherub DK (Fiber Content: 55% Nylon/45% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 01; Yarn Weight: 3, DK, Light Worsted)
I must mention that I am very impressed with the Universal Uptown Worsted and will probably make that my acrylic, worsted weight yarn of choice for future afghans.
I got two of ten strips done the first night. The next day, I get a call from the prop master, suggesting that if he paid an extra $100.00, could he get the afghan by Monday, allowing him more time for framing. I agreed and immediately sought more help from two more people that arrived at the store later Friday afternoon. Let me mention that if took a while for person one to match my gauge, using a hook two sizes larger; person two, a hook one size larger; and person three, a hook three sizes larger.
On Friday, person two expressed that she did not want to seam her squares together. That screwed up my payment schedule and was not appreciated. The quality of person three was not up to snuff, but she offered to seam all the squares/strips for me.
On Saturday, person one brought me enough squares for two strips but had left all the tails, which I discovered later – when I was informed by the seamer – were not long enough to work with. Unfortunately, the seamer advised me after she discovered one square, that had already been seamed, began to unravel. By this time, person two had stopped contributing accomplishing enough squares for one strip. By the end of Saturday, all squares had been completed and seamed. That is when I called the Prop Master, who informed me that the afghan was no longer going to be framed, and that he would like it larger: 36 x 54 inches. I was already having issues due to my method of seaming, which was causing cupping of the squares, thereby shortening the length and width.
On Sunday, I crocheted the extra 24 squares necessary to make up the difference in width and length and person three seamed them into place. This was a big accomplishment, allowing me time to wash the afghan, checking for construction quality. When I called the prop master to check in regarding the process, I left a message requesting the original deadline, as it was not longer being framed and he conceded. Phew!
On Monday, as I was tying sewing in the loose ends and resewing the loosened ends, I discovered at least five more squares that were unraveling. Aiyaa! Because it would have take more time to remove them, remake them and replace them, I took a shortcut: cosmetic touch up. I also began the border.
Today, I was just about to finish the border when the prop master arrived at the store. He grabbed some lunch while I finished the last half of the last round, came back, admired the afghan and made the purchase.
While I am ever grateful for the help I received from persons one, two and three, I have learned some valuable lessons from this project:
- No one will ever match my standard of quality, just as I am sure I could never meet another person’s standard of quality
- I allowed my ambition to fulfill a life’s dream – crochet an afghan for a television show – to compromise my standard of quality, which led to me being dependent on others
- Unless all the yarn I estimate for a job is available at one time, I will not deviate or make concessions
- I need to take a deep breath before accepting jobs that I have never quoted and make sure I have consulted with others before committing to an estimate
- I discovered that I am blessed to know more people than I thought, who could have guided me more accurately regarding my price estimate
- If I ever solicit help from others, I need to be extremely specific as to my expectations
Overall, I am glad the project is done and cannot wait to see it on television. I received a phone call from one of my bosses while composing this post, inquiring if this was a done deal and if the prop master was pleased with the outcome. I can only assume he was pleased because he paid, unless he has some secret elves stashed somewhere that can crochet the same afghan overnight. My boss surprised me the confident suggestion that I would have been able to complete this project alone. Perhaps that confidence will instill itself within me for future projects. I am blessed to have such thoughtful employers, who allowed me to use the store as a workshop, arriving/leaving outside normal operating hours to work on the afghan.
The name of the afghan should be obvious and comes from the song by Smash Mouth from their 1999 album Astro Lounge.