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Color ref when there is only one.

I make hand-crafted items. Such as hats, scarves, and stuffed animals. I crochet all of them out of Red Heart Super Saver yarn. It’s soft, washable, less chance of an allergy, and comes in a large verity of colors. When someone buys from me, I offer different shades of the color they want. Such as there is two types of pink, two types of blue, three types of green; some colors have three or four, some have one. Just one. Brown, orange, and grey, for example, have just one color option. When this happens, I try to offer other types of yarn, which might change the price.

Recently, I had a customer want an item where the color is not common. Red Heart is the ONLY provider of this color (in solid, some other companies offer it in stripes with other colors mixed in,) and they only offer ONE shade. Having literally no choice, I used this color. When the item was done (I’ll admit, it took me longer than I would have liked, and I’m sorry for that) I was told that they would have liked to have more say in the color. I felt like I had been slapped. I make it pretty clear what yarn I use, and that I try very hard to make exactly what the customer wants. I however did NOT have a choice in the color I used.

I need advice. What do I do in a case like this? This particular one said it would be okay, and just to go ahead and ship the item. I’m afraid in the future, however, if I get someone that ISN’T so easy. I can offer to dye it, but that still won’t give them a picture color reference until I dye the item, as yarn doesn’t dye alone without problems, if it dyes at all. So I’m still stuck with “give me a color reference” when there IS no other color. Ideas on how to handle something like this?

Edit :|: Thank you all very very much for the help! From now on I'm going to link everyone that commissions me to the yarn's site that has swatches, rather than just have it linked on my site. "Assume they don't read" kind of thing. And offer them to ship me yarn that they have if they wish for a discounted price. Thank you all again! You are all very helpful, and I'll take all this into practice.

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( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
I've had similar situations, I gave customers X amount of choices in media for colouring and they'd go "Use Y brand of super duper expensive markers you don't have and have never used!"

Oddly enough, the solution is to give people less choice. If you give people a lot of choice, they suddenly don't know what they want anymore and might consider options outside of those presented, which might not be realistic if they even exist.

Just ask if they have allergies and approximately what colour they'd like, then you decide on the yarn and supply the product. You're the expert on this matter, that's the reason they came to you in the first place.
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
In a case such as this, I would tell the commissioner that if they want a specific color, they need to provide the yarn itself. I personally have commissioned items and provided fabric/yarn to the artist doing the work for me. In some cases, there has been a compensation for cost, and in other cases there has not been. In all cases, the financial negotiations happened -before- I sent the fabric/yarn and I knew what was expected of me in financial terms.
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC)
That could be very useful. I hadn't really thought much of the commissioner providing the fur/yarn/materials themselves. For some reason I always judged it to be my job. This could be very useful, actually. Thank you! I'll keep this option open when taking on commissions with hard-to-find or color-specific materials.
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Jul. 28th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eveshka - Jul. 28th, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msmanuscript - Jul. 28th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eveshka - Jul. 28th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - willowistari - Jul. 28th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msmanuscript - Jul. 28th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lobotomysoup - Jul. 28th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eveshka - Jul. 28th, 2010 11:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lobotomysoup - Jul. 28th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eveshka - Jul. 28th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lobotomysoup - Jul. 28th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msmanuscript - Jul. 28th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eveshka - Jul. 28th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Jul. 28th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eveshka - Jul. 28th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC)
Did you explain up-front that there is a limited palette of colors due to the nature of yarn, or is it otherwise clearly stated on your page?

If you did, then that's really all you can do. It's like in fursuit building -- there's REALLY only so many different shades of colors. If your character is gray, I hope you like DF Gray or CR Gray Frost, because that's pretty much our options here beyond getting really lucky. Just be up front with customers about the nature of yarn and the limited color palette it provides, inform a client if a color they're requesting is going to be impossible to match %100, and see if they're okay with a compromise. Or, rather, inform them that their only option beyond (what sounds like a tricky process) dyeing the yarn is to accept the compromise.
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC)
I do say the type of yarn I have, and unless it got edited out by the site, I have a link to their website that has swatches on it. I'll be sure to start linking to each person now, just in case. I do let them know that I'll try my hardest to find yarn that'll match what they've told me, and give them images to compare X and Y if there is an X and Y.
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC)
If you say in your 'contract' (or warnings you give towards commissioners, more or less) that you're limited in all ways possible in your selection of goods to make the product they want AND even go out of your way to find a rare color they want and then have a problem with it?

What else can you do but remind them of your predicament, you did tell them after all and they'll have to deal with it. "More say the in the color.", you kidding me? It's limited shades in yarn, ya jerk.

You could link the type of yarn you use from a site or take a picture of the different shades you have so people will have an idea on what colors they can pick from or know what to expect before they something terribly rude like that.

If you also know that the yarn won't take the dye, then I say don't do it. Last thing you want is the colors to run and stain in their wash and they'll come back rambling about that. I say craft with what you have, and don't kill yourself over it.
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC)
If there are limited colors of yarn, would it be possible to put a list online somewhere of the colors that are available, perhaps with a little photo swatch as an example?

That way, you could direct all commissioners towards that color chart. Tell them that's what you have available, and if they want something different, they'll have to pay for possibly more expensive yarn, provide it themselves, and above all, tell you so ahead of time.
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
More or less this. I don't know if you told the customer beforehand about the limited colors thing-- maybe they really just didn't know it was so limited. I certainly can't name what brands of yarn come in what colors, hahaha.

Color swatches seem like a great idea, maybe with a reminder that pics can only show so much for the even pickier people. Most people should be pretty open to interpretation if they know your supply limit up front (aside from the people like Thaily mentioned, but yikes)-- for example, I have a character that comes in a really annoying shade of blue-gray, and short of shaving some Russian blue cats I realize that the chances of finding an exact match for any kind of traditional art is slim, rofl. 8D
(no subject) - msmanuscript - Jul. 28th, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
"my way or the highway"

show them the yarn you'll be using BEFORE taking any money using this http://s4.hubimg.com/u/2560955_f520.jpg

If they don't like the available colours, don't do the commission. It's that simple. I've had fursuit commissions I've had to turn down because we couldn't fine a suitable fur. It's no big deal
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC)
I run into this problem with seed beads. I just tell the customer it's the only shade of X color the brand has. If they don't like that, they can choose different colors or a different pattern. It's really not worth it for me to have to reorder all the beads I'd need from a different company just for a single color.

Now, if it's a big color difference, like say, my favored brand only has blue but the customer wants teal, then yes, I'll look into getting my supplies from another brand. But if my brand has teal and the customer wants a slightly bluer teal, eh...sorry.
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
INSIST on a color reference. Don't back down.

OR show them a picture of the yarn and say "this is what I will use unless you provide a reference."

A very frustrating situation, I feel ya. :(
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
I'd say make a color chart (with photos of the yarn color with a scribble of color from an art program) with the yarns and tell them thats what you have to offer. :)

Then like others have said, if they do not like the colors.. They can supply their own!: )
Jul. 28th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
Remember, Red Heart might be harder to dye. I don't think acrylics take color so well as animal fibers do, so be careful with saying you can/might be able to get the color. Don't want someone to flip their lid because they misinterpreted what you said.
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)
Painfully true. Fur is the hardest thing to dye-for-life, and yarn's pretty much made out of the same thing. No guarantees when it comes to dying.
(no subject) - onesteptwo - Jul. 29th, 2010 01:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msmanuscript - Jul. 29th, 2010 01:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onesteptwo - Jul. 29th, 2010 01:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msmanuscript - Jul. 29th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 28th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
UGH. You've already gotten really good advice from folks, but I just wanted to say that I'm sorry to hear you've had this problem, too. >.< Sometimes there just isn't a direct match available. Real mediums are not nearly as malleable as digital media is, in terms of hue.
Jul. 28th, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC)

Don't know if you're interested, but those are two sites I fucking love. Cheap yarn, they lay out exactly what the material is. I haven't used red heart in a while because of these sites.
Then you can also get it in more than worsted weight. I've never seen red heart in anything than worsted weight .. though that might have just been my local locations?
Knitpicks yarn is wonderful too. If you're worried about the feel and smell and what not, I've not had a single issue with them.
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
Oh. Wow. These sites are magic. I'm going to have to toy around with them! You just gave a yarn-addict a drug. Thank you for these! These are wonderful! I've never had anything but what Wal*Mart and Michael's and Jo-Ann's carries, which is almost nothing. Very very cool, thank you again!
Jul. 29th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
Can you link the item? You never post your stuff on weloveamigurumi and I don't think I have your FA, and as a fellow crocheter I'd like to see what you came up with.

Edited at 2010-07-29 12:14 am (UTC)
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
A new community! I was on crochetcrochet, but it had a really hostile feel to it. I'll join this group, very cool! And sure, I'll link it. http://www.furaffinity.net/view/4230568

Thanks for the group, this could be fun!
(no subject) - lurkerwisp - Jul. 29th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC) - Expand
( 40 comments — Leave a comment )


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