Friday, October 24, 2008

Startitis and Knitted Gifts

Ooh do I have a wicked case of start-itis. I have started 3 projects in the last 3 days. Considering that I'm a fairly monogamous, sometimes a little polygamous, knitter, the idea of 3 new projects and one continuing project on the needles is a little overwhelming. To me.

I know, there are lots of people who regularly have that many, and more, project on the needles, but it's a new behavior for me. Usually, I have one fairly boring knit, that I can talk through and not have to pay too much attention; and something more complex that I can watch TV through, but not necessarily make conversation. I have both of those on the needles now. Plus I've added a beaded lace scarf that is taking all my attention (at the moment. That may change as I become more familiar with the pattern), and another beaded lace scarf that is going to be a present for someone (I'm not sure who...yet).

Which brings me to the next point. Knitted Gifts. Who to knit for? Who will appreciate it? Who won't...and why not?

These are the questions that rattle around in my head whenever I start a gift project. See...I like to give knitted gifts. Probably for the same reason I like to cook for crowds of people. It's a way I get to share my love. However, just like I won't cook beef bourgingnon for a vegetarian, I'm not going to spend the time and energy (not to mention the yarn) on a project for someone that won't wear it.

I had this conversation with someone a little while ago. This person said that while s/he would love and appreciate the time and effort put into such a gift s/he would probably not ever wear it. And while I appreciate knowing this, it makes me so incredibly sad that I will never have the joy of spending hours handcrafting a gift for someone I love...because honestly...I make garments to be worn, not stuck in a drawer and "appreciated."

Honestly, I don't understand why someone would prefer to wear something constructed from the cheapest materials possible, made by a machine operator who earns 30 cents a day, over something that was hand-knit, custom fit, and crafted with the best materials available, including my own handspun, handpainted, 100% 'soft as a baby's ass' merino wool? Is it that we all have visions of reindeer sweaters knit out of Red Heart acrylic yarn.

Maybe I have too much time on my hands. Maybe I know the difference between having my feet go through the sweat/freeze/sweat cycle of nylon socks vs. the warm, toasty and DRY sensation of wool socks. Maybe because I know that during the time spent knitting something for someone, I think about them - what they mean to me - what I mean to them, and somehow all of that gets knitted into the garment. Whatever.

I don't have any of these answers. So for now, I'm going to go downstairs and work on something soft and wonderful and beautiful.


Tina M. said...

Think of it like people who don't like chocolate. It boggles my mind, yes, but in the end I think "hey, more for me and the other chocoholics".

You can cook or create something else for that person, and then you can make something for someone else.

I create for those who appreciate and long for my handcrafts. The list is short, and the people are thankful.

Kim said...

I have no answers either. It truly boggles the mind why some folks prefer crap over good stuff, even when they've had an opportunity to know the difference. Ahh the eternal mysteries of life.

Stormcrow said...

I LOVES my new red sweater
I know what went into it


See Kay said...

The only people I will commit to knitting for this year are my young nephews. Of course I'm still waiting for my sister to tell me what they would like. The older one has gotten to the point where he will make requests. Last xmas it was a white baby seal, and his birthday it was 'a blue and orange striped robot space dog' (see it here: ) he is awesome and I will knit for him as long as he will let me.

Jessica said...

My only thought is that these people think that the thing you have made is so precious that there won't be any "more" of it. We are a society built on "stuff" and "more" and fear that there won't be any tomorrow.

Don't mind me. It's Saturday and I'm stuck at work. ;)

Linda said...

I know what you mean when you talk about making something by hand for someone. When I crochet I think about how each bit of yarn passes through my hands and how the love in me passes to that person. The first piece I ever made I had such a hard time finishing and then giving to the person until I realized it was a piece of me that was going to that person and what it meant. So I appreciate something someone hand makes for me. The only thing I can say is that if you want what you make to be warn you need to make sure what you are making is something that person wears, if you know what I mean. Anyway I miss you and wish we could be together so I could learn how to knit. The crocheting is causing too many aches and pains in my hands and wrists, makes me sad.