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Permanent Resident

1670 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  01:59:33 AM  Show Profile Send Mickey a Private Message

"My mom never uses anything I've made her. She packs it up and drags it out to show people. I'd rather she used it."

My best friend is like that. Drives me crazy!!! I know she does it just because she loves the items and appreciates the time and effort spent, but I'd much rather have her wear the sweaters and socks, and use the bag and afghan! Last christmas she asked me to make an afghan for a relative, and she loved it and wrapped herself in it when I brought it over. So I said, "I made you one of these, ya know. "
Blank stare from her.
Me: "Yes, I did. In the summer?"
Her: "Oh, I must have put it away..."
Me: [**]

I spent weeks on that darn thing and she FORGETS she has it! That's when I decided to not knit/crochet for her any more! ;-)
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New Pal

28 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  03:35:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Spookygrrrly's Homepage Send Spookygrrrly a Private Message
I won't knit for my sister-in-law. I made her a crocheted tree top angel that I was really proud of for Christmas 2005. Not only did she not seem too impressed when she opened it but when I went by her house two weeks later it was lying in a corner with the wings broken off. Grrr.

I also probrably won't knit for my Dad..but not because he would be unappriciative I just can't think of anything that I could knit that he would actually use.

Please visit my blog at:
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Guardian angel

9776 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  06:33:46 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
It was all those requests that started the "I only knit for my grandchildren" comment. One of my daughters has a friend who won't let go and is constantly asking for anything, begging to be "adopted" into the family. Now this girl is not a "true" friend and she is so far out of luck, I'd stop knitting before making her something, so last night I told her she was number 286 on my list and if I lived long enough she had a chance.

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Seriously Hooked

869 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  06:38:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit Suzann's Homepage Send Suzann a Private Message
I have come to the conclusion that while I love to knit, most people would rather have something from the store. It isn't a reflection on my knitting, just what they would prefer. And since the gift is suppose to give pleasure, not guilt to the giftee I give them what I know they want. I knit for my daughter, because she loves hand knitted items. But I don't inflict my hobby on others unless I know they truly want a knitted item. I think a lot of time we transfer our love of knitting onto what are probably just polite comments. And while lots of older people value hand knitting, it also brings back memories of having to do without. When homemade was the order of the day. Not all older people are the same of course, but many see handmade that way.
Having been on the receiving end of hand made gifts, I can see it both ways. My SIL is into Scrapbooking in a big way. She has given me several Scrapbooks of photos. I can appreciate all the work she put into these, but they are just not my style. I like the uncluttered look. And stacks of scrapbooks on my end tables set my teeth on edge. I always put them out when they visit. But it is hardly a gift that brings a song to my heart My MIL was an expert crocheter, and gifted me with several beautiful afghans. But after we moved south, the need for warmth was greatly diminished. The afghans keep arriving. And when they visited she often commented on how hot is was. But that didn't stop the supply of afghans. I know it is because she loved to crochet and she loved me that she kept sending them. After 10 though we were covered in the afghan department for life.My Mom who was an extremely gifted quilter made me a quilt with I will love forever. And after that she gave me gift certificates to various stores she knew I loved to shop at but couldn't always afford.
Anyway long rambling post, give people what they want and save your knitting for someone who will really really enjoy it. Fellow knitters or yourself.If you want to make beautiful children's things but the grand kids are less then impressed. Make something wonderful and donate it. The kids at CIC(children in common) will sing your praises . Use that wonderful yarn, have the joy of knitting and then make someone smile


Making cables is like making love. There is a lot of foreplay before you get to the deed
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Seriously Hooked

774 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  07:18:51 AM  Show Profile Send AuntyNin a Private Message
Who will I not knit for? 99 percent of the people I know, that's who. Most of them have little or no appreciation for fine yarns or the time and expertise of an artisan. About the only exception I'll make to that is to produce an acrylic baby blankie when someone I like is about to commit motherhood.

Having said that, I'll add that I am blessed with a small group of friends (just 5 of us) who absolutely love both giving and receiving hand-made items, useful or silly. They are all talented, each in his or her own way, and every one produces gorgeous items (not just knits, but beadwork, photography, pottery, sewing, crochet, you name it). For them I will knit. In a heartbeat. Mostly, though, I knit for myself or for charity.

Everything happens for a reason, except possibly football. --- Terry Pratchett
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Honorary Angel

5539 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  08:03:28 AM  Show Profile Send azknitter a Private Message
Simple...I wouldn't knit anything for anyone I didn't think would appreciate it!

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Permanent Resident

1770 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  08:15:37 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message
I have come to the conclusion that while I love to knit, most people would rather have something from the store. It isn't a reflection on my knitting, just what they would prefer. And since the gift is suppose to give pleasure, not guilt to the giftee I give them what I know they want.

I agree with this way of thinking. As much as we, as knitters, love knitted items, others just don't. I think it is hard to choose a great gift for many people. Of course, there is the exception - the friend or relative we know so well it is easy to choose the perfect gift. But for most people, I find it difficult to choose. I think of the shopping trips with friends when I spot something I really like. My companion may be lukewarm or downright negative. Now, if I was shopping alone and choosing a gift, I might just buy that item because I like it. I always get the gift receipt so it can be exchanged, and want them to get something they will like. But if it was a knitted gift, my friend is pretty much stuck with it, whether they like it or not.

If it is from the department store, it can be returned or exchanged for something that will be used. But hand knitted items cannot be exchanged, and if the recipient really doesn't like it, they won't use it. Someone gave me a knitted gift once, and truthfully, it was one of the ugliest things I've ever seen. Ugly yarn, ugly colors and bad knitting. No way would I go out in public wearing it. So what to do?? I accepted it gracefully, and really expressed my appreciation for the time and thought that went into it. This was a gift exchange at work, so not someone that I thought of making it with lots of love, but still the effort was appreciated and I made sure that was known. But, if she was waiting to see me wear it into work, my appreciation just didn't go that far. It was a touchy situation for me because I knew she knitted it for me, another knitter. I never wore it to work, and she never asked, but I always felt a little funny about it.

So, I've decided that most people will get store-bought from me. They can return, exchange, or refund, as they want. I'll save the knitting gifts for a few special folks, and not waste time and yarn on those who would rather not receive this type of gift. Instead, I'll waste time wandering around the department store trying to find something they might like...[:00]

See My Stuff: Here

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Seriously Hooked

788 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  08:35:42 AM  Show Profile Send westcoastchica a Private Message
I knit only for my mum, my sister, and my boyfriend (and for him it's just hats and socks). Well, and baby gifts for expecting friends. You can't really go wrong with a little machine-washable cardigan or a hat...

Other than that, no. People don't appreciate it. Well, a few of my friends might, but we stopped exchanging gifts (other than some home baked cookies at Christmas) years ago. So I don't actually GIVE presents to a lot of people to begin with!
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Permanent Resident

2995 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  09:09:32 AM  Show Profile Send RachelKnitter a Private Message
There are few people that I will knit for. The ones I will knit for: My mother-in-law, father-in-law, my mother, my sister, and I didn't know this one until just the other day--a new baby in the immediate family. (I wasn't knitting at the time my nephew and niece were born, but since I found out a new one is coming, I am having sudden urges to knit a baby blanket....) Notably missing from that list: my husband. He's way too picky. For scarves, anything that isn't the finest quality silk or chenille is too itchy for him (and knitting with either hurts my wrist), and he has really touchy feet (no footsy for me) and is very particular about socks. Plus he seriously abuses his socks. I've never seen anyone pull socks on so tightly before in my life. I always half expect to see his big toe just pop right out of them. And if he's that picky about little things, there's no way I'd risk knitting a big thing for him!

You are about to be told one more time that you are America’s most valuable natural resource. Have you seen what they do to valuable natural resources? -Utah Phillips, addressing a group of young people

Poetry reading group:
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Gabber Extraordinaire

377 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  09:33:59 AM  Show Profile Send denmark a Private Message
A very emotional topic!

I think that most people who are "crafty" appreciate and value the time and thought that goes into most handmade gifts. That doesn't mean the gifts are always to their liking.

There are also the people who admire handmade items because they don't have the skills, and just love about anything you make for them. Gotta love them!

Still there are the folks who just don't understand "why would you knit this sweater when you can buy one cheaper?". These are the people I would cetainly never knit for...unfortunately, my DH has that mind-set. It's not that he doesn't like the things I make, it's just that it doesn't make financial sense to him! Crafts are a cost-cutting measure, right?

Last November, I decided to knit an Irish Moss sweater. I was excited to actually own a Starmore pattern, and have the right yarn in my stash! I showed my DH the picture and yarn, and asked if he would like it as a Christmas present. His response was "No thanks, I already have enough sweaters" So, undeterred, I went ahead and made it for my dad. Since we live 3 hours away, I had my DH try it on to judge sleeve length, etc. His comment was a polite "It's, the neck isn't very tight", comparing it to a store-bought sweater. Ouch! My sensitive side thought "you don't know what you're talking about", while my practical side thought, "why get upset? He funds my knitting addiction without complaint, knowing it makes me happy."

I think, in time, he'll come around, but until then, I 've got my 13 yo DD at school this chilly AM, wearing her warm Koigu socks, and my dad told me he wore his new Irish Moss sweater when he preached last Sunday (and he didn't wear a robe over it!), so that's thanks enough.

Here's to good karma and knowing the "right" recipients for our gifts!


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Permanent Resident

3073 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  10:08:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit Boogie's Homepage Send Boogie a Private Message
I only knit for people that appreciate the time and effort or that like hand knit things and will take care of them. I won't knit for my in laws. I should qualify that. I'll knit for MIL because she does really seem to appreciate it, the rest of them prefer store bought items.

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Gabber Extraordinaire

459 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  10:14:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit Expat2's Homepage Send Expat2 a Private Message
I've never thought about this before, probably has all been subconcious. My younger sister really apprciates the things I knit for her daughters so I enjoy knitting for her and them. Won't knit for older sister as it doesn't have a snob factor for her. I don't knit for DS. He loves me to make him things either sewn or knitted but he is a teenager so he doesn't wear them. MIL wants me to knit something for her. But I made her some slippers once and she didn't like them so I'm put off putting effort into a sweater or something for her. I really should make something for DH. I think I'm scared I'll put a lot of effort/love into it and it won't come out right. He was wering a sweater the other day that I had bought him from Eddie Bauer and he said I really didn't understand why you bought this for me when you could have knitted me a sweater - a hint maybe.
There is also a charity I won't knit/crochet for anymore. There was a hospice that wanted slippers and afghans. So every year I would crochet or knit slippers and get a thank you. Well one year I must have been on a roll and made 6 pairs instead of 2. The letter I got back said they weren't suitable and they had passed them on to another organisation. That's OK just because I make things for charity doesn't mean they want them but it made me wonder what they had done with the ones in previous years when I just sent one or two pairs. Had they passed them on, thrown them away or what?
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Permanent Resident

1566 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  10:51:48 AM  Show Profile Send phlame a Private Message
I knit for myself and that's it! This may sound selfish but most everyone thinks I can knit it cheaper than I can buy it. So much for that theory! I know I'll be appreciative!

Shirley Ryan, living in Dana Point, CA

...and dance like no one is watching!
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Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  10:53:15 AM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
My mother-in-law. She will gush and gloat over anything from a store but hand made items she just says "Oh that's nice" then sticks it in a clear bag, labels it and stores it in the basement to rot.

I will never knit anything for my sister-in-law. I simply can't stand the woman! The only thing she can talk about is her kids and housework.

"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King Jr.
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Gabber Extraordinaire

507 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  1:38:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit cozystitches's Homepage Send cozystitches a Private Message
Well, there are a lot of us who have been hurt by giving gifts! :( Not fun!!

As for me, I will not (at least not in this year) make anything for my mom. This year, rather than just making what I thought my family (actually 5 sisters, mom and grandma) I asked them if they wanted me to make them something. If they wanted me to make them something, they would have to tell me SPECIFICALLY what they wanted and I had to know by the middle of October. Well, only a few of my sisters took me up on the idea. :) Oh, I did forget to ask grandma, but taht's cause I emailed the questionaire, and she's not into email.

So, mom requested a poncho like I had made my sister (sis #4) for her birthday. I said ok, wrote that down on the list, mom wanted it in black, I'd find a nice yummy (aka non machine washable) yarn to use. So, I buy the yarns (also only sis #3, #4, #5 took me up on the offer, w/sis #5 actually drawing me a picture of what she wanted!!!). I start on all the other gifts...

Well..then mom pipes up that she wants a sewn purse too...

Me: You can have the poncho OR the purse, but not both.
Mom: "I want both"
Me: Well, you tell me by Thanksgiving if you want the Purse RATHER than the poncho, otherwise I'm making the poncho.
Mom: "I want both".

So fastforward to Christmas..all sisters loved their gifts! WOOHOO! Unfortunatley, for sis #3 my yarn didn't arrive in time, so I'm totally bummed (I got another gift, but that's not the point).

Mom opens her poncho (which I used KnitPick's DK silk/wool blend, whose name is escaping me)...I spent the most on her gift (ok so it was a bit over $21, which is cheap compared to some of you, but expensive for me) and her response:
very FLAT expression & tone: "Oh, thanks." That's it!

So, yeah, that's what makes it the year of ME and people who will appreciate what I make...


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Permanent Resident

New Zealand
1673 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  1:38:36 PM  Show Profile Send busygirl a Private Message

I have always knitted mainly for myself and my own family,but have also on occasion knitted baby sweaters for expectant friends and they seemed to appreciate the gifts,but I certainly wouldn't waste my time knitting for someone who has no appreciation for hand-knitted items.

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Permanent Resident

2373 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  1:52:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit RobA's Homepage Send RobA a Private Message
I find I get very anxious knitting for my sister and mother. My sister loves the hats I've made for her, and I think my mother would love her vest if I ever finished it <g>, but they get into a "special order" mode. "Oh, next time maybe one in a gold color." And while my mother WILL say nice things about it, it also had to be exactly 27" long -- 26" would be too short, and 27" too long, my sister's hats in only one style and exactly 9" across the top. So I get very anxious about it. My sister in law, on the other hand, is always appreciative.

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Posted - 02/28/2006 :  3:02:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit's Homepage Send a Private Message
Gosh, you guys are so nice, I can't believe that no one has said what I'm sitting here thinking -- I won't knit for my mother-in-law because I can't STAND her! She's just awful. It's bad enough I have to do all the holiday shopping for her as it is, I won't spend my evenings knitting her something lovely when she's such a beast!

(Whoa, sorry.)

Love to knit for my two best friends from college because they get so excited and love everything I make, no matter how easy or complicated.

Am sort of "eh" on knitting for my husband. He doesn't display the kind of enthusiasm I'd prefer, I guess.

My parents respond well to very specific items that I knit, so lessons learned, I only knit socks for my dad and only accessories for my mom.

Read all about it:
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Gabber Extraordinaire

444 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  3:27:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit janev's Homepage Send janev a Private Message
Last Christmas, I made the cute little felted hats with brims from Pick Up Sticks, for my two great-nieces (3 & 4) I also made them fun fur scarves in the same colors as the hats, and included purchased teddy bears with little matching scarves. I mailed them since they live in another state. Two months later I received a thank you note from their mother (my nephew's wife) which said "Thank you for the girl's Christmas gifts"(period) I almost think no thank you note at all would have been better than that. I think next year it will be gift cards!

"Life may not be the party we hoped for...but while we are here we might as well dance!"
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Seriously Hooked

659 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  3:55:51 PM  Show Profile Send adalton124 a Private Message
So far I've knitted for my Mom, Dad, DH, sister, best friend, best client (I'm a personal chef and she's wonderful) and my cat. I can't imagine the list expanding much and so far my gifts have been small - scarves, a pair of socks, a panta... that sort of thing and I made my cat an eggroll toy. [meow] He loved it - then my dog ate it.
I will probably knit for my in-laws in the future and would knit for a couple other friends who clearly appreciate the time and effort and end results, but haven't made it there yet.

Really, I mostly knit for me. (Which is how I like it!)

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