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Permanent Resident

3244 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  6:51:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message
Originally posted by mokey

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.

Did your MIL grow up during the depression when everything had to be handmade and you only got store bought presents on VERY special occasions? Maybe she still sees handmade as meeting a need and she can now wear store bought....


2006 stats: 1 FO, too many WIP, 0 frogpond.
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15375 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  9:56:20 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
She didn't grow up in the Depression. She just likes to hoard things. I think it is a case of penny wise pound foolish.

"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King Jr.
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Chatty Knitter

191 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2006 :  09:04:23 AM  Show Profile Send jamesedwinsneed a Private Message
The only people I knit for who REALLY appreciate things are my hubby (he's so proud of one pair of socks, that he wears them all the time. I've wanted to tell him so slow down abit or he'll wear them out), and our two sons who DO wear the hats, mitts, clogs, etc. I have a sis in law who is also a knitter, so we do some extra bonding over yarns and patterns and tools. I have one good friend who asked specifically for purple socks for Christmas. They were such a pleasure to knit and she did really appreciate them (and the red silk scarf I knit for her darling bald hubby).
Otherwise, I will not do any complicated knitting as a 'surprise' for anyone.
Gotta make my hubby a few more pairs of socks!
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Permanent Resident

2215 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2006 :  09:18:50 AM  Show Profile Send MMario a Private Message
About the only people I won't knit for are those who *expect* it (exception - my landlord/sister - and that's a special case) or who think that throwing money at me will make me willing to do a project I've already said "No" to. Other then that - I pick and choose what projects and for whom - and they get them in *my* time.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st century - but I play a character who does.
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Chatty Knitter

247 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2006 :  10:52:11 AM  Show Profile Send MoonKnitter a Private Message
I've been knitting for a little over a year now, but have quickly caught on that most people do not appreciate a handknitted gift. I made one of my best friends a darling sweater for her baby. I never even got a thank you note, and when I saw her last she came right out and told me she threw it in the washer and dryer, and it shrunk and "got ugly" to quote her exactly. Argh!! I had written a nice card with the sweater and given washing instructions. The yarn was acutally machine washable in cold water, so I have no idea what she did to it!

I made a lace scarf for a gift exchange with friends, and the last I heard her kids were using it as a pretend dog leash.

It made me realize that the only people who would really appreciate my knitting are those who are already capable of knitting for themselves. Since then, I mostly knit for myself and my kids on occasion. I'm always appreciative of my own work! :-)
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Chatty Knitter

335 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2006 :  11:21:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit zehava's Homepage Send zehava a Private Message
LOL - it's probably easier to list who i WILL knit for... my daughter, my son, my mother, my father, my grandmother (just small items like socks and scarves for the last two) and myself.

everyone else can shove it. i have tried knitting for other people but... well... all the other replies sum up the brunt of my experiences there.

i suppose i would knit for friends who knit... but they generally knit for themselves, kwim?

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Seriously Hooked

826 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2006 :  11:34:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit xmasberry's Homepage Send xmasberry a Private Message
I mostly knit for my husband and myself. Last (2004) christmas was awful for me because of knitting some of the gifts for my sister's family. Never again. Other than that, i will send knitted items to my great-aunt from whom i have a couple of crocheted afghans. She's not well enough to know whom it's from anymore, but i think she'd still enjoy it.

holly x
"do what you love, love what you do, leave the world a better place and don't pick your nose" -Jef Mallett
little miss messy hair's blog
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New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2006 :  9:51:43 PM  Show Profile Send Marlyce a Private Message
I won't knit for nephews or nieces who didn't send thankyous for the mailed item, and then casually said thanks at the next gettogether (or not!!).
However those who rave on email the minute they receive it in the post, are on my list for repeats.
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New Pal

36 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2006 :  10:05:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit yarnporn's Homepage Send yarnporn a Private Message
I only knit for others if I feel like it. I made a baby blanket for a friend and she didn't even throw it on the baby at the park, then I made a baby blanket for another friend and they're still gushing over it! I like to make gifts for Mother's Day and most people didn't even mention the sachets I knitted for them, but one person is using it as a camera case! I also knit for my parents since I don't know what to get them otherwise.

But the person I knit for most often is me! I don't want to waste time and hand strength for something no one will appreciate.

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Chatty Knitter

182 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2006 :  10:47:10 PM  Show Profile Send HopkinGreen a Private Message
I think I'm not going to knit anything more for my next door neighbor. When I mentioned my knitting and if she needed a baby blanket, she seemed thrilled at the idea of my making one for her. She wouldn't give me any input though on materials and now seems unimpressed about the results. I probably should have never volunteered myself for that project. She's one of those people who won't tell you if she doesn't like something and you'll only find out later if you happened to make the wrong choice and didn't manage to read her mind.

I'm iffy about stuff for the kids. They don't really take care of their things yet. So I'm likely to only make them things which can withstand their abuse.

I have some other unappreciative family members as well - people who act like my spending months on making something for them is about as simple as my walking to the store. Some people just don't get it and I suppose for those who don't appreciate the effort or what was involved (or how to care for knitted garments), then we should just save our efforts for those who do appreciate it...obviously. But probably easier said than done if you care about someone and feel the urge to make them things.

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New Pal

5 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2006 :  11:39:14 PM  Show Profile Send STRIKKEGURI a Private Message
I think I must follow a lot of you people out there, I will only knit for those I feel like knitting for! So, someone asks me to knit for them, and the answer is usually: Sorry, but I think that will be far too expensive! I am not cheap you know! That usually silences people.
Living in Norway, handknits are a way of life, and people have grown up with handknits, it has nothing to do with store bought stuff, we all know that handknit items in wool is what you need in winter. Especially THIS winter, where in the eastern part where I live, we have not had so much snow in 38 years! Surprise me! I will knit for family and friends whom I know needs say a new pair of mittens or socks or a hat. Have never been very good at scarves, probably because I usually knitted a "lose neck" which was much better for the children when they grew up. And sweaters too of course. I think I have knitted "Olympic sweaters" since my brother was a child (he is 58 now). I think the first Olympic sweater was from 1956! I have, through the years, knitted for my sister-in-laws 4 children, my 3, my husband, and whoever in the family who needed a new sweater for winter wear. So I have been lucky, especially as my husband loves his handknitted sweaters and wears them all the time. But I would never knit for people who asks for a knitted item, knitting is for me, for pleasure, and being told what colours and yarn to use is not for me! Sometimes of course I fail totally, my youngest daughter had admired a pattern, so I knitted her the jacket which I thought she would be deligthed with! HA!!! She had changed styles since she had admired that jacket!Luckily, my brothers then girlfriend adored it and it fitted perfectly!

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Chatty Knitter

214 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2006 :  05:32:24 AM  Show Profile Send gonzs a Private Message
Thank you, thank you, everyone. This thread was therapeutic for me. My daughter (25) saw a a pattern for felted fingerless gloves on my Knitting Pattern-a-Day Calendar and put a sticky note on it saying, "Yes please". I set to work making those darned things (same color, same recommended yarn) and even found a pattern for a brimmed hat to match. After arduous felting and drying, I was so excited to wrap them up and give them to her this past Christmas. I asked her recently if they were working well for her and she told me she wasn't using them. Ugh! At least she told me! I'm still muttering about the outcome, but it was comforting to read others' experiences with gift knitting. Thanks again.

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Seriously Hooked

772 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2006 :  06:17:48 AM  Show Profile Send donnawatk a Private Message
I have a sister that you couldn't pay me to knit for. I made a shawl I was proud of it took me a while to do and it came out wonderful. The lady I gave it to thought it was great when up walks my sister who say the color was off and she thought it should be a little wider.Never mind thee time it took to make and the love that went into the work I will never make her anthing.Donna
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Permanent Resident

1093 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2006 :  06:29:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit LittleMousling's Homepage Send LittleMousling a Private Message
I'm lucky to have a nuclear family that is positively bubbly about the knitted gifts I give them (my mother, in particular, is always so unabashedly happy with gifts that she gets the most complicated, delicate knits). One sister asks me not to knit her anything (she's sure she'll damage whatever it is, which is probably true ;) but is lovely about it. One of my other sisters will hapily pick out her own sock yarn, and since we have feet just the same size she's a breeze to knit for; she's asked sort of vaguely for a sort of net sweatercoat that sounds like it should be crocheted, not knit, but whenever we go to the LYS to look for yarn for it we end up walking out with a skein of sock yarn for her instead. Phew!

The only person I'd like to knit for and wouldn't is my best friend. She's a knitter herself and I love her, but she's hard to buy for, much less knit for, and while I'm used to her, erm, bluntness, I don't think I could quite take it over a knitted gift. Luckily she's a rail and has very well-defined taste in clothes, so I can always get her a hippy dress or skirt (and she's "European-sized" so I got her a dress at a market in Provence and plan to get her something here in Rome, too - I can't wear the fun international stuff, but she can!).

-Molly, obsessive but not exclusive socknitter
Stash photos and some FOs
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New Pal

36 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2006 :  06:48:43 AM  Show Profile Send greyhound a Private Message
I've learned not to make anything for my sister and her family - they simply do not appeciate the work and the fact that it is one of a kind. They prefer brand names, even their young children think that way. My parents are very appreciative as is my husband and oldest niece. I personally would rather receive a handmade gift anyday, because I know the effort and love that goes into it.

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2 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2006 :  06:52:26 AM  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Originally posted by lizknit

Maybe we're sisters? My mother has literally dozens of sweaters that I've knit for her, some of which she's asked for but rarely wears. She's "saving" them, for what I don't know.

I once knew a woman who died with dozen of dresses in her closet, all of them with the tags on. I learned from this, that you need to enjoy what you have, that "saving it" might mean you never got to.
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New Pal

40 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2006 :  07:07:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit somebunnyslove's Homepage  Send somebunnyslove a Yahoo! Message Send somebunnyslove a Private Message
Oh boy, what a hot topic for me to write about!

For my side of the family: My mother always gives away whatever I make her even if she asks for it. My sister thinks whatever I make is pretty cool, but is a little picky on the color shades. My cousin out in Oregon loves everything I make (is that awesome to have someone like that!). And my friends are more receptive and love what I make them.

My husband's side of the family is about as unappreciative as you can imagine. The shawl I made using $250 of yarn for his aunt when her husband died is used as a decoration in her living room. I am constantly reminded that my DH and his family hate wearing anything knitted because wool itches, is so heavy, and is not machine washable. Nevermind the alpacas, camel, cottons, and silks out there; it is too much work in their eyes.

I decided after hearing all the complaints and statements, that so be it, that means more nice stuff for me! ;)

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New Pal

14 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2006 :  07:40:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit kerenitha's Homepage Send kerenitha a Private Message
It's funny.

I am exactly the same way about gifts in general. If somone can't be bothered to write a thank you note, then I'm not interested in spending the time or money to get them something. (Much less knit them something!)

One Christmas, I handknit and felted darling little bags for my then boyfriend's three younger sisters. I also carefully chose thoughtful gifts for each member of his family. I didn't even receive a Christmas card from these people, much less a thank you note. So I never bought them gifts again.

The current guy though, he knits and his mom's a master knitter. She would definitely appreciate anything that I knitted for her. And he gets how long it takes to make something and has a TON of handknits from his mom. He doesn't wear the sweaters often, but he loves the handknit socks.

I have made a couple of things for my mom, but she and my dad live in Texas, and they are so hot-natured that it's kind of lost on them.

Therefore, I mostly knit stuff just for me.

That said, I really don't own many hand-knits, I tend to give them away.

go figure.
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New Pal

28 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2006 :  07:54:30 AM  Show Profile Send JannyW a Private Message
I won't knit for either of my brothers or their wives again. I made a prayer shawl/mantle for my youngest brother, who is in the military, stationed in TX while his family has remained in VA. I enclosed a long note explaining why I made this particular item for him, etc. He thanked me for the "afghan" and said "it's 113 degrees here." Got it. The other brother hasn't spoken to me in over 2 years (long story involving my mom's estate), so he is off my list for everything.

Is it selfish to want your gifts to be appreciated? I put a lot of thought into choosing the perfect colors, the perfect yarns ... and get either no reply or something like the one above.

Not knitting related, but I once bought my mother a book that I thought she'd love; she asked "why did you give me this?" Thus went our lives ...


Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
-- John Lennon
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Permanent Resident

1060 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2006 :  08:31:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit susiknits's Homepage  Send susiknits a Yahoo! Message Send susiknits a Private Message
People who don't understand knitting, or any kind of handwork, which is pretty much everyone I know. I used to make Christmas ornaments for the entire family -- did it for years. One year I realized that I'd never EVER gotten a single thank-you note, or even a personal "WOW!" and I decided not to make them. Oh my goodness, the outcry! One sad relative: "But we have an entire shoebox full of things that are only made by you!" Well, that was a little late, wasn't it?

Also, the hand-smocked baby bonnet? Nothing. The baby quilt? Nothing.

On the brighter side, I knitted matching scarves for my daughter and her favorite cousin last winter, and they were both thrilled to pieces. THOSE girls will get something again!

- susi

--That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
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