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View Full Version : A frustrating compliment


redheadrachel
07-22-2008, 04:40 PM
One of my friends was looking at my Knitting album on MySpace and gave me this compliment regarding my Central Park Hoodie - Wow Rachel, that looks so great! You could probably sell something like that for like $40!!!

:( Why do people undervalue handmade items so much? :( lol It was sweet of her I guess, but then I told her that the yarn cost most than that (and it was only Cascade 220!) Handmade custom items shouldn't cost less than mass manufactured, correct?

(And yes, I know I couldn't sell a CPH because it's from a copyrighted pattern. I just wanted to share her comment. lol)

Wanda Witch
07-22-2008, 05:10 PM
People are amazing, aren't they!! Just yesterday, after completing a top-down-cardigan (yet to be blocked and finished off), my DH commented how great it looked and asked how much did I think it would cost in a store. I was indeed stumped at first as one doesn't find too many handmade anything in regular stores. Then, I remembered Peruvian Connection and how high-priced their items are. I know, I have several. People don't think if you make it yourself, I guess, it is worth as much as if they waltz into a fancy store and pay big bucks for something handmade. I bought ten hanks of Malabrigo, the pattern cost me money and what about our time involved. I know, I do this for my own pleasure but some people don't get it. Well, at least your friend, Rachel, did indeed give you a compliment on how great your project turned out. :shrug:

Jan in CA
07-22-2008, 05:33 PM
People who aren't knitters don't understand what goes into making something like a cabled sweater or anything else for that matter. All you can do is accept the compliment part and let it go unless she wants you to make her one for that much. :teehee:

iza
07-22-2008, 09:01 PM
I'm sure she meant it as a compliment, but I see your frustration! Nobody sew/knit anymore, we get cheap manufactured stuff from unknown factories, and so judging the real value of things becomes very difficult. I think we also lost our ability to even see when something is done with superior craftsmanship! :shrug:

I have the impression however that it's slowly coming back. One of the effect of the DIY trend is that people realize the efforts that are required in making things, and are able to recognize good craftsmanship when they see it.

But I agree, what's important is that this WAS a compliment, and you deserve it! :thumbsup:

twoxover
07-22-2008, 09:33 PM
i betcha your friend thought she was giving you a compliment by saying the amount <g>.....just take the compliment for what it is, a compliment....

and i do so love that central park hoodie...wish i had the talent to try it!

redheadrachel
07-22-2008, 10:28 PM
Yes, I did accept her compliment for what it was. Just... it is shocking how people really don't realize... ya know?!

auburnchick
07-22-2008, 10:54 PM
I totally get this!

People rave over my booga bags, which I use as regular purses. They always want me to make them one, but the yarn costs $30. They've offered to pay me, which I won't do because of the copyright thing, but even then, what to charge after figuring in the labor? That $30 turns into about $75, which is still cheap considering the number of hours put into it.

Oh well, people are just ignorant about these things...until they try for themselves.

BTW, your work is lovely and worth way, way more than anyone will ever be able to afford. :hug:

Lisa R.
07-22-2008, 11:28 PM
Yeah, she's looking at it and thinking...a hoodie at Wal-mart costs $12! Rachel could get 4 times that!!! :-D

Still...they don't have a clue.

MAmaDawn
07-23-2008, 08:20 AM
I think Lisa may be onto something there. Seeing her train of thought can help, but I totally understand what you mean. When we knit we put so much more into it that most realize. I am glad that you were able to see that she was giving a compliment... even if it was off.

RuthieinMaryland
07-23-2008, 08:38 AM
Hi, Rachel!

Over the years I've gotten teased (good-naturedly) about my pursuit of "dying" arts - like crochet, knitting, ceramics, etc. :) meaning those arts that aren't seen as done by the majority of the population. BUT, when the teasers receive a hand-made gift, it's a whole different story!

Just this past year I started on a crusade to make afgans for my whole family. I'm winding down on that now, but so far I've produced four full sized afgans, two baby blankets, two hooded baby wraps and am finishing the fifth afgan now. If nobody gets pregnant I'm off afgan/blanket duty for awhile.:yay:

So despite the teasing, those gifts are treasured. When I gave the first afgan to my youngest stepson, his wife scooped it up, put it around her shoulders and wore it the rest of the evening. Oops! Guess I'll have to make my three daughter's-in-law afgans of their own (someday!) Meanwhile, there is great appreciation for the items.

And take heart - the wonderful and wide selection of yarns available to needleworkers is a good indicator that knitting and crocheting aren't "dying out" but alive and well in the hearts and hands of a very talented, artistic minority - US! Keep knitting and don't forget to gloat a little at what you're accomplishing - you've earned it! :happydance:

Ruthie

Sunshine's Mom
07-23-2008, 09:49 AM
You all are sooo right - nobody who doesn't knit or crochet or otherwise hand-make creations seems to really appreciate the amount of work that goes into an object you make.

To save on expenses I've been knitting for the past few years to give hand-made gifts at Christmas. Basically, I stick to socks because with the amount of people I have on my list, they're easy to get done. I think that I've spent so many years lavishing gifts on people that now that gifts have been limited, it seems that quantity still wins over quality at Christmastime. I feel like if I give someone hand-made socks it's "Oh, thanks. They're really nice." and on to the next gift, but give someone a video game and they rave all day about it. I don't know, it's frustrating. I just do the best I can and hope that it's good enough. Most of my friends and family love the socks. It's the younger ones who don't care.

But, Rachael, you are one heck of a knitter and know the lack of understanding in those who don't knit and can accept the compliment for how it was meant. It was sweet of her. She recognized quality when she saw it.

marlajap
07-23-2008, 04:57 PM
My sons, who are 20 and almost 13, would not be tickled to get hand-knitted anything for Christmas, unfortunately. My sons, much to my regret, are electronically-overpriveleged brats when it comes to the holidays. :-(

Which is not to say, by the way, that they don't appreciate something nice that Mom makes them. Well, ok, my 20 year old wouldn't, but he's 20, what can I say? My almost-13 year old, however, loves the things I've made for him. I crocheted him an afghan when he was just a little tyke, and he still treasures that; I crocheted him a scarf and knitted him a cap last winter, and he wore the heck out of 'em and loves them. So for him, it's a matter of presenting him with the right object. Unless I knitted my 20 year old a steering wheel cover that would keep his big mitts warmer in winter, I can't see him appreciating it.

Arielluria
07-23-2008, 05:02 PM
People just underestimate the amount of time and expense that goes into this stuff. If she knew, she would have probably said $400!!!!!!!!!!! ;)

Plantgoddess+
07-23-2008, 07:40 PM
I would rather hear that than a few comments I've received from strangers. I was sitting in my husbands hospital room while they were prepping him and I had a nurse ask me why I was bothering to knit socks when you could go to Kmart and buy socks for a couple of bucks. I just replied " not like these, and what else would I be doing with my time right now anyway."
Most people who see me knit in public are in awe and very interested. I answer a lot of questions about knitting and always recommend KH as a place to learn more.
My friends know they wouldn't be able to pay me enough to knit something for them. I have offered to make them an item they really want if they pay for the yarn. Aside from that they just have to wait for the mood to strike for me to make them something as a gift.

knitpurlgurl
07-23-2008, 08:41 PM
My DH once commented that he was puzzled as to why I knit afghans and things because I must spend $100 or more on supplies when I could just go to any store and buy it cheaper.

They have no clue.

jpenguin
07-23-2008, 09:48 PM
[quote=Plantgoddess+;1133222] I was sitting in my husbands hospital room while they were prepping him and I had a nurse ask me why I was bothering to knit socks when you could go to Kmart and buy socks for a couple of bucks. I just replied " not like these, and what else would I be doing with my time right now anyway."

I am a school bus driver & I have started knitting socks during my down time between schools. I am always getting the same question as to why I would knit socks when you could go buy a pair at a local discount store. I give them the same response.

I just started a Ballet Top with ribbon tie in Ovation yarn by SRK. My husband stood over my shoulder & asked me if I could seriously make that. "Yea", I told him.:roll: He just looked & me & said if I could finish it & wear it he would "kiss my a**". LOL, I told him to pucker up & my 17 yo DD sitting in the room told him he's better be ready to deliver on that one. :roflhard: He asked me why I didn't just go buy it? I told this to my knitting group this week & all those ladies just had a good belly laugh with me. What you all don't know & they do is that I just got finished a couple months ago making 14 baby sweaters as gifts for young expecting couples in our church. Most of them all very intricate with lace patterns involved. :teehee: Many people, family included just don't undertand do they?

Phaedra
07-23-2008, 11:56 PM
My DH once commented that he was puzzled as to why I knit afghans and things because I must spend $100 or more on supplies when I could just go to any store and buy it cheaper.

They have no clue.
Ahhhh, but the theraputic benefits of knitting keeps me from strangling mine.

suzeeq
07-24-2008, 12:00 AM
Ahhhh, but the theraputic benefits of knitting keeps me from strangling mine.

That's a line that could probably be said with a straight face, too...

Luvmyrottnboy
07-24-2008, 11:31 AM
Folks don't have a clue!

I recently finished this: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vine-lace-vest

It took about 3.5 balls of King Tut which I got on sale so it cost me approximately $18 to make. It took 3 weeks of my time.

A couple of weeks ago I was in a high end clothing store in Newburyport MA and saw the SAME style (just a different lace pattern) I mean EXACTLY in 100% cotton for $160!

Most of the time I don't feel I save any $$$ by knitting my own, that's not why I knit, but seeing that top made my day BIG TIME:woot:

lynn893
07-24-2008, 05:37 PM
to the OP, I'd have returned her comment that not only did the materials cost more than $40, but my time and effort into the project would make it cost quadruple that! And I would smile sweetly as I said it. :)

Lisa R.
07-24-2008, 11:43 PM
That vest is so CUTE!