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View Full Version : Odd, Rude, or Both?


Antares
12-17-2012, 10:19 AM
Have you ever had someone who, when you show her a garment you've made for yourself, she tries it on to see if it fits HER? My MIL does this, and it drives me nuts! Then when I do make her something, she doesn't seem to like it very much.

And is it common (not to mention polite) for people to ask you to make them something that you've made for yourself? No one offers to buy yarn or to pay for anything--ever.

I suppose this is a mega display of poor Christmas spirit, but it makes me not want to wear my knitted and crocheted clothes in public.

My MIL paints, and I don't go around asking for her paintings, nor do I hold her artwork up to my walls to see how good it looks there. I don't ask for her stuff, period. If she wants to give it to me, I gladly accept it, but I don't expect it of her. And I often offer to pay her.

I think from now on if people start asking me to make them something, my standard reply will be: "Are you going to buy the yarn?"

knitcindy
12-17-2012, 10:43 AM
This happens to me all the time!! Last week I was wearing a poncho I'd knit and someone asked me if I could knit her one!! I told her, "If you pay me $50 for it." Well, her response was "That's too much".

Let me tell you, that is NOT too much for this poncho!!!

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/eleanor-2

I have fixed prices in my mind for things I've made and wear so that whenever anybody asks me, I can give them the price right there!! While I would LOVE to knit for others and get paid for it, not too many people have taken me up on my offer. Hand made things do take a lot of work and are MUCH better than what you find at your local store, but I think people just look at the price and not the amount of work involved!

Anyway, that's what I do when someone asks me to knit them something.

knitcindy

Antares
12-17-2012, 11:11 AM
What a beautiful poncho, Cindy! I'd say it's worth at least $100! Maybe you should go up on your prices! ;)

Good idea that--quoting the price to people (yarn + labor + headaches), but it's difficult to do with family. Still, a worthy idea and one I'll adopt in certain situations (but my prices will be over the top since I don't want to knit for strangers).

My MIL is also really gung-ho about me selling my knitted and crocheted objects. She mentions it a lot. Of course, she drastically undercharges for her paintings and therefore doesn't understand that I could never charge enough to make it worthwhile for me to sell my handmade items.

I'll knit and crochet because I want to, not because I have to or because someone expects me to! Maybe I should tell her that!

mojo11
12-17-2012, 11:22 AM
Have you ever had someone who, when you show her a garment you've made for yourself, she tries it on to see if it fits HER? My MIL does this, and it drives me nuts!

She's your MIL; she's supposed to drive you nuts. It's in the job description.

To answer the title question, Odd? Definitely. Rude? Mmm... "rude" is as much a perception as it is anything. I suspect she doesn't see it that way, so perhaps "oblivious" is a better way of describing it.

As for the requests... THAT'S rude. in more ways than one. To me it's saying that your time is less valuable somehow or that what you have to do is less important. And that's not OK. I think you'll find that "Sure, go get some yarn you like that'll work with this pattern and I'll work it in when I finish [insert your priority queue here]" will derail most of those. The ones it doesn't, if nothing else you're not on the hook for the yam.

mojo11
12-17-2012, 11:27 AM
This happens to me all the time!! Last week I was wearing a poncho I'd knit and someone asked me if I could knit her one!! I told her, "If you pay me $50 for it." Well, her response was "That's too much".

Let me tell you, that is NOT too much for this poncho!!!

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/eleanor-2

I have fixed prices in my mind for things I've made and wear so that whenever anybody asks me, I can give them the price right there!! While I would LOVE to knit for others and get paid for it, not too many people have taken me up on my offer. Hand made things do take a lot of work and are MUCH better than what you find at your local store, but I think people just look at the price and not the amount of work involved!

Anyway, that's what I do when someone asks me to knit them something.

knitcindy

At $50, she was getting a STEAL of a deal, I'd say. The problem is you weren't charging enough. That's a $200 + yarn job, easy.

My girlfriend knits/crochets for a living. She works through a local yarn store doing custom work, finishing and repairs. And she said recently that she almost never has any complaints about her prices. When we first met and she told me what she got for a Christmas stocking my initial reflex was "Wow! That's a lotta cake for a Christmas stocking." I was glad I didn't say it out loud because then I worked it out by the hour and figured out she was probably making less than minimum wage.

It's really a simple equation: Custom costs more. If you want an off the rack job that you can buy for $50, go to Stein Mart or wherever and get one. You want an original, be prepared to pay more for it. It's no different than buying a Morgan 4/4 instead of a Honda Civic.

mojo11
12-17-2012, 11:48 AM
What a beautiful poncho, Cindy! I'd say it's worth at least $100! Maybe you should go up on your prices! ;)

Good idea that--quoting the price to people (yarn + labor + headaches), but it's difficult to do with family. Still, a worthy idea and one I'll adopt in certain situations (but my prices will be over the top since I don't want to knit for strangers).


Heh... I think you'd be undercharging by at least half at $100... but I guess it depends on circumstances.

When Wendy knits for family/friends it's usually because there's some occasion for it. Once in a while somebody will ask her to work something in for them, but never without at LEAST offering to buy the yarn. I guess because everybody we know is aware that this is what she does for a living and we wouldn't ask a dentist friend for a free root canal... or whatever.

Jan in CA
12-17-2012, 03:08 PM
IMO rude would be if she or someone said "that's a lovely sweater, but why did you make in that color? It looks like baby puke!" Or "have you gained a little weight your new sweater is a bit snug?"

If she's pulling the garment off your body to try it on that's rude, but asking because she likes it should be considered flattering even if its annoying. If she didn't like it she wouldn't ask.

Strangers or even family who don't knit don't realize the amount of time, work and money is involved in a hand knit or crocheted object. They really aren't being intentionally rude to ask. The rude comes in when you tell them what you'd charge and they say its not worth it. So my motto? Just say no.

GrumpyGramma
12-17-2012, 04:12 PM
Sometimes perspective is everything. I've been thinking about this since I first read it this morning and I can see where you're coming from but I wonder if your MIL thinks you're rude because

I don't go around asking for her paintings, nor do I hold her artwork up to my walls to see how good it looks there. I don't ask for her stuff, period. If she wants to give it to me, I gladly accept it, but I don't expect it of her. And I often offer to pay her.


I think most people, most of the time, are well intentioned. On the other hand you know your MIL and people you talk to and I don't and there are always people around who will make digs no matter what. From my POV, if I give something to someone and they offer to pay for it, it's like a slap in the face. When I give a gift I expect nothing in return. I have not, however, walked in your shoes and if I did I might just have to agree 100%.

As for people saying, "That's too much!" Finding out what it would cost to own a hand-made item may be something of a shock. Lots of us couldn't afford custom-made anything. Rather than saying, "Oh, I wish I could afford it," they make some other remark to save face, maybe. I don't know these people and I could be completely wrong.

As a MIL myself I try to let my SIL know that I appreciate him, that he is a good father, that he makes my DD smile. This reminds me that I need to make the effort again soon. Thank you for that.

Antares
12-17-2012, 07:13 PM
From my POV, if I give something to someone and they offer to pay for it, it's like a slap in the face. When I give a gift I expect nothing in return.

Sorry to be unclear. I don't offer to pay for gifts she's giving me as that would be insulting. What I meant is that when someone in my family wants some of her artwork, I always buy it from her (even though she tries to give it to me to give to them). I only left out a few minor details!

I completely understand that she appreciates what I make, but I still think it's rude for someone to grab something up you're showing them and try it on while saying, "Oh, darn, this doesn't fit me!" in a sad, disappointed way.

Of course it doesn't fit you, silly! I made it for ME!

I think it's the presumptuous insinuation that rubs me the wrong way. No doubt she thinks she's being funny, but I'm not amused.

As I said, I'm not grabbing up her artwork saying things like, "Oh darn, this won't fit over the buffet table." I don't say things like that because I don't ASSUME everything (or really, anything) she paints is for me!

cryaegm
12-18-2012, 03:19 AM
My niece asks me to make her something whenever she sees me knit. She's pretty much the only one to have asked for something, besides my other nephews and nieces who asked for blankets, but understand they won't get them right away. I've also became her favorite aunt after I started six months ago, and I'm going to teach her how to knit soon.

I haven't had someone try on something I've knitted that's for myself. At least, not yet. Then again, I'm tiny so it probably wouldn't fit many people anyway. :p I knit to my body shape and my size and no one else's. This way no one can steal anything I've knitted for myself. And if I'm knitting for them, I do the same thing. I make sure it's custom fit.

GrumpyGramma
12-18-2012, 02:07 PM
It sounds like MIL's idea of personal space is way different from yours. She sounds like what I think of as "gushy-grabby," someone who just goes on and on has to physically touch things. It's unfortunate. Family situations can be really tough. Odd, rude? Both.

DavidSydney63
12-22-2012, 09:48 PM
I call mine my HIL (horror in law) ...

Daylilydayzed
12-28-2012, 04:17 PM
I am so lucky, my husband loved my mother as his mother-in-law. I on the other hand had not had a mother-in-law since we married. His mother passed away in a collision with a freight train that had stopped on the tracks. It was an unmarked crossing because it crossed a road in a trailer park on the other side of town from where I lived. So for my entire 38 years of marriage , I have never had a mother-in-law.

Antares
12-29-2012, 12:30 PM
Really, though, if that's the only thing I have to complain about with my MIL (and that's pretty much it), I'm pretty fortunate.

Thanks for all the feedback!

offgridgirl
01-01-2013, 12:10 AM
Really great replies and they seem to cover just about all sides.

For myself. I only knit for me unless I am asked to knit something and then they must buy the yarn. It heads off most of the requests.

Maybe a sit down with MIL and explain how you feel when she does these actions??? Good luck~

borealowl
01-14-2013, 10:39 AM
Right now I am knitting furiously on a baby blanket for a cousin's daughter due in February. But I am seriously thinking of giving it to Project Linus ( I have made blankets for them in the past). Have already sent her four pairs of booties I made as well as a neckwarmer for the cousin in the same package. All I got was an email acknowledgement that it came and wasn't opened yet over a week ago and no other mention! Not that I did it just to be thanked BUT..... I also suggested checking thrift shops and consignment stores for baby clothes as they were so expensive. I have received in a mass email cousin sends to several people that they were going to Kohls to look for baby clothes. No mention to me of things I made. I am seriously thinking I will never make anything for anyone again.:knitting:

mojo11
01-14-2013, 10:53 AM
Right now I am knitting furiously on a baby blanket for a cousin's daughter due in February. But I am seriously thinking of giving it to Project Linus ( I have made blankets for them in the past). Have already sent her four pairs of booties I made as well as a neckwarmer for the cousin in the same package. All I got was an email acknowledgement that it came and wasn't opened yet over a week ago and no other mention! Not that I did it just to be thanked BUT..... I also suggested checking thrift shops and consignment stores for baby clothes as they were so expensive. I have received in a mass email cousin sends to several people that they were going to Kohls to look for baby clothes. No mention to me of things I made. I am seriously thinking I will never make anything for anyone again.:knitting:

Well one sock monkey don't stop no show. I might be tempted to never knit anything else for THAT person, but shutting down operations totally? Mmmmno. Most people appreciate hand crafted items, and I'm not gonna let one rude an unappreciative <expletive> mess things up for those people.

Antares
01-14-2013, 01:57 PM
Borealowl: So sorry to hear about your really bad experience. That's awful!

Do you think maybe they're sending a thank you note by snail mail? If not, I think I'd be tempted to e-mail them saying something to the effect of "If you don't plan to use the items I sent, please return them. I know of others who appreciate the hard work that goes into handmade items and will gladly use them."

Then I'd wait to see what they do. It might just jar them into a polite response--or they might send everything back in a hissy fit, but at least you'd get them back!

As for sending the blanket to them: No way! I'd donate it or give it to someone else!

As for making handmade items for other people, I wouldn't quit altogether (as mojo said), but I'd certainly be more selective about who got said item. In fact, I'd probably question the intended recipients closely and see if they appreciate handmade things.

GrumpyGramma
01-14-2013, 03:43 PM
borealowl, I hate things like that happening. I agree with the others, that person doesn't need handmade items, but others will appreciate them.

Jan in CA
01-14-2013, 05:43 PM
My two cents and alternate opinion-

Some people get busy and don't send out thank you notes quickly especially with a baby. I didn't get some out to my MIL once within a week when my kids were a baby and toddler and she sent me a scathing letter. I know I should have done it sooner, but it's not like I was sitting on the couch eating bonbons.

Kohls is not an expensive store and some people just like to have new stuff for their baby. Apparently the thank you is important so give her a call or email. I would donate the blanket, too.

Antares
01-15-2013, 09:33 AM
My two cents and alternate opinion-

Some people get busy and don't send out thank you notes quickly especially with a baby. I didn't get some out to my MIL once within a week when my kids were a baby and toddler and she sent me a scathing letter. I know I should have done it sooner, but it's not like I was sitting on the couch eating bonbons.

Kohls is not an expensive store and some people just like to have new stuff for their baby. Apparently the thank you is important so give her a call or email. I would donate the blanket, too.

Only problem is she hasn't had the baby yet, so that excuse doesn't fly. The slowness in sending a thank you note (or even sending an e-mail or calling) is understandable to a point, but not opening the gift for a week (which shows disregard and a definite lack of interest) is inexcusable! Yeah, tell her to send it back!

suzeeq
01-15-2013, 11:01 AM
If she hasn't even opened it yet, she may well be too busy though. One can't say whether she's disinterested.

borealowl
01-16-2013, 01:05 PM
Haven't figured out how to click on the "thanks" but thanks for all the replies. I have both communicated with cousin through email and via phone about other things. Not another mention from her or daughter. I am giving blanket to Project Linus. I do know a few people who have appreciated what I made and they are still on my list to make things for but aside from them and myself, any other knitting will be for charity purposes.

DavidSydney63
01-22-2013, 04:43 PM
take a look at the four little boxes below each post ...

Lighting57
01-31-2013, 04:36 PM
I knitted a pair of Baby Jane shoes for a friends daughter a few years back and gave them to her. She replied. Oh, thanks, turned around and walked off. She did not open it or show any interest in the gift. I felt deflated. I never received a thank you note, email, phone call, or anything to state if she ever opened it, let alone if she liked it or if they even fit the baby. Her mother never mentioned them either. I did a very good job on them too. The shoes weren't a big gift, but still they took several hours to make plus the cost of materials. I think expecting SOMETHING in return is not to much to ask, pregnancy hormones or not. Rude is just... RUDE!

dudeKnit
02-05-2013, 11:34 AM
I was guilty of assuming knitting was done in a flash. After I actually began knitting I learned how wrong I was. It takes care effort and attention in each and every stitch. Anything that someone has taken their time to knit as a gift should be enjoyed because a lot of work went into it.

If there are people who do not appreciate your efforts I say let it slide, but then again don't waste future efforts if the finished garment won't be appreciated.

tangrene
02-08-2013, 03:46 PM
I think that we need to remember that when we marry into a family they have their "culture" and perhaps the things we think is a bit weird or disrespectful is not to them.

Case in point...my sister in law use to make little biting remarks about the gifts I made for her children for Christmas. She thought "handmade" was "cheap". Maybe they were to her...but to MY family handmade was NOT considered cheap and was considered precious because you thought about the gift receiver while making the item. I struggled with this...getting especially "offended" when she told me that "it only takes a few dollars to buy some little something for the kids". I thought WHY would I waste a few dollars on cheap little toys that would break or not even be liked by the child?

I ended up telling her it took much more than that to make the items...and that with every stitch I thought about giving this to the child. I also told her that MY family didn't even give Christmas Gifts...and if we did give a gift for other occasions it had to be a USEFUL gift. I told her that I could not give a gift unless it was "useful" because it was "wasteful and I felt guilty. Sorry but that was how I was raised I told her.

She backed off and stopped the biting remarks. She accepted my "culture" and I accepted hers in that I gave gifts on Christmas because it was important for her. We ended up getting along just fine once I got the issue off my chest. She just didn't understand.

I would suggest taking your MIL to a really nice local yarn store with all the expensive yarns and talk about how much you like this one but it would take 8 skeins at X amount of dollars...and just say well maybe one day...when it is on sale for half price or something like that.

She'll start to appreciate the cost of knitting garments after seeing all that beautiful yarn colors and the beautiful prices. LOL! You'll impress her with your frugal nature (let her believe you would only buy such yarn if it on sale). You'll catch her artistic senses...and she will relate yarn colors to paint supplies (which aren't cheap either).

BTW...I agree with others...IF she gives you something she makes for you...don't offer to pay for it. That would insult me. IF she brings you the yarn...or she says, "I'd like to pick out some yarn for a poncho, lets g shopping...will you help me ? then by all means let her pay for it.

As a MIL myself I have had to deal with a DIL that has a very different interpretation of what a gift should be. I do give gifts at Christmas to my sons and their families despite my elderly parents not approving of this whole Christmas gifts to anyone past 17 years of age. BUT, I give what I am comfortable giving and leave her to accept me as I am. LOL! (I don't know why she doesn't appreciate emergency earthquake kits or kitchen tools...but that's her problem, not mine).

GrumpyGramma
02-08-2013, 04:25 PM
tangrene, well said.