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View Full Version : Your opinions on giving knitted gifts?


HamaLee
12-18-2006, 11:35 AM
I'm 25 and I just love to knit. I'd love to give appreciated knitted things as gifts. I'll be giving some as xmas presents this year and I did last year as well, but I always feel bad or a little lame for it. I wonder...does anyone else share my experience?

Knitted things as gifts in my neck of the woods kind of always get a dismayed "gee....thanks?" And I'm not talking dishcloths or potholders, even useful things like gloves, scarves, hats, etc.

The only thing of mine that's been received with pleasure was a shawl I recently knit for my nana. It was not even my best work but she's a quilter, so very appreciative of the effort that goes into something. And was just tickled that I thought to make something for her.

I'm HOPING my mom is at least pleased with the monster afghan and pillow I'm finishing up for her. I know it's not perfect--but it's lovely and matching, has taken me tons of time and still cost about $80 for the yarn. And yet, I always sense a touch of disappointment and placating polite "thanks." And I get teased about my knitting hobby, eyerolls, etc. It's sort of like a "yes let's just appease the crazy lady over there."

I mean...yes, I want my items to be appreciated and loved. But you can't win everytime. However, at the same time, I don't want people to fake enthusiasm if they just don't give a lick about getting handknit scarves, hats, gloves, socks, shawls, etc. Still...it's so much time and effort. Lesigh...what's a gal to do? :shrug:

Webigail
12-18-2006, 11:47 AM
It's funny you should pose this question, I was thinking the same thing.

Before I learned to knit, I would have LOVED to receive something hand-knitted. In fact, a relative passed away recently a blanket of hers, which was not only hand knitted, but has the most detailed roses I've ever seen, was glossed over, as if it were rubbish. I jumped at thre chance to own it. (I digress).

At any rate, I think it depends on your "audience."

I think that a knowledgable person will appreciate the time and skill that goes into a hand-knitted scarf, hat, gloves. However, on the flip-side, I think that people usually get a lot of those types of gifts during the holiday, as they are "safe" gifts, in the fact that most people have a use for them.

Why not make a make a little request list. Just ask people what they would be interested in you making and ask their color preference. You might be presently surprised.

superlaura
12-18-2006, 11:50 AM
This is the reason why I am a selfish knitter - I knit for myself, my husband and the odd present, but only if it has been requested!!!!

People just don't understand the hours that go into a project - or the amount of $$$ it takes to make a nice sweater.

Jan in CA
12-18-2006, 11:53 AM
For me personally... I haven't knit a lot of gifts mainly because I know my family and most of them are just too picky. I can tell by their reaction to the things I show them. There is just some vibe that comes from them..know what I mean? ~sigh~ For me knitting is a labor of love, but it's also a lot of work and I don't want to give a knitted gift that won't be appreciated. :shrug:

HamaLee
12-18-2006, 11:56 AM
Heh, totally!
I actually sort of gave up this year. The afghan I'm knitting for my mom was specifically requested by her (pattern and color). And I'm knitting socks for two of my cousins because I wanted to try socks...so I warned them to be prepared and I'll probaby include a gift card to go with it.

Same with my brothers...I might knit them a silly toy or something for my own fun, but a gift card will be included. Dad too--he likes goofy things though so he may appreciate a Flying Spaghetti Monster to hang in his office.

Really my mom and my nana are the only ones getting "just" a knitted gift. My nana cuz she really is heartwarmed to receive them and my mom because she requested it. I just hope mom appreciates it--cuz she tends to be the ringleader with all the teasing!

snowangel
12-18-2006, 12:00 PM
so far most of my projects have been recieved with appreciation but I think it is because the people I made scarves for saw me knitting and knew the time it took.

I made a felted knitting bag for my MIL for Christmas and I think she will love it because she knits and she understands what it took.

I scrapbook too and I have made several handmade gifts that people generally appreciate because it is obvious that it is handmade. I still have to choose my audience- people who are familiar with paper crafting and know the work it takes.

I wonder if it goes back to people just not understanding knitting- why make it if you can buy it? There might be little differnce to a non-kinitter.

Abby

janelanespaintbrush
12-18-2006, 12:01 PM
I think there is a tendency to want to blame the recipient for not understanding the effort that goes into a knitted object, but if I give someone something that isn't well-received (knitted or not), I'd fault myself with not knowing the recipient better. Gift giving is about making the other person happy. If the perfect gift for them happens to coincide with my hobby, so be it. But if it doesn't, that's fine too. JMO.

1to1
12-18-2006, 02:03 PM
I know how you feel. I've made lots of hat and scarf combos for Xmas and still feel that I should give gift cards too. People just don't realize the expense of yarn or our time. But MIL is just getting the Aran Weight Victorian Lace Shawl, she hinted about wanting a shawl so she is.

On another note and don't get me wrong I'm not jealous cause I'm thrilled people acknowlege it and I realize that it is extra special coming from a young girl that took her time to make gifts for them. I am very proud of her talents and am thrilled that she enjoys doing it. But when DD11 crochets and knits xxx gifts for others, they will ohh and ahh over her gifts while I just get an oh thanks. :shrug: :verysad:

CurlyBrunette
12-18-2006, 02:22 PM
In my opinion I would love to receive a knitted gift because a lot more thought goes into a handmade gift then if you went to the store and just bought it. If the peron doesnt appreciate what you have made them then maybe they dont deserve a gift at all. Just my 2 cents.

Jeremy
12-18-2006, 05:34 PM
Its funny this topic came up because I was thinking about it too. Its almost better to give a knitted gift to someone who knits themselves so they can better appreciate it.

mwedzi
12-18-2006, 05:59 PM
I think there is a tendency to want to blame the recipient for not understanding the effort that goes into a knitted object, but if I give someone something that isn't well-received (knitted or not), I'd fault myself with not knowing the recipient better. Gift giving is about making the other person happy. If the perfect gift for them happens to coincide with my hobby, so be it. But if it doesn't, that's fine too. JMO.

This is exactly my opinion, that gift giving should be about making the other person happy. Is the gift about the receiver, or is it about the knitter? Is the gift being given because the receiver really wants to get a knitted gift, or is it because the knitter wants to knit something and give it? Of course it's polite to accept with a grateful heart anything that was given in sincerity, and whether someone wanted a knitted gift or not I think it would be rude to pull an unhappy face when they got such a gift. But at the same time, it's asking a lot of someone for them to appreciate a hand knit gift as much as a knitter. Heck, I'm a knitter and to be honest, I'd much rather receive some store bought clothes, a gift certificate, etc. just cuz my enjoyment in knitting comes from me doing it and I wouldn't be getting that from a gift.

So when I told my mother that I might knit her something for xmas and she said she probably wouldn't use it, all the better to me that she told me because now I can give it to someone who will really appreciate it or keep it for myself.

ETA: I realized I said "heck". :teehee:

Quiltlady
12-18-2006, 06:13 PM
Well I did knit a pretty scarf for my sons girlfriend. Plus knit one for my daughter's mother in law who will be at our house for xmas. I am also giving them a few other small gifts.

I enjoyed knitting the scarves and I chose great yarns in the colors they both like. I hope they like them but if not..oh well. I sure enjoyed knitting them! I do not knit sweaters or big items for others. I stick with the smaller items but pretty ones.

Once I give a knit project away I don't worry about what happens to it after I give it. I'm a "process" knitter and I love the process of the knitting. Of course I do hope they will like it but that's their choice!

I also make quilts and I do NOT just give them as gifts very often. They take a lot more time than my knitting and it involves a lot more expense. I do NOT want to see a quilt that I gave to someone laying on the floor for the dog!! So I rarely give those away as gifts outside immediate family members who really LIKE and APPRECIATE a quilt.

brendajos
12-18-2006, 06:18 PM
Well I did knit a pretty scarf for my sons girlfriend. Plus knit one for my daughter's mother in law who will be at our house for xmas. I am also giving them a few other small gifts.

I enjoyed knitting the scarves and I chose great yarns in the colors they both like. I hope they like them but if not..oh well. I sure enjoyed knitting them! I do not knit sweaters or big items for others. I stick with the smaller items but pretty ones.

Once I give a knit project away I don't worry about what happens to it after I give it. I'm a "process" knitter and I love the process of the knitting. Of course I do hope they will like it but that's their choice!

I also make quilts and I do NOT just give them as gifts very often. They take a lot more time than my knitting and it involves a lot more expense. I do NOT want to see a quilt that I gave to someone laying on the floor for the dog!! So I rarely give those away as gifts outside immediate family members who really LIKE and APPRECIATE a quilt.


umm....i would LOVE and appreciate a quilt ifin' you gift me with one! :shifty:

yeah i tend to not worry about it too much. i usually make things with no plans for who is going to get them, besides babies, just so i don't have to worry about it. i give away almost everything i make though. i just wait for someone to ask for it and it is theirs. that way i know they really want it AND i don't have to worry about coming up with an idea of how to make something they do want! :teehee:

SabrinaJL
12-18-2006, 10:09 PM
I'm knitting gifts only for my family because I know they'll truly appreciate them. They've seen me knitting and know how much time and effort goes into it. However, nobody is getting JUST the knitted gift because I'm not quite that confident in my abilities yet. They are all getting the knitted gift and something I know they really want.

jess_hawk
12-19-2006, 12:02 AM
Well, I love to knit things for gifts because I like to make things for my friends, and especially with guy friends, I love to take a single theme and adjust it for each individual. For instance, I did pillows once that were machine embroidered with the name and instrument of all my band friends... they came in handy on the bus.

There are several kinds of friends who I make things for:
My best friend and I are close enough that I can give him something that I know isn't the best, and say, "I know its not great, I'll make you a better one later." and probably, he'll find a way to enjoy whatever he gets anyway (he used his knit hat as a frisbee because it didn't fit, but it was a GREAT frisbee).
Several of my best girl friends will appreciate the work I put into something, whether they like the product or not... and I know them well enough that I can make things that they will actually use.
Some of those people I'm not as close to, but make gifts for because they will be around when I give gifts to the above people, are much harder. I was terrified that one of my guy friends would hate the hat I made him (even though me and his girlfriend could both see him using it), but still feel obligated to wear it. And the other guy was even worse, because none of us can reliably tell if he is enjoying something or not, unless he chooses to tell us.
Oh yes, and there's one more group who I make things for. The people I don't care about at all but had to do something for because they would be around when the above people got their gift. These are REALLY fun, because if I make something that looks nice and they appreciate it, but I put no effort into it and no money, I can laugh about how they feel obligated to be nice to me now... and if they hate it, I don't care at all.

The moral of the story is... know your friends!

Georgiasmama
12-19-2006, 01:56 AM
This is my first year gifting knitting items. since I just learned to knit. I made a scarf for my cousin which she got early per her request. haha and she loves it. for my Mother in law, she is getting a nice size throw, and its taking some sweet time to make. But I am pretty sure she will like it.

other then my dd I know she will love everything I make, she is only four. but for others. I dont know how they would feel.

If it were me... I would LOVE it. I love handmade items as gifts.

Cherinec5
12-19-2006, 01:25 PM
when i first started knitting about a year or so ago my family (except my DH) was laughing at me and saying i'm like an old lady, especially my mom!!!! well after i began making different things and everyone was shocked that knitted things can actually be nice i guess! now everyone wants me to make them something :)

I made a crocheted afghan for my mom to match her family room and it was the first crochet project i made. i made it queen size so they can use it when they are relaxin on the couch watching tv. when she first seen it she's like its really nice but why is it so big, blah blah. i'm like uhh i could have made it a whole lot smaller but i thought its better this way. well she just layed it over the couch sort of like a cover for a while until my 14 year old brother took it up to his room and started using it! that made me happy! at least it was being used! But she started liking it I guess after everyone who saw it fell in love with it! so ha!!!!

But yeah i guess if the people are knitters and aren't used to knitted things they dont appreciate it much.

My DD who's 2 LOVES my knitting!!! every time she sees me working on something she's like WOWWWWWWW mommy you're making that for me!!! Oh and everytime she goes to my parents house and she sees the blanket she says my mom made that like this (pertends to knit with her hands) :)

itscryttle
12-19-2006, 01:55 PM
This is the first Christmas I made knitted gifts for a few of my family members (MIL and nieces all got hats and scarfs) I will admit I had second thoughts especially for the nieces. So I ended up getting them small gifts to go along with the knitted gifts.

I guess I personally would LOVE something that someone took so much time to hand make with me in mind that I would be eternally grateful! I guess not everyone feels that way. :pout:

ecuzzacrea
12-19-2006, 02:47 PM
I only knit for people that I know will appreicate it. For me, it's as easy as that. I don't have a lot of knitting time so I'm going to use it for good. My mother and my MIL got knitted gifts this year and that's it.

I haven't even ever knit anything for the hubs. Mainly because he's picky so I don't want to be let down. If I could find something he'd love, I would though because he's very appreciative and supportive.

Anyways - I just don't set myself up for a let down KWIM??

stagebear
12-19-2006, 02:58 PM
last year i made two scarves for my younger cousins. they were so cute and although i didnt get to see them wear the scarves (since i'm hours away), my mom said they loved them.

this year, i made fingerless mittens for my mom and my boyfriend's mom and sister. we'll see how they like them, but they're simple patterns so they should be good. the most ambitious one is a baby blanket for a friend's new baby. i hope she likes it cause i love it.

nadja la claire
12-19-2006, 03:33 PM
I love giving my knits as gifts but if I know the person is not likely to appreciate hand knits they're also not likely to take care of them the way they should. So rather than do all that work just to get a "Gee thanks" and then it's thrown into the closet and never used. I just get that person something like a gift certificate.

Nadja xxx