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Old 03-27-2006, 05:34 PM   #1
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selfish or just realistic... ? about knitting a gift
I'm trying to decide if I'm being too cheap and selfish with my time that I could be knitting for "me" or just realistic. Do you all think that the average non-knitter knows and appriciates the time, money and effort it takes to handknit a baby blanket? I really want to make one for a very good friend of mine. The problem is that I'm on a tight budget but want to use good yarn, have limited time for knitting (4 year old at home with me), am a new knitter so still slow and not very good and the pattern I've chosen (made up sort of) is kind of time consuming. My friend doesn't knit. I'm worried that if I spend months of my time knitting this thing and $$$ on yarn she will do what I'm embarrased to say I did when I was young and got afghans made by Grandma and put them on the shelf never to be seen again.

How selective are you all about who you knit for? Do you carefully choose friends and family who understand what it takes to make something or do you just knit for whoever asks and don't care if it's fully appriciated or not? I love my friend and am thrilled she's expecting but I am also thinking that I could go to the mall and buy a blanket for the little one for about 1/2 the price of making one and it would look way better.

I really love knitting and feel like I'm being totally selfish about this. Please give me some guidance!

what to do... what to do... :thinking:
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:37 PM   #2
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I know just how you feel! My sister is having her first baby and I decided to make a quilt instead of knitting. It will be cheaper and I think a little more used that a afghan would be for a baby. (Not to mention I know I can finish a baby quilt much faster than a knit item!) My sister appreciates hand knit items, but I do think you're right that nonknitters don't totally understand the time and effort involved.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:44 PM   #3
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I totally understand. I decided to just use super bulky, cheap (but very soft) yarn for the baby blanket I am doing. With the bulky yarn and the nice stitch pattern I found, it will only take me a total of three evenings or so to finish it up.

There has to be balance to what we do.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:50 PM   #4
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I totally understand!! It has become almost expected of me that I'll knit something for a baby, and I look forward to the opportunity, but I don't do blankets anymore for the reasons you said. It's an awful lot of work and who knows if it will be used? I've done sweaters, but lately stick to hats for people at work who have babies. Quick and easy. They've all been for the dads since I don't know the moms. I suppose if I were friendly with the mom I'd do more.

You're not being selfish. Just because you know how to knit, it doesn't obligate you to knit for someone. Save you skills for a Christmas stocking, or something when the child's older and will wear what you make for a longer time. I wonder how many little blankets, sweaters and booties get worn or used just once because the babies grow so fast, or the mother has already picked out the 'perfect' blanket for the baby's room.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:52 PM   #5
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OK, you are not being selfish - you are being realistic! It is a sad fact that non-knitters (usually but not always!) do not appreciate the time and effort that are required to create a gift. I knitted a throw for a graduation from college gift and was simply shattered that the person did not even acknowledge the gift for 4 months.

I think that being selective in who you knit for is a smart thing rather than a selfish thing. When I knit a gift, it is my hope that the person who gets it will understand that it was created with not only time and money but a great deal of affection. I, personally, will not set myself up for that again because it hurts me terribly when a knitted gift is not appreciated.

I wish you luck in your decision but hope that you will not feel guilty if you decided to buy your friend a gift.

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Old 03-27-2006, 06:23 PM   #6
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I'll join in what seems to be the growing "be selective" chorus. I started out knitting for everyone. Now, I only knit for people I know will appreciate it. It does hurt when all the time and effort isn't understood. :crying:

So now I'll knit for: my mother because "if I make it it's an automatic treasure" , for my DS who is incredibly appreciative , and myself . I also do easier/faster things for my DD because with 2 kids you "have to" do the same for both , but she doesn't understand the love/effort/time involved; also some very quick-and-easies for friends etc ; nothing for my DH because he never touched the afghan I made for him that took 3 months ... and DS uses it now!

Like they said - you're just being smart!
Recent FOs: Earrings; Celtic Cap & Scarf-y; Swatches for TWP; 6 EarFlap Hats; Hand-painted-yarn Sun Spot Stole that decided it wanted to be a Vintage Velvet Scarf; DD's Fuzzy Socks; Shadow Pillow; Aran Pillow; DS's Thuja Socks; Tree of Life Square; Sunny-Flower Square; Ornament; Extreme Knitting 2-in-1 Socks; Single-Needle Scarf Trio; DS's Cardigan; Qiviut Lace Scarf; DD's Daria Belt; DD's Fun Scarf; Mini-Purse from first yarn I spun; BECKA'S LEAVES OF WHIMSY SOCKS W/SWAP YARN FROM BECKA!!!; Knit Bead Bracelet & Earrings; Happy Socks; "Really Cool Socks"; Eagle's Flight Socks; Cabled Fingerless Mitts; Mistake-Rib Socks; Bamboo Mini-Bag; Felted Vase; DD's Basket; Felted Clogs; DS's Sweater; DD's Lacy Stole; Oversize Booga; Crazy Quilt; DS's Backpack.

On needles: A Special Secret Present; Never-Ending Afghan (remainders/reminders from all my projects).
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:30 PM   #7
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Thanks ladies for letting me know I'm not crazy for thinking this is a lot of work. I still may do it but I'm just not sure. What I am considering is making a blanket of squares with each letter of the alphabet in one square and 2 blanks so there would be 30 squares in the blanket (5 across and 6 down). I figure it would be cute for a baby but still nice when they get a little older. I'm thinking of making it in knitpicks shine in several colors. The pattern is a set number of stitches so thicker yarn won't make it go faster. Just bigger. I know that knitpicks is cheap but if I only get 2 squares out of a ball that is almost $40 just for the yarn. I hate to get too cheap and use acrylic yarn. Oh well...guess I have some thinking to do.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:40 PM   #8
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Knitting has to remain fun for you. If you feel it's becoming a "duty", you'll stop and you will lose your hobby! In the Stitch'n bitch book there is actually a little paragraph about this: if you really want to knit for friends, stick to small projects (hats, bags, etc.). Only friends who knit can really appreciate the effort you put in a big project. Besides, if you consider knitting as a hobby, why should you feel obligated to make clothes for other people? I think it's totally in your right to choose who you knit for and for what occasions. I wouldn't call it selfishness at all! Would you ask a friend who plays the piano to perform a concert in your house for 2 hours? Why would that be different for knitting?
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:40 PM   #9
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Do you talk to this friend about your knitting addiction? If so, she might be aware of how much time it takes you and how much of your heart went into what you knit for her baby.

I am somewhere in-between on who I will knit for. I went NUTS knitting all of those FT clogs for my whole family for Christmas because I think they are awesome and they ARE being well-used. I wont hesitate (as long as I have time) to hire myself out to knit for another crafter who understands that crafting is not a cheap hobby and that things DO take time. If a close friend goes CRAZY over something Ive made for myself, they might get one for their birthday. But, I DO talk about my knitting alot, so they already know some of what's involved. I would flat-out say "no" to someone who I KNOW thinks store-bought is best.

And, last, I dont make things that I think wont get good use out of them. If Im going to make a baby blanket, its not going to be a frilly lacey delicate "heirloom" kind of thing....its going to be STURDY, machine washable, knit in a stitch that wont catch on little fingers, etc. I really want my efforts to go to good USE.

Hope my input helps!
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:44 PM   #10
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I remember last year I crocheted a throw for a wedding gift.I designed it and called it hugs & kisses because it had Xs and Os on it .I didn't get a thank you note till 6 months later and didn't even mention the throw.Just thanks writen on a wedding picture of them.I decided right then no more .Just to close family and thats all.And then I'm still picky about what I knit or crochet for them.I knit mostly for charitys because they always appreciate what you give them.My DH is the only one who knows how much work and time I put into my gifts.He appreicates every thing I make for him. So don't feel bad abouy being selective

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