Over the last few months the subject of knitting for others seems to have come up time and time again. Anyone who knits a lot soon realises that there is only so much knitwear you can wear yourself. I know when I reached that point I soon started looking at family friends slightly differently. Would she like a shawl? How old are his kids – too old for hand knits? Would they like a tea cosy? Which charity is looking for items?
For me it is the process of making that I love so much and I want to try to communicate that to others by gifting them a piece of my precious time. But beware. I remember making something for a friend’s child many, many years ago. It was a tricky pattern with Fair Isle and Intarsia, and I slaved over getting it just right for ages. My little face must have beamed with pride as I handed it over. What did I expect? Her to bow down at my feet, to ooh and aah, to tell me what a genius I was? Not really, but I wanted to be appreciated in someway for what I had produced. I wanted her kiddy to enjoy wearing the gorgeous little jumper. If I had baked an amazing cake with lots of tiers and icing, I’m sure the reaction would have been very different. What I got was a slightly wrinkled nose as if something home made was not quite good enough. I doubt her child ever wore it and I felt crap.
So when you choose who to knit for ask yourself ‘Are they Knitworthy?’. Will they enjoy what you have lovingly made for them? Will they remember you with a smile whenever they see it? Will they put it straight in the charity bag? I know pride is a sin and I don’t expect lavish praise but just a little appreciation.
I hope this doesn’t make you think of me as a moaning Minnie. My bad experience was a long time ago and I am pleased to say it has never been repeated.