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Clara
queen bee

USA
4404 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  5:34:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message
A while ago I began noticing a trend among knitters. It seems as if a large majority tend to knit items for other people and rarely keep anything for themselves. I'm wondering if this is because we're incredibly generous people or because we don't treat ourselves well enough?

How do you feel about it?

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher

lavender
Chatty Knitter

189 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  6:08:04 PM  Show Profile Send lavender a Private Message
Good question, Clara. I tend to think of myself very last. I am always thinking of gifts to give to others. For some reason that always seems more important than doing something for myself. However, now that I am back in school, and we are down to one income, I haven't been able to afford to buy new clothes for myself. I think this is what has brought on the urge to make myself some new tops. I think overall, seeing the joy that my homemade gift gives the person I gave it to is a bigger reward than making something for me.

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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  6:21:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Can't speak for others, but i do like to knit for myself and at least half of what I make is for me. A lot more than half of what I buy is intended for me. And while I enjoy giving gifts, there is some ego involved in giving my hand made gifts. I'm rather proud of the things I make, at least, the ones I make well. so I enjoy the idea of my creations being "out there". But knitting takes a lot of investment, so now I only knit gifts for people who have already expressed a desire for them. No surprises, because if i work that hard on something I want to be sure the recipient will like it.



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BLN3320
Permanent Resident

USA
3808 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  6:37:24 PM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
I find that I could be in the middle of something for me and someone I know needs a baby afghan, bunting--whatever, so mine gets put aside and I do the other thinking, "I shall get back to that later!" That's the reason I have literally sacks full of half knit sweaters. The only thing I ever finish is hats for the rain and you know what it can be like in San Francisco. Beverley

"Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live!"

Bev
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ozknitter
Permanent Resident

Australia
3291 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  7:01:46 PM  Show Profile Send ozknitter a Private Message
I guess when you have wardrobes, chest of drawers etc. bursting at the seams with things you've knitted for yourself and your family you have to cast around to see who else you can knit for otherwise you'd have to take something else up. I have started knitting premmie booties for the Women's Hospital to give everyone else I know a break.

Rose Windman
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pritty
Chatty Knitter

217 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  7:06:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit pritty's Homepage Send pritty a Private Message
I knit for other because I'm just still learning (sort of), and I'm too cheap to go beyond toddler sizes.

Kathy, knitting Mama to Madeline
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ilse
New Pal

USA
13 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  7:22:01 PM  Show Profile Send ilse a Private Message
I knit whenever a particular pattern strikes my fancy. Often it is with no particular person in mind. The joy is in the doing. I have made a baby cardigan with matching hat and booties, and now I am almost done with a matching 'blankie'. I am sure, sometime in the future, it will come in handy as a gift. I have also knitted some childrens' sweaters just because I felt like it. I rarely wear sweaters, I am always too hot; so, if I make something for myself, it would be an afghan or some such thing for the house.
Ilse

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Ditzy Girl
Permanent Resident

USA
4723 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  7:34:32 PM  Show Profile Send Ditzy Girl a Private Message
Hi, to join in I knit 50/50. I am really into intarsia right now so I have 3 gd sweaters started and one gm sweater going. I don't feel confident enough to knit for anyone else nor do I have the time. Not only do I knit but I quilt and I have 4 quilts due but I am enjoying my knitting right now so when I get tired of my knitting then I will work on my quilts. I also want to try some socks and some gloves, both for me and then if I can do them O.K., I will knit some varigated gloves for friends. I have this wonderful varigated sock yarn that I bought on e bay. Hope I didn't get off the topic by bringing in my quilting or my yarn, but it did sort of fit in to the topic, kinda sorta.

ZOLA
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  7:35:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
I guess I'm just a self-absorbed piglet - I figure that if I'm working that hard, I want to keep it for myself!!! I actually take a looooooooonnnnnnngggggg time to finish anything, and I've made very few things, so with the exception of a sweater each for my 2 1/2 year old neice and 9 month old nephew, I'm workin' on sweaters for MEEEEEEEE!

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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2058 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  8:19:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
Clara, it is so interesting that you would bring this up & I would look at it this evening: my quilt group meets tomorrow evening. When I am showing them blocks or patterns for a new quilt, I often hear from them: "Is this for you or someone else?" Always it has been for someone else .
When I began to knit again (as you know, I was re-inspired by the Knitter's Review!), I decided that I would knit for others & myself! That's a good decision on my part, I think. Some of my WIPs are for me: socks, a sweater, a scarf. Yes, I am still knitting (& quilting) for others - that's a good decision too. I am just glad to be knitting

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BooksAngel
Chatty Knitter

USA
165 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  8:39:46 PM  Show Profile Send BooksAngel a Private Message
When I knit for others I impose a deadline and meet it. The projects for myself are much more likely to get interrupted by the other pressures in my life. So the knit gifts for others keeps their own momentum growing and the personal projects become slower and slower.
I am trying now to find a solution to this problem. I like wearing and using hand knit things made by me for me.
Has anyone else overcome this problem?

Angel

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mornin
New Pal

15 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  8:55:23 PM  Show Profile Send mornin a Private Message
Hi all!
I had to join in the discussion. I knit equally for others and myself I think. One reason I knit for myself, is I know what I like, so its easy to pick patterns, colors, yarn, etc! But I do enjoy knitting things for other people; socks, afgans, baby items, sweaters, purses,etc; and giving them as gifts. Over the years I have kept more of my things. When I was younger, I gave most everything away. Have I gotten more selfish? Or just realized that I deserve these nice things, too? I'm not really sure which it is! But I do enjoy knitting a variety of things.

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inkimd@yahoo.com
New Pal

12 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  9:18:46 PM  Show Profile Send inkimd@yahoo.com a Private Message


I knit mostly for other people, since I have a large family and a lot of friends, and birthdays, new babies, anniversaries, etc. just keep coming along. I live in a warm climate, and am naturally warm-blooded, so I don't wear a lot of sweaters or such, and since I am selective about my yarns, things I knit for myself last for years and years and years. Since I prefer not to have my closets and drawers full of knitted items I rarely wear, I knit mostly for others, and let them worry about storage.

However, not infrequently I start knitting something "for myself" just because I am intrigued by the pattern, and while I'm making it, since I take my knitting along when I go visiting or to meetings, someone else falls in love with it and it turns out to be for someone else.
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jacwong@pacific.net.sg
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  10:15:34 PM  Show Profile Send jacwong@pacific.net.sg a Private Message
I think the feeling of anticipation plays an important part. When you conceive a project for someone, they may or may not be in the know.
If they are expecting your ocreation, THEIR sense of anticipation spurs me on. If they are not aware of your gift for them, then MY own sense of anticipation at their surprise and happiness keeps me going.

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knitter2568
Chatty Knitter

Germany
146 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  10:43:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit knitter2568's Homepage Send knitter2568 a Private Message
Like Lissa, I'm a self-absorbed piglet . My time is valueable. I will always find time to knit for my 5 year old daugther, no question! When it comes to knitting for friends and such I always suggest they learn how to knit themselves. Rude? I think by knitting whatever item they request from me by themselves they not only get the benefit of wearing a one of a kind garment, they also get the benefit of relaxing on the couch and learning something new.
I'm currently working on 11 very ugly colored fasching scarfs for a group. Fasching is in Feb/March (Germany) and it's kind of like Mardi Gras and Helloween combined. I get paid $50 per scarf, which I will use to buy a Bond ISM (had one but sold it), which I need to knit military motif afghans to sell. When it comes to knitting for others it's about money. I won't ask friends to pay me for knitting for them, I'll simply tell them I won't do it because I have so many other projects going, which is true. Once a friend asked me to knit a sweater for her. She told me I could even keep the leftover yarn. Her idea was I pay for the yarn and needles, then knit her sweater and be happy as a pig in the dirt with the leftover yarn. Thank you very much, but NO! I will knit for my husband, daugther, both dogs, cat, and my mother for free but that's it. My knitting time is limited. I'm a homeschooling Mom and lots of my "free" time gets eaten up with prep for homeschooling. When I sit down to knit I do it because I want to, not because someone else wants me to. I know this sounds like I'm a selfish person but I rather help people to learn to knit than sitting down and knit for them. Over the years I have helped many people with their knitting problems, I have given away free original patterns, I have given away yarn and needles.


Happy Knitting,
DREA who fininshed scarf #4, #5 to be started, 7 more to go)
knitter@newsguy.com
http://love2knit.8m.com/
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?username=knitter2568
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gaertner@comcast.net
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2002 :  03:41:32 AM  Show Profile Send gaertner@comcast.net a Private Message
I've never posted here before, so I hope I'm doing it correctly.

I have been wondering about this very question for a long time. I almost exclusively knit for myself. I noticed that the members of my weekly knitting group always or almost always knit for other people. In the group, I'm often introduced as, "the woman who only knits for herself." I have no idea why it should be considered selfish to only knit for yourself. Just because we knit doesn't mean we owe knitted items to other people. I have put a lot of time, effort, and money into learning this craft, and I don't feel obligated to give anything away. It gives me pleasure to make and wear beautiful clothes, and that motivates my knitting.

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Jenanne
Chatty Knitter

154 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2002 :  05:12:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jenanne's Homepage Send Jenanne a Private Message
quote:
I have been wondering about this very question for a long time. I almost exclusively knit for myself. I noticed that the members of my weekly knitting group always or almost always knit for other people. In the group, I'm often introduced as, "the woman who only knits for herself." I have no idea why it should be considered selfish to only knit for yourself. Just because we knit doesn't mean we owe knitted items to other people. I have put a lot of time, effort, and money into learning this craft, and I don't feel obligated to give anything away. It gives me pleasure to make and wear beautiful clothes, and that motivates my knitting.


I'm sorry you've been marginalized by your choice to knit for yourself, rather than others. While I do knit for myself and others, I quilt only for me these days. I began doing so for many folks but realized quickly that it wasn't realistic for me to continue to do so - there being only so many hours in the day. A generosity of spirit isn't determined by your knitting gifts - it is instead evidenced by your overall life and attitude. Its a shame more folks can't or won't see that.

Enjoy knitting for yourself - and let the naysayers naysay - they're gonna anyway, eh?

--
Jenanne
http://www.jenanne.com/blogger.htm
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Knitnluv
New Pal

11 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2002 :  05:23:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit Knitnluv's Homepage Send Knitnluv a Private Message
For whom do I knit? The answer depends in large part on what is happening in my life. When I was working (teaching el ed and sld) I knit for ME in the evenings. It was the one and only time and activity I did for me and me alone. I had myriad other responsibilities that all involved doing things for other people. Things have changed. I am a grandmother (x2) and don't the little darlings need and deserve handknits from the g'mother? I also pray for pregnant women and I knit each of them a baby blanket while I am praying for her and her child. (Col 2:2 says we are knit together in love). Right now I am knitting exclusively for others: I am completing my Christmas gifts. When I finish my current sock (on dpns) I will have completed my Christmas gifts, by Aug 1 I hope. Then I will finish up some projects for me and then we will see what happens. For all of you who have received slurring remarks about your chice of what to knit, remember, it is your project and your choice. You do not have to accept anyone else's approval. I have noticed that, when I carry my knitting around with me, most people are indifferent, some are admiring or curious and some are downright hostile. I was knitting at the beauty shop one day when a woman whom I did not know walked by and said, "I hate you." I was not going to let this go so I asked why. I don't remember the rest of the conversation, but I do think I managed to convey the idea that we do not say hello to each other by saying I hate you. Well, that is a straying from the original topic but I guess I can slide back by saying that I would knit anything just to be doing it and sometimes the finished product "tells" you where it should go. So perhaps that is what we can say to people. "I am not sure what I am going to do with it, I'll decided when it is finished." Keep your needles sharp.

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foundfibers
New Pal

USA
29 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2002 :  05:38:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit foundfibers's Homepage Send foundfibers a Private Message
I used to knit mainly for others. It wasn't a conscious thing. I even gave away my first project, a lovely but easy shawl from Cheryl Oberle's "Folk Shawls."

When I realized I hadn't knitted anything for myself, and my young sons weren't so appreciative of the sweaters I was knitting for them (hey, wool, even an acrylic and wool blend, is hot!) I started knitting mainly for myself.

Isn't that selfish? As a stay-at-home, homeschooling mama, I figure I deserve it. I still knit for others occasionally, but I'm trying to focus more on myself. Knitting is my one refuge. Oh, and gardening. But everyone gets to eat the vegetables.

Alissa

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Chrys
Chatty Knitter

USA
212 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2002 :  06:14:37 AM  Show Profile  Send Chrys a Yahoo! Message Send Chrys a Private Message
I honestly havent finished enough projects yet to figure out who I mostly knit for overall, but I do know that many of the sweater patterns I have been eyeing have been for me, when I finally get the courage to do one. I do have many in mind for my 2 dds and their daddy. Right now I am knitting for Christmas presents and my daughters birthday, so mostly for others, but after that I will focus on something for me again. I do not consider it selfish to use one's time to make something for yourself. If you look at it that way then non-knitters are selfish for not learning how so that they could give to others also I guess the solution is for everyone to learn how
Christy

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kepkake
Chatty Knitter

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2002 :  06:36:36 AM  Show Profile Send kepkake a Private Message
Good morning, everyone. I have kept very few things for myself over the years. Granted, I have only been knitting for about 2 years, but I've been crocheting for about 23. I have 2 sweaters (my first 2) and a few accessories including socks. That's it. I think Jacqueline hit the nail on the head for me. It's the anticipation of surprising someone that drives me. I love that feeling. I have very rarely been disappointed with people's response when receiving a hand-made gift. I will say that now that it's "expected" of me to give a layette for every baby shower, or an afghan for every bridal shower, the wonderful feeling of anticipation has dissipated somewhat. I still give them...the patterns have become increasingly more difficult...but I plug along. There is a selfish side of all of this "giving" for me. I seek approval...what better way to have someone tell you how wonderful you are than to hand them a gift that you obviously put your heart into. Perhaps this should be in the "knitting confessions" topic. I am getting "better" though, I have 2 projects in mind just for me. Have a nice day.

Wendy
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