Knitter's Review Forums
  The online community for readers of Knitter's Review.
  This week: A strong and discreet knot for knitting
   > Have you subscribed yet?
Knitter's Review Forums
KR Home | My Profile | Register | Active Topics | Private Messages | Search | FAQ | Want to make Betty happy?
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your username or password?

 All Forums
 General Chitchat
 Random Knitting-Related Stuff
 The Undeserving
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Previous Page | Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 4

Pookie
Chatty Knitter

255 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  10:29:34 AM  Show Profile Send Pookie a Private Message
Amanda/Biodb8er, your posting struck a BIG chord with me because I'm getting ready to start a pair of socks for a "whiner" and I'm soooo annoyed with myself for agreeing to do it! She made it clear she "expected" me to make her some socks because we're friends and then she proceeded to arbitrarily change the "specs" of the socks. My hobby is knitting wool socks because I love the feel of the wool yarn and I enjoy thinking of the wool socks I give to people as the perfect, cozy antidote to our Seattle winters. But she has demanded cotton socks and she also wants leather soles (all very do-able but I don't look forward to 15 hours of knitting with yarn I don't like). The frustrating thing is my NEXT project is for a lovely, kind-hearted "non-whiner" who recently suffered a tragedy in her family, so she needs some socks more than ever. Now I just want to get the "whiner" socks done so I can move on the the "non-whiner" socks, and then learn how to say "NO!" I wish I had some of your backbone!

(Also, Amanda, can you email me offline at rymorriss@yahoo.com? I wanted to get in touch with you directly about one of your earlier emails but I see that your email address is hidden.)

Pookie in Seattle

Go to Top of Page

stjamesb
Chatty Knitter

USA
160 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  11:23:32 AM  Show Profile Send stjamesb a Private Message
While we are on this topic, I would like to chime in ...
My mother is a very skilled woman: professional seamstress, good cook, good gardener, love arranging flowers, love to work with her hands, etc .... and is a perfectionist. In the past, I've made different items for her and for other family members, there was only 1 occasion where she felt I was good enough and praised me (and that was NOT the occasion where I sew my own wedding dress). The rest of the time she made comments like "why bother, why don't you just go out and buy it instead, etc ...) When I was a kid, I made her a calendar (admittedly very home-made) and I caught her used my calendar as a hot pad for a blacken pot, needless to say my calendar was covered in soot and was thrown out.
I guess since she is a perfectionist so if an item to be hand-made then it has to be exceptional, otherwise, just go out and buy it
So here is my question, I am thinking about knitting her a lace scarf this Christmas with very nice yarn. On one hand, I would like to her to have nice things, she is very frugal on herself. On the other hand, I just dread the cold thank you because it may be not good enough. What should I do?

It is funny, I KNOW that knitting is a great therapy, I just know now that knitting forum is also a great therapy.

Thanks

p.s She doesn't knit, thank God.


Go to Top of Page

Patience
Permanent Resident

USA
1080 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  11:46:37 AM  Show Profile Send Patience a Private Message
Dear STJ,

My first thoughts on your question were NO, don't make her that lace scarf. However, in thinking about it, I realize that it is the Christmas season and it's supposed to be about loving and accepting and trying our best to be kind and gentle.

I don't always live up to the former, but I am trying my best. It is very strange the way we all go so far out of our way to win some sort of acceptance from those that either refuse to give it, or don't have the capacity for it in the first place. What a shame that your mother has always made you feel that nothing you have made her or done for her was ever good enough. Be assured that she is the one lacking, IMHO, in so many ways and you are so far beyond her "perfectionism."

So, if you feel in your heart that you truly want to make her the scarf, then by all means go ahead and do so. Just know that she may wind up giving it her usual cold reception, but so what? You made it in the most wonderful of spirit and that my dear girl, is all that is necessary. May you have a blessed and happy Christmas!

Hugs, Patience
Go to Top of Page

AtomicKnit
Chatty Knitter

USA
120 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  11:49:13 AM  Show Profile Send AtomicKnit a Private Message
Stjamesb: maybe you should knit her some . . . hotpads!

Seriously, I feel for you: my mom is not totally a perfectionist, but she has always been highly critical. My dear spouse has helped me a lot with this and now I understand that even if I was a Nobel-Prize Winner, President of the US, and the Pope, it would still not be enough. So I'm overcompensating by letting my daughter know I'm proud of her for all the things she is proud of herself for (tying shoes, at last!) And I hope in this small way I can make up for my mom's shortcomings. Of course, I'll have my own shortcomings, but I'll be blissfully unaware of them!

I think, though, that if your mom values store bought things over hand-crafted things, you should buy her a scarf, and save the luxurious hand-knitted scarf for yourself. That way you're both happy.

I've noticed that some people regard hand-crafting as inferior, regardless of the skill and time involved--much the same way that some people value brand names over actual quality. These people should be gently humored in public and gently pitied in private.

Go to Top of Page

BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  12:15:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Weird weird weird. I am amazed that there are so many people who "demand" gifts. I was taught that a gift is a spontanious generous act of the giver. The recipient is responsible for the "thanks" part. seems like some folk would do better with a copy of Emily Post or Miss Manners instead of hand knit gifts.

I am glad I haven't any demanders in my circle, though I don't mind saying no to hinters. Next time someone makes that sort of demand, be it hinting or outright claims, offer to teach them to knit instead.

My holiday wish for all knitters is that none of them ever knit out of guilt.





Go to Top of Page

schoolmama
Permanent Resident

USA
2310 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  1:39:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit schoolmama's Homepage Send schoolmama a Private Message
Sniff, you all are making me wish I had my mother to knit for...but I do agree, it is very frustrating giving things you spend hours or months on only to have them refuse to wear it or use it! I used to make hand-sewn things for gifts and had the same results with some people. I don't think many have demanded something from me, but I do usually stop making things for people who don't appreciate them! I gave a hand made gown AND a hand written poem to a new baby years ago, and the mother barely noticed the gown and ignored the poem. I had thought she was someone I had gotten very close to, but wasn't so sure after that. I haven't written poetry since then. ('Course my dh read my poetry and laughed at it when we were dating, so that didn't help, either. He isn't much into "sentimental" things!!) Make things for people who just love them and gush over all the time you spent making them something special! I just loved it when another friend did that when I made a special, one of a kind gown for her baby. She was going to save it for her grandchildren, too. I am somewhat new to knitting a lot, and don't have time to make things that are going to be rejected!! Sometimes I just don't understand people who think it is ok to put you down after you have done all that work. I have always tried to praise my kids efforts, even if I am not sure what it is. I know they tried hard to make something wonderful. Barb

"OF ALL THE THINGS I HAVE LOST, I MISS MY MIND THE MOST!"
Go to Top of Page

Busyhands
Permanent Resident

USA
1496 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  3:13:40 PM  Show Profile Send Busyhands a Private Message
I guess I am on the other side of the fence from a lot of you...I tend to make very practical things, the kind of stuff I use myself - I'm still in the young-children-mud-and-grass-and-NO-HAND-WASHING!!! stage of my life. And I always think my family is going to be as excited over these things as I am and USE the stuff or wear it or whatever, but my relatives all seem to pack them away gently as 'too pretty to use'. Or maybe that's just a euphemism, I'm not sure! Fortunately I have some friends that use the things I make - one of the biggest compliments I ever got was when one of my husband's friends called up to tell me that his daughter wore the dress I had made her so often that it was going to wear out before she finished outgrowing it, and how happy she would be if I could make her another one for her next birthday? And last week at a baby shower, the mom-to-be peeked under the tissue at her blankie and gave a little gasp of excitement and said, "Oh! I was secretly hoping you'd make one for me!!" Ahhh...I'll pack those warm fuzzies away for when I go to the in-laws for Christmas and see the dishcloths I made her last year being used as doilies (!) instead of fading in the dishwater.
Lin

Go to Top of Page

chris
Permanent Resident

USA
2463 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  3:33:21 PM  Show Profile Send chris a Private Message
quote:

Snip!

I've noticed that some people regard hand-crafting as inferior, regardless of the skill and time involved--much the same way that some people value brand names over actual quality. These people should be gently humored in public and gently pitied in private.



Along these lines, there was once a movement in the US called the Arts & Crafts movement. There are houses, furniture, windows, pottery and textiles that all survive from this era. Many of these things sell for rather large sums of money. Fast forward to today: Arts & Crafts means summer camp; early elementary school art class; Michael's and Hobby Lobby. It is no longer considered that a crafter is an artist...they are just crafters. What a shame that this word has been "dumbed down" so to speak. It sure would be nice to have the word have a capital C again.

My knitting *is* my craft, and while I'm no expert and there are errors in my knitting (how the heck else do we learn???), I'm very proud of the things I make. I guess that's why I get so upset over the Staples commercial or people who say "Oh, it's hand made..." with that little sneer in their voices.

But I must confess: I am a reformed sneerer myself. Not long before I started knitting, I saw a hand knit sweater in a shop in Sedona. I loved that sweater at first glance. Then I looked at the price tag: $250. My response was: "Oh, puh-lease! No sweater is worth that!" Now that I have some idea of the amount of time and effort, not to mention yarn that went into that sweater, I think the seller was undercutting her/himself!

chris

Keep on knittin', mama, knittin' those blues away!
Go to Top of Page

arianarw
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  5:14:39 PM  Show Profile Send arianarw a Private Message
I made a baby sweater for a friend for her baby shower (my usual baby gift) and told her after she opened it, loved it and thanked me, that all I asked was that it continue to be used, that she pass it on when she no longer needed it. She told me a few years later that she did indeed pass it on, but told each recipient they had to return it to her when outgrown so she could pass it on again. I like to think of that sweater getting appreciated by so many people. I always sew my name tag in the neck of sweaters I make, so I guess this is a little bit of immortality for me.

Ariana

Go to Top of Page

Knitnluv
New Pal

11 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  5:50:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit Knitnluv's Homepage Send Knitnluv a Private Message
Wow! There is a lot of stuff here. I see two topics: Moms and knitting. I'll skip the mom part because that is who I am now. I did make my mother a sweater once. I was a very busy young mother at the time and marvel that I finished it. She wore it often so I feel good about that. Now on to the knitting part. My standard answer when someone asks for a gift or to buy any of my knitting is, "I am flattered by your request, but a project like this takes a lot of time and I really don't have extra time to fulfill requests. My LYS has great yarn and great teachers." I would like to see a forum about people who are hostile to knitters. I was once knitting at the beauty shop while awaiting my hairdresser who was running late when a woman I HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE IN MY LIFE walked up to me and said, "I hate you." When I asked why she hated me, she replied that it was because I seemed to be such a good knitter!

Go to Top of Page

calla1984@yahoo.com
New Pal

18 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  6:41:25 PM  Show Profile Send calla1984@yahoo.com a Private Message
Oh, boy ...can I ever identify with you. I've made "requested" items for people and believe me, there is no appreciation whatsoever from some of them. The time and love we put into these garments is precious to us. I take care of a sick daughter's yarn shipping and I am running hither and yon and then have to come home and do my own housework so my time is really absolutely pinched. Just know your intentions are good and that the problem does not lie with you....it lies with the recipient, be it a mother, a relative, a friend or whomever. My daughter's MIL does the same thing as one of the other poster's family member does...puts things aside and then gives them back to her, not remembering she gave that person the item in the first place. Just hang in there.
Go to Top of Page

CathyMB
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  7:17:56 PM  Show Profile Send CathyMB a Private Message
If you want to feel very appreciated my suggestion is to knit for charity. I knit quick baby sweaters (the 5 hour baby sweater is great) to donate to various organizations. It satisfies the creative urges and you know it never ends up in the bottom of someones drawer!
Go to Top of Page

Laurie K
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
448 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  8:41:57 PM  Show Profile Send Laurie K a Private Message
this is so timely. Yesterday, I both knitted and presented my mother with a small scarf I made from very interesting Japanese yarn. I had to knit it three times before I got it right. I didn't finish it until I arrived at my parents' apartment to celebrate Hanukah with them. It is a eyelash type yarn with small black polka dots. I made it in my mother's favorite blue. It looked so beautiful on my mother who is a very beautiful 78 year old woman.

My mother always appreciates it when I make her something. While she is not a knitter herself, She always made crafts from artificial flowers to jewelry and sewed all of my clothes as a child and young adult.

Today, when I picked her up to take her shopping, she handed me a bag with the scarf in it and said she was giving it back to me temporarily because she remembered that I wanted to photograph it. she told me that she loved wearing it and how good it felt and also how many compliments she received. I wish I could have more aprreciative recipients of my crafts like my mother. And she puts up with all of my moods and tolerates my behavior even when any one else would get fed up. I guess that's the test of a mother's love. My own daughter, by the way is alot more like her grandma and she is a great knitter too!

Go to Top of Page

pcknits@cox.net
New Pal

8 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  9:42:10 PM  Show Profile Send pcknits@cox.net a Private Message
You are a real knitter.I have made things for some of my family & they do not appriciate it. I have one son who has actually given away sweaters that I have made him. He always has an excuse, if true could have been fixed, but he didn't want the sweaters they didn't have a brand name lable in them so they meant nothing to him, I also made a Christening Robe and Blanket for his first child that they sold at a garage sale for $15.00. It took me 8 months to make it, & I resent it. I am very choosy about who I make things for,I do not expect them to kiss my feet, I just wish they would appreciate what I put into making something for them.
pcknits
Go to Top of Page

savoyd@sympatico.ca
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  10:15:49 PM  Show Profile Send savoyd@sympatico.ca a Private Message
I understand completely how you feel. I no longer knit for anyone who doesn't knit or do crafts themselves. If they don't do crafts or knitting; they have no idea how much time and skill is involved.
A long time ago, when my sister-in-law was expecting her first child,
I knit a baby blanket for her. It took me months to complete. It had a butterfly pattern in it. She saw me spend hours knitting. A couple of weeks after I gave it to her, I found it in the back shed with the cats sleeping on it.
That was the last time I knit for a non-knitter. People who knit appreciate the effort and love put into every project.
I agree with the suggestion that your Mom should at least pay for the materials. I hope you will be able to knit it with love.
Donna
Go to Top of Page

Jessica-Jean
New Pal

Canada
27 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  10:43:41 PM  Show Profile Send Jessica-Jean a Private Message
"p.s She doesn't knit, thank God"

So, that's why my own mother crocheted for years and years and never let on even knowing how to knit. Her mother knit well. When, many decades after grandma's death, my mother finally took up her knitting needles, she knit exactly as grandma had taught me and as no one else I have ever known does. Yarn in left hand but every purl stitch is worked "backwards" giving a row of twisted stitches every other row in stockinette. So, Mom didn't want to hear from her mother just how bad her knitting was and just didn't knit.

Mom also was willing to admit I was the more accomplished knitter between us. She even requested me to make her a cardigan with all-over cables - as many different cables as possible. I had no pattern for a fisherman sweater and just grabbed graph paper, coloured pencils and a stitch dictionary. She wore that seamless red mass of more than a dozen cable patterns in her overly cooled office for years. When it wasn't on her back, it adorned the back of her chair for all to see. I cheated though; I gave her the silk button thread, the grosgrain ribbon and the buttons and she got to finish up the button bands and sew on the buttons. I still hate sewing!

Darling, new at the time, husband, on the other hand, picked out the style of sweater, chose the one all-over-the-front-only cable stitch pattern, picked out the yarn and watched me knit his sweater. On the day I finished it he had the nerve to tell me to take it apart and do it over just a tad larger! My sister has been wearing it in health for the last 30 years (she doesn't mind that it buttons "wrong") and he's still waiting for his! Mind, my sister was/is larger than he. That sweater fit him just fine. He was hoping I would be so discouraged that I would give up knitting. Boy! Was he ever wrong! Haven't given up the felines, either.

Jessica-Jean - who now knits only to please herself. If it also pleases someone else in my life, that's gravy.
Go to Top of Page

Sunshine_Amy
New Pal

13 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2002 :  11:52:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit Sunshine_Amy's Homepage Send Sunshine_Amy a Private Message
I think we women have a bad habit of over-giving of ourselves, to the point where we subconsciously require something back in order to feel a balance. That's why it hurts so much when we get nothing back! I think that when we've over-given, and have requirements back, that we need to STOP right there, and wait until we're feeling more giving (IF we're feeling more giving--usually, time will do wonders).

If you tend to give out of guilt, here's a new spin on things: I don't think that that sort of giving IS giving. I think it becomes predominantly expectation, and that that is selfish! Plus, it's harmful to ourselves. It's unkind to both us, and the recipient!

...So, my motto is, "For real, heart-felt giving, don't over-give!" And what seems to work for me, is when I'm feeling like I'm giving too much, I stop giving (always leave the door open for that--never promise more than you know will feel good to give!). More often than not, if that escape door is left open, with a little time I will be eager to come back through it and give again. We are naturally inclined to give of ourselves, if we don't get in our own way!

This year, I kept all my projects secret, so there was zero pressure to finish. (The escape door was wide open, and I was super productive!) I ended up stopping all knitting by mid-November, the approaching pressure just took the fun out of continuing for me. Rather than pressuring myself to start new projects, I'm letting myself buy presents that I enjoy getting.

And guess what! I'm actually looking forward to January! This is the first year I've really 100% respected my urge-to-give, and not over-burdened it. I've never made Christmas presents in January before, in fact in the past I've been a notorious procrastinator!
Go to Top of Page

nittinfool
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2002 :  04:20:35 AM  Show Profile Send nittinfool a Private Message
My friends in the fiber arts...
As I read your postings, I am certain I must be breaking out in hives, such a sore point is this! While my own mother would wear a saddle made of sardine fins if one of her kids made it for her, my mother in law is a little more caustic. She went so far as to suggest to my husband that I was ignoring the kids while I made my "pretties". Now she has found a new face to talk out of, and has asked me to stitch up various doodads for her. Such cheek! I gave her my snottiest smile and replied "Sorry, but I'm sure you wouldn't want me to ignore the kids while I wasted time on that". Rude? Of course it is, but my shoulders are free of guilt, and my time remains devoted to my babies...and the Christmas stocking the youngest will be requiring rather soon. Never be afraid of being a little witchy!
Flying Over Your House,
Leah

Go to Top of Page

BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2002 :  04:24:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Hear Hear, Susnshine Amy. An A+ healthy attitude that touches on a little quandry I have pondered many years. It's all contained in those letters from Dear Abby about not getting Thank You letters and how hurt and angry and sometimes even vengeful these givers feel.

Don't misunderstand me. My son grew up with the rule "don't wear it, play with it, spend it, before you write the thank you note". But that is because he ALSO had to learn about the thanks part of life. That was my job to teach and his to learn and practice. But as for the giving, that's tied up in expectation ribbon - I'm really bothered by that.

I've given my share of unwanted hand made gifts. I've known the instant the wrappings were undone that it was in the UHMG category. How could I be angry at a person who honestly didn't want what I made. is that his obligation? I admit, the little pinch was there - "Oh No! all that work for nothing" but i had a lot of fun doing the work, anticipating the delight. In the scheme of things I got most of what I was looking for in that knitting project. The only other thing I got was sure knowledge that this person should be taken off the hand made gift list. And though I may not have been looking for that, i needed to get it. So. Bag of cookies for him next year.

Once a gift is given, it's no longer mine to care about. The whole idea of gift is a transfer of ownership. It is gone. I wanted to give a gift. the act of giving was what I wanted. Any other expectations I may have had, well - can't deny I had them, but no one is obligated to fulfill them. If I were to find a hand knitted blanket being used as a cat bed then I will have learned right away that this person would rather have a Staples gift certificate. But they were not obligated to want a hand knitted blanket.

Eh. I sound like I'm repeating myself.

Gosh this is a great topic. Kim - thanks for giving us this opportunity. Thanks to all of you for sharing your selves. Perhaps the greatest gift of all.

The world of gifts is such a minefield. But I hope all your gifts are loved, cherished, used and treasured. and I hope you all get mounds of yarn for the holidays.

Go to Top of Page

Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4376 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2002 :  05:15:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message
I can still picture my nieces padding around in the slippers I made them for Christmas when they were small. They are all grown up now, or almost, but I know they have an appreciation for what a gift means, whether it's hand-made or not. I am fortunate that I haven't encountered the reactions that I've been reading about here. Or is it just that I have been able to let the gift go, and I haven't focused on the recipient's reaction? I'd like to think that this is true, but I'm not so sure.

My mother has always enjoyed what I have made, wearing proudly even the odd unsold woven pieces that make me groan when I see them now. She is one who has huge expectations (or anxiety, I guess) when giving anything, though, and I think that my "calm" attitude might have something to do with not wanting to follow in her footsteps.

Because creating is so vital to my sense of who I am, I want to be free to do it without any reservations. That's what I think I am hearing throughout this topic. I have begun to make things for myself -- I am learning that giving to myself makes me a more giving person, and what I send out into the universe comes back to me eventually.

This is most definitely not an easy topic -- there are so many dynamics to our human relationships, and we're just scratcing the surface here (especially regarding mothers!). My thoughts have really been provoked by this one!

Jane
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 4 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Knitter's Review Forums © 2001-2014 Knitter's Review Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.72 seconds. Snitz Forums 2000
line This week's bandwidth
kindly brought to you by


and by knitters like you.
How can I sponsor?


line subscribe to Knitter's Reviwe