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homefireknits
New Pal

USA
38 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2002 :  07:23:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit homefireknits's Homepage  Send homefireknits a Yahoo! Message Send homefireknits a Private Message
I questioned adding yet another posting to this topic. Seems we are all really hot about this one. Good choice, Kim. I'm just finishing the shell of a twin set for my mom for Christmas. She's never asked me for anything in all the 30 years I've been knitting and I never made her anything before because of all those people demanding gifts from me. What was I thinking?! She deserved a gift from me way long ago. Nobody ever paid for the yarn or needles and all but a few of them have never worn the items. The moral of the story is choose who you knit for carefully and if you don't want to do it, tell them they are way down on the list and you won't get to it for at least a year. My daughter has also been pushed aside and I have to wonder, why I've treated outsiders better than my own family! Never again!

Homefireknits
No St Paul, MN
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BlueStocking
Sustaining Member

USA
945 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2002 :  08:14:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit BlueStocking's Homepage Send BlueStocking a Private Message
Wow. I've read alot of your posts in complete disbelief about how some of your gifts have been treated. I wouldn't even treat a store-bought gift with the disregard that some of your hand-made treasures have been treated. Truly appalling.

I suppose that I have been lucky because everyone I have knit for has been very excited to receive what I've made. I do agree with Bess that once the gift is given, it is a transfer of ownership. We can only hope that the new owner will treat it the way we want it to be treated ... but unfortunately that is not always the case. I know that if anyone ever treated one of my creations with the disrespect that I've read in some of your posts, that would be the LAST thing I ever made for that person. It would be very hard not to take it personally. Because I've always felt that whatever I created was in some way an extension of myself.

One special memory I have is a sweater I knitted for one of my best girlfriends ... I wanted to do something special for her, in some really neat yarn. I emailed her husband (who sometimes has trouble with gift ideas) and we decided to do something together - he paid for the yarn, and I knitted the sweater. When we gave it to her, she was so overwhelmed she actually cried. She wears it all the time, and is always telling people that her best friend made it for her.

Now, the only "problem" I have is my MIL, who wants one of everything she sees. I have knitted her a sweater, a shawl, a hat and a scarf already. I appreciate that she likes things I've made, but I also feel a little grouchy when she starts dropping hints again (her latest is socks and fingerless gloves). When there are so many other people that I want to knit something for who haven't received anything yet! urgh. Like you, Kim, I haven't quite figured out what to do about this particular situation (I want to be tactful and kind, but also think I somehow need to tell her that she's gotten enough already ... and that the yarns that she likes are pretty darn expensive!).

I feel lucky that I have come from a very creative and supportive family (although a little too controlling in my younger years .... but that's another story ) ... my father is an awesome artist/calligrapher/architect, and my mother a seamstress/quilter/knitter. They have always been very supportive of my own need to create, and appreciative of the results. I'm lucky that (so far) I've had the same experience with friends I've knit for.

Jen

P.S. Kim -- thanks for sharing the Neruda poem! I so love Pable Neruda, and this is one that I do not have in my book (I have "Love Sonnets"). I'm going to copy it down and calligraphy it for myself and one of my best "knitting" friend.

And if anyone else would like a copy of the calligraphied poem, email me and I'll snail mail you one (I can't guarantee when it will be, but I CAN guarantee that I'll keep your address and mail it when it does get done!



"Imagination mixed with vividness becomes reality."
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lacylaine
Seriously Hooked

USA
993 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2002 :  11:12:31 AM  Show Profile Send lacylaine a Private Message
Hi all!

My mom, while warm and supportive, has a terrible habit of giving away gifts that I've given her! I do agree, once a gift is given, it should literally be out of our hands. Thankfully, she's never asked for any knitted items. But the more time we spend, shopping or making a gift, the harder it is to let go.

As for the doily/dishrags, I just have to defend that person. When my MIL gave me some, I didn't know they WERE dish cloths. Where I grew up, dish cloths were always bought! It wasn't until she came to visit, many months later, that I learned their true use. And then I kept using them as doilies because I needed them.

I like what Mary Hunt has to say about gifts in this month's Cheapskate Monthly:

"Christmas gifts are not about the gifts. Gifts are messengers. They deliver our love and the fondness we feel for people we care about. A gift is a vehicle. Without the love, the gift is empty. Giving a gift just so you can mark a name off a list is a hollow effort that is likely to fall flat no matter how much the gift costs."

This definitely applies to all knitted gifts, as well, don't you think?

Melanie



"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10
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KnittinMom
New Pal

6 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2002 :  12:17:52 PM  Show Profile Send KnittinMom a Private Message
Thank you for posting the translation of this poem.

I recently completed he first sock I ever made. (I am a newby knitter.) I worked very hard on it, and, using the Twisted Sisters book, figured out how to add a thong-toe. I planned to make a pair of such socks and give the pair to my teenage daughter, who wears thong sandals 12 monts a year. I chose festive colors and wool with nylon so she could have warm feet even when we got a cold snap (Texas, no snow).

Well, she tried on the completed first sock, and told me that she wasn't sure that she even wanted a pair of these socks. Boy, it was tough after I had worked so hard to learn to make these.

Now she says that I can go ahead and make the second sock. After all, they will at least keep her feet warm.--Note the extreme lack of enthusiasm or appreciation here.--So now I must decide whether to try to make the second sock before Christmas, when I have so much to do. Also, I had already bought some expensive Berroco materials to make her a one-shoulder top. The way I'm feeling now I just wish I had the figure to make the top for me. How can I be considering continuing with this project?--but I am. I just don't want my husband to see the price for the Berroco materials and not see me produce something...which my daughter may not like either. She is very picky.

I guess I live and learn.

Smiles,
Janis
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schoolmama
Permanent Resident

USA
2310 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2002 :  1:35:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit schoolmama's Homepage Send schoolmama a Private Message
Janis, your dd sounds a lot like my teenage son, who is the youngest of 3 boys. He often seems to say things like that! Even after I have had him say he wanted something and I made it. He also seems very indecisive sometimes about just "what" he wants. Maybe you should take her with you to pick the yarn, if you don't have it already, and ask her if that is what she really wants. I have done that with my 12 yr. old dd, when I wanted to make her a dress. She picks the pattern and fabric so I am pretty sure she will wear it when it is done. Sometimes she has only worn it once....but most of the time she wears things a lot. Barb

"OF ALL THE THINGS I HAVE LOST, I MISS MY MIND THE MOST!"
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chrisknits
New Pal

USA
45 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2002 :  3:29:08 PM  Show Profile Send chrisknits a Private Message
I have always sewn/hand made gifts since I was young. Mostly due to lack of funds, but also because I love to create. In my youth I embroidered a chambray shirt for my dad. He wore that thing often. And now as I look back I think what courage it took for him to wear that hideous thing! My mother hardly ever wore anything I ever made her. It wasn't until eons later that I understood why. She grew up a very younger sister with very elderly parents. My grandmother, who was an extremely talented seamstress made all my mother's clothing. She also made my mother rip out any sewn item my mother made that wasn't to my grandmother's standard. So to my mom, hand made represented: too poor to buy store bought and had such negative connotations as to turn her off.
Fast forward to later years and I have decorated my mother's house often with hand stitched needleworks. I finally had to tell her it was OK for her to get rid of some of those out-dated items. She loves my home decor items because they do not carry any baggage for her.
Now my MIL is a different story. I have made many decor items for her and they are displayed for the shortest time possible. Then I never see them again. She has picked out top-stitching on applique' items I have made for her. I have restitched things that were perfectly fine. The hand quilted wallhanging I made her one year was tacked up with push pins for about 5 years. I vowed to never make her another stitched item again! Then last year I made her a pair of socks. She was over the moon about them. So now she is soon to receive her 3rd pair and has more to come!
On the other side of the coin I have a cross-stitch that a lady did for my daughter's birth. It does not fit our decor, it isn't in a style I would have chosen. But this dear lady spent all the time to stitch that thing that I will never take it off the wall! It will be handed down to my daughter to do with as she wishes when she moves out. Or maybe not!
So I guess it may all be the perspective you are viewing the gift with.

Chris
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jsteinberg2@cox.net
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2002 :  7:25:08 PM  Show Profile Send jsteinberg2@cox.net a Private Message
I completely understand all the issues expressed -people asking for things (rude) and not appreciating handknitted items etc. and I could add in many sad experiences to the list BUT I had a really GOOD experience this season I would love to share.
My family has always been ungrateful to my efforts to treat them kindly and thoughtfully on the holidays. Last year was the worst. I spent way too much time and money and never receive a thank you from any of them. This year I decided they would have one last chance. I began to knit - with as much love in my heart as I could muster - small items for each of them. I made felted slippers for the boys - my father and brother and nephews (in all different colors) and high style scarves for my mother and sister-in-law. I knit a pocketbook for my niece. I held the gifts out until all the others had been opened and then handed them out one at a time. They were thrilled. At first they did not understand the slippers were knit, but my son - in great detail - told them about how large they were to start and me standing by the washer and measuring them... they all were thrilled and appreciative. I don't know if they really meant it, but I felt great. It was one of the most loving thing they have ever done for me. I felt hugged. I was so glad I did it.
The bottom line, your family can surprise you - when you least expect it they can show you - love.
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mokumegane
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
558 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2002 :  10:41:59 PM  Show Profile Send mokumegane a Private Message
Heh, she'll never be able to really use that scarf! Does she want it on the wall or something? I'd try to convince the person they like something like, say, socks- you can use them anywhere! Try to come up with some middle ground!

Amanda

Laugh- it keeps you sane!
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lisabydesign
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2002 :  11:05:01 PM  Show Profile Send lisabydesign a Private Message
Thank you for the poem, Kim.
That is so beautiful.
I have noticed that the passion of knitters, poets and Hispanic/Latino writers are matched with the intensity of all we "real" knitters feel when simply touching yarn. The fact that you care so passionately...that we all here seem to live, breathe and embrace our knitting with such fervor, is a cause for celebration. So, for the underdeserving you may encounter, offer this poem. If they understand the essence of that poem, maybe give them another chance. If not, make yourself another cashmere scarf in your favorite textured stitch and color, and chuckle at the wonder of it all!
LisabyDesign
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nittinfool
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2002 :  12:02:22 AM  Show Profile Send nittinfool a Private Message
Hello to everyone!
I find that when I make something for someone, it's best to forego the surprise (my family can be particular as well) and just get them involved. My husband has never been critical of my crafts, though he'd showed minimal interest in having anything knitted for himself until he saw me laboring over my first pair of socks. He's since put in a request for a pair in basic black. Since I know he will appreciate something that he's taken enough interest to ask for, I can make the gift without undue concern.
Flying Over Your House
Leah

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lakotagal5
Warming Up

USA
79 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2002 :  06:33:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit lakotagal5's Homepage Send lakotagal5 a Private Message
HI ALL, I Hear what you are saying, my mom after many years has finally said, you do knit well, she is not a knitter. She would also say to me, " don't you have chores to do " in stead of knit. I just let that pass. The thing that gets to me is when the adult grandkids ask for a sweater, which I gladly have knitted, never to be seen again.Last Christmas when they came to visit they were so excited about the sweaters they had purchased at the Gap.Yes my feelings were hurt, the sweaters I had been knitting for them were lovely Aran Knits in good wool. This year they get scarves and caps,knitted from my stash.All in black of course lol.Life is a learning process and I have learned, I feel at age almost 71 I do not have the time to knit these unworn sweaters.Hey maybe if I get some Gap lables to sew in them they would wear them lol. "Happy Holidays Everyone"and "Happy Knitting" Jeri.

jeri
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hedclu
New Pal

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2002 :  10:01:59 AM  Show Profile Send hedclu a Private Message
kim-- thanks for sharing the poem and the story about your mom. love neruda...and feel all kinds of solidarity about the over-critical moms.

cheers,
holly



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RipKo
Chatty Knitter

USA
145 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2002 :  11:40:51 AM  Show Profile Send RipKo a Private Message
Well said Bess!

I'm a true believer that when you give a gift, either made by you or store bought by you, the gift is from your heart. Once handed over, it's the receiver's choice on what to do with it.

I understand the hurt and disappointment when you've made (or bought) a gift and the receiver was unappreciated and tossedthe gift aside. However, learn from it (everthing happens for a reason and it's up to you to learn from it), then move on to your next knitted project, whether it be for you or a gift for someone else and ENJOY!

Happy Holidays!!







-Dawn

<:0)
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Snowcat
New Pal

USA
20 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2002 :  2:38:33 PM  Show Profile Send Snowcat a Private Message
I feel compelled to add my two cents.
I have a friend who tells me what a waste of time knitting is. What ever you make will be worn out or out grown or (dare I say it) used !?! Anyway, he always was mad at me for knitting when I was waiting for things or watching tv with his family. (I can do two things at once like most of us knitters can) Anyway, his oldest just went to college this year and is on some team. Can you guess...he called me and practically begged me to make a scarf and hat with the school colors since he can't find any. I told him I would only if he would pay for the yarn and keep his mouth shut. He asked me to knit in Ocotber. Haven't seen the yarn......
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CCR
Gabber Extraordinaire

375 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2002 :  2:57:20 PM  Show Profile Send CCR a Private Message
Maybe you should offer him knitting lessons.

Carin

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mokumegane
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
558 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2002 :  11:16:16 PM  Show Profile Send mokumegane a Private Message
God, I hate that store-bought stuff! I'd much rather get something made and I love aran stuff! Man, some people don't have a sense of style... just have to follow the flock in the malls out there!

Amanda


Laugh- it keeps you sane!
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lauraks555
New Pal

42 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2002 :  08:54:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit lauraks555's Homepage Send lauraks555 a Private Message
What a fun topic! I have some stories, too, and so far, they're all good.

My daughter, a first grader, barfed on one of her mittens I'd made for her and was distraught that she'd ruined it. I reassured her that if I couldn't clean it adequately, I'd just knit up her a new one. You should have seen her face! She was so relieved! Poor thing was really upset. I have such a great kid, she insists on wearing to school every hat I ever make just to show off.

My husband is the same. I'd made a sweater out of autumn colored yarn that he'd hated (the yarn, not the sweater). It was SUPPOSED to be for sale, but the guy has 'reassigned' it to HIS closet and is in the process of wearing it out. He's decreed that even though the yarn wasn't appealing, what I did with it did appeal.

On to Mom! I'd made her a turtleneck, a quick and easy pattern in Red Heart yarn. I know, not the priciest, but Mom grew up very poor and wouldn't hear of using expensive yarn because what would happen if she'd accidently stained it or something? She loves it so much, tries it on every so often, but is afraid to wear it, just in case. :P I'd mentioned that this year, since Christmas money is nearly non-exsistant, I planned on knitting everyone's present and she was thrilled.

I'd just knit my Dad a sweater for his birthday, he recieved it on Thanksgiving, so I don't know how that's going down. I have a feeling he's not going to wear it much, either, just on special "going-to-town" days. They live in the middle of nowhere, so going to a town with 8000 people is a big deal and they dress for the occasion.

The negative.....since I'm knitting everyone's gift this year, I'm not sure how my mother, sister, and father in laws are going to like theirs. My husband and own sister love what I've knitted for them, so, maybing it'll be well recieved. I'm kinda nervous, to be honest, but my inlaws have been supportive of the other stuff, so.... :) I'm going to be optimistic.

Concerning whiners. Hey buddy, you wantee the knitted, you payee the price. Seriously. I'm not buying yarn, spending MY time knitting, just so you can waltz off with one of my original creations. This attitude may be because I consider my knitting and designing a real business, but still. If it costs me, it costs you, too. Gifts are exceptions and "I" say what is a gift, thankyouverymuch. :D
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Catharine
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2002 :  10:59:14 AM  Show Profile Send Catharine a Private Message
Kim, I think you should sweetly tell your mom that you are busy "doing other things" at the moment, but that if she'll buy the yarn and needles, you'll be happy to show her how! I, too, have had friends or family members like this -- just not Mom. She was always supportive & tried hard to learn how to knit tho' she sewed beautifully. My son is asking for my hand-knit items -- & wearing knitted hat, scarf, fingerless gloves, mittens, & soon, socks! - Cath

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bogrady
Warming Up

Canada
68 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2002 :  11:08:09 AM  Show Profile Send bogrady a Private Message
When I was 30, I made my mother the first and only sweater I would ever make her, as a Christmas present. I was still working on it Christmas morning, in the bathroom!!! because it was the only place I could turn on a light without waking a family member. She oohhed and ahhed over it but seldom wore it because she was getting hot flashes. However, she did make me feel wonderful about giving it to her. She died about two years later.

As Mom was fighting cancer, she made a sweater for each family member who would enjoy one. (She didn't make one for my brother since she knew he wouldn't wear it.) My husband, my daughter and I have our sweaters as wonderful keepsakes of her love. I don't know what happened to that sweater that I made her. I think my step mother (Mom's best friend) might have taken it. However, I've never seen her wear it. My best knitting fan is my daughter, who gets every project that I start for myself that ends up too small - sweaters, socks, etc. and my husband, who is patiently waiting for me make him wool socks. Younger son doesn't like wool but has taken a real fancy to my alpaca yarns, so he might also enjoy future sweaters.

Love and knitting are so inter-twined.

-Bev

Bev
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Calla
New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2002 :  11:08:56 AM  Show Profile Send Calla a Private Message
Loved the message about never knitting for someone who is whiny and demanding! I am also in graduate school and have classmates who have asked me to make stuff for them. Most of them won't get anything. But I have a good friend who got SO excited at the thought of a ribbed wool hat that I just couldn't resist. Everytime I told him that I was "almost done" he would rub his hands together, get a big smile on his face, and say, "This is going to be the best present ever!" I personalized it with some letters for him (the acronym of his favorite library science reference book) and it was well-received. Not that every knitted gift has to be the "best presest ever", but it sure helps if the reciepient is encouraging and not demanding!

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